IMPROVE WITH HILL TRAINING
As opposed to swimming and running, when you’re on a bike you can still move forward, even when you’re not putting out any energy. That’s what makes cycling one of the most efficient human-powered activities. But that can lead to challenges when creating training stress. Climbing is one of the easiest ways to overcome this challenge and force stress upon an athlete. If you want to improve your cycling performance, regular hill workouts should be a staple in your program.
Cycling is a sport that is affected dramatically by resistance. When you’re riding on flat terrain, have a tail wind, or are drafting in a group, resistance is low and very little muscular force is required to keep the bike moving. As soon as you go uphill, though, gravity adds resistance, which makes it easier to apply consistent muscular force. One of the most fundamental principles of training is to apply stress to the body. When you recover from that stress, your body adapts and you attain a higher level of fitness. If you are using wattage as the measure for this stress, then the ability to generate consistent wattage for specific periods of time is crucial if you want to improve. Hills provide more consistent resistance and allow you to home in on a specific wattage with greater ease than on flatter terrain where resistance is lower.