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Train Heavy, Race Light


W1Z@RD
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I was thinking of loading up on weight while I train (especially for the hills) by using heavier wheels, arm and ankle weights perhaps, extra water bottles - anything to make bike and myself heavier. Then lose it all for the race... Would this approach work? I reckon if I weigh 10kgs less, I should fly up those hills :thumbup:

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Makes sense, but I guess it depends on whether you are a weekend warrior like myself or are riding competitively.

 

I normally try climb hills in a hard gear, so when it counts, I drop into an easier gear and don't get even half as tired.

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Why don't you just train harder and go faster?!

 

Ever seen a pro riding around on a heavy bike? Nope. The only reason you will train heavy is if you are going to race heavy (like mtb stage race with loads of spares on your back. Mate of mine trained with a bag of golfballs on his back!).

 

Rather just ride a harder. Extra weight will just make you slower and enjoy the ride less.

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I train with a friggin heavy wheelset - probably about 1.5kg heavier than my race wheels, and when I use the race wheels it feels like I'm flying :)

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It depends how you train. If you train according to speed, then 10km/h on a heavy bike will be harder than 10km/h on a light bike.

 

If you train according to power, perceived exertion or HR then it doesn't really make a difference. Riding at 250W, 90%HR has the same training effect, regardless of which bike you're doing it on.

 

I personally believe that you should train as close to how you will be racing as you can, so you get really familiar with how your bike behaves and feels. The possible exception might be if you've got a cheaper, heavier bike or wheels for training so you don't risk damaging the expensive lightweight stuff, except in races.

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Makes sense, but I guess it depends on whether you are a weekend warrior like myself or are riding competitively.

 

I normally try climb hills in a hard gear, so when it counts, I drop into an easier gear and don't get even half as tired.

 

Yeah that's a good idea... just changed my cassette to a 11-25 and was on a 12-26 with a compact crank... so suffering right.... but its worth trying. Just want to improve my climbing abilities as this is my weak point and can gain most from.

 

btw Also a weekend warrior :rolleyes:

 

Thanks :thumbup:

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It makes no difference in many ways to add weight. Only difference you will see is the absolute time it takes to complete the same course, ie more weight will slow you down for same total input of effort (unless you are just going down hill!).

 

In terms of training, you will still be putting out the same power for maximum effort etc (if you weigh more it does not make you a more powerful rider!!). So as long as you are able to train in the correct "zone" you will gain the same training benefit without adding weight.

 

Also, if you add weight and go slower up hills you may find you have different gearing issues for the same course when you race.

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What I do regarding to extra weight :

 

Train in the week on IDT, with HRM monitor( i.e.. extra weight on ankles will make no difference imo)

 

Weekends I do Groenies or whatever with extra weight( camelbak with every possible gadget to fix bike with and extra liquid), and see the session as an all out sprint.

 

My PB loops at groenies is done with no extra weight( same weight/setup as in a race situation), and is seen as final prep for a priority race, what I then do is use the PB course on my edge 500 and try to match that time with the extra weight while training through the season. i.e.. the PB gets better through the year as the added weight sessions start overlapping the race setup times.

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Why don't you just train harder and go faster?!

 

Ever seen a pro riding around on a heavy bike? Nope. The only reason you will train heavy is if you are going to race heavy (like mtb stage race with loads of spares on your back. Mate of mine trained with a bag of golfballs on his back!).

 

Rather just ride a harder. Extra weight will just make you slower and enjoy the ride less.

 

I agree, training heavy and slow feels *** and you will not be motivated to keep doing it. Just ride more and harder. Rest hard then ride hard.

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Cycling is not a sport you can get better at in a few weeks...

 

Keeping that in mind, it takes a lot of hours and calories to get consistently better at it...

 

Some of your training is also the consistency of your training and if you make your training feel ***... you may not do it... and what is worse than having an awesome training regime that you never do!

 

If you enjoy the suffering - this sport might just be your calling!laugh.gif

 

My suggestion: if your avg Cadence is 90 for a course... try train at 95... or switch to a higher gear and keep your cadence...

There are better ways of increasing strength and aerobic capacity than tying your legs together and hopping uphill... unless you enjoy it!clap.gifclap.gif

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If you actually lost 10kgs in body weight it would make a huge difference as your body is accustomed to lugging that extra weight around 24/7. So you should see some gain by adding 10kgs to your weight when you train, but the impact on your fitness/strength/longevity would only really show if you trained for a longer periods of time often. Maybe my logic is skewed, but I liken your question to weight training in gym - heavy weight with low reps gains muscle with a little stamina, but lower weights with more reps gives you longevity. Maybe use two different combinations of weights which could vary with your route (heavy weight, hilly route, shorter ride at greater intensity gains more muscle, while a lighter or even the same weight on a longer route at a slower speed may build more stamina).

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