"I hate to climb"

Discussion in 'General Cycling' started by epic, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. epic

    epic Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    I used to say that. There are many people that climb better than I do and I know that I will never be good at it. But riding is so much better if you stop hating it. How can you do it?

    1 - Embrace the suck. Just know that it is going to suck and live with it. Try to enjoy the sulkiness of climbing. If you go faster and ride a higher gear it won't suck for as long, so if you can, just go faster. I find that in my easiest gear it still sucks just as bad, in a harder gear it stops sucking sooner.

    2 - Don't pedal too hard! If the climb has any tech at all, you have to have something in reserve. When you see those sections coming up, punch it and get in there faster so your momentum can carry you through.

    3 - Stand more. Learn to pedi standing more often. Not saying to do it all the time, but it will rest some muscles and let you use other ones. The more you do it, the easier (or less hard) it gets.

    4 - What goes up must come down. For me the only reason to go up is to go down, the sooner I get up there, the sooner I get to the good part.

    Anyone got any tips on how to climb?
     
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  2. 4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

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    I listen to music, look at the scenery and basically just try to zone out.
     
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  3. scott43

    scott43 Making fresh tracks Skier

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    Well, as I said before, scrape mud off your shoes at the bottom of the stroke. If your legs hurt, gear down. If your pulse is too high, gear up. If your legs hurt and your pulse is too high, slow down. Off-road, yeah, keep something in reserve if you can because you may need something to get over an obstacle or junk. Keep your arms loose..I flap my arms occasionally to make sure I'm not tight and wasting energy clenching my upper body. I have bar ends only because I prefer them for standing up and standing up is a good thing as Epic says, works different muscles. Well, I also like bar ends because you can stretch out a bit and sometimes that's more efficient. Be smooth..if you're jerky with the pedals you can lose traction off-road and lose momentum. If it's a technical climb, learn to stutter-step to not clip rocks, roots or stumps with your bottom pedal. Position on the bike is important as well..you can't climb with your seat down...

    Also..it's often a mental thing as well. Perception of work load and ability affect your result..if you only ride flats, yeah, big hills look tough. If you ride in the mountains you get a different perspective and you're better because you know you can just jam little stuff that you normally ride.
     
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  4. Magi

    Magi Instructor Instructor

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    :decisions:

    Electric drivetrain?

    :duck:


    [Serious moment - you've given great tips that I will begin to apply immediately.]
     
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  5. elemmac

    elemmac AKA Lauren Skier

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    Breathe. Long, steady breaths.
     


  6. Thread Starter
    TS
    epic

    epic Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Good point, I especially think of that on the road bike (not that I ride it much anymore), but I think it was Miguel Yndurain that would talk about being "Placido". I will try to relax everything above the legs. Even my face. Relax your jaw and everything and you will feel more energy.

    On the mountain bike, keep the arms loose, and on the steep techies climbs, keep the forearms parallel to the top tube. That will keep you from pulling the front wheel off the ground.
     
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  7. scott43

    scott43 Making fresh tracks Skier

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    Yes..and eat the stem..keeps your mass lower down and less likely to lift the front.
     
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  8. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ Let's go! Pugski Ski Tester

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    Enjoy the rush of endorphins that come from a serious ass-kicking cardio workout.
     
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  9. luliski

    luliski Out on the slopes Skier

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    Make sure you have appropriate gearing on your bike. As @scott43 already said, experience (and the mindset that can come with it) helps too. Personally, I love climbing. I'm not the best climber I know, but I enjoy the journey.
     
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  10. Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester Industry Insider

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    Think about the upcoming, well-deserved descent.

    My simple rule for climbing is that if I can't have a conversation, I'm overworked and need to take a break. I don't like to have conversations while climbing but if you are too breathless to talk, you are pushing yourself too hard and will soon bonk. Recovery from pre-bonk is a lot easier than actual-bonk.
     
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  11. luliski

    luliski Out on the slopes Skier

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    I don't either! But one year I was riding in a really tough Gran Fondo, one I had already ridden more than once before (so I knew I could handle the climbs, but I also knew what was ahead in the ride). When I started the first long tough climb of the day, I just was not motivated at all. I wondered why I was even doing the ride. Then a friend caught up to me (coincidentally, I didn't know she was doing the same ride), and we chatted for the rest of that climb. The distraction got me through it, and I went on to have a great ride. But usually I like to focus on deep breaths when climbing.
     
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  12. scott43

    scott43 Making fresh tracks Skier

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    I focus on crushing my opposition by sprinting up the last 100m and riding like I'm on feathers...it so crushes the psyche.. :eek::D
     
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  13. luliski

    luliski Out on the slopes Skier

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    I have a friend who did this to me last summer after "struggling" behind me for most of the climb.
     
  14. scott43

    scott43 Making fresh tracks Skier

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    That's no friend! :):poo:
     
  15. luliski

    luliski Out on the slopes Skier

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    I think she just got a burst of energy when she saw the summit :)
     
  16. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    Read "The Rider," by Tim Krabbé.
     
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  17. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    I had way too much time to think (fuzzily) about this as I was putting in my 30,000 feet of climbing on a road bike trip last week. One thing I have worked out is that I have breathing "gears." Assuming a steady and reasonably high cadence, I basically have low, medium, high and extra high breathing gears. They amount to four, three, two, and one pedal strokes per breath, respectively. I try to keep it in "medium." "High" I can sustain for maybe a half hour if I must. It's painful but mostly not really anaerobic if I do it right. "Extra high" is for that rare crazy steep pitch that you need to push through. It's basically a sprint.
     
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  18. LouD-Truckee

    LouD-Truckee Getting on the lift Skier

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    yeah.... but what if the alarm clock goes off before you reach the top ??? :eek:
     
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  19. scott43

    scott43 Making fresh tracks Skier

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    You can't go red-zone for long, right? Need to find your gear that gets you into your working heart rate, but not dying heart rate, and just breathe and pace it out. Love the burn. I love it..like lulski..I'm not the best climber, I'm too fat..but I just love grinding up a hill.
     
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  20. scott43

    scott43 Making fresh tracks Skier

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    :D You know, I have occasionally sand-bagged some folks on climbs..but yeah, for the most part, it's just a dream. I FEEL like Marco Pantani..but..the computer says 11km/h...sigh...
     
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