Essentials of Climbing

Photo Julio Barajas (c) Essentials of Climbing

Registered for a grand sportive next year? Needing to know the basics of climbing before you head out on that next feared group ride? Here are a few tips to help you overcome those climbing fears and bring out that confident climber in you.

  1. Pace Yourself instead of going all hard in order to keep up with others. We all have different climbing experiences, abilities, and strengths. Trying to keep up with the person next to you may cause you to push harder too early and leave you without enough energy or the will to continue the ride enjoyably with others. Keep a steady pace, choose an easier gear and have fun!


  1. Keeping an eye on your live stats will help keep a consistent pace up a climb. Watch your cadence, your power, heart rate or your speed to monitor your efforts throughout.


  1. Spin spin spin all the way to the top. If you don’t own a power meter, attempt to aim for a cadence of 75-90 rpm

    Photo Julio Barajas (c) Essentials of Climbing

    (revolutions per minute). Doing so will help your body avoid using your muscular endurance over your cardiovascular endurance. This can depend on your body build so if you have stronger legs, take advantage and go for a lower rpm.


  1. Starting at the front of the group is a popular tip you will often hear about in order to keep you from ending up far off the back of the group. If you begin to get dropped by others, you will at least continue riding with some of the members of the group with the goal of reaching the top with them.


  1. Know your limits and slow down or stop if you need to. There is nothing wrong with taking a few minutes to recover

    Photo Julio Barajas Essentials of Climbing

    and taking a breather. Doing so will help you continue on and endure the pain. Take this opportunity to drink, snack on something and snap a photo of the view. After all, it’s one of the reasons to climb up your local mountain.


Look forward to the challenge, understand you will get dropped from time to time, avoid comparing yourself, and keep a positive attitude throughout your ride. Most of all, have fun!


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