Being prepared for a tough climb is essential for getting to the top, in the fastest possible time. Knowing how long the ascent is, where the steep sections are, and when you can conserve energy on the shallow gradient will not only make you a more informed climber it will help you both physically and psychologically.
If you’re planning a route, look at maps and profiles of the climbs so you’re in the best possible position knowledge wise to conquer the climbs.
And finally, find out what works for you; Simon Warrens, author of 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, notes “climbing, more than any other cycling discipline is a very personal affair, we are all different and we must all find our own preferred style.
Do we dance out of the saddle like Alberto Contador, or stay in the saddle like Chris Froome, do we grind a big gear or spin a tiny one? What you must do is find out what suits you best, then stick with it, perfect it, and how? By riding lots and lots of hills, that’s how.”