Like skinning a cat, there’s more than one way to climb a hill
I know, I know, you don’t like hills, unless you are one of those people built like a mountain goat. However, you can’t avoid them, even living in Iowa, and believe it or not, it is possible to come to not fear them (although you may never actually come to ‘like’ them as I do!). And did you know, according to Greg LeMond ( who was a pretty good cyclist), riding hills is the fastest way to get in shape? The reason is because it is impossible to slack off while riding uphill. No matter how slow you go, you have to work hard and hard work makes you stronger. Plus, most of the time, after you ride up a hill, you get to ride down the other side so they kind of make their own natural intervals for you! (See the June Draftlines training article on Intervals)
So here’s some ideas for riding up hills. There are a number of ways to climb and they work different strength and energy systems.
Strength Training on Hills:
Strength-Endurance Training on Hills:
Anaerobic Training on Hills:
Power Training on Hills:
So, as you can see there are multiple ways to use those dreaded hills to your advantage. One of the best ways to improve your ability to ride hills is to mentally train yourself for them, and you can do that by purposely seeking out and riding hills. Keep in mind, if you don’t train on hills, you may be forced to walk up hills, my least favorite way to climb a hill!
Coach David Ertl
David Ertl is a USA Cycling Level 1 (Elite) Coach. He is the JDRF Coach for the Greater Iowa Chapter, the lead coach with the DMCC/DMOS/Bike World Race Team and coaches individual cyclists. He is also an NSCA certified Personal Trainer. He is accepting new coaching clients and can be contacted at Coach@CyclesportCoaching.com or at 515-689-1254.
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