Taking on a triathlon involves a serious commitment, not to mention athletic training in biking, running, and swimming. If you find yourself having difficulty in the biking department, or wish to improve upon a previous time, it is important to discover some helpful tips that will lead to an impressive performance and a successful showing on race day. There are a number of exercises and routines to increase stamina, reduce fatigue, and improve prowess. Bear in mind that training according to your appropriate skill level can mean the difference between finishing a race strong and being carried away by ambulance. Here are some training techniques for all levels of cyclists that are sure to give you an edge at the big event.
Sometimes the biggest deterrent to a goal is not the amount of work involved but our own loss of motivation. Staying dedicated can be incredibly difficult, so it is important to make exercising and preparing for a triathlon enjoyable, interesting, and challenging. Some suggestions include biking with a friend, choosing varied environments like spin classes, mountains paths, and neighborhood streets, and rewarding yourself for accomplishing goals. Try to join a triathlon or cycling community so you have a supportive group that can also offer expert advice when needed.
You cannot build Rome in a day and you cannot start from the couch and complete a triathlon in one attempt. Pace yourself by setting reasonable weekly goals that slowly and safely increase your distance, speed, and fitness level. Since the biking portion of a triathlon is where the most time is spent, work on building your endurance first. Try adding a mile or two to your ride each week. When that becomes easier, ride it faster and add on the running portion post race.
It is essential to continually challenge your body in order to make advances. If you get used to an exercise it is not only boring, you are also no longer improving, so always exercise in unique combinations that ensure your muscles never plateau. If you routinely bike public roads, change it up by taking a spin class and then tacking on the swimming portion. If you always run first, try moving around the order of your workout to keep your body confused.
This last section may seem obvious, but even the most accomplished cyclists can often stand some tweaking in their pedaling, stroke, and shifting. Getting comfortable with an appropriate speed while you pedal is the first drill. Practice building up to a comfortable 15 pedal rotations per 10 seconds of riding, you will want to have a comfortable speed throughout the race and this is a good cadence to have.
Shifting should be effortless, if you are performing it properly your stroke should not drop below that ideal 15 per 10 cadences, and that does require practice.
Finally, a great cyclist pedals all the way through a stroke, which calls for a circular motion rather than a downward push. Having a toe cage or clipless pedal makes this motion infinitely easier, and will save you much needed energy for the final running portion of the event.