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By triathletes for triathletes: hill climbs

In the third of our By Triathletes For Triathletes series, pro triathlete and Bikebox founder Sam Gardner shares his advice on perfecting hill climbs.

Manage your effort
Slow and steady wins the race. Or, more accurately, even and steady wins the race. Blasting your way up hills will sap vital energy reserves needed for your run. Instead, aim to increase your effort by no more than 10% up hills then spread out your effort evenly from T1 to T2.

Maintain your cadence
Developing on from the above, you want to keep your cadence (rotations per minute) roughly the same whether you’re climbing hills or cruising flat sections. Use your gears to find a comfortable RPM of 85-100.

Use your body
Your body position can help or hinder you during climbs and a few tiny adjustments can make all the difference:

  • Sitting in a more upright position give your lungs more room to expand
  • Sitting back in your seat will engage powerful muscles like the glutes and hamstrings
  • Standing up on occasion will give your bum and lower back a break – just make sure that you shift gears to accommodate