Cycling Hill Climbing
I recently did a local ride that took me into a lot of hills. There was one hill in particular that went on at a steep incline for over two miles. I passed two cyclists who had had to stop to get their breath back. It got me thinking about the best cycling climbing strategy. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to get used to cycling up hills is to spend a lot of time cycling up hills. There’s no magic secret to cycling climbing, it all comes down to fitness level and training.
Cycling up hills is hard, let’s be honest, and not many of us enjoy it. We prefer to have the bike whizzing along on the straight but cycling climbing is a part of cycling we need to master. And like anything else, the only way to master it is to practice it. Hill climbing is excellent cardio vascular training and will benefit the rest of your cycling by increasing your fitness level. Regular cycling up hills will increase your fitness level dramatically but you need to have worked on your fitness level before attempting arduous hill climbs. Once you have your base fitness at a good level you should incorporate some hill climbing into your training regime, not only to improve your fitness level but to get used to climbing hills.
Incorporate cycle hill climbing into your training by taking some time to devote just to hills. Seek out the hills and hit them hard. Look for a variety of hills, small, steep long etc. If you live in an area short on hills go up and down the same hill a few times. The great thing about hill climbing is you feel like you have had a good workout when you return and your lung capacity and overall strength will increase.
Hit the hill with determination and use your gears. If possible try to stay seated, if that’s not possible then get up onto the peddles and pump them hard. Try not to stop. Your effort should be steady rather than a sprint. Later, as your fitness improves, try sprinting up small hills and even up longer hills. Once your fitness level has adapted to the new strain you have subjected it to, sprinting up hills will become the norm. Include cycle hill climbing into your normal training regime and watch your fitness improve dramatically as a result.