Unlike other aspects of biking, climbing uphill successfully is considered by most people to be almost 100% dependent on natural ability and fitness. But in reality, ascending is a much more complicated and subtle biking skill that involves not just fitness, but psychology and strategy.
Here are some biking skills you should take note of in order to conquer that hill:
Keep a higher cadence on a climb, as it is more effective and efficient than pushing a big gear at a lower cadence. A low cadence will emphasize your muscular system that gets tired easily and quickly and takes days to recover. On the other hand, a higher cadence puts emphasis on the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems which have greater endurance and faster recovery.
It’s not enough to just shift into your smallest gear and try to spin up the next ascend. Your body requires time to adapt. One of the most effective and important workouts riders can do to improve their biking skills, particularly in climbing, is the high-spin interval.
There are other types of leg-speed drills, such as rev-us, but the high-sin interval is the safest and most effective. Here is how to do it:
Look for a flat road and try to pedal at 120 revolutions per minutes (rpm) for 10 minutes. Try to do it without stopping. There should be only very little resistance on the pedals. Practice this once or twice a week, adding 5 to 10 minutes each week. Overtime, you can build up to a complete hour.
At first, you’ll find yourself bouncing around in your saddle and you may even experience saddle irritations and cramping. But as your muscle memory develops, you will ride smoother and more efficient.
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