You’re fully recovered from last week and ready to push a bit harder this week. That’s good because there’s been one thing missing from your training plan – hills. It had to happen sooner or later, climbing and descending is a part of cycling and from this week on you will start getting comfortable with it.

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Week 6 – Getting familiar with hills

You will start pushing your limits again this week. When planning your Tuesday 60-minute ride, make sure there’s a hill on the way. It doesn’t have to be a big hill, but make sure it takes you at least a few minutes to get to the top when you attack it at hard pace (HP). Thursday is the usual 60 minutes at talking pace (TP) with a 20-minute moderate pace (MP) push. And you’ll do a long ride on Sunday again. Go over the same hill you did on Tuesday, but this time, try to keep your effort moderate (MP) as you go up.

Climbing and descending technique

When you get to a hill, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. You should keep a high cadence, stay relaxed, and stay in your seat. You can try going out of the saddle for short bursts of speed, but it’s not something you need to work on now. Check out our article on becoming a better climber.

When it comes to descending, make sure to always keep your eyes on the road ahead and to brake before entering a corner. You can use handlebar drops if your bike has them to get more aerodynamic, have a more even weight distribution and improved traction and control. If going downhill is not your thing, here are a few tips for overcoming fear of descending.

Riding in a group

As we’ve said in the beginning, cycling is a lot of fun in a group. You should try to find someone to ride with at least occasionally, especially now that you are doing 2-hour rides on the weekend. It helps time fly by when you’re with other people, and you can actually talk when cycling at your talking pace. Plus, it’s great practice for a race day when you might ride in a group too. We have a few tips on how to ride in a group or a peloton in this article.

Next up in Beginner 50k Training Plan series

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