Hill climbing is perhaps the most challenging overall skill to master for cyclists. Why? Because most cyclists simply avoid the hills! Ha! Right? I hear them tell me that they really don't like climbing because they are slow or afraid they'll keep everyone else waiting for them, or or or...I too had all those excuses once.
But what I found was, IF I kept working on my climbing and descending skills, AND continued to ride up those hills that I would soon improve, and increase my speed and power to climb easier. You too can improve your confidence and skills and actually begin to enjoy riding those long, intimidating climbs. Here are a few tips to help you tackle that next challenge with a bit more ease....Give them a try and see for yourself if you aren't just a little better than Joe, next time....
Good luck and happy climbing!
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. This is certainly an appropriate mantra when you are practicing hill repeats or working on getting to the top of that long mountain climb. So, here's a few things you can do to improve your climbing skills.
Try incorporating Climbing Repeats into your weekly workouts twice per week. These exercises will work on improving your sustained climbing power. Find a climb that's about 10 minutes long. Beginners should do two 6-8 minute intervals with an intensity of 7-8 on a scale of 10. Conversation will be limited at best when doing these intervals.
Intermediate riders can try three 8-10 minute intervals and advanced riders can do three 12-15 minute intervals.
RBI (rest between intervals) can be 10-15 minutes of easy spinning before you begin again.
Cadence should be high- i.e. a hill 10% grade or less, keep cadence between 75-85 rpms; anything over 10% will be more in the range of 50-60 rpms
You will also want to consider fine tuning your shifting, gearing, cadence, pedal stroke, and body position for most efficient climbing technique.
Ride On, Ride Safe, Ride Strong and let me know how it goes!