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Training: hills

Cycling up a steep hill is a real leg burner, and can hit you really hard if you’ve not trained on hills. Before your cycle for charity event, make sure you put in some sessions of hill training to get your heart and lungs fighting fit, and ready to take on the challenge of a big hill on race day.

First of all, you obviously need to find a suitable hill to train on! Idealy you want a fairly long hill that will challenge you, but that you can actually cycle up without resorting to your very highest gear. If you can find a route with a number of hills on, then even better.

When you reach your designated hill, you want to cycle up and down the hill a number of times, using the upward journeys to hone your technique and really get your heart rate up to improve your aerobic fitness, and the downward journeys for recovery. Gradually increase the number of times you cycle up and down the hill as your training progresses.

Once you are ready to take things to the next level, try cycling up the hill ‘standing’ on your pedals (i.e. out of the saddle). You’ll have more leverage on the pedals and build different muscle groups, helping you to build more powerful legs. If you can, do this in a harder gear to really challenge yourself, then go for it! As before, do this in sets of up and down the hill.

Training: hills