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Why are hills so tough?

Are you familiar with the feeling gasping for breath and your legs burning as you can’t push any further? Well you are cycling up a hill!

Hills are tough, but they are what makes great cyclists

Because of the gravity of the hill your speed will slow down. You are required to push down harder onto the pedals to move the bike. You get the lactate burn and a sick feeling as your muscles fatigue.

Hills do vary in difficulty, on apps like Strava you can find out the gradient, the lower the gradient the easier it is. Something like 3% you may barely notice, but a climb over 10% is pretty tough and you may not get up without some training. But keep training and you will eventually get up.

Also have a look out on Strava for the total elevation of your ride, you may not realise how much climbing you have done throughout the whole ride or your week of training, it all adds up and great training miles or feet.

How to make it a little easier

The gearing you use can make it easier. Put the chain in the small ring at the front and select an easier gear so you are spinning your legs faster. Get into a rhythm and focus on regulating your breathing. If you push too hard you may burn out and struggle as you get to the top.

Anything that doesn’t kill you will make you stronger

If you are cycling up hills they will make you a stronger cyclist. Challenge yourself and intentionally include hills on your ride. You could even do repetitions of a particular hill, cycle up, cycle back down and repeat. It will teach you mental toughness too. You will be able to see your times on Strava as you make progress.

Enjoy the views

I guess you like cycling as you like being outdoors? One of the best things about climbing a hill or a mountain is the views at the top. Enjoy the views and look at what you and your bike have accomplished. It’s all downhill from now… or at least time to forget the pain until you meet your next climb.

If you want to find out how coaching can help you become a stronger cyclist book a free online intro. session

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