repeated hill climbs

Posted by Paul​ Walton on January 04, 2009 0 comments

Mountain biking is all about having fun doing what you love, but if your not fast enough or strong enough both physically and mentally then it won't be as much fun as you would like it to be. It's amazing how easily a person can be put off by another rider around them that is faster, stronger, fitter and seemingly having much more fun than what they are. With a bit of hard work though, you can build the strength needed to perform in the same league, or as close as those better riders.

Repeated hill climbs is the fastest way to build strength, speed and stamina and it's one of the best ways to get in shape in time for riding season.
Lucky for me that I have a nice stretch of 12% gradient hills on my door step that I can burn rubber on at different intensities. The main reason for me picking this stretch of road is that in bad weather I can still train without any excuses.

How I go about it is basically down to how I feel and what I want to achieve on that particular day. Here are some things to take into account when hill climbing that works for me.

Strength - For leg strength I will select a gear that I can push steadily up hill whilst I'm out of the saddle, increasing the gear after every completed climb.

(Rest on the downhill)

Speed and stamina - To increase my speed and stamina I will select a gear 1 lower than the starting gear for strength and pedal faster whilst out of the saddle. The longer the hill the better, and increase the gear after every completed climb.

(Rest on the downhill)

Stamina - On long dragging hills, I will select a gear that I can push comfortably whilst seated, again increasing the gear after every completed climb.

(Rest on the downhill)

If you talk to the top riders they would probably explain the science into it. But I think the easiest way to look at it is, treat it like weight training.
If I was to increase my muscle size and strength, I would lift heavy weights. But if I was to lift light weights I'd be able to lift for longer.


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