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Triathlon Coach - Triathlon Coach Janet Wilson - Tulsa, Oklahoma -

Contact me at 918-760-7167 or email me: - The Triathlon Resource Center for Everything Triathlon

Triathlon Bike

Tips for a strong bike leg in your next triathlon.

  1. Ride your bike. This will sound simplistic, but it is true - the best way to improve your cycling is by riding your bike. Put in miles so you are comfortable in the saddle for long periods of time. Ride varying terrain, especially rolling hills and some steep climbing. As you advance, practice riding in your profile bars for extended periods. This training is relatively low impact and if done using proper form can also strengthen your running muscles.
  2. Build endurance by training longer than your race distance. Overtraining on your running is a recipe for injury - the same is not true on the bike. Make sure your training rides end up at least 25% longer than your actual race distance (obviously you want to build up to that distance slowly). The longer training will help build endurance for all three events and also build your confidence. Psychologically it is great if you can go into the bike knowing you'll be strong over the whole distance.
  3. Bike comfort. Go to a reputable bike store to get fitted, but don't be afraid to tweak you bike as you learn more about your riding style. Listen to your body - if you feel pain or numbness after riding for a while try to isolate where that pain is coming from and consider making adjustments to relieve the pressure on that part of your body. Typical adjustments include seat height, seat position (forward or back), seat angle (slightly up or down), handlebar angle (up or down) and cleat placement on your shoes. There are many other possible adjustments, but these will cover most discomfort. Make sure that your adjustments aren't too drastic. Just an inch or even less can make a big difference, (and overadjusting the other direction can also cause problems). Experiment by riding at least a few miles after each adjustment until you find a setup that is comfortable for long distances.
  4. Bike for your first race. Most beginner traithletes ask me, "do I need a special bike for my first race?" The answer of course is no. Some people do their first race or two on a mountain bike (this will usually slow you down and it makes the bike leg harder, but you won't be the only one out there on a mountain bike). You can always borrow a bike too. Many bike shops will have a loaner or two on hand for you to try (be sure and buy your bike from them if you later decide to purchase one). Don't let your equipment keep you from doing a few races - you can always upgrade things after you get a few races under your belt. Plus doing a few races will give you a chance to see what other people are riding.
  5. Buying a bike. Once you are ready to take the plunge start the search for your new bike at a local bike store. You may find cheaper equipment on the web - and you may end up buying off the web anyway if you want something used or a brand that's not sold at a store in your city - but a local store is the place to start. Here you can get great advice on bike fit, frame size, different frame styles, construction materials, differences in components and more. Tell them you are looking for a "time-trial" or triathlon bike. Eventually you will settle on a style you like best. Then you should evaluate your budget. Start with a great frame - you can always upgrade components later. Buy new if you can afford it because you never know what kind of abuse a used bike has been through. However, if you are on a tight budget you can also find used bikes on eBay or Craig's List (this is a better place to buy upgrade components). Finally you can sometimes find out about used bikes from your local bike club.
Swim | Bike | Run - The Triathlon Resource Center for Everything Triathlon

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