Stage 1 – Foundation Strength Training
The key to improving your speed up hills is to prepare a solid foundation with off-bike strength training. This is the base you must build to give the sheer force needed to go up against the incredible power of gravity.
Don’t waste your time trying to improve your speed up hills by simply cycling uphill and hoping this will make you stronger and faster – it won’t. If you haven’t got the basis of strength well prepared in advance, you won’t have a platform to work off as you then try to improve your speed.
Doing about 2 or 3 strength training sessions a week, lasting roughly 15 – 20 minutes each session, will be enough to get you ready. You can maintain your level with just one off-bike training session per week during the season.
Stage 2 - Posture & Technique
You need to ride low as you ride uphill to use the core strength you’ve built up in your core, gluts, hamstrings and lower back. Training these groups of muscles together at the start of the season, as part of your essential foundation work, allows your body to increase its core power and gives you added force up hills.
To get the best out of your improved core strength and its stabilising power, slide back slightly on the saddle and stretch your body out. This increases the leverage you can get on your pedals and opens your rib cage up increasing your oxygen intake.
With a firm grip on the handlebars use your core strength and back to help pull up and push down the pedals on the tough, steepest parts of the hill. Your pedalling should use the full-circle pedalling technique and aim for a smooth and relaxed stroke.
So there you have the three best ways of improving your speed up hills and if you train consistently and practise your posture and technique, you could find this is just what you need to spur you on to victory!
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