How To Climb Like A Pro: Emma Pooley's Guide To 'Climbing Nasty'
The physics of cycling uphill is clear: it’s about the ratio of power to weight. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be super skinny to climb well - I know some really strong climbers who are a little, erm, chunky… they just have a lot of power! Especially for short climbs, that can be very effective.
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But when it comes to racing, or even dare I suggest it, training in a slightly competitive way with your mates, there are a few nuances to climbing beyond simply power-to-weight ratio. Climbing with other people is different to solo training. Mainly psychologically - but also, you can do a lot of physiological damage if you work it right!
There are nice ways to ride with other people up a climb (holding a steady power, no half wheeling or surging, or even sitting up front to take the wind). But cycling is not always nice… in a race, you want to use every opportunity to hurt your opponents or escape from the peloton.
Back in the day, when I was racing, I’d usually have to use the climbs to do that. So today I’m going to go through a few of the ways I learned, back in the day, to turn on the hurt on the uphills. You could call it “how to climb nasty”!
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