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Beyond getting out there and keeping at it, experimenting with what works & what doesn't...pounds matter. I've been paying the price for having picked up some pounds and am focusing on this much more these days.
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I'm probably not the best person to answer this, since I am not an avid cyclist and I live in flat Florida, although we DO have bridges, which race directors think is a good idea to add into every triathlon. I do what TucsonJill describes - keep a constant cadence but start dropping the gears as it starts getting difficult to pedal, while powering from your hips rather than your quads. I have passed many people up bridges in triathlons using this method, and rarely have to stand up. Just before you crest the hill, start gearing back up, because once you hit the top and start the downhill you will want that pedal control.
You say you are a masher, and that may make hills more difficult because 1) mashing using more energy, and 2) your power is coming from your legs. If you want to get past the mashing, learn correct spinning technique. You can find You Tube videos that show this and I'm sure there are books and websites that explain it.
One day I would love to get back over to Wales and do some cycling. It's a beautiful country!
"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
I share your frustrations! I'm not sure if this is the best way to go, but what I try to do is keep my cadence constant, but shift gears as the going gets harder. That, and add power through the hips, not just the legs. (Did that make sense? It's just what it feels like...) I also try to push through not just to the top of the hill, but a little bit beyond that, so I don't lose my momentum just at the crest.
I'd love any other suggestions anyone has!
I have never finished a workout and thought to myself, "Now, THAT was a waste of time!"
"You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however." Richard Bach, Illusions
Any tips for someone who struggles with hills?
I have been trying to alter my cadence, since I have a tendancy towards being a masher (typical rpm is about 60, a bit lower on hills). Is this at all useful for climbing?
Obviously the best thing to do is just keep going out and riding them, which has made me improve a bit, but I still find it frustrating to be going along nicely and then there's a bit of a hill and I'm practically at walking pace. I live in Wales, so there's no avoiding hills, either.
Edited by: MILVUSMILVUS at: 5/6/2012 (16:53)