When I started cycling, I hated climbing. Climbing was that thing for me, where I got out of the flow. My speed dropped, my rythm was gone and my mind was a mess.

“Hate that climb … get over it … speeeeeeed … can’t breathe …”

I felt weak.

One whole year had to pass, where I rode almost 10.000 km, when my mind changed. For me, cycling is somewhat like a challenge. I love to constantly get over the limitations of my body. At first this meant, that I had to cycle longer distances. From 30Km in one ride I got all the way up to 210Km. Man I was proud of myself. But then there is this emptiness. What to achieve next?

That’s the point, where summits become the new enemys. Riding 20Km uphill on a 9% gradient is challenging. And when I’m up there, my treasure is the descent. It’s like there’s this cheering crowd screaming “you’re a machine!”. I know, that I’m deserving this free speed downhill at this moment. I know it, because my legs are still burning from that enormous effort.

So I had to learn to climb. And here’s the trick use: I get in a cadence round about 80 and breath parallel to my pedalstrokes. Every three or four downstrokes – depending on the effort – I breath and automatically get into a rythm. I can’t think about how steep it is or how much my speed drops. I’m counting. And that frees up my mind.
What’s your climbing trick?


18 responses to “Climb

  1. Indoors, I climb at FTP, get into the rhythm, breathing great, completely in the zone. Outdoors? I’m a mess. Spinning way too fast, trying to adjust gears with no clue, breath gone, lots of pain, many f-bombs dropped, die at the top. I get up it, but mama ain’t happy about it.

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  2. I put my hands on the tops of the bar and look at nature! All the time while maintaining cadence in the correct gear, im a pretty good climber. Its all about sticking to your rhythm and not blowing your lactate threshold. It takes experience to know but then discipline on the climb. Distracted by nature is my wayπŸ˜¬πŸ‘πŸ½πŸŒ³πŸŒ²πŸŒΏπŸƒ

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  3. i start at 36/14 and instead of thinking cadence i think of breathing and have “legs-power-legs-power” going through my head so i can work through the lactic acid without heading through the gears. As i struggle up i try not to spin out and keep the power on with the mantra changing to ” do NOT STOP” as it hurts more πŸ™‚

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  4. I hadn’t thought of counting, which is unusual … I tend to count on most things. I’ve just focused on breathing … and not having a coronary πŸ˜‰
    I find it’s easier to find a rhythm on long steady climbs compared to steep, short climbs, especially if there are several back to back.
    I think I’m going to give your counting thing a try.

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  5. For me, climbing is the ultimate challenge. I can ride all day on flats and rollers, but the hills !!! At 240 lbs. I have never met a hill I could not get over, and I can get into granny and grind it out, but oh so slowly. The guy I ride with is like 140 lbs. and climbs like Lance. He waits at the top so all is good. The thing that really gets me is on the downhill when he coasts and I coast…right by him like he does me on the hills. So I have to brake downhill. So I a learning how to enjoy the descents while braking. Maybe I’ll just ask him to wear 100 lbs. on the next ride.

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