PACE AND GEARS
First off – never read about the gearing that pro climbers use and then try to use them yourself, it will cripple you. Gearing has lowered greatly in recent years, and few riders would even consider straining and honking over big climbs in the way they did 20 years ago. The macho gearing bravado has (mostly) been left at the roadside, and faster pedalling consistency has proven to be the way ahead. When you hit a climb, find a comfortable gear and stick with it, within a cog or two. Do not fall into the trap of changing straight down to your bottom gear and twiddling as if your chain has just dropped. Aim for a pedal rate just a bit slower than on the flat, maybe 70-85rpm (try counting your cadence in training, it may surprise you), and it will help to take your mind off the struggle. You need to learn what effort you can sustain for the duration of a climb, and that only comes with experience of riding these climbs. Remember that you may well have to face another climb further down the road, too, so keep your matches dry. Focus on your effort output levels, stay below the red line, keep your breathing deep, constant and manageable, and do not be lured into chasing faster riders. Set your own pace and switch off. If you blow a gasket on a long climb, there is little chance of recovery, so keep it real and under wraps.
Ride at your own pace on climbs, rather than trying to chase other riders