How to Plan Your Peak Climbing Performance

How to Become a Better Climber – Lesson 4

This post is the fourth in my series about how to become a better climber. After the first three lessons you should be in a position to describe the physical challenges to fast climbing: the hill’s steepness and length, your body and bike weight. You know what you are up against and can begin to plan your training. Always keep in mind what you are preparing for.

I am often asked by a broad range of riders how to plan for peak performance. The single best advice I can give you is to start at the end. Write down how you should train the day before the race.

Afterwards, write down how you should train two days before the race etc. This little trick keeps your focus on the event you are training for and makes sure that your tapering protocol is on target.

So, whether you have 14 days or 14 weeks to train, is not that relevant. It is clear that you could prepare better if you had 14 weeks, but sometimes that is not possible.

Even when I work with elite riders, their race schedules and priorities might change throughout the season. Suddenly an athlete has the chance to represent the national team and then that race gets the highest priority and a short deadline.

In such situations, I think it works best to simply begin at the end. Instead of trying to do the impossible, you should stick to sensible training planning techniques.

Sometimes it is important to accept the fact that it is not possible to make miracles happen in such a short space of time. 

Instead, focus on the small changes that will have a positive influence on your performance (optimum tapering, optimization of bike etc).

Your task today:
Describe how long time you would like to spend on your climbing project.

2 comments… add one
  • Chapper Link

    always looking for cycling tips that can make me faster. Looking forward to more lessons in this series! Keep up!

  • I like this idea of “starting at the end.” Do you have any advice for someone who is planning to join an Olympic-distance triathlon? I’ll be doing this in about five months. I am very new to cycling as a sport, and I would appreciate any advice you have to give!

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