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Cycle Faster For Free With Time Trial Specialist Matt Bottrill

Cycle Faster For Free With Time Trial Specialist Matt Bottrill

– There are so many fast
cyclists coming through in triathlons these
days; and quite frankly, I’m fed up with it. I wanna find out how they’re doing it, how they’re going so fast. So I’m gonna try and
track a few of them down. Whoa! Whoa! Hang on, there’s fast one coming in. (aeroplane roaring) Whoa! That was seriously fast. I’m gonna chase this guy down. (siren blares)
(upbeat rock music) Hey! Hey, Pull over! Got ya. Well I think I burst a
few blood vessels there, but I chased him down. I’ve got one of the main
culprits, Matthew Bottrill. Do you know what speed
you were doing there? – I’m sorry. I’m sorry. – Well Matt, I think it’s fair to say you’ve coached fair
few of the speedy bikes on the triathlon circuit lately. – Yeah, absolutely. You know, Tim Don, three
time on world record, Rachel Joyce, Susie Cheetham,
Will Clarke, and Lucy Charles. – Yeah, and me of course. – Yeah, and you. – Not anymore though. – Thankfully. – What was that, sorry? Well anyway, I guess there’s
a good reason for that, because your 10 mile PB is pretty fast. – Yeah, 17:40. – Whew, and you’ve been
the 10 mile, 25 mile, 50 mile, and a 100 mile U.K. champ, and set a few records along the way. But one thing I have learned from you, is it’s not just all
about strong legs, right? – No, not at all. You know it’s looking at every element that’s going to make you go fast, you know, the position on the bike, the training, just
breaking everything down, trying to find all those one percents. – Right, well I think it’s
time we delved into this and looked at how to
go faster on the bike. – Right, first off we’ll
talk about optimising speed power and aerodynamics. – Yeah and I mean a lot of
people get quite carry away with power and thinking
that’s the be all and end all, and I mean it is important, but I know you are pretty
hot on aerodynamics. – Yeah, absolutely, you know
if it was all about power, then we would literally be still riding random row bikes like this, you know generating the
most amount of power. – [Mark] Yeah and I
guess it’s actually about going from A to B as fast as possible. – Absolutely, you know,
you’ve got to be aerodynamic. The body is 80% of your
drag while you’re riding, or while you’re racing, so
the better aero position you get in, as well as
optimising power efficiency, then you are going to
shave some serious time. – I do actually remember
you telling me once, I think it was 2014, you had
a lot of power in a race, but you actually went faster
than you had previously, and you beat the opposition. – Yeah, kind of a lot in 2014, and this where I learn a
lot about aerodynamics. I lost 20 watts in power
but gained 40 watts in aerodynamics, which was massive. And it transformed my cycling. – [Mark] Yeah, so what are we going to look at today, first of all? – So the first thing that
we’re going to look at is position. – Okay, well let’s head out then. – Let’s go. (upbeat music) – So for the head, Mark,
obviously the body is 80% of the drag, but a lot of people focus on this aero position,
just sittin’ in the bars. But what we want to be able
to do is drop the head, and push it forward. I always call it the tortoise. It’s basically you’ve got this big shell when you’ve got your helmet on, but in order for the
tortoise to eat the food, he has to push his head forward. So the idea is you drop the chin, and then you push the head forwards. And then this will give you
the narrowing on the shoulders. – [Mark] Yeah, okay, and
it’s just nice and relaxed. You’re not fighting it too much. – You don’t want to fight
it, like really tense. Even if you’re going to
hold it for a few seconds, but you want to be doing
drills during training, to enable you to hold that position– – [Mark] Don’t just sign
up on race day and hope– – [Matt] No, absolutely, you’ve gotta train your body to adapt. Looking good. So next up, Mark, for aerodynamics we’re going to be looking
at shoulder position. It’s probably the biggest area that most triathletes are neglecting, where if you look at a pure time trialist, you’ll see this really
narrow shoulder position. So for you to be able to do that, then what we want to be able to do is, we’re gonna pull on the end of the poles, and then you’re gonna push into your pads, and then this will give you the
narrow end of the shoulders. – [Mark] Yeah, I got ya. – Again, we don’t wanna
be like really gripping on so you can’t hold that position. Just ease yourself into it. – [Mark] And I guess again,
practise makes perfect. – Yeah, absolutely,
and then with the head, it’s almost like when
you’re swimmin’ in the pool, you know you’ve got
your eyes at 45 degrees? – [Mark] Yeah. – [Matt] It’s exactly the same for you, and then you can feel the road. So finally on aerodynamics, Mark, we’re gonna touch on clothing. You have to remember that the body is 80% of the drag. You know you look at cycling teams now, they’re spending hundreds
of thousands of pounds on development into trying to get faster. And the biggest area they look at is what kind of their skin suits. It’s now translating into
what people world class level are wearing on their tri suits. You look at somebody like Tim Don, the suit he’s wearing
with the silicon strips, all of this stuff is
developing more and more. – [Mark] So it’s not just about getting the nicest looking tri suit. – [Matt] No, you know– – [Mark] Dammit. – If you wanna go fast, you can probably save from a standard suit to one that has been
developed in the wind and all, is probably like a 25, 30 watt savings. It’s huge. It’s hard to believe but, like I say, because the body is so large that you can make some serious gain. – Yeah, so if you are
looking to go faster, look at the materials and design of suit, not just how it looks. – Absolutely. So next up, Mark, we’re
gonna talk about pacing. You know it’s like when I
first came into the sport, I started coaching people, everyone was speaking about
this I am on pace 70.3– – [Mark] Just holding a
set par for a whole race. – Yeah, absolutely, you know
this even way of pacing, but if you want to ride a bike faster, it doesn’t work like that. You need to know what you’re going to do in a headwind, a tailwind– – A Hill? – Yeah, a hill, going downhill. There’s so much more
involved in it than that. – Okay, so what are we
going to look at first? – First off we’re going to look at hills. So when it comes to climbing, Mark, what we don’t want to be doing is making massive surges, having great big spikes in your power. – I guess that’s quite damaging, right? – Yeah, absolutely, you
start going 50, 60, 70 watts above your FTP, or
making a massive effort, then you’re gonna burn a big match, and that’s gonna bite
ya later on in the race. So I would always kinda go on the rule of thumb for Olympics, 70.3. Aye man, you wanna be within, say around 40 watts above
your threshold pace. – [Mark] And then, it’s
the idea that we get over the crest of that hill and we’re
just laying the power down. – Yeah, absolutely, the biggest mistake that a lot of athletes make, they’ll come to the top of the hill, they’ll be fighting the bike like this, and they’ll get to the top, and
it’s like yes, I’ve made it. – They’re so tired, they have to ease up. – Yeah, absolutely, but you’re
gonna lose a lot of speed. But the idea is that we come to the crest, and we lay that power back down. So pacing downhill is a
key part of going fast. You’ll see a lot cyclist triathlete, they’re almost spinning out of gear, you know this really high cadence. – I guess that’s quite
tiring and quite damaging. – Yeah, you’re gonna burn a
lot energy riding this way, so to ride downhill far, you
can have little micro breaks– – So free wheel for a second. – Yeah, get on top of the
gear and then go again. And you’re really gonna
build that speed up, and the idea is you conserve energy, and then when you hit those flats, you can really get that pace back up. So next on pacing, Mark, we wanna be focusing on the headwind. The idea behind the headwind section is that power is the most important part. – Okay, so we’re not
just riding at sort of a set power we were hoping
to for the whole race. We’re actually changing
the power slightly. – Yeah absolutely, the rule
of thumb is 10 to 15 watts above that race pace. You wanna be out in a good position, but the power is the most important part. – And I guess, iF we’re
going 10 to 15 watts higher, we’re maintaining our
speed a little bit better into the headwinds? – Absolutely. So finally on pacing, we wanna be focused on
those tailwind sections. That’s when aerodynamics
is the most important. – [Mark] Okay and I
guess that is the point that our power is going
to drop off slightly ’cause we’re kinda getting pushed. – Absolutely, you wanna try to keep that momentum of speed going, so you’ve really gotta
focus on the aero position. – Right, so accept that the
power is going to drop off but keep the speed there,
aerodynamics is key. – Absolutely. So the next item I’m gonna
touch on is gearing, Mark, and kind of how to use that
cadence in a race situation. A lot of athletes, they’re
either over gearing, or their spinning too high. – Right, I’m actually in triathlon too, we have a lot of over-gearers. So that’s 60, 70 RPM, very
very high gear, low cadence. – [Matt] Yeah, and I feel that stems from a lot of what people
are replicating in training, but in order for you to get faster, you need a variety of cadences. – [Mark] So you do that in
your training, you practise it. But then what are a lot of the top time trialists and cyclists
doing, cadence-wise, when they are racing? – I’d say a real good (mumbles)
is kinda the 85 to 90. – And then in terms of on
race day or on the course, we hit a climb, should we
be preempting those climbs and the terrain and the course ahead? – No, you always need to
be 200 yards up the road, because the last thing that
you ever want to do is, you hit a hill and you’re in lights, you’re big and scared, and
you’re fightin’ the bike. You’re almost gonna come to a standstill. The final act among
gearing is gear selection. – Actually, on this, I have noticed you’ve got a 58 tooth big ring. I thought I was doing well with 55 tooth, but you’ve outdone me. – Yeah, kind of a lot of people are scared by big chain rings, but it’s
kind of you riding 55/11 compared to me riding 58/14. Obviously I’m gonna be in a smaller gear, but I’m gonna have better
chain line efficiency. – ‘Cause it’s straight, whereas I’m almost like
a cross chaining… – Yeah, absolutely,
and the idea being that when we’re looking at finding
all these marginal gains, that’s gonna be a bigger marginal
gain than I’m gonna find. – Right, and then also,
I guess we think about different terrains, different courses that we’re gonna be racing on, so we might opt for different
gear in there as well. – Yeah, and that’s why you always know, it’s like the events that you select, and you need to look at
all these fine details to give you that advantage
over everybody else. – Because I’m guessing
you probably wouldn’t go do a helicourse on a 58 tooth. – No, I’d probably select the
biggest rocket on the back and a smaller, more like
a 44 or 42 on the front. – Okay, right, well if
you’d like to ride faster, this man clearly knows a thing or two, so thanks for joining us, Matt. – You’re more than welcome,
Mark, it’s been great. – Well I’m sure quite a few
of you is gonna be trying to nail that tortoise position
and getting very aerodynamic. If you want to make sure that you don’t miss
anymore videos from GTN, you can click on the globe and subscribe. – And if you want to here more about FTP, then click on the link below. – And we also today talked
a little bit about cadence, so we actually did an
investigation into how cadence can affect your run off the bike, and to see that, just click down here.

81 comments on “Cycle Faster For Free With Time Trial Specialist Matt Bottrill

  1. Which of Matt's tips do you think would make the biggest difference to your cycling? Let us know in the comments below 👇

  2. Please GTN… Less of the cringe! I watch your videos for the quality of the information provided- not to see a comedy-esque intro. I love the channel and the videos that you produce, but please leave out the cringe. (From a teenager)

  3. I'm able to hold this position but my neck gets sore from trying to look up the road. Does it get easier eventually? Should I do neck muscle workouts…?

  4. After seing all this criticism about this intro I have to say I loved it keep the humor on 😂👍🏻

  5. I'm confused by the headwind / tailwind comment. Surely when riding into a head wind the effective wind speed is greater and therefore aerodynamics plays a more significant role. With a tail wind the effective wind speed is less so aerodynamics is less important. Matt said exactly the opposite – please can you expand on the logic?

  6. Please more info about pacing in headwind, tailwind and uphill. There are some different informations about it and sometimes it is AGAINST logic. I understand it that when you go slower due wind or gradient you should go over your planned pace and if you go faster due tailwind/downhill you can push little less and finally both together leads to BEST overall time???

  7. Thanks Matt that is genuinely useful, some big riders claim to give tips but they don't give anything away really

  8. "Cycle Faster For Free" and then goes on to tell us to get kit that has 1000s of pounds worth of money invested in it. Otherwise a great video haha wonderful tips

  9. Yeah uphill and into the wind can make a more powerful rider faster than those around him or her. More aero rider can close that gap some . Powerful and aero is super hard to beat

  10. Good vid guys! Much needed for the channel, humongous wealth of knowledge right there! Love the humour at the beginning.

  11. Please email me with the product name , model number IF available ?I wish to order one of those strobe lights! I AM a Traffic Control supervisor and scene management specialist. This WILL come in SUPER handy for attending a MVA (motor vehicle accident)

    [email protected]

    Thanks buddy!
    LOVE your video's !
    GOOD work !
    Keep'em coming !

  12. Why aerodynamics on tailwind is the most important? i thought it's vice versa – relative speed to air is the highest on headwind ==> the highest drag as well.

  13. I did a tri years ago during my second season where I came out of T1 into cycle leg which started with an immediate 10k climb. I didn't think much about pacing as cycling was my strongest discipline and I figured I could push hard uphill and gain a lead. But I ended up vomiting all over myself after pushing too hard in the initial 5k. Not only was it a total embarrassment but I dropped from 5th place to 15th while spewing stomach acid all over the tarmac and trying to regain my composure. I appreciate GTN bringing on wizards like Matt whose pointers really make a difference to elite athletes and newcomers alike. If I had such direction back then it may have ended in a podium finish. Keep up the good work guys!

  14. Should your arms be bent 90 degrees in the aero bars, or is it okay to have your shoulders behind your elbows?

  15. Take my 14.5 kg road bike and with 35 km hr head winds make it go 45 km hr lmao good luck. Cycling is Starting to look like midgets on super light weight bikes. Let's see these pros get on a 14 kg bike and see what their legs can push.

  16. One of the set of tools on time trialing on YouTube. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I used used these tips and saw improvements over time.

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