Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Hill training

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Uk
    Posts
    5

    Hill training

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    Hi gals.I've recently been working on hill climbing. Actually enjoy the buzz I get at the top and have seen a huge improvement in my sTrentham. However any tips for climbing or advice on how you guys get through it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,270
    Staying relaxed and getting into a flow ftw..

    I start relaxing my body while spinning smoothly in a low gear to loosen my legs as I approach a good climb. I use meditation techniques to still and relax my upper body as I start the climb….that's what helps me get into my climbing flow while also lessening tension. I'll start concentrating on just rhythmic breathing and the rhythmic movement of my legs during hard parts of the climb and/or stand for more power. Keeping your back straight and chest open will help in getting air into your lungs and having your upper body relaxed will save energy.

    Riding harder using a bigger gear (say on a weekly schedule and depending on fitness) for short parts of a climb or on any ride can help increase your power output and endurance for climbing too. When I’ve done training in the past to build my endurance for a long hard day or days of climbing, I’d do climbing intervals in big gears, concentrating on smooth pedal movement and being relaxed.

    For recreational riding just adding some climbs to your rides also helps in building endurance which can make future rides more enjoyable!!

    enjoy your climbing and yeah the cresting a good climb can be an addictive feeling

    eta...
    Thinking there are lots of personal and riding techniques in climbing that can make it a good learning experience. I enjoyed learning the benefits of standing early on. The strength and cardiovascular requirements for standing is different than being in the saddle. If done effectively and with good upper body and core strength, standing allows more strength to instantly contribute to forward momentum and overall power. I’ll stand for a short steep section of a climb or on a long moderate climb to alternate my muscle load, for a burst of power (think dogs, focusing your mind etc. ) or just to build muscle endurance. For some standing can feel difficult and uncoordinated at first...for some with conscious practice it can help a lot in climbing abilities and in building muscle/cardiovascular strength, even for recreational riders…..and it helps with confidence and with keeping a positive mind set.

    Granted I have an addiction to climbing…..but I'd say doing it in whatever way makes you feel comfortable makes sense….
    Last edited by rebeccaC; 03-23-2018 at 12:37 AM.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,470
    There are different ways to get better on hills; personally, I am a spinner. I use the easiest gear possible on really hard climbs. I never stand, it feels awkward and my speed decreases significantly. So, I may be slow, but, I can get up almost anything, up to a 15% grade for a bit. While doing intervals in a hard gear while climbing will increase your endurance, it will also put a lot of stress on your knees. If I knew I had to do sustained climbs above an average grade of 5%, for like 5-10 miles, I might have to do more of that, but around here, it's more short, steep climbs, punctuated by descents, flats, or at least climbs that are a bit easier. The thing is, it's pretty hard to ride around here, without climbing, so I get the benefit of that, even if I am going out for a short, recreational ride. Heck, my driveway at my last home was a 13% grade for a few feet.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,133
    Plus one on the relaxing. It really helps with your wind and control of the bike. You'll waste a lot of energy if you get all tense in the body and/or grab the handlebars with a death grip. It's mental, too. If you tell yourself that climbing a hill is not fun, you'll believe it. I try to not to make a big deal of it and, next thing you know, I'm over the top. I've even gotten to the point where I given names to my favorite hills and treat them like old friends. I turn it into a fun thing, not a chore.

    For my mountain biking, when climbing, I like to shift my weight and balance forward on the seat and get into a low forward crouch. That gives me good forward momentum and it also allows me to put more weight and strength into a stand, should I need to stand on the pedals. Standing on the pedals is easier with a mountain bike, of course, but still doable on a drop bar bike. As rebecca mentions, it's something you need to practice on a drop bar bike. Can feel pretty awkward, at first.

    Timing of your shifting in mountain biking is hyper critical, less so on road riding, but still very important. Knowing when to shift really helps. Bad timing on your shifting can destroy your uphill momentum. Only way to learn this, though, is experience. No doubt about it, an experienced rider can get up a hill with less energy expended than a beginner and faster, too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,470
    +1 on the shifting. I've seen people come to a dead stop, because they didn't shift down at the base of the hill. It's probably one of the most important skills you can learn.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,984
    I'm another person who does short hills rather than mountains. And I have asthma so I don't try to go fast uphill. I shift into an easy gear (often the lowest on my bike) and try to get into a rhythm with pedaling and breathing. If the hill is steep I will slow my cadence. Sometimes my speed drops very low as a result but it's necessary for me.

    I found that shifting under tension, such as when you're on a steep hill, required practice. I try to ease up a bit, pedal less hard for a second, as I shift. This helps avoid that loud grinding sound and I think reduces the chance of the chain slipping.

    I rarely stand on a hill. I do often ride with a friend who sometimes stands, and I've noticed he shifts down to a harder gear right before he stands on the pedals.

    I agree that there is a mental component. When I first started cycling for fun as an adult, I got frustrated if there were lots of hills on a ride. I solved this problem by riding more hills, so I got used to them, and riding more varied routes instead of doing the same thing over and over, so I got used to not knowing what was ahead of me. Also I did a few long rides that were pancake-flat and found them very boring. Hills require more effort but I like varied terrain. And sometimes you get the payoff of a spectacular view at the top.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,133
    Forgot about the upshifting before standing on the pedals. Good point. N.Y. Yeah, sounds counter-intuitive to shift to a harder gear when climbing, but it's true. By the time you decide to stand, you're in such a low gear that you'll over-spin when you go into stand unless you shift up.

    I tend to be more of a masher than spinner on my hill climbing, these days. I try to keep the number of shifts to a minimum. With every shift I lose a bit of momentum. My mountain biking has really helped my leg strength, so I can get away with more mashing. Hasn't always been that way, though.

    Also, when I approaching a hill, I gun it hard to build up as much speed as I can before going up the hill. Really helps to get farther up the hill before need to shift. Standard procedure in mountain biking because the hills can be steep and sudden. Did I mention I don't like to shift?
    Last edited by north woods gal; 03-24-2018 at 07:18 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,470
    Your style is the total opposite of mine! I love to shift, use those gears! That's why they are there. If I even do too much on the flats in the big ring, in a higher gear, my knees hurt, and I do not have knee issues. I do know about the downshifting before you stand thing, but the thing is, if I am in a really low gear, the hill is probably already so hard that even if I stand, it will feel hard as hell. I've been known to ride at 3 mph on some of the climbs in Europe and I don't care. DH used to stand a lot and has stopped, except on 15-20% grades, which we don't do that much anymore. I can predict exactly when he will stand; at times I can see it gives him a final push, but I just don't have the strength. If I stand, my speed goes *down,* not up, and if I am already going 3 mph, I'd damn well better stay at that. I do tons of leg work, squats, lunges, jumping, etc, so I really think it's just the awkwardness of it, and the fact my legs are short.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,133
    For sure, we're all different in how we like to ride and that's a good thing. I do think that physical makeup has a lot to do with it, too. My legs are LONG, so it does influence the way I ride and the bikes I ride. Also causes me headaches on bike fit, because my arms are average in length for a gal. If I buy a bike based on my leg size, the reach is too long and if I buy a bike for my reach, the frame is too small and I sometimes run out of safe length on the seat post. Usually, I go with the bigger size, and go with a shorter stem on the handlebar. Whatever.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,840
    Also, some bikes are just easier to stand on than others. I can stand forever on my new cruiser bike; I guess because of the geometry being very laid back, and with only one gear, you can't sit and spin whenever the road points up, even a little. When I used to have a Terry Isis with a 24" front wheel, 700c in back and very short stem, I had a terrible time standing; I guess the small front wheel combined with the short stem made the front end very squirrely in its handling. I have the same issue with my Bike Friday with 20" wheels now. It also has a short stem, so not sure how much of the problem is the stem vs. the wheel size; I assume a combination of both. I do much better on my Trek with 700c wheels and a normal-length stem, but I still don't stand all that often.

    I am definitely more like you, Crankin, shifting and spinning wherever possible, but sometimes I will stand if I just need that little extra "umph" to get over a short hill -- so long as I am not too tired. Once I'm too tired, I can't bring myself to stand, as it definitely takes more energy.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •