Triathlon bike training is designed to prepare you as best as you can be for the cycling section of your triathlon. Once you have chosen the best triathlon bicycle for you, the problems of triathlon can be summed up in three words: transition, nutrition and endurance.
Did you know...?
Did you know that the oldest man to ever complete a triathlon was 90 years old?
90-year old Charlie Futrell, a former PE teacher who once taught Sylvester Stallone, finished a grueling triathlon in 2 hours and 18 seconds on May 14 2011. That should give you inspiration to keep on pushing your physical limits and participate in a triathlon!
Triathlon Bike Training - Transition
Transition is the changeover from one style of exercise to another. If you've ever done sprint work on an elliptical machine and then tried to walk afterwards, you'll already have encountered this problem.
Your muscles will be performing one set of motions for a very long time, then suddenly you'll be asking them to do something completely different. People can, and do, fall over like babies taking their first steps after getting off the bike to run the last portion of a triathlon!
If you want to avoid being the next newbie with his or her face in the gravel, then you'll need to experience the transition between cycling and running. This is best achieved by building it into your triathlon bike training routine.
Cycle for a fair amount of time, say, 60 to 90 minutes, then stop, secure your bike and aim to run for an amount of time, at least 15-20 minutes the first time.
Don't worry about setting records for speed or distance. Just get into the habit of cross-training through the transition barrier. Regular exposure will make this much easier.
Triathlon Bike Training - Nutrition
Nutrition for triathletes is nothing to do with your day-to-day diet. It's about keeping enough energy-providing nutrients in your body so you don't collapse from depletion.
There are hundreds of nutrition products aimed at cyclists, and many more aimed at triathletes! The key is to test combinations in training until you find one which suits you, and stick to it. Don't make changes to your nutrition products too close to the event, or you risk upsetting your stomach, or losing energy when you need it most.
Consider drinks, gel packs and meal replacement bars. There's really no point in reading reviews; one person's perfection is another's pavement pizza. Test, test, test.
Triathlon Bike Training - Endurance
If your aim is simply to finish the triathlon, then you need to get used to spending a lot of time on your bike. The ultimate aim is to build up to riding the course distance once per week, a couple of months before your event.
The commitment for this varies a lot. If you're riding a short (20km) triathlon, it's far easier to complete event-length rides than if you're doing a half-Ironman (90km) or Ironman (180km). Training for the longer distances will be an all-day commitment.
Most averagely-fit cyclists could complete a 20km ride, but a 90km ride requires endurance cycling training program, and full Ironman is only for people with a lot of spare time and fitness.
Whatever the distance you're aiming to complete, it's important to be comfortable doing that distance long before the big day. Pay less attention to the distance when you begin training. Instead, take an average speed of your longer rides and work out how long you'll need to ride to complete the even distance.
For example, a 40km ride will take you two to three hours if you average 20km per hour. Yes, two to three hours. Always over-estimate the amount of time it's going to take you to complete the event distance; don't forget, you'll just have finished swimming when you climb into the saddle!
When undertaking your endurance cycling training program, it's important to take in nutrients the same way you will be during the event.
This way, you can fine-tune your mix of sports supplements for the actual triathlon by testing them in the field.
Can't get out on a long ride? Join a gym that has wind trainers for cyclists, to mimic the resistance of actually being out on your cycle for long periods, and vary the resistance and speed to make the indoor training as beneficial as possible.
More Information About Triathlon Bike Training
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