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How To 

How To Improve Your Climbs While Cycling

Long, steady climbs are the things of nightmares for many riders. They can be physically draining, mentally taxing and are basically no fun at all. But it doesn't have to be that way and this guide will tell you exactly why.

1. Be Light
It may sound simple, but the lighter you are, the easier climbs become. Train hard and lose any excess weight you can afford to shed. Take a wholistic approach to your goals, complete with a healthy diet, ample rest and off-bike training.


2. Know Your Gears
For any serious cyclist, changing gears becomes second natured. However the mechanics of changing gears and acquiring the know-how of what gears works best for you when is a whole other story. This can only come from time in the saddle. Switch gears often. Try the same manageable climb on several different gears and take note of how you feel, both during and after the ride.


3. Don't Burn Yourself Out
Know your routes ahead of time, so you can be prepared mentally and physically when the climb hits. Don't push yourself too hard on the first half of the ascent as it will tire you out and drain your body of energy. All-out pushes should always come in the second half of a climb.


4. Mental Toughness
Cycling a highly psychological sport. Like tennis, a single session can last hours and one's state of mind can be the difference between a first or last place finish. Practice positive thinking. Instead of groaning when you see a big hill on the horizon, buckle down and tell yourself, "I got this." It's also important not to bite off more than you can chew. Taking on a climb before you can handle it will only lead to discouragement in the moment and an overall loss in confidence in the saddle moving forward.


Follow these simple steps and you'll be conquering even the toughest climbs before you know it.