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How should I race the bike portion of the triathlon?

Once you’ve made it through the transition and you’re clipped in and ready to ride, don’t go all out. Crushing the bike to leverage your bike strength will have negative consequences on the run. Instead be more efficient out there. Be more aerodynamic, hold a higher cadence, and be smart about racing just below your lactate threshold. Don’t hammer up the big hills, and don’t pass the whole field of riders in the first 5 miles of the bike portion. Keep your power below your lactate threshold. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have a good race out there- you can, and you will. You need to be smart and strategic about when and where to unleash the fitness that you have acquired in your training. The intelligence factor will pay big rewards when you are flying by walking “runners” to an overall faster triathlon time. When you come to a hill, keep your cadence up around 90 and spin up the hill. Resist the urge to mash and drop your cadence to power up the thing. Instead shift down as you approach the hill so you can keep your cadence up while you spin up the hill. If you find your cadence dropping below 80, it’s okay to stand up and come out of aero positioning. Far too often I see tri athletes mashing up a huge hill in their aerobars going 6mph. They are not maximizing the benefits of being aerodynamic, because they aren’t going fast enough to have wind resistance be an impediment. Instead, stand up, use that swim strength in the arms to pull you up on your handlebars as you push down with your legs. This will generate more power, and get you over the hill faster- and back in aero at a faster speed. Only do this when your cadence drops below 80 and your mph drops to around 10mph.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.