Just imagine. It’s just you and your bike. You’re soaring down a winding road, surrounded by trees and amazing scenery. You can feel the wind rushing as you feel like you’re flying down the pavement. It’s one of the best feelings as a cyclist!
Riding downhill is fun, but have you ever heard the saying, “what goes up must come down?” Well… I think you see where I’m going with this! If you’re wanting to experience the splendor that is riding downhill on a road bike, you’ve got to get to the top of the hill, and that is going to take some hard work!
Just because something is hard work, doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun! We’re going to be looking at how to bike uphill without getting tired because once you put in the effort to make it to the top, it makes the downhill that much sweeter!
With these top 10 tips to kill it on your uphill climb, we’re going to be looking at all aspects of biking! From adjustments to your bike to your form and your mind, there are all kinds of ways of how to bike uphill without getting tired and burnt out!
By now, you’ve probably heard of Carol Dweck’s term “growth mindset” for learning new things and doing hard things. Having a growth mindset means that you believe in yourself. You believe you can improve. You believe that if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything. Opposite to that, she also addresses a fixed mindset, which is where you believe your talents and abilities can’t change.
Believe it or not, if you want to know how to bike uphill without getting tired, you’ve got to start with your mindset. You’ve got to have that growth mindset and believe that with the right amount of practice and effort, you will do it!
Dr. Dweck has documented that athletes with fixed mindsets will avoid tough challenges and often give up if they don’t feel they will be successful. So, start your journey with the right frame of mind, and you will already be on your way to succeeding and reaching your goals!
As you’re preparing your mindset, you are also going to need to prepare yourself that this journey will not be easy. If you’re training to cycle up big hills, you’re going to experience some aches and pains. Your muscles are going to be sore. It will tire your body. You might even get some scrapes and bruises along the way.
While this isn’t ideal, it’s pretty much inevitable. You know the saying… “No pain, no gain,” right? Well, it’s kind of true. You’re going to need to push your body to its limits and if you’re willing to deal with it, you’ll be able to reach your goal!
If you think about it, it makes sense. The heavier you are, the harder it will be to support your body weight when biking up a big hill. While anyone can do it, if you are looking to make the ride easier and with less effort, you will want to shed any unwanted weight.
Luckily enough, a brilliant strategy to lose weight is to bike! Did you know that biking 20 miles a day can actually lead to weight loss by burning around 1000 calories?! So, how to bike uphill without getting tired? Dropping a few pounds is sure to help!
If you’re not looking to lose any weight, you can also adjust the weight of your bike to lighten your load. You could invest in a bike that is lighter weight altogether, or you could even look into replacing parts of your bike with lighter options. You could grade your wheels to lighter weight ones. Carrying less water and/or less heavy gear could make a difference, along with lightweight wicking clothing and not heavy cotton clothes. Essentially, carry only what you absolutely need on you!
You know what they always say…. Practice makes perfect. Well, it applies here as well! One of the best ways to bike uphill without getting tired is to practice biking uphill over and over until the feat becomes easier! So… to bike uphill without getting tired, you’re going to have to attempt biking uphill multiple times while getting tired! It’ll pay off in the end!
But biking uphill isn’t the only way that you can train to make it easier! Cross-training increases your overall level of conditioning while conditioning the entire body!
So, throw in some Crossfit bootcamp workouts now and then, go for a run, go for a swim, and simply mix it up! You don’t want to overwork certain muscle groups or get your body too comfortable in a workout routine. It’s great to train your whole body and switch up your workouts to keep yourself motivated and gaining strength. It’ll help you become prepared to face that treacherous hill with ease!
Technique & Riding Position
Believe it or not, your technique and riding position can play a huge role in how to bike uphill without getting tired. There are plenty of tips and tricks that will help ease the discomfort and difficulty of climbing that include…
Stay Seated as Long as Possible
Similarly to the advice above, when you are riding in the saddle, you are mostly using your legs whereas standing up is using your complete body. Many people think you should stand up because you’ll have more power, but again, you may just tire yourself out too quickly. While it will give you more power and push you up quicker, you need to save that energy boost for only when it is absolutely necessary. So, as you’re climbing a hill, make a goal to stay seated as long as possible.
Keep your Body Forward
Your hips and your chest should be slightly forward. Obviously not leaning over the handlebars, but don’t let yourself sink back or lean back. Keep the power moving forward.
Keep your Hands Light and Body Relaxed
As you get into the more intense parts of your climb, you may not notice, but your body will start tensing. Try to notice this and keep your body relaxed. Try not to grip the bar too tightly. Keep a loose, but solid grip and remember to keep breathing!
Cadence & Pacing Yourself
You may think that starting fast might build some momentum, but it actually may be better to start at a reasonable pace and stick with it. Think tortoise and the hare. If you start out exerting too much energy, you may get halfway up the hill and burn out.
Pace yourself and keep your cadence steady!
Use The Right Gears
Using the right gears is crucial in learning how to bike uphill without getting tired. You should determine what bike gears to use by the steepness of the hills that you are climbing. However, as a general rule, you will want to stay on the lower side and start your climb in a lower gear than you may originally have thought.
You will also determine the right gear based on your fitness and experience level! More experienced riders may find themselves in higher gears, while newer riders who may be less fit may need to stay in lower gears for even longer! So, the best way to use the right gear is to get out there, try it for yourself, and see what feels best to you.
Fuel Your Body
Hydration is key! If you aren’t properly hydrated, your fueling regimen won’t work! So, make sure that you have water on hand and stay hydrated throughout your ride.
Besides hydration, you may need some extra fuel depending on the length of your ride. According to some experts, eat a high-carbohydrate snack after 90 minutes of a ride. Then, fuel an extra 125 calories every hour after that initial 90 minutes.
If your uphill ride isn’t longer than the 90 minutes, you may not need a snack during your ride. But make sure you fuel properly with a balanced pre-ride snack or meal. It will ensure that your body has the energy to take on this challenge!
Ride With a Group
If you’ve ever competed in a race, whether it’s running, biking, or something in between, you may know of the magic that can take place when you surround yourself with others. While a ride alone may be nice and relaxing, you may need some accountability partners and people to encourage you along the way.
Find some people or a local riding group to join, and you will be amazed at how much of a difference it can make! It’s easy to focus on the pain and the difficulties of something when you are all alone. But it’s easier to be distracted, thinking and talking about other things when you are riding with friends.
You’re not always going to be able to cruise down hill in biking. Sooner or later you are going to have to go back up. Knowing how to bike uphill without getting tired is one of those important things you need to know if you like biking. In this article, we covered 10 tips that will help you kill those big hills like you are a Tour De France cyclist! Enjoy!