3 ways to use your Ironman bike better

When it comes to the Ironman Triathlon, the most time-consuming segment is, without a doubt, that of cycling. Besides, it’s not by chance that triathletes spend a lot of time on their microcycle. Yet, despite the demanding distance of the Ironman bike leg (112 mi/180,25 km), if you’ve had efficient cycling training, you can cover enough ground to achieve good performance in this race. This especially applies if you happen to lag behind in the other two legs; that is, swimming (2,4 mi/3.86 km), and running (26,22 mi/42,20 km).

Working your Ironman bike to your advantage

Apart from setting the main goal for the cycling component of your training, you also need to be able to answer three important questions; that is, if you really want to work the Ironman bike to your advantage, and achieve your ultimate goal: to successfully finish the Ironman Triathlon race.

Is your ironman bike setup right for you?

First and foremost, you need to make sure that the position of your Ironman bike is the right one for you; so that you can ride it comfortably for hours. From the correct inclination, and height of the saddle, to the appropriate distance and inclination in the air bars, everything should be in perfect alignment with your body. 

Luckily, this can easily be done by performing a fitting that adjusts the entire bike to your own anatomical requirements. In this way, you maximize the power you can produce during exercise; as well as the comfort you feel on the bike during the race. Along these lines, you can also manage to activate a larger percentage of muscles; which, may be less used in the running leg that follows but are, nonetheless, crucial for optimal performance.

Can you change a tire super fast?

There will be instances, during your training process, where you’ll need to develop practical skills, of technical nature. Although these skills don’t directly improve your performance, yet they play a critical role in your success. What do we mean by that? 

Surely, you’ve had to change a tire or two during cycling. You may haven’t ever timed how long it takes you to change a tire, but know that if you can’t do it fast — or worse, if you aren’t familiar with this procedure —  you’re left vulnerable, on the day of the race. Why? Because, on one hand, you’ll lose valuable time trying to change it alone; and, on the other, you’ll have to wait — no one knows for how long — for the volunteers of the race to come and help or change it for you. 

As a result, you lose the time advantage you’d have had, if you were fast at changing a bike tire. Therefore, it’s important to know how to quickly deal with a basic technical issue during the Ironman bike leg.

Can you stick to your bike leg tactics?

Perhaps one of the most important things you should keep in mind throughout the race is to keep to the tactics you’ve been executing during training, under your coach’s guidance. Put differently, don’t succumb to the temptation to push yourself to a faster pace; no matter how great an idea it may seem at that ‘endorphin-rush’ moment. 

The race tactics you’ve set together with your coach are critical for achieving peak performance in the race. They’re your compass, leading you to the desired result. If you feel you can go faster than the determined pace, it will probably ‘cost’ you at the race segment that follows.

It takes experience… and a good triathlon coach

To conclude, you can always find ways to improve your performance for the Ironman Triathlon race; by the way, nailing transitions is another way. That’s true, not only in the Ironman bike leg, but also in the other two disciplines of the race. However, bear in mind that you may not get the results you expect; especially if you’re competing for the first time. More often than not, novice athletes are weighed down by technical or even physiological problems during the race. 

All in all, experience in the Ironman Triathlon — and familiarity with the components and rules of the race — can get you closer to the desired outcome. You’ll see for yourself, that each time you compete, you become better at the Ironman bike leg — and an overall better triathlete. 

Notwithstanding, what will also help make you become a better triathlete is getting a professional triathlon coach to work with — and for — you. It’s one thing to jump into the race uncertain whether you can pull this off or not; and, it’s another thing to get into it full of confidence, after having successfully completed a well-structured training program.

Structure your program, today

3 ways to use your Ironman bike better was last modified: July 27th, 2022 by Marilena Kokkinou