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How To Ride A Hilly Triathlon | Climbing Tips For Triathletes

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Published on May 17, 2018

Cycling uphills in training is one thing, riding hills in a race is a whole different thing so here is GTN's advice on how to ride a hilly triathlon fast!

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The Approach
You want to start thinking about the climb on your approach, not just as you hit it. It’s still race-day, so you can’t afford to fully back-off, but perhaps consider keeping a cap on it. For some, a slightly higher cadence also helps reduce the muscular fatigue leading into the climb. It’s also important to reduce any sudden surges or spikes in power before the hill - just try to maintain a constant effort level and settle into a nice rhythm.

The Entrance Of The Hill
As you hit the hill, you should start shifting down through the gears to easier gears. This will help reduce any spikes in power at the bottom of the climb, and that urge to maintain your cadence. Even if you don’t have a power meter this should be something you can feel through the pressure of your feet on the pedals - the aim being to maintain the pressure from the flat onto the climb.

The Body Of The Hill
Once you’re into the meat of the climb it’s important to try and find a groove and a nice rhythm again. If you’re riding to power, most athletes naturally find that they put out a little more power on the climbs, and struggle to hold back. However, I tend to advise capping your power at around 5-10% above your target race power. This still utilises this increase, but makes sure you’re not going into the red and causing any damage for later in the race.

The Crest Of The Hill
If you’ve followed all these tips you should be ready to crest the top of the hill and settle straight back into to your target power, effort, or pace. As Matt Bottrill mentioned in one of our previous videos, this is the point that so many athletes lose considerable time.

Ultimately, you need to remind yourself of the run off the bike. Emptying the tank, or jumping into the red on the climbs will hamper that run - so aim for a nice evenly paced ride.

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Watch more on GTN...
📹 Cycle Faster For Free With Time Trial Specialist Matt Bottrill - http://gtn.io/CycleFasterForFree
📹 How To Climb On A Tri Bike Like A Pro - http://gtn.io/climbtribike

Photos: © Triathlon / Getty Images

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