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10 Biggest Mistakes Beginner Triathletes Make With Bike Training

(applause) – Morning Trainiacs, it is the last day of my rest week before the
final three week section before half Ironman Puerto Rico. So I’m just chilling out
here for a couple hours on the bike, and I thought
what better opportunity to have another edition
of everyone’s favorite Thoughts From The Bike, and today, we are going to go over
the 10 most common mistakes that new beginner triathletes make when it comes to their bike training. (electronic dance music) So the first three issues
are fairly related, and they’re all about getting the right training intensity mix. The first most common mistake
that new triathletes make when it comes to their bike training is not going hard enough. Now there should be at least one session every single week that is like, eyes popping out of your head intensity. Like, I don’t think that I
can hold this for 30 seconds, two minutes, five minutes, eight minutes, and these workouts can
be really really short, these are like your hit workouts, your high intensity workouts that you do during the weekday, because
they tend to be shorter, we don’t have much time during the week, so we have a short really intense workout, and what this does is it actually builds your muscles, your arms
and legs endurance ability, as opposed to your heart
and lungs endurance ability, it makes your peripherals,
legs, arms, strong. It allows our legs and
arms to process the oxygen that we give it with
another type of training. That’s the next issue. The next most common mistake is that new triathletes don’t go easy
enough enough of the time. Somewhere around about
80% of your total training over the course of an entire training year should be at fairly low intensities. This is what builds up
your heart and lungs, your central fitness, it’s what allows your cardiovascular
system to be nice and fit. Also, big benefit to
this, is that it sheds a fair bit of fat while you’re doing it, it keeps you injury free, and it builds your base of fitness that allows you to accept that really intense stuff, and that race stuff later in the year. All good, go easier, get faster. The third thing that beginner triathletes make a mistake on is also
related to intensity, and it’s typically,
left to our own devices, triathletes will go
and spend too much time in what I call low ROI training. This is zone three training,
this is the gray zone training. This is like, race pace training, but triathletes spend way too much time in this training zone. Should be used sparingly
around race season, unfortunately, because it’s
a nice comfortably hard pace, when left to our own devices,
lot of endurance athletes will spend as much as 50%
of our time in this zone, when it should be more like five to 10. The reason that this is a mistake is that because the
intensity is hard enough to do damage, but not hard
enough to make us faster, training in this zone
over and over and over digs us into a hole without actually making us progress at all. So use zone three race
pace training sparingly, close to races to sharpen up. The next most common mistake
that beginner triathletes make with bike training is
not going long enough. Quite often, what beginner
triathletes will do is let’s say they’re
training for an Olympic. They’ll go for a 25K bike, a 35K bike, maybe build up to a 40K bike thinking, hey, I can bike 40 kilometers, I can do an Olympic distance race. Well when you combine the
40 kilometers in the race with race effort, and
having to run after it and swim before it, the endurance required is significantly higher than that 40K. Also, when you’re riding a bike, it’s a great opportunity to
build huge amounts of endurance because it’s low impact and we can do it for a long period of time. So that long long bike of, instead of 40K, we’re talking 60, 70, will help you with your overall endurance
to do the entire race, not just be extremely strong on the bike and get off fresh on the run. Next most common mistake,
and this is all the way from beginner triathletes
to even some pros, is not spending a big enough
focus on comfort on the bike. About 80 to 85% of the total drag that we have to push through the air actually comes from our
body, so if we can be really comfortable on the bike, and not necessarily be
the most aerodynamic, but be the most comfortable and stay in an aerodynamic position
for the entire bike ride, not shift around, not look up,
not move around on the seat, but instead stay nice and steady and have an even application of power, that is going to be the most
aerodynamic that you can be. Get free speed, I’ve heard of people having as much as a 16
minute game in time savings over the course of an Ironman
with no change in fitness and just changing their bike position. Related to that
aerodynamics bike fit issue, is that beginner
triathletes will often get a super long tail aerodynamic helmet, thinking oh, that’s gonna
be the most free speed that I can get with that helmet. Well, fact of the matter
is that even a lot of pros will still look to the side,
look down, look around, and as you’re doing that, that tail is flipping around actually creating drag, and that aero helmet with the long tail is actually doing you more
harm than it is good in total. So there are a lot of
pros that are realizing that they haven’t put in the work to keep a steady head for hours
and hours and hours on end, and they are actually going
to an aero short tail helmet. Now next most common
mistake might be odd to hear as I’m sitting on the super
bike of all super bikes, the Ventum, but it’s that new triathletes focus on spending too
much money on a bike, and worry about having to spend 10 thousand dollars plus on a bike. You can get a entry
level, say like a Ventum Z tri bike, slap on a one thousand dollar set of aero wheels, clean up
a little bit of the cables, make sure the cables are
zip tied nice and close, get some race tires on those wheels, and mount the bottles and your nutrition in aerodynamic positions, and boom, you have about 95% of the bike that you need to go as fast as possible. Beyond that, spending
thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of dollars, is kinda just more of a luxury without giving you as much benefit as those first, say, four
or five thousand dollars to set up a really really good bike. Now the next most common issue is not having a properly fitted race suit. Cam Wurf talked about this in the How to Bike with Cam Wurf Masterclass that I’ve spent the last
couple days editing, – Ooh, you’re falling! – And he said that if he had
a thousand dollars to spend, and only a thousand dollars to spend on improving his
performance by buying speed, he would probably spend
about six or seven hundred out of it on a really well
fitted aerodynamic suit. Oh, again! And he actually talked
about some of the studies that have shown that even just having something over top of your skin is more aerodynamic than skin itself, which is why you see
athletes like Lucy Charles wearing socks that come all
the way up to her knees, it’s to get that skin area gone, and getting rid of all the folds and extra material that flaps around is going to make a huge benefit to your overall aerodynamics. Remember, 80 to 85% of
our drag is our body. So the more aerodynamic
we can make that body, the more aerodynamic
we’re going to be overall. The next most common issue that beginner triathletes don’t address when it comes to bike
training is poor nutrition. Long race specific rides are the time to start dialing in your
nutrition for the race. Whereas beginner triathletes often think of race nutrition as a
complete afterthought, and three weeks before the race hear, oh, yeah, okay, what should I do? Mmm, now I’ve gotta start
thinking about nutrition. I’ll go to the bike shop and
get a whole bunch of stuff, or fill their bottles with Gatorade, ’cause that’s gonna
give them a superpower. But, what happens is, their stomach isn’t yet trained to accept any of that, so while it might even be
the right race nutrition, it’s the wrong race nutrition for that gut at that point in time. And I actually did an entire
video series about this, and there’s a free
supplement that you can get by
to, that walks you through how to figure out your entire race nutrition plan, which you just then try doing in training. Particularly on a bike. And then the final mistake
that beginner triathletes make with bike training, is really common, and that’s not following up enough bikes with a brick run afterwards. A lot of beginner triathletes think, well, if I can swim the distance, if I can bike the distance, if I can run the distance, I’m totally fine. Or they might even be doing
longer than the distance, and they think, oh I’m totally fine. Well that reroute of bloodflow going from the bike to the run, is a huge toll on your
body, and you gotta train your body to reroute that
bloodflow really quickly, or it’s gonna feel like
somebody put cement into your legs in transition too. So at very least, you’ve
gotta do somewhere around six workouts before your first race going from the bike to the
run as quickly as possible. So you go Trainiacs, those are
ten of the biggest mistakes that you can make as
a beginner triathlete, but one of the big things
to know about all this, is everyone makes mistakes
in their first race. Everyone makes mistakes in
their 10th year of racing. We are all constantly learning, and that’s one of the coolest
things about triathlon, is that it keeps you always progressing, learning, trying new things, so don’t feel like you’ve gotta get this
right in your first season, your second season, your 10th race, it’s all a learning process
and that’s part of the fun of triathlon, no matter what,
make sure that you enjoy it, and make sure that you’re subscribed so that you learn along with us. Alright, later Trainiacs.

Reynold King

35 Replies to “10 Biggest Mistakes Beginner Triathletes Make With Bike Training”

  1. Nice video again TT. I was a cyclist at the age from 10-17 and all i trained was zone 3 (145bpm). Now my training has changed. Ty for the Tipps! ๐Ÿ’ช

  2. Good points. Other issues I see is to low a cadence, not evolving ones bikefit, not dealing with comfort issues, not learning about bike mechanics & proper bike maintenance.

  3. Thanks for mentioning Olympic distance, not all of us race half or full Ironman distance races. Also thank you for mentioning you don't have to have a bike that's just as expensive as your car. My bike was $2,000, and I raced ok with $800 Wheels ๐Ÿ™‚. I will receive more gain on working on the bike's engine (me) then I would by having a bike that cost more than my car ๐Ÿ˜Ž.

    Also, I don't always race on my triathlon bike, sometimes I use my road bike. It depends on the course, there's a few triathlons and duathlons in the area with a bike course that are more set up like a road bike criterium course. Lots of turns, lots of rolling hills… They're not hard courses, you're just turning and getting up and out of the saddle a lot, and then riding the brakes downhill (at least i do), plus these ones also have a lot of congestion. So a few triathlon and duathlon bicycle courses can be more races of maneuver than a pure straight-out time trial ๐Ÿ˜Ž.

    And yes, I have raced a lot of crits.

  4. 9:44 yeah, don't eat Taco Bell two hours before a race or a hard workout, been there done that ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜€. Experience can be the best instructor ๐Ÿ˜Š.

  5. 11:53 oh yeah, I make a ton of mistakes in the first race of each year.

    2 years ago in the middle of the season race, I left my cycling shoes in the car… Didn't realize that until I was done with the swim, during the race ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Ž… Rode the triathlon bike, which has clipless pedals, with my running shoes… It's doing that you realize how much your feet, with clipless pedals, help control the bike…. There was no jumping out of the seat that day to sprint anything ๐Ÿ˜€…

    I'm having a ball with all of this.

  6. Hey Taren as always great video! I know you have mentioned it before…what are the thing you hang your bikes on in the background…or if anyone else knows please share!!!

  7. Buy a bike that fits your ability. I can imagine nothing more embarrassing that rocking up on a TT bike with disc wheels and skinsuit, and then averaging 15mph.

  8. I hear many newbies complain that they didnโ€™t have a good run and need to focus more on their run. More often the case is that bike fitness is lacking which negatively impacts the run. As TT has said other times, you donโ€™t need to run much more than 3x week. But with biking, logging time in the saddle is key.

  9. Made the mistake of not making my long runs, rides and swims long enough last year. I also rarely did bricks. Corrected that back in september. thanks to your advice

  10. IS anyone worried about his QR skewer not done up properly? at 01:30 ๐Ÿ™‚ Safety first Taren x

  11. Thanks Taren. I'm loving fulgaz with an apple tv, I think Zwift is hard to use for zone 2 training, fulgaz is easier for me.

  12. Great help thanks it will help for my 1st triathelon be it only a sprint triathelon ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ

  13. Dont follow the 80/20% rule. the less you train the harder you can go. the more you train the less of the time you should go hard.

  14. yeah this is the problem i get. i think i go too hard on the bike and right when i stop to go running i feel faint. So i should do longer rides but not as intense?

  15. This is an excellent one, as always, Taren. For me who is doing my first 70.3 in 4 weeks, this is extremely useful!

  16. What you said about beginners also apply to more experienced riders. So many group rides are done too fast that I'm doing them more sparingly now. I love the social aspect of the ride, but when I look at the data afterwards I'm thinking what the hell is this useful for. The only good thing is it's a 3+ hours ride at least I know I'm building a nice endurance base no matter the intensity. And on the uphills you can get a lot of benefits from going out of your comfort zone.

  17. Interesting watching this after just having listened to the Crushing Iron pod where they totally rip on brick sessions.
    I reckon that for beginners that don't have the race experience down yet they make sense though. Am looking to getting back into triathlons for next year, so will be watching a lot from this channel to get ideas and inspiration.

  18. Hooooray for the Canadian Guy. Taren is a good man. So glad you finally got to the true champions' credo. Most Non Champions go too 'hard' on the easy days and too 'easy' on the hard days. Most people do this because they are not well rested for their 'hard' days, and are afraid to go easy on the 'easy' days. Now, if Triathlon Taren had placed Dave Scott higher on his top 10 list, he would have gotten to this earlier….LOL……Yes, I am a Canadian. Second, Taren is correct about what we called TITS back in the early 80s…..Time in The Saddle. Get used to your bike. If Taren had placed Paula Newby Fraser higher on his list, he would know he never has to do over distance RUNS……More quality bike miles, plus shorter quality runs when fresh….Booom……and now that I am listening to the finish of this video…..No…..almost no bricks. A few maybe, walk your way off the bike, then trot a little, then stride for 2 minutes….then stop. Do your runs when fresh and be FASTER in those. You are never coming off of an intense bike ride feeling anything but worked if you are trying to hit a PR. (Your taper period is how you get ready to push late in the race). Unless you are a pro, don't do many bricks and recently even Monseigneur Lionel S. said the same…..for him. Taren, I think you are great and I check in with your vids every so often. I quit racing in 1983 after two Kona finishes and a few shorter ones…….Get comfy on your aero bars, we didn't have dem thaaaaangs back then. LOL….. Over swim all you want, and like Mark Allen says, do a bike ride that spans your entire length of expected time for the race about once a month or so…..This is how he beat D Scott in 89. Your swim tips are great. Get wide if the beach allow, or just wait. Get in your wet suit for all the reasons you stated, plus you are gonna be faster and this will help your brain, lol. Also, I recommend that people who race in wet suits should train in wet suit pants. 79 bucks from Xterra in San Diego. What this does is bring our lazy positioning to a better place and approximates your wet suit times better…feels great, too. Mostly, it allows you to focus on your catch. pull and finish without any added stresses. I have had triathletes swim the exact same 100 times without kicking at all in wet suit pants. No surprises. Keep going Taren, you help many and have the right spirit for this sport. For fun and info, I am 63
    years old………T

  19. I really wish i had watched this 6 months ago… i have slogged out so much zone 3 training over the past half a year thinking that was what i needed. never too late to make the change. thanks for all the awesome videos.

  20. most of my sessions on the stationary bike have been an hour to 1:30 as crosstraining when i'm not running. I should really try to hit that 2 hour mark

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