Climbing is one of the most challenging aspects of biking. Also, it is the most misunderstood aspect. People always relate it with hardship and suffering. What we don’t account for is the need for hours of mountain training to increase biking skills and endurance, enough rest, and the right diet.
The key is to reaching the top faster if to climb within your ability. This will also increase your fitness which will enable you to go harder the next time around.
So how hard should you go? You can calculate your threshold heart rate. But there is a surprisingly simple and accurate way to do so: on a scale of one, which is easy, to 10, which is maximum effort, ascending at eight should feel just under control. Anything beyond that, you will cross your threshold and start to fall apart. As you climb, also take note of the following biking skills and techniques.
If you always put in your head that cycling uphill is all about pain, you will surely tense up and not be able to conquer that hill. Loosen your grip on your handlebar and maintain an upright position with your head up to open your throat and chest for better breathing.
Avoid Gasping For Air
Breathe using your diaphragm. This is called “belly breathing.” Find your rhythm, both by keeping a pedal cadence between 80 & 90 rpm, and breathing steadily.
When cycling uphill, it is best to slightly drop your heel to initiate the pedal stroke and push with your entire foot. Then pull up on your heel at the bottom of the pedal stroke, like a running motion. These biking skills and techniques will allow you to top the last climb and still have energy.
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Watch this video to learn more biking skills and techniques on how to cycle uphill.