• Deena Blacking

Get Better At Going Up Grades #1

Updated: Feb 21, 2021

TL:DR Be clear about the goal and what’s holding you back.

So you want to get better at going up hills?

This blog series will break the task down into key components that you can train and improve. But first, you need to be clear about your goals.

Step One: Define the goal

Define what you want to be good at – what sort of hills climbing are we talking about?

Hill climb competitions? Lumpy road races? First trip to the Alps? Keeping up with your friends when the road starts to rise? Whatever it is, work it out. Write it down.

Step Two: Assess your ability

What’s the best hill climb you’ve done? How about the worst? Understand what you need to improve. What kind of hill climber are you right now, and what kind of hill climber do you want to be?

There’s a few common stories I hear when it comes to hill climbing…

(1) ‘I’m pretty strong on the flats, but I always seem to go backwards when the road rises.’

(2) 'I can power up a short hill, but I die a death after a minute or two.’

(3) ‘I can manage a steady grade but I struggle when it starts to get steep.

(4) ‘In races, I’m pretty good to start with, but hills really take it out of me after a while - if someone attacks at the top of a hill, I’m spent.’

If you’re rider number 1 and 3, maybe you need to focus on leg strength. If you’re rider number 2, it might be pacing and gear selection. For rider number 4, it sounds like you have a good foundation for hills, but your body’s ability to recycle lactate and recover during high intensity efforts could be letting you down.

Whatever your story is, work it out! Identify and name your weaknesses; if you don't, you won’t know what you’re trying to improve.

Step Three: Close the gap and improve your performance!

Over the coming weeks, I will publish blogs to help you to understand what you need to work on, including:

(1) cadence, gearing & pacing

(2) strength & force

(3) position & posture

Get in touch or leave a comment if you have any questions.

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