How to get better at climbing hills?


Do you have any local hills you can train on? I’m currently doing the long HIIT VO2 max workout wizard alternate on a local hill (20 mins ride from home).

I find doing repeated maximal hill efforts around 4 mins duration means that when I tackle hills at lower intensity I’m finding them easier.

In past I’ve also tackled repeats on longer or steeper (17-20%) hills, so that no hill holds any fear any more. Plus you get a feel for what you can sustain as a pace on each.


I’ll take a different approach than @Phil here ( just because :slight_smile: )

Sometimes all you need is practice riding up hills. Find a hill and just ride up it at sweet spot (~Z3b) or tempo (~Z4) intensity. Repeat as desired for your strength endurance session of the week.

I think what can make hill climbing daunting is that there is no coasting. You have to keep pedaling. Indoor trainer sessions re like that. Try intervals of 75-85 cadence for blocks of 5-10 minutes at a time to simulate “up” in Z3b/Z4.


Training aside, for hills I think it’s best not to attack them too early, don’t go in hard.

Set yourself some visual markers as you go up the hill, like trees/fence posts/signs, and mentally tick them off as you go past them.

Use your gears. On really long climbs I try keep HR 5 or 6 beats below Thr, and when I think i’m getting near the end of the climb you can open up a little more.

I like to remain seated, hands on hoods, and my cadence probably increases.

Garmin ClimbPro on a 530 is sometimes handy.

Oh and if it’s a big climb, make sure you get some fuel into you early enough on your ride.

Try enjoy the pain :rofl: