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climbing questions.

jfry94jfry94 Posts: 392
Hi guys I have 2 questions about climbing.
1, what do you guys do to keep your chin up on a long climb. After a while I find myself getting disheartened and wanting to give up. Especially on long climbs. I did the the climb for blade at afan and I found myself wanting to curl into a ball.

2, With only very small hills where I live there's no where to really practice. So Im thinking about getting a turbo trainer and some of the sufferfest videos. As I need to lose some weight as well as gain fitness. Would this help with my fitness for climbing?
2014 Giant Trance 27.5 1
2013 Cannondale Jekyll 3
2007 Carrera Kraken


  • RandGRandG Posts: 779
    Power and weight are the two biggest factors in climbing, or I should say power to weight. If you are...lets say chunky, climbing is pretty much always going to be tough. Focus only on a few yards ahead of you and not hundreds of yards ahead of you, that really will dishearten you, but if you just look in front of your wheel you'll be at the top in no time.
  • As fitness develops you will probably find a perverse sense of satisfaction at conquering climbs. It's the thought of cleaning it and getting to the top, just because you can, that keeps me going!
  • Yep, you'll find a weird satisfaction out of tackling climbs that you perceive as hard after a while. You've just got to keep at it and practice when and where you can. Soon enough you'll actually look forward to taking on climbs!

    The best motivation I find is knowing how good I'll feel when I reach the top and it's done with! It's a great feeling of achievement. The same as knowing when you're really suffering on a ride, it's no comparison to when you get home and realise how hard you've worked.

    Just stick at it and you'll feel the benefits soon enough!
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Some of the climbs at Afan are particularly censored , the start of the Wall (in it's old guise, no idea if it's still there) with the long switchback fireroad climb is just rubbish. In those instances just look at your front hub and pedal!

    IMO Trainer Road is a better motivator than Sufferfest vids alone for training - more sessions in there. The Sufferfest vids aren't bad, but actually I find myself drifting off the pace and the clips are quite repetative.
  • Bizarrely I usually have a dance song playing in my head & pedal to the beat.

    Well, I say dance song but today it was actually one of the lovely songs from Frozen (kids eh!), but anything that has a tempo you can keep cranking to works for me. The more repetitive the better.

  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Just learn how your body reacts to climbing and not to over exert yourself. Choosing the right gear and cadence for you helps. For more technical climbs you also need technique and experience.

    Once you get to a good fitness level most if climbing is in your head but make sure you pace yourself.
  • Power to weight ratio is probably the most important. If you burn 3,500 calories a week on your bike and don't go crazy when you eat, you should lose a pound a week. You'll be climbing the steepest hills in 3 or 4 months! If you don't have many good hills to climb, use the ones you have to improve. Do hill repeats or hill sprints in a big gear. Both will help your power and threshold times. Good luck!
  • XommulXommul Posts: 251
    How about some uplifting music to keep your legs pumping. (I use dub step/D & B)

    Also psychologically think "light and fast" and keep that going over in your mind and imagine how good you will feel to reach the top without giving up.
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  • D4V1DD4V1D Posts: 233
    On long climbs I try and imagine the hill to be flat & not to focus on reaching the top. I found that if I focused on reaching the top I then stopped when I reached it, now I try and change up a couple of gears as I crest the top and pick the speed up.
    I'm not a racer, but I like to churn out 2-3hr rides,
    I love Cannock and Llandegla cycle parks.
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  • morepowermorepower Posts: 140
    I am the first to admit I am not the fittest rider by half... I just look 5 to 10 feet in front of the wheel.. I can pick a line if I need to and just find a low gear which lets me spin enough to not make my legs burn and be really out of breath (or at least so out of breath I have to stop).

    My whole ride has just one main goal . To stop as little as possible and not push at all if possible. I hope this alone is a good base to getting fitter as I keep my goals simple and when I achieve them add one more small goal. I had to push up Cardiac hill at Cannock on my first ride. My goal was to do it none stop. Today my rides goals were two laps of follow the dog and to not stop on cardiac hill both laps.. I think setting small but realistic goals is a key to any area where you struggle...
  • GT-ArrowheadGT-Arrowhead Posts: 2,507
    I dont know if anyone else ever does this, but when climbing, i find that my legs started to get that lactic acidy sort of feeling, and i start to get a little tired. So what i like to do is get up out of the saddle and pedal hard 4-5 strokes, and then extend my legs fully while standing on the pedals, almost as if i am doing a stretch. That makes my legs feel less tired. Then i sit back in the saddle and pedal at a steady pace. Its a rather odd technique but it just works pretty well for me.
  • fielonatorfielonator Posts: 100
    jfry94 wrote:
    2, With only very small hills where I live there's no where to really practice.

    Find a hill that's long and steep enough to be a challenge, then ride up it at a steady pace. If you can, plan a route where you can loop the same hill several times, hopefully with a fun descent to take your mind off it. Gradually try to make the climb in a harder gear without changing down, and do 4 or 5 climbs each ride. It's not a huge amout of fun but if you can measure your performance you'll have a reason to push yourself, and hopefully see the results as you get fitter.

    If you're training alone you should see the improvement when you ride in a group too, and bask in the satisfaction of leaving others behind on the hills.
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