Sunday, April 13, 2008

Getting dropped on the hills?

Have you gotten dropped lately (on the hills) during one of your recent group rides or race? Don't despair you're not alone...I just got dropped the other day. Yeah, I know it's not fun and not something to talk about..but if you ride a lot, regardless of your ability/level, sooner or later you're going to get dropped by stronger riders- especially on the hills. Wait a minute, are these other riders really "stronger" riders or are they "lighter" riders? Are they both? What makes some riders better hill climbers than others is their "Power to Weight Ratio", also denoted watts/kg. The riders with the higher Power to Weight Ratio will be the better hill climbers. So, how do you find your "Power to Weight Ratio"? Power to Weight Ratio's can be determined during Performance Testing, something that my partner Todd (TWiley Sports) and I perform for area athletes. Performance testing will determine what your average maximum sustained power output is, aka Threshold Power (watts). You take this number (watts) and divide your weight (kg) to give your watts/kg. Here's an example, say my average max sustained power is 300 watts. I divide that number by my weight (180 lbs= 180/2.2=82 kg) to give: 300/82= 3.65 watts/kg

So, how do I increase my Power to Weight Ratio? Good question! There are three ways: a) increase your power output (watts) b) decrease weight (kg) or c) do both a & b. When I say lose weight, that either means find a lighter bike to ride or shed a few pounds..or both.

As a coach, I can help you increase your Power to Weight Ratio which will make you a better hill climber. I'm not saying you'll never get dropped on the hills again..but you won't get dropped by the same group. For more information on performance testing, individualized training programs, and weight loss programs, contact me at: mullerrj@comcast.net Cheers Coach Rob