How Not To Lose Time On The Bike Leg of a Triathlon

22 Jun, 2021 08:29 By:

Adam Bowden, the current 70.3 British Record holder, stepped up to long-distance for the first time this year with his appearance at the North American IRONMAN Championships in Tulsa. In the process of increasing his volume for his first long distance race, Adam used his Next Generation Wattbike Atom for two key sessions a week in order to support the increased distance. Here he tells us about his three top tips for not losing time on the bike leg of a triathlon, having experienced draft-legal sprint racing to IRONMAN racing and everything in between. 

Pre-plan your ride and know what the course holds for you before you race. Have a race nutrition plan that’s flexible and easily adapted as racing can be unpredictable

In an ideal world, you would be able to get out and recce the course of every important race you do. If that’s not the case, you want to be able to study the route and profile to see where any particular demands will come. Any uphill, downhill or even corner can lose you time if it’s unknown, so do your best to prep for the day. Knowing how long each hilly section lasts is vital, to ensure you pace yourself over the terrain, and knowing the demands of the downhills is also pivotal so you can know how to safely but effectively descend. With many bike computers now coming with inbuilt route planners that show the terrain and course ahead, there’s no excuse to be caught out and ruin your race.

Train for the course you’re racing. Each race has it unique feature that can make or break your day

Whether it’s a hilly technical race, or a fast and flat course, each event has its own specific demands that it places on you. If your race is flat and the roads are straight, you’ll want to stay as aerodynamic as possible for the entirety to be efficient and fast with your energy expenditure. This means that you should invest your training time into being as comfortable and aerodynamic as possible on the bike. There’s no point in racing entirely on the TT bars if it means you will cramp up and be unable to run afterwards! I have my Wattbike setup to simulate my racing position while cycling indoors which allows me to train exactly how I would race, and when integrated with Zwift this can simulate a real-road experience indoors. The automatic, smooth gradient changes allow me to tackle climbs how they would be felt in real life. If you ride indoors, I’d recommend training over a similar course profile to your target event.     

Select the right equipment. There is a lot of free speed to be gained with smart choices

The obvious free speed on race day comes with bike equipment choice, but often overlooked are the benefits of training equipment. Investing in your indoor bike training setup, such as with a Wattbike, can provide an accessible and efficient alternative to training outdoors.

Choosing a helmet, trisuit, and wheels to suit your cycling strengths and position are all worth free time come the big event. However, these equipment choices can be expensive and you don’t have to break the bank to save time! Being smart with your setup can range from choosing nutrition that you have tested to suit your needs and stomach, to the right elastic laces in your running trainers that will be tight, comfortable and fast in transition. Sweat the small stuff during the build-up, so that you don’t have to do it come race day.

Next Generation Wattbike Atom - £1,899 and is available from £45 a month with a variety of financing options available.Find out more:
The next generation Wattbike Atom is the ultimate indoor smart bike  – with a sleek and modern design for the home.  Launched in July 2020, it offers the very best in indoor cycling technology, with great connectivity to apps like Zwift and market leading accuracy and analysis. The smart trainer is robust enough for elite athletes and champions to train year-round, but also accessible enough for beginners and enthusiasts to achieve their fitness goals.