The videos above show demonstrations on both technique and performance when climbing hills.

 

Ask most people how to climb correctly and depending on the hill you are faced with and your own ability you will be told a set of techniques to use:

 

Short and steep hills are to be attacked. Get out of the seat and power up them. Just ensure that you know where the top of the hill is, there is nothing quite like powering up to the “top” of a hill to find you aren’t even half way – by which point you’ve blown out your legs and energy and will start to struggle.

 

Longer flatter hills are more of a stable affair. Stay seated, open up your chest and get ready for a long slog. Hands on tops of the bars where getting oxygen into your lungs is more important than being aerodynamic and you won’t be going fast enough uphill to make a difference anyway.

 

There are of course some universal techniques to apply to all hill types like trying to remain relaxed, you want your energy supplying muscles in your legs not clenching your face, arms etc. Keep your pedal movements stable and smooth. Keep your cadence high, remain in an easy gear and spin your legs, it is generally accepted that a lower gear higher cadence is more efficient than grinding out in a harder gear and lower cadence, providing you are able to maintain pedalling efficiency at high cadence, but this is another matter!

 

My winter strength training technique follows almost all of the above techniques with one exception. Rather than dropping into an easier gear and keeping my cadence high I remain in a harder gear and “grind” out my pedal rotations. This leads me to build muscle strength in my legs.