The bike section of a triathlon is the longest part of the race and the two most important aspects are the bike itself and your comfort on the bike.  Once these areas are in place you will be able to get the most out of your training and have a great bike ride on race day.

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Road Worthy Bike

A road bike is the most efficient and fastest bike to use, but if you haven’t got a road bike you can use a hybrid or mountain bike. Firstly make sure that your bike is in good working order. If you haven’t ridden your bike for a while I recommend getting it serviced before you start your training and have another service a few weeks before race day.

Cycle Helmet

Being comfortable on your bike will enable you to get the most out of your training and enable you to and have a great ride on race day. Get a qualified Triathlon coach to have a look at your position on the bike e.g. saddle height, reach and always wear a cycling helmet in training as wearing one on race day is compulsory!

Correct Clothing

Wearing the correct clothing in training and during the race will make the experience a lot more enjoyable. Baggy clothing will act as a parachute and will really reduce your speed, and baggy tracksuit trousers can get caught in your chain causing you to crash, so it’s worth investing in some cycling shorts and leggings.

It isn’t essential to have proper cycle shoes with special pedals, however they will help your speed immensely, (if you are not used to them they can seem tricky at first). If this is your first triathlon it is a good idea to get toe cages for your pedals and cycle in trainers, this way you will be able to get your feet in and out easily and have the ability to get more speed on the flat and on the hills.

Water Bottle

Always carry a drink with you when you go out cycling. If you are cycling for over 1 hour make sure that it is an energy drink.

Bike Training

Gradually build up your time on the bike going at a comfortable pace until you can comfortably cover the distance of the bike leg and 30% to 50% more. Once you have achieved this then you can add some faster paced intervals into you bike sessions, for example 2 minutes fast 2 minutes easy repeated 5 times.

Hill sessions are a great way to build your strength for cycling. Find a hill that takes you between 2 to 5 minutes to climb and after a 15 to 20 minute warm up, cycle up the hill at a hard pace and recover on the way down – repeat this 3-5 times then head home at an easy pace.

Spinning and indoor bike sessions/gym bike are good to do during the week when you haven’t got time to go cycling outside. Try to plan your bike training by doing your long ride at the weekend and one or two indoor cycle sessions of 30-45 minutes during the week.