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Descending Hills

What goes up must come down (at least if you ride an out and back route). Here are a few tips.

Pedaling on descents [instead of coasting] helps blood continue to circulate rapidly through your legs as muscle contraction helps clear pooled blood from the muscles and returns it back to the heart. After hard efforts, such as a climb, blood will tend to pool in your lower muscles. That blood contains a lot of lactate, so you want to circulate it back to the heart and lungs as quickly as possible.

Many times there are several hills or mountains in a row, and pedaling down the first descent can make the next climb seem a little easier. Your legs feel fresher because light to moderate pedaling downhill has helped clear out the lactic acid that accumulated during the climb. You don't get the heavy, sluggish sensation that occurs when you work hard up a climb, coast down the other side, and then try to ride hard again.

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Cycling Performance Tips
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