Bicycle Network: Skill Up
Tips for getting to the top
Gears and pedals
Change into a gear low enough to pedal at a cadence (revolutions per minute) of about 80 before and during your ascent. Think of your pedals as going round and round. Spin the pedals rather than stand and grind.
Sit back on the saddle
On longer climbs you’ll use 10 to 12 per cent less energy if you stay seated. And your heart rate will be about 8 per cent lower.
Keep your body still, relax your hands and don’t bunch your body. Look at the road just in front rather than the whole hill. And your shoulders should be back and ‘open’.
If you must stand, shift up a gear or two then power into both down and up strokes. Don’t lean too far forward: you’re just right if the nose of your saddle is brushing the back of your thighs.
If you’re breathing irregularly, take a deep breath and hold it for a few pedal strokes. Then take a breath every time one foot reaches the bottom of a stroke. Then try 1.5, and finally every two strokes. You’ll actually deliver more oxygen to your system with a controlled rate rather than irregular panting or gasping.
Eating and drinking
Eat before you’re hungry and drink (lots) before you’re thirsty. Keep your water bottle refilled and always have spare food available.