- What equipment do I need for training?
- What do I need in a puncture repair kit?
- Do I need a Time Trial bike?
- Should I get a bike fit?
Coach Toby answers three common questions from triathletes about their bikes.
If you want to become stronger, have less injuries and be more efficient, then you NEED to spend time doing this Core Strength program. It only takes 10-30mins so there really are NO excuses. Once through is just 10mins or expand it out by doing it three times through to get the optimum results. Also combine this with our stretching program and you have a training session that is vital to you being awesome.
Do each exercise for 30-60sec and moving to the next to create a sequence of movements. If you don't have the time, do this through just once. If you have the time, do it 2-3 times through with 30sec rest between each set. Enjoy!
1. Get a Proper Bike Fit
You may have come across many confusing articles about bike fit. Bike fit has 2 main goals, to get you more efficient in your pedalling and also more aero. A great bike fit is money well spent. You'll have practically every part of your body measured including your flexibility. Some tweaks may be needed over time, but this is your number one way for getting a faster bike split. This even benefits your run as you'll have fresher legs to outrun everyone you passed on the bike.
2. Don't Wear Loose Clothing
Flappy hangy clothing causes a lot of drag. Race singlets and suits are seriously the only way to go. Nothing flaps. And besides, they make you feel faster. Loose clothing can slow you down about 1sec every kilometre. Doesn't sound much but 40secs over a 40km course is a lot!
3. Practice Drinking Aero
When you grab for your water bottle, it's often because you're feeling a bit stuffed and need a rest. Don't be tempted to sit up and take a break. This will ruin your rhythm and aerodynamics and cost you a few seconds each time. Know where your bottle is without looking for it, grab it without breaking your rhythm, drink fast, put it away. Drinking like the Boss.
4. Knees Together!
Imagine if you were on your bike in front of a mirror. Your aim is to make yourself the smallest when looking from the front. The more frontal surface area, the more you air you have to break and push. The most disruptive part of cycling are your legs which are constantly moving and pumping. Keeping your knees close to your bike frame will reduce your drag and also benefit from the air that has already been broken by your front wheel handlebars. And besides, it doesn't look cool to ride with your knees out.
5. Get Faster Wheels
Do not sweat the weight of your bike. The weight of your bike only has an effect on a hill. The percentage of time you are riding a hill in a race is minimal so forget spending the big bucks. BUT... if you want to spend some money, spend it on wheels. Deep dish wheels. This is where you can save some great seconds. We have no preference really for wheels, but get something that's in your budget and is quality. Don't buy a disk wheel, you'll waste your money when you have to keep leaving it at home because it's too windy to ride. Expect to cut 1-2mins off your time by spending this money.
We all know we should be eating better, do this, do that, blah blah blah. We've been doing some research and listening to some great nutrition experts about what is ideal for triathletes. Here's our 10 Rules for Triathletes. And seriously, this isn't that hard!
1. Eat Every 2-4hours
You don't need to eat big for every meal but you do need to eat. And please make each meal follows the next 9 rules.
2. Lean complete proteins every time you eat
Everytime you eat, eat something that comes from an animal. If you're vegetarian, you also need complete proteins so do your research and find an alternative
3.Vegetable, everytime. No excuses
Starting to get the idea? Each meal is being built, first with animal products and now with vegetables. You can have a piece of fruit every now and then but don't skip your veggies. It's vital!
4. Do you deserve carbs? Only when you're ready
Carbs, other than fruit, should only be eaten after you've exercised. We don't need heavily processed crap in every meal. But it is nice to have a carb reward after training. But make it good, not evil.
5. Looooove Healthy Fats
Oooh baby. There's three kind of fats I lurve... Saturated, monounsaturated & polyunsaturated. Eat equal parts of these for a health diet and even... lose fat! You'll get saturated fats from animals, mono from olive oils & nuts while poly comes also from nuts but also other wonder foods such as fish oil and flaxseed oil.
6. Don't drink your calories
There's seriously little benefit in getting calories from drinks. You should get enough from the food you eat. So ditch the juices, softdrinks and alcohol. (Before you get mad at us for telling you to stop enjoying your wine, read rule 8).
7. Whole foods, not processed
There's a place for supplement drinks & shakes but do your best with making your diet whole and as unprocessed as possible.
8. Break the rules 10% of the time
Let's face it, we aren't all straight arrows, particularly when it comes to the previous 7 rules. So now it's time to break the rules a little bit. If you have 6meals a day (rule 1), you can break the rules 4 times each week. Yes... wine is included!
9. Preparation Prevents Poor Performance
Following these rules can be difficult if you aren't prepared for it. If you don't have a meal at hand, its so easy to fall back into the easy traps of a quick unhealthy snack or all carbs and no veggies or protein. Prepare, it's the best way for making this easy.
10. Variety will keep you interested
It's easy to prepare little tubs of nuts, carrots and a tin of tuna, but you can't eat this every day or you'll quickly get bored and crave bad things. Every now and then, prepare something different, yummy and something you can take with you. Surprise yourself.
Stretching! Probably the most neglected component of any amateur training program. We all know the pros do it... But why not us? Is it that we could be drinking coffee instead? Or perhaps that it feels like wasted time because we aren't working up a sweat? The pros do it because those triathletes with greater flexibility and elasticity perform better and are more efficient. Heck, we're all for training right and training less to achieve our goals. So efficiency is high on our priority list. It can also mean the difference between finishing and not. Spend 15mins doing these to be better and Race like a Boss.
Each of these exercise are meant to be static, i.e. no bouncing. Hold each exercise for 30-60secs and take it to a level of discomfort, but not pain. Do each exercise 2-3times. It will take 4-6weeks to see some great benefits, but it's worth it. And seriously, we wouldn't be telling you to do this if we didn't think it was necessary.