Six ways to reach the top faster, easier--and with less pain.
Every climb contains one fundamental element: effort. But there are other ingredients that can make or break a successful ascent. Here are six essentials that Andy Applegate, climbing specialist and co-owner of VeloSports Performance Center swears by.
If you go above threshold too soon, you'll blow up and slow down before you reach the top. Keep your breathing deep and comfortable and your heart rate below threshold at the start of the climb. As you fall into a rhythm, gradually increase your effort until you're climbing at threshold. The final 200 metres is the perfect place to take it to the max and attack. If you start smart, you'll have the energy to finish strong.
Sit - most of the time
Unless you're a 55kg Spanish climbing specialist, your rear end should be planted on your saddle for most of the climb. You use about 5 per cent more energy when you stand during a climb than when you sit.
Shift your weight back slightly for maximum leverage on the pedals. Stand only when your body needs a break from the seated position or when you have to jump and accelerate to attack or chase. When you stand, keep your butt back so the nose of your saddle brushes the backs of your thighs and your weight is over the crank. Shifting your weight too far forward will cause you to overweight the front tire and lose traction in the back.