Five Tips to Improve your Bike Time

Triathlete on the bike coarse of an Ironman
December 13, 2016

D3 Staff


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Everyone would like to get faster on the bike portion of the triathlon. I came up with five best bang-for-your-time tips to increase your bike speed on race day. Each tip can make a small difference that can add up when executed.

First, race light. Don't load your bike up with 8 pounds of liquid. Why spend money on a light bike and wheels only to add unnecessary weight on race day? Utilize the aid stations and special needs. There is no need to start an IM with more than 48 oz. The weight issue applies to the athlete as well; work on reaching your optimal and leanest race weight possible.

The second idea is to reduce drag. Take the time to get a professional bike fit. Get an aerodynamic position and then address comfort. Too many athletes go with a position that is comfortable first. A better approach is to get aero then address comfort with strength training and adjustments to the initial fit. Fast wheels, an aero bike, and helmet will not be maximized if your position is upright.

Third, do some training at faster than race pace. You won’t average 25 mph if you always ride 18 mph in training. Long blocks at race pace and short intervals of faster than race pace will help increase your race day speed.

Fourth, proper race pacing. It is always best to start conservative and build the effort. I like to start a ½ IM at IM pace, an Olympic distance at ½ IM pace, and so on. Using a power meter is the best way to monitor this. In the early stages of the bike portion, heart rate will not be an accurate reflection of true effort.

Lastly, open your lungs. On the uphills, get out of your aero bars to open up your lungs. You can produce more power out of the aero position, and being in the aero bars won’t help your aerodynamics unless you are going over 20 mph.

These five simple tips can make a big difference come race day.

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