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Triathlon Cycling Training To Increase Speed

Triathlon Cycling Training To Increase Speed

– And what that’s gonna do,
is it’s going to increase the pace which feels fairly easy. (electronic music) Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go. Morning trainiacs, you ever
have one of those swims where you sleep in and you’re like, “You know what? I’m gonna
outsmart the group here “and I’m gonna get a good swim, “I’m gonna come in towards the end, “have a nice little mellow swim.” And then you start out, bam, no warm-up, with 1,000 meters at race pace. That was me today. The swim outsmarted me. 1,100 meters overall, that’s a taper swim. Done, call it a day. Pack it in, go home. Kick your feet up, max and relax. Somebody asked me in the comments earlier this month about how to
get better at cycling and apparently yeah, I’ve been
ignoring the cycling game. So when I get back to the office, we’ll talk about overs
and unders your race power for how to get better at cycling. Normally I just answer with “Cycle more, mother (cymbal clash).” That’s a bad answer, I’m gonna
give you some actual help on how to cycle faster, cycle. (electronic music) Alright, before I get into what you can do to improve your cycling, this applies to people whether you’ve got a power
meter, a heart rate monitor, gotta go, gotta go, gotta go, or none of those things and you’re just going off of
rate of perceived exertion. I gotta get out of traffic here. The basic premise is that you start with figuring out approximately
what your race pace is going to be and then you do workouts that are slightly over that race pace for shorter periods of time, gradually building up to longer periods. And then you do workouts
for short periods of time at over that race pace, and then gradually build
up those periods of time longer and longer, until you can hold a pace that is higher than your previous race pace. I can explain this so
much better in the office. I swear, one of these days,
I’m gonna rehang that TV. Cycling, cycling is one of the
best aspects about triathlon and the worst aspects about triathlon in the sense that it’s
very, very easy, in a way, to get faster at biking. Basically, it’s like a
pure, one-to-one ratio, well I don’t know about one-to-one, but it’s like, very strongly
positively correlated that the more you bike,
the faster you get. That’s not necessarily the
case with swimming especially, because it’s so dependent on do you have a history of swimming, are you using the right technique. It’s less about overall fitness
and time spent in the pool and more about doing it properly. Running is very much the same thing. Running is very dependent
on your natural ability. You can run for ages and
ages and ages and ages and most people have a bit of a top end of how fast they can run. Cycling, however, you do
it more, you get faster. Straight up, that’s all there is to it. And it can be a lot of
different types of cycling. Mountain biking helps triathlon. Commuting to work by
bicycle helps triathlon. Road cycling helps triathlon. Long rides help triathlon. Short, powerful rides helps triathlon. Basically just time spent
putting power into the pedals, it all helps your cycling. But if you wanna get the
absolute best bang for your buck, of cycling time in the saddle, resulting in best times that
you can put out in triathlon and being faster and more
comfortable in triathlon, you gotta get a little bit more specific, in addition to just
that time in the saddle. So how you start out is
by figuring out your FTP. If you don’t have a
power meter, that’s okay. Your FTP, your race
pace, you figure it out by doing basically a 20
minute max effort test. You got a power meter, your FTP number is 95% of the average power that you’ve put out over the
course of that 20 minutes. If you don’t have a power meter, think about the average perceived exertion that it feels like you’ve put out over the course of that 20 minutes and go just a little bit lower than that. That’s about your FTP
number, or your FTP range, or your FTP kind of perceived exertion. Now, the race pace number is
somewhere around 3/4 of that. So that gives you a bit of a sense of where your race pace is when you actually get into a triathlon. And what you can do, is you can use that either perceived exertion
or those power numbers to start gradually increasing
what your race pace is. And there are two ways that you can do it. Number one is by going
at a pace that’s lower than that FTP number for
longer than the 20 minutes. So in my case, my FTP
number towards winter, January of last year, was around 257. One of the workouts that I could do to push that number up is going around 200-220 watts for longer than 20 minutes. Now, in my opinion, that’s not necessarily
gonna up your top-end speed, it’s gonna kind of build your engine, it’s gonna build the
machine, the locomotive that’s gonna keep you going
for a long period of time. But if you really wanna
bump up that power number, and like I say, you can
do that same workout if you don’t have a power meter, just going off of perceived exertion, going a little bit slower than you think you would in a race, but for longer periods of time. And what that’s gonna do, is it’s going to increase the pace
which feels fairly easy. Now let’s see if I can find the middle. So if this is your FTP number, and there is your race
pace, perceived exertion, or watt number, you’re doing your training down here, but for longer than 20 minutes. And what that’s going to do, is it’s going to raise the
floor of what feels easy and feels like a pace that you can sustain for 20, 30, 40 minutes, an hour plus. However, I think that a
better way to approach it is to take that FTP number and do bursts at above that and what that’s going to
do is raise your ceiling. It’s going to raise up the
maximum amount of power that you can sustain over the
course of those 20 minutes, which will then trickle down to how fast you can go in a race. So let’s say, in my case,
my FTP number is 257 and I can hold that for about 20 minutes. Instead, what I do is go at 280s and 290s, but for three or four minutes, and then gradually increase that to five or six minutes, up
to seven or eight minutes, all the way up to getting close to a higher than my FTP number for more than 20 minutes and then, bam. You got a higher FTP number,
which then trickles down to having a higher race
pace wattage number, a higher race pace perceived
exertion that you can hold, you’ve just become faster. And then to give you a
little bit of perspective on how long you should be doing these low, steady-state, long,
slow, distance intervals. If you’re banking on an
Olympic distance race and going for an hour and a
half to an hour and 45 minutes, you wanna be thinking that you’re doing those long, steady
distances for two hours. Like, you wanna hold it
for a long period of time, so that you’re increasing
the amount of time that your heart and your legs and your cardiovascular system can plug away at that chugga chug, chugga chug,
chugga chug pace, make sense? But then with these high,
really hard intervals, you can’t do them for very long because they’re gonna rip apart your legs, it’s taxing the maximum amount of effort that you can possibly put out. So in my case, we were doing these all over the course of last winter and I would do, I think I started with 10 times two minutes at a hard effort, and then it grew to 10 times
five minutes at a hard effort, and eventually it grew
to 10 times seven minutes at a hard effort. No, that can’t be right. In total, I think it grew all the way to doing a hard effort for maybe
a total of 35 to 40 minutes over the course of an hour
and 20 minute workout. And even though that hour
and 20 minute workout was so much shorter than
the two and a half hours I was gonna spend during a half-Ironman, it actually raised my FTP
numbers, my race pace, by around 15% to 20%. And it didn’t feel that much harder. So there you go trainiacs, I have been ignoring, self-admittedly, the cycling aspect of triathlon,
which is wild because, hey Mel, coming at ya soon, wild because I am a huge fan of cycling to improve your overall triathlon time. It’s like so much a big part of triathlon that it’s almost a bike race. So get better at biking. Alright, you ready to edit this? – Yeah.
– Yeah.

15 comments on “Triathlon Cycling Training To Increase Speed

  1. how often do you measure your ftp? I did mine a month ago, but then this weekend at the end of a 3 hour endurance ride I decided to do a threshold interval (not my smartest move), and I held 16 watts over my previous FTP for 20 minutes

  2. And probably somewhat lower cadence while you're doing those harder intervals on your bike trainer, yeah? I think Taren's said that before.

  3. Structured workouts are great. The other thing which I found hugely beneficial is riding with a fast group. Join them and try to stay with the pack. Once that becomes easier, start taking turns at the front. That pattern became pretty addictive to me, so I started commuting a lot more and incorporating structured intervals into the commute, which in turn made me a stronger group rider and better at sitting in the front of a chosen pack and keep pulling. All about finding what works for you to get you working. 😀

  4. Thanks for the explanation. Really well done. Maybe I should make some notes to look over them again in the future, to be easier to find.
    For a question, what pace do you recommend for cumuting to work by bike?

  5. I had a little injury last 2 weeks so i couldbt run anymore, but now i run again and my training pace is gone from 5 min/k pace to 4'40/k with the same feeing. How can i integrate this in my training without running a few months and then not running 1-2 weeks?

  6. Taren said power meter
    me: Google Power meter garmin
    me: WTF, sonofabitch. A GRAND! <more searching>…….. oh, I see, there is one for $600. Eye roll I guess I don't need a power meter.

  7. When doing a Triathlon, what percentage over each distance should you be able to do in order to complete the triathlon. For example, I have a 10 mile ride, so I should be able to bike "X" miles over the ten miles.
    For example, I have a 475 meter swim and do at least 600 meters during training and 12 miles on the bike. I am upping either the distance or the intensity as often as I can. Humblebrag did my personal best today with a 675 meter swim and a 12 mile ride back to back.

  8. Down to earth simplistic video on how to use this in outdoors vs indoors. My 3rd calendar half will be in Aug '17, and my 1st full will be IM Choo 9/24/17.

    Appreciate the videos. Thank you. I will subscribe and follow from the Star City, Roanoke, Va.

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