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Climb Like A Pro In Your Next Triathlon | Become A Better Climber

Climb Like A Pro In Your Next Triathlon | Become A Better Climber

– Who doesn’t want to
become a better climber? I mean the quicker you go up a hill then the sooner you get to
enjoy the fun part, going down. – Yeah, well, whatever your
incentive you’ll pleased to hear that there are a number of
areas that you can address that can all work to improve
your climbing ability, and we’re going to be
covering all of them today. (logo bleeping)
(logo whooshing) (gentle upbeat music) – You’ve got options when
it comes to technique, and there’s the age-old debate of whether it’s best
to stand up or sit down and a lot of it does come
down to personal preference. So much so that if you
watch the pros in a race, and you’ll see some of them
going up the same hill standing and some sitting down. But there are a few things
that you need to consider when you’re choosing this. – Yeah, one of which is the gradient. So as it does start get steeper, more likely going to want
to get up out of the saddle just to make things easier for yourself. But then as it really
does start to pitch up you may find it’s the only choice just to keep those pedals turning over. – Yeah, and often sitting
down allows you to get a little bit smoother, ’cause you can continue that rhythm and make sure you concentrate
of the full circle of each pedal stroke. And put a more gradual gradients we’d recommend that you
do to stay sitting down. And if you’re on an
undulating terrain then it just helps you to
keep that smooth rhythm as you go over the top. – Yeah, but if you’re someone does quite like to stand up out of
the saddle, I’m one of them. Well, I’d really advise just
trying to hold it off until it really does start to pitch up. For a lot of people does take
a little bit more effort, so you just want to save that. Now in terms of the technique
you want to to think of it as if you’re trying to
put your body weight through each pedal stroke, as
if you’re stepping into it. Now obviously your body
weight is then going to be over your hands a little bit more. So just try and keep your hands relaxed, move the bike nice and easily
and freely beneath you, just focus on putting the
power through the pedals. (gentle upbeat music) – Whatever the incline you want to aim to keep
your cadence nice and high, so somewhere between 75 and
90, and as you go up a hill you’re probably going
to start to get slower, so there for you to change down gear in order to keep your cadence. And you want to do this
before it’s too late, as it’s much easier to keep your momentum. So you need to look ahead
and see that gradient so you can make sure
you’re in the right cadence and keeping it nice and smooth. – Yeah, now, if you do find
yourself grinding a gear in a low cadence, you’re actually going to
find it quite hard then to get out of that gear
because what’s happening is the chain is under so much tension. So if this does happen to
you, what you need to do is just sit down into the
saddle, don’t stand up, and then just ease off the
pedals just put one pedal stroke, or not even, and then just drop
back down to an easier gear. But obviously we want to preempt
this, as Heather mentioned. So as you approach a hill
make sure you ease down, drop down through your gears,
keep that cadence as high and avoid it altogether. (gentle upbeat music) – There’s no denying that riding
up hills requires strength, so getting stronger on and off
the bike will certainly help, and hill reps are one
of those ways to do that as you’re going to be training those specific muscles
that you need for climbing, as well as naturally
improving your confidence and probably getting better at pacing. But they can be a little mind-numbing, so if you’re lucky
enough to live somewhere in the hills or the mountains then why not go out and do a long ride that just incorporates lots of climbs. – But if you don’t have
any decent hills near you you can still strengthen your legs by doing some over gearing sessions, where you ride in slightly harder gear than you normally would. Alternatively you can
head down to the gym, you can work out your legs and your core, and if that is of interest to
you you can watch our video on how to get more power
on the bike in the gym. – Pacing is key too, you don’t want to go all out
at the bottom of the hill and suddenly find out
you’ve got nothing left. And yes you do want to use that momentum as you come into a hill, but if you’ve gone too hard at the start then it’s going to be a really
long way of just grinding it out and you won’t have any chance to recover. – Yeah, when it comes to hills you want to to forget about speed and start focusing on some other metrics to really gauge that effort. Now if you’re fortunate
enough to have a power meter this is a fantastic
metric to keep a track of. Now I might add that when
you do come onto hills you’ll naturally find
a little bit more power as compared to going on the flat. I tend to say it’s
somewhere around 10% extra, but just make sure you keep a cap on that so you’re not burning too
many matches too soon. Another metric, obviously,
is your heart rate, but also just be mindful that it can take a little bit time to catch up, so if you are doing short, sharp hills, may not catch up by the
time you’re at the top. – [Heather] Yeah, or
you could go old school and go with perceived
with perceived effort. And doing hills regularly
is a great way to get to at least know your fitness. And say you’re doing hill repeats or there’s a hill that
you know really well, well you can even use a timer so you know how long it usually takes you. – Now another thing that I used to do quite a lot in my own training was actually pushing on
over the top of hills. What you normally see people do is they’re so exhausted
by the top they ease up. Now actually by pushing on over the top, it’s actually a really
good training method and can make you a much better climber. Plus gives you a bit more momentum for that flat or the descent after that. (gentle upbeat music) – Right, we haven’t
mentioned this one yet, and I can feel you
shouting at us, well at me, “Lose some weight!” But we’re not going to take it personally, it is, though, very valid point
when it comes to climbing. And in cycling we bang on
about the power to weight ratio and, of course, it’s crucial, but becomes even more important when it comes to climbing
and, yes, obviously, you can increase your power,
but losing a few extra pounds will make a significant difference. And it’s maybe you’re
someone who’s lucky enough that you don’t have any
spare pounds to lose, well, you can look at your bike and
look at taking some weight off or think about it as training and then save those times for races and make your bike as
light as possible then. – Now another thing to consider is that as hills do start to ramp up a little bit, what we tend to see that happen is that the road starts go diagonally back and forth across the hill, with switchbacks every so often. Now on those switchbacks,
as you round the corner, it does tend to be steepest
on that inside corner, or very often does. So you may want to avoid that, obviously, stay within the rules, stay
on the right side of the road, or the left side of the road, the correct side of the
road, and all we be good. (gentle upbeat music) – Think about which sort of hills it is that you struggle with
and then focus on those. It is all too easy to just go
and do the ride that we enjoy and the ones we enjoy usually
the ones that are easier. So be honest to yourself and if say you struggle on
those short punchy climbs then go and find some of those and do some hill reps up them, or if it’s maintaining a good gradual pace on a more clement climb
then go and do that as part of a long tempo
ride with some undulations. – Yeah, now, earlier we
mentioned about cadence and keeping that cadence
up, but you may find that your bike has come equipped
with too larger chain ring or a small cassette
with quite tough gears. Now for some people
that might be quite hard to keep that cadence up, when maybe you don’t have the strength or it doesn’t suit your riding style. However, fortunately, you can quite easily change those chain rings, get a compact or semi-compact set up or go for a larger
cassette with easier gears. Which is particularly useful if you do live somewhere that’s hilly or you’re targeting a hilly race. – Yeah, well, like we said we didn’t promise a magic answer here and getting better hills does require a certain amount of hard work,
but if you follow these tips and focus on those
weaknesses we’ve mentioned you will get better at hills, or at least you’ll get up them quicker, we don’t promise that
they’ll hurt any less. – Yeah, if you have liked today’s video please hit do hit that thumbs up button. If you’d like to see more from GTN click on the globe and subscribe. And if you’d like to find out
whether you should ride hills in your aero bars, you see that
video by clicking down here. – And if you want some tips on how to ride a hilly bike
course, just click down here. – And we’re at the top
of the hill, Heather. – Ah, yes, the descent!

10 comments on “Climb Like A Pro In Your Next Triathlon | Become A Better Climber

  1. Stay in the aero bars as long as you can, even if your only going 8mph, most of your watts may be going to overcome gravity, but you are also still overcoming air resistance. Up unto the point you have to get out of the saddle because you have run out of gears. And if you going faster than 12 mph/20kph air resistance is greater than gravity.

  2. Cheeky! It is the Tobayasco part at the beginning where it is blocked, really ruined my training last week there haha, but good video ones again!

  3. Nice video. The tip about pushing over the peak is a hard one to follow. I found focusing on slowing my breathing really helped me climb better.

    Also Mark's new bike is super nice.

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