Fast Talk podcast, ep. 34: Become a climber (even if you live in a flat place)

A listener in Iowa asks if he could become climber. We’ll answer this question and describe ways anyone can improve in the hills.

Photo: Photo by Casey B. Gibson

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The VeloNews Fast Talk podcast is your source for the best advice and most interesting insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Listen in as VeloNews managing editor Chris Case and columnist Trevor Connor discuss a range of topics, including training, physiology, technology, and more.

In this episode of Fast Talk, we tackle the always-popular topic of climbing. A listener in Iowa asked if he could become a better climber. Not only will we answer his question, we’ll describe ways in which anyone can improve their technique, efficiency, and power to refine their climbing.

Surprisingly, climbing isn’t as simple as dropping a few pounds or spending your days riding in the Rockies. We look at the question from a few angles: First, does dropping weight make you a better climber? The fact is, for the last few decades, winners of the Tour de France, who can climb with the best, aren’t the lightest athletes. Why this is has a lot to do with something called allometric scaling. Secondly, we’ll discuss whether you need to climb hills to be a climber. Is it really just a question of power-to-weight? Finally, we’ll take a closer look at the particulars of climbing, including the effects of grade, cadence, standing vs. staying seated, and the importance of core strength.

We’re joined by a collection of talented riders and coaches: Sepp Kuss, newly signed with the LottoNL-Jumbo WorldTour squad; Dr. Iñigo San Millan, director of the University of Colorado Sports Medicine and Performance Center; as well as fantastic climbers Joe Dombrowski and Ned Overend.

Fast Talk is available on all your favorite podcast services, including iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Soundcloud. If you enjoy the podcast, please consider taking a moment to rate and comment on iTunes after listening. Also, check out the VeloNews Cycling Podcast, our weekly discussion of the sport’s hottest topics, trends, and controversies.



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