Should I SIT or should I STAND???
I get asked this question A LOT, “Should I stay seated on a climb or should I stand on a climb?” Well, there is no right or wrong. There is no rule that says you must stay seated on a climb. I have had numerous people I coach tell me that they heard, “YOU MUST STAY SEATED ON ALL CLIMBS! You are faster that way!” Simply not true. There are too many variables to determine HOW you climb.
What is your intended pace?
How steep is the climb?
How long is the climb?
Does the climb change as it goes upwards?
How long is the hill?
What is YOUR individual style?
Where is the ride/race does the hill happen? Will fatigue factor in?
All of these determine HOW you climb a hill. For the hills that we have here in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, or wherever you are training, it is best to change your position as you climb and have the ability to climb using both methods; you should train yourself to be able to do both. In my coaching, I have my clients do different climbing drills; doing a whole climb in the saddle, doing a whole climb out of the saddle AND mixing it up during the whole climb.
There are positves for both. While climbing in the saddle, you can generate a little more power. Your pedal stroke is a little smoother and more controlled. While you are out of the saddle, you can deal with accelerations in the pace or changes in the gradient more easily. You can also use your body weight to help you push down on the pedals. Best of all, it allows you to engage different muscles and get a good stretch at the same time.
Now, you also need to factor in the different hand positions; on the tops of the bars, on the brake hoods or in the drops. Just like the reasons listed above, your hand position while you are climbing is not set in stone. A lot to take in, I know. So much to learn……
Eat Well! Sleep Well! Train SMART!!!