hill climb road

Climbing is the most prestigious part of cycling, and for good reason – it’s freaking hard! Climbing to the top of an Alp (or two,) or just staying with the pack to the top of the “local monster” is a challenge.

So I thought you might interested in some tips I picked up from Graeme Street, creator of the Cyclo-Core off-season training program. The tips were part of a special report titled “3 Climbing Mistakes Most Cyclists Make” that you can probably get if you sign-up for the special report listed on his website.

So here we go:

MISTAKE 1: More miles = Stronger climbing

Just going out and riding doesn’t mean you’ll get better. You could ride all day long and still get beat by someone that rides 25 miles/week.

The key is to do quality miles!

MISTAKE 2: Lack of Attention to the Powerful Climbing Muscles

Sure, your typical rides work your quads and glutes, which do play a critical role in climbing. But the phenomenon known as “climbing” requires a lot of other muscles to start working – your hamstrings, for example.

And to work your hamstrings and core muscle groups, you’ll have to do off the bike workouts to really make a difference.

MISTAKE 3: Not Reading This Sooner πŸ˜‰

To get the real mistake number 3, plus the full details on the other two, check out Cyclo-Core and sign-up for the email list. (Scroll down and the sign-up box is right beside the “5 Cycling Training & Nutrition Secrets to Drop Weight and Add Power!” box.)


Ask Levi: Why Do I Blow Up When Hitting This Hill Climb?

Today’s question is about why you might be blowing up when hitting a tough hill climb, even if it didn’t happen last season…

okay man, quick question. i have been MTBing for around 4 years now. recently came home from school, felt really good off the bat and got into some 14-20 mph rides. yesterday and the day before, i feel a tad weak and i feel like the lactic acid just hits me up right when i hit the climb, this has never happened before.

what do you think it is? i really appreciate all the info you have on this site and if you could answer this question id appreciate that even more. thanks Levi, your the man!

Blowingup Bob

Hi Bob,

Perhaps you’ve been away at school and not riding quite enough during the Spring semester. Then you come home and jump into things like previous summers, riding like you didn’t take any time off over the past months. You have a good enough base after four years of training that you can do it for a little while without feeling like you’re overtraining, but it’s starting to hit you now.

Being in good shape, you can go out and ride at a decent pace and feel fine, even when worn down. That is, until you really turn it on, like when you have to power up a hill. I think hitting the hill is just pushing you over the edge. (Believe me, I did the same thing after my freshman year of college!)

A little rest (a few days of easy riding) and you should be all set.

But then you have to remember to ease back into everything! You don’t want to jump straight into all-out efforts or you’ll be feeling it on your next ride.


Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik

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  1. I was wondering if you could elaborate on the off the bike workouts. Is this gym related work? I train with a coach and have just started racing, three months in and I’ve seen significant progress. We have just completed our gym related session so for the rest of the season it will be bike work. Would you still recommend hitting the gym and if so what should I be looking at doing seeing as our training session tend to be focused on intensity and then some resting up?

  2. It’s kind of gym related, but more along the lines of bodyweight workouts. I wouldn’t do much in the gym during racing season but I would stick with bodyweight workouts and yoga year-round.

    These links will explain further:

    Bodyweight workouts

  3. Am on dial-up , so aside from being well past 40 I have some staying power and patience. Recently back into cycling as a fitness regimen that still even after all these years “get off on” Hate the flats cause there’s no payoff like running out of gear on the downhill run ! This is the first time I have ever checked out a blog site and based on what little I’ve seen so far Mistake # 3 says it all . Thanks !!!!!!!

  4. You forgot compact chainrings πŸ™‚ hehe

  5. pls., send me training tips.

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