October 23, 2016
It's the end of the season for most cyclists and triathlete. It's time to chill out a bit for a bit. Time to assess the season just past and reflect on your results. Did you accomplish what you had hoped to? Time to start thinking about what you plan to do over the fall and winter, so that this time next year you're happy with what you accomplished.
If you want to get better on the bike, bike more. Be more consistent. Make the effort. Prioritize. Let something else go. There's no magic formula: make the commitment, be consistent, and have patience.
Triathletes: consider how important the bike is to your triathlon performance. In almost any given traditional triathlon distance (sprint, Olympic, half ironman, and ironman), over 50% of your time is spent on the bike. This is true for both age group athletes (slow and fast alike) and elites. 50 to 55% of your race is spent on the bike. The stronger you are on your bike, fitness-wise, the more likely you are to come off of it and be in a position to have a good run.
Are you treating your cycling training with the importance and focus it deserves?
Take a look at the number of weekly hours you commit to training. What percentage of them are directed towards cycling? We're guessing below 50%. A typical 10 hour a week training program (which is by the way a significant training load during the winter what with full time work, family, commuting, etc), an athlete might swim 2 to 3 hours, bike 3 to 4 hours, run 2 to 3 hours, and have 1 to 2 hours of cross training (be it core, Pilates, Yoga, strength, etc).
With such a restricted schedule, we strongly suggest that you should put your time (and money) where you get the most bang for your buck: the bike. You improve your biking, your triathlon times are going to drastically improve.
Do you know how hard it is to improve your swimming by 10 seconds per 100 m? Very. And if you're lucky enough to do that, all that work will save you 6 min and 20 sec over an Ironman. Which, quite frankly, can get lost easily enough in a transition or over a couple of aid stations.
You work as hard at the bike, and improve your fitness by 10, 20, 30 Watts...and you'll be saving 10 minutes to a half an hour or more. And be in a better position to run thereafter.
Get stronger on the bike. Bike more. Dedicate more time to bike-specific training. You won't be disappointed.
We see it all the time. An athlete swimming 3 x week with a group (for 4 to 4.5 hours a week). Running 3 x week. A strength session or two with a personal trainer. A Friday evening Yoga or Pilates session. And then left over is 1 or 2 rides on their trainer in the basement for a low quality hour of "training".
At WattsUp, we realize your training time is limited, and precious. We do what needs to be done in whatever time you're willing to give us. We spend ~ 80% of our time in aerobic or easier efforts, focusing on form, technique, and muscle recruitment. We spend the remaining 20% of the time pedalling harder and improving our fitness. This kind of consistent training prevents you from over-training. Keeps you fresh enough to continue to train. Promotes a healthy, consistent, gradual increase in fitness. No wasted time.
Come and ride with WattsUp and become a stronger cyclist and/or faster triathlete.