4/5/16

Train smarter, ride smarter


It's a completely different mindset to go by time instead of by miles.
Just think about the many different outcomes that could occur if a coach tells all his/her athletes:
Workout: Ride 100 miles.

Do you know how long it would take Karel and I to ride 100 miles in Greenville?

Well, we have ridden a century just a few times (2 for me) since we have moved to Greenville in May 2014 and the miles do not go by quickly here!

Regardless of where you live (mountains, hills, flat, by the beach, etc.), it's important that your workout has specificity, especially if you are training for an endurance event.
Seeing that changing your physiology and adapting to training stress is paramount to being physically prepared for race day, if your training plan asks you to complete x-miles and there's minimal structure or purpose to the workout, you are delaying the opportunity to experience significant gains in fitness. Additionally, your training will become monotonous and you'll find yourself going through the motions, week after week with little to no improvements.

 Furthermore, if you aren't comfortable riding your bike due to a poor bike fit, you do not know how to use sport nutrition properly to stay well fueled and hydrated and/or you lack the proper skills (climbing, descending or changing gears) to ride efficiently on your bike, you will struggle to improve your fitness (and you may risk injury or sickness). 

I often hear other athletes talk about how "fast" they rode for x-miles as if the only goal of the workout was to ride as fast as possible. Or athletes will boast about how many miles they accumulated in one ride.
While there's nothing wrong with either of the above statements, athletes should not make the only goal of a workout to see how fast you can go or how far you can go.

Instead, focus on what's happening within those miles and above all, be sure that you can actually absorb the training stress that you are putting on your body. With this comes a responsibility that you are incorporating great lifestyle habits like good daily nutrition, good fueling before/after workouts, great sleep and stress management and the ability to function well in life.

We are very specific with our workouts and within every workout is a main set - even for the long workouts. And for our Trimarni coaching athletes who are in cold conditions and are still on the trainer, they have a very specific trainer option which does not keep them on the trainer for more than 3 hours - ever!
With a time-based approach, you make training fit into your life and not the other way around (and that's how we like to train and coach our busy athletes who balance training, family, work, etc.). And since every triathlete wants to become a better, stronger and faster cyclist since it is the most covered distance in a triathlon, it's very important to train in a way that can help you develop the necessary skills, fitness, endurance and strength to excel on race day.  

Consider the following tips to help you train smarter to reach your cycling performance goals faster.
The tips are not focused on time-based training but instead, they are very important components that will help you ride more efficient and thus, ride stronger so that you can ultimately run fresher off the bike. 



Cycling tipsRather than chasing miles when you ride, consider these tips to help you become a better (strong, faster, more efficient) cyclist.
1) Create a positive training environment for consistent training (note the position of the TV below which is in our workout room which is low to the ground. This is very important to not stress the neck when riding in aero)

2) Create variable cadence so that you can adjust your cadence as needed on variable terrain (incorporate specific cadence drill sets)
3) Learn how to use your gears properly (and anticipate when to change gears) when riding in the wind and on hilly terrain
4) Develop great muscular strength so that you do not tax your cardio system when climbing
5) Learn multiple styles of climbing so that you are not stuck in only one position
6) Learn how to anticipate climbs/descends
7) Get comfortable riding in a group environment so you are comfortable riding around others on race day.
8) Learn how to descend
9) Learn how to descend (especially on windy roads)
10) Get comfortable eating/drinking on the bike when riding (at all speeds)
11) Get comfortable changing bottles around in your cages
12) Practice changing a flat tire - and keep practicing
13) Ride with your race wheels at least 1/2 a dozen times before your upcoming race to ensure that they are appropriate for you to ride as efficiently as possible
14) Don't ride scared on the road. Be comfortable and confident on your bike.
15) Enjoy riding your bike! Ride your bike anytime just for fun (you don't need to turn on your gadget just to ride your bike.)