Still struggling with hills

slowlanejane
slowlanejane Posts: 312
edited May 2011 in Road beginners
Been riding over a year now, doing 40+ miles on my longer runs but have to pick my routes carefully because I cannot do hills and round here they're either long gentle (sapping) inclines with the odd steeper bit (am OK with those) or they're steep sods about 1/2 mile long, which I cannot do and end up walking.

Re-geared bike with a compact which gives afew additional gears. But the only way to tackle this problem is to do some hill-training. Roads round here are very busy so ideal hills are hard to find.

Has anyone got a good schedule / advice?

Comments

  • springtide9
    springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    Find a little loop that involves a decent hill....

    Cycles up... around... rest on down.
    Cycles up... around... rest on down.
    Cycles up... around... rest on down.
    Cycles up... around... rest on down.
    ..
    ..

    But firstly... sort out the gearing. There shouldn't ever be a reason to walk and I think hill training will be hard unless you can find a gear to get up the hill in the first place (several times), so that you can slow down the pace as you are getting tired.
    You can get a rear cassette for £35. Once you get fit enough to switch back - you can sell it on.
    Simon
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,612
    The best thing is

    a) not to let the hill(s) get the better of you. A good frame of mind is 90% of the battle. You body can do it, it's weather your brain (and pain tolerance) can handle it.

    b) Ride the hills you find tough. The more you ride them, the better you'll be at them. The fitness will eventually come.

    I found that once I had accepted that you really do feel like you're going so slow uphill and it's awful and painful, I suddenly started going up a lot faster...
  • MichaelW
    MichaelW Posts: 2,164
    I like doing interval training on hills. Its a bit like the local loop with a hill (see above)

    Find a hill fairly close to home which is quite steep and long enough.
    Make sure you are warmed up with about 1/2 hr easy ride.
    Ride up at a steady pace, spinning in a lowish gear.
    Ride down and do it again.
    repeat until it hurts.
    Do one more.

    Hill ability is all about power to weight ratio. Ability on the flats is more about simple power. That's why those skinny guys hanging onto your tailcoats on flat sections can zoom past you uphill.

    You can fit any bike with low-enough gears to get over any climb. A compact should give you a min chainring of about 30-34 up front. You can fit a max cog of 32 at the rear.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,612
    MichaelW wrote:
    Hill ability is all about power to weight ratio. Ability on the flats is more about simple power. That's why those skinny guys hanging onto your tailcoats on flat sections can zoom past you uphill.

    .

    That's only on big hills. The short sharp ones arn't much use to the little guys like me.
  • nakita222
    nakita222 Posts: 341
    Your problem may not be the gearing, but your approach to the hill, and how you tackle it. You may need to slow down a bit on approaching the hill, just to relax and get ready for the pain to come. You may want to shift into your small crank before the hill, and just spin a suitable gear. This prevents, madman like shifting on the actual hill. When climbing the hill you may want to get out of the saddle a lot more, than on the shallower climbs. Pull on the handlebars, and give everything you've got. don't worry about you're speed, because as long as you get to the top on your bike, you must have done it faster than before hand. Once you've done the hill once you are unlikely to walk up it again, as you will mentally be in a better position.
  • Agree - body weight is an significant factor with longer climbs. It's amazing the difference losing a few kilos makes. Try and use a gear that enables you to remain seated, as you will use a lot more energy if you 'honk'. A 28 cassette should give you a sfficiently low gear if used with a compact. Try and relax, but stay focused. It will come!
    Never mistake motion for action
    Tweet@gmunrop69
    Trainerroad - GMan69
  • slowlanejane
    slowlanejane Posts: 312
    Then I am triple whammed: not only am I not especially fit but yes I am mentally chickening out on hills and I am also significantly chubby!
  • ianm7222
    ianm7222 Posts: 51
    Have a child, stop riding due to child care issues for 12 months. Wait till child is about 10kgs, fit child seat and hit the hills. Worked for me, kid loves it so wife has given free pass to ride each night and good company on each ride too, "shouting faster" and "down there". - Result :D
    I'm very responsible, whenever anything bad happens they always say I am responsible.....
  • teulk
    teulk Posts: 557
    I used to really have a psycological problem with hills, i used to hate them. I really dont mind them now, in fact i actually like them and the harder the better. Im not fast up them but i get up them never the less.
    I look at them like this, they are there so i just get on with them and it doesn't matter how long it takes to get over them.
    Just drop into your lowest gear and get to the top and dont get off.
    Boardman Team 09 HT
    Orbea Aqua TTG CT 2010
    Specialized Secteur Elite 2011
  • squigs
    squigs Posts: 149
    Then I am triple whammed: not only am I not especially fit but yes I am mentally chickening out on hills and I am also significantly chubby!

    You sound very much like me, I am over weight but have lost alot since i started to ride 18 months ago.

    I have only been beaten by one hill, which was in Porlock, but before the end of this year I would have done it.

    I live in Cornwall and have no choice but to love hills.
    Come down and stay with us in Cornwall and after 1 week you will learn to enjoy them.
    Sirrus Comp 2010 (commuting)
    Roubaix Pro SL Sram red (Weekend sportives)
    Certini Campagnolo Mirage (Turbo trainer)
  • christurbo
    christurbo Posts: 432
    Fitness and practice. I would never chose a route to avoid a climb, what doesnt kill you will make you stronger.

    Oh.....

    And NEVER get off and walk! I would rather pass out than chose that option.
  • lemoncurd
    lemoncurd Posts: 1,428
    You have to learn to love hills.

    When you're at the bottom of a hill find a speed that you're comfortable with and then go slower, real slow. If you have to do stints in and out of the saddle then so be it, but try and keep a steady, slow pace, your aim is to keep your heart rate as low as possible.

    That'll get you up hills but every now and then you should try attacking the occasional hill, start with something tiny and go up as fast as you can, get out of the saddle and go full pelt, sit down when you're knackered and spin as fast as you can until you can't take any more then get out of the saddle again. Repeat until you either keel over or reach the hill top.

    And remember that if you didn't go up hills then you wouldn't get the downhills :D