Survive long climbs

If you’re feeling inspired to conquer a few climbs after watching the pros over the summer months, follow these five top tips on how to master massive ascents from Welsh Cycling’s head coach Darren Tudor… 

Go with what you know

“People should try to relate the unknown of tackling long climbs to another area of cycling, such as time trials or any other sustained effort they are used to. That helps to put it into context.”

Effort management

“You really have to think about measuring your effort over the climbs: don’t go too hard too soon when you know that it’s going to be a long climb. You’re better off getting to the top of the climb not having done as much as you’d wanted to, rather than doing too much and putting yourself in a bit of a box.” 

Knowledge is power

“When you’ve got another climb to come, you can look back on the previous one and think to yourself, okay, that’s how I felt on the last climb so this is the sort of effort I think I can make this time. It can be a challenge not knowing the roads as well, which is why it’s really important not to do too much too early.”

Get in gear

“Using gears properly is important on long climbs – and undergearing will always be better than overgearing, so make sure you start out in an easier gear than you think you need. It’s also crucial to plan for things such as it being windy or cold once you get to the top. These all add to the challenge of climbing.” 

Feeding time

It’s very important to plan your fuelling around the climbs so that you aren’t caught out on the way up. Basically, as soon as you’re over one climb, it’s time to eat, drink and get ready for the next climb. You might not feel hungry, you might not feel thirsty, but it’s important to be prepared for the next challenge. 

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