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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i just signed up for the vt50 and the only thing i am concerned about is the type of climbing. the race starts and ends at the same place so it will be an equal amount of climbing and descending which is a good thing. my question is the places i ride in mass don't offer any sustained climbs. i would say at most five minutes and there are only a couple of those. but for the most part they are mostly under a minute. the only place i ride often is the wompatuck state park which has the landmine classic. they have a 25 mile loop that i like to do and i checked on my forerunner yesterday and for the 25 miles it was 7700 feet of ascent and just about equal decent. that is almost the same amount of elevation the vt50 has but in half the miles. so would that place be a good bench mark or do i need to drive somewhere and find some long sustained climbs maybe even on the road to practice on. any info on how to be better prepared for this event would be great.

thanks,
adam
 

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From my experience, no all climbing is not the same. A sustained 7 mile climb is going to hurt a whole lot more than a 1 miler. It would be a good idea to find some longer climbs to train for this. While you could say that doing the climbs on the race course before the race would be a good idea if it is a crappy enough climb you don't want to freak yourself out before the race. Some road climbs would probably help out considerably but try to find one that has similiar grade to the vt50.
 

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Are you uploading your garmin files to garminconnect and using the elevation corrections feature? 7700 feet in 25 miles is pretty unrealistic for mtb, even a bit extreme for high mountain roads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i uploaded it into the garmin training center. it is a garmin forerunner 305 i have it set to get data every second and i use the speed cadence sensor that should supplement data if the signal is lost in the tree coverage. as far as miles go it is pretty close. not exactly on the money but way better than it used to be before i edited the settings and got the additional setting. you think the data could be wrong. i have no idea if 7700ft over 25 miles is alot or not. i also don't have anything else to compare it to.
 

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Bro Mountainbiker
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Thats a ton of climbing. That amount of elevation is typical for 80-100 miles here in these parts of the Southeast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I uploaded my ride to strava and it came out as 3600ft of gain. Which makes more sense but I am still doubting since this place isn't known to be hilly. Back on track though how long of a climb should I be looking for to train on
 

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The Whiskey 50 has similar elevation gain, and its all uphill with two long climbs. Surely your reading is inaccurate.
 

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The VT50 has about 9500' of climbing. I've done the race numerous times and the longest climbs are on well maintained gravel roads, some of which never seem to end. I'd spend long hours in the saddle on the bike your planning to race. Is it possible to ride your bike to Wompatuck, do your loop and ride home?
 

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Its all about Time

7000 feet of climbing in 25 miles is huge. I live in utah and ride quite a few 20 ish miles rides with 3000 feet of climbing and it feels like the climbs are steep. I don't think I would be able to ride it at all if it was double the gradient. I agree your reading is likely off.

A 50 mile race with 9000 feet is also huge in the climbing dept. If you want to be prepared for the race you need to ride some 2+ hour climbs. Plus be used to spending 6 hours in the saddle.
 

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renaissance cyclist
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I have a 305 and the elevations it gives are completely inaccurate. It isn't even as if they are always low or always high and you can correct accordingly... just always wong, as if someone is just pulling random numbers out of their head
 

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Leaving aside the issue of whether your elevation numbers are accurate, all climbing is certainly not the same.

I favor three different 100 mile races. One has nearly all the climbing on gravel roads, the other two have almost no road climbing at all (probably less than 10%). My training approach for these two styles of races is quite different.

For road climbing style of races, you need to train by climbing on roads (preferably on an mtb). For single track climbing style of races, you need to climb on single track. They are not the same.

But if you don't have the luxury of making the choice between single track climbing and road climbing during training, just make dang sure and climb a lot, wherever you can!
 

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Concur with everyone on their assessments.


I'd also add that during training climbs, know your 'BOT' (what I call my Blow Out Threshold)...in other words, on sustained climbs, know how hard you can push and then back off just a tad...pace yourself.


:cool:
 

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Leaving aside the issue of whether your elevation numbers are accurate, all climbing is certainly not the same.

I favor three different 100 mile races. One has nearly all the climbing on gravel roads, the other two have almost no road climbing at all (probably less than 10%). My training approach for these two styles of races is quite different.

For road climbing style of races, you need to train by climbing on roads (preferably on an mtb). For single track climbing style of races, you need to climb on single track. They are not the same.

But if you don't have the luxury of making the choice between single track climbing and road climbing during training, just make dang sure and climb a lot, wherever you can!
:thumbsup: I prefer long sustained gravel climbs as you can get into your own rhythm, weather that be faster or slower then the person in front of you. For single track climbs, your stuck at the mercy of the person in front of you. On a single speed, this can be extremely frustrating.
 

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I've done the VT50 twice and got in again this year. The course is a big loop but the first time I did it I thought it was all uphill.
You can't pre-ride the course since it's mostly private land (and I live 10 hours away), so I usually try to ride stuff with similar mileage to elevation ratios. I have a local loop that in 5 miles climbs a bit over 1000' and a state park that in 25 miles climbs 4800'. Both are close to that 200' per mile ratio. I'm not fast and was not in it to win but by riding those a lot I was able to finish and enjoy the ride.
And practice a little bit of pushing your bike on really steep pitches, you may be able to ride them all but I can't and having some on foot training helped alot the second time around when it was really wet. I probably hoofed it 2 miles last year.

Just ride as much as you can and always do one more hill. And then another. And repeat.
 

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Just ride as much as you can and always do one more hill. And then another. And repeat.
Yes, this. 2 loops around your preferred route would be a solid start. Another option is moving to a tougher gear on the climbs to build strength. If it were me I'd decide based on what the ultimate goal is: having fun and placing near the top or just having fun and finishing.
 

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adumb there are things you can do to prepare for a lot of climbing without doing long sustained climbs. Number one is hill intervals. Warm up for 45 min to an hour, then do intervals on a hill that is anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes of climbing. I try and mix them up, sometimes starting in the big ring and going hard until blowing up then trying to recover and sprint again before the top...other times starting off with a high cadence and then sprinting out of the saddle the last couple minutes. Cool down for a brief period of a couple minutes after each interval, ride down then go again. For a shorter hill do more intervals. If you can do an hour of intervals then ride home you'll be spent. I do anywhere from 6 to 12 intervals depending on how much my legs and stomach can handle, no more than once per week.

Time trial type efforts will also help, and you can do those on the trail or the road. 10 minute trials at the max output you can sustain will help train your threshold. If you did a couple time trials one day, and hill intervals another day, the rest of your rides that week should all be easy rides of varying distances ideally including a longer ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
lots of good info for me in here. for the area that i am in finding a long sustained climb is just not in the books. i live in plymouth ma and the only place that i found on a map that climbs a little is a small ski resort called blue hills. i will probably drive there once a week on the weekends and go up and down as much as i can handle. the other day on the weekend i will go for a long ride and probably just keep stretching it out as i get in better shape. right now i can do back to back 3hr ride days not at a serious race pace but not stopping for breaks or anything like that. all i really want to do for this race is finish and have fun while i am doing it. so i have the two weekend rides and then i will do a interval type ride in the middle of the week and i will probably only have time for one more ride which would probably be another ride around an hour used mostly for recovery.
 

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surprised nobody has mentioned it, but i thought the best way to gain endurance for long climbs if you can't ride them was to just do long road rides at a constant heart rate?
 

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adumb there are things you can do to prepare for a lot of climbing without doing long sustained climbs. Number one is hill intervals.
+1

Ohhhhh man do I hate intervals. But they work and come race day you'll be glad you did them. Ride the climbs on race day at a pace that you think you could maintain more--or-less indefinitely. If you've done enough interval training, you'll be surprised at the pace you can carry while staying comfortable -- even on the long climbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
so i already started riding my bike to my nearest longest hill and went up and down it for 40 minutes. didn't really feel burnt out at all so i will increase it until i feel like i am getting a workout. my next question is how often should i be doing this. i have read some things about intense workouts and heard only once a week. is this something i should only do once a week or can i do it twice. also is there a point at which long trail rides lose there effect. i didn't know if after 4 hours you are better off going back on the length and increasing the intensity or am i better of doing 2 hour intense rides.

thanks,
adam
 
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