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Cycling Training Tips

  • Bike choice comes down to what type of bike you are most comfortable on. People primarily use triathlon bikes or road bikes to compete in triathlon, just be sure the bike fits you well and that you have been able to practice on it. Triathlon bikes are more sport-specific and what the more competitive triathletes use, but road bikes can work just fine if the fit is right. It is difficult to be competitive using a mountain bike or other style of bike.
  • Biking is all about leg strength.  If you need more speed, make your legs stronger.  Concentrate on quads, making sure to balance that with hamstring strength so you’re not imbalanced.
  • Many pro riders ride with a fast cadence, around 100 RPM.  If you’ve got a cadence meter, use it!  Riding at a higher cadence allows you to use your endurance muscles (the slow twitch fibers) instead of your sprint muscles (the fast twitch fibers).  Your sprint muscles won’t last very long!
  • Use aerobars.  The less wind resistance you have, the faster you can go for the same amount of strength.
  • Bike position.  Ideally you want to be positioned on your bike in such a way that the combination of aerodynamics and comfort is maximized.
  • Nutrition is important on the bike, especially for longer races. You want to hydrate yourself and add useful calories at regular intervals – rather than waiting until you are thirsty or hungry. Practice riding with plenty of water, sport drinks, or gels.  A good rule of thumb is to take a drink of water or sport drink every 20 minutes while riding, regardless of how you feel.
  • If you want to make your training more precise, consider a power meter which tracks your power output (in watts), cadence, and pedal balance. This can help you understand the intensity of each workout and your progress over time.  Power doesn’t lie!
  • Don’t forget your helmet and eyewear. Most races will not allow you to race if you do not have a proper bike helmet on.
  • Always carry a simple bike repair kit with you.  The majority of on-road bike issues (like a flat tire) can be quickly fixed, at least well enough for you to be able to get home again.
  • If you will be racing in an area with hilly bike legs, be sure you spend some time training on hills. Climbing a hill requires a different type of training than riding on flats.
  • Try to train on the actual bike that you will be racing on.  With indoor options like Peloton, it can be tempting to train on a bike that might not be your race bike. Even a couple centimeters can make a difference in the fit and feel of a bike, and it is important to do much of your training on your actual race bike.

Common Team Cycling Routes

These are some common cycling routes we go in during team rides in the Orange County area.  The difficulty ratings are categorized by distance and course elevation, not by the pace we ride them.

Back Bay – 12.3 miles (easy)

San Diego Creek Trail – 21.9 miles (easy-medium)

Back Bay to Turtle Ridge Loop – 20.8 miles (medium)

Santiago Canyon – 49.4 miles (Hard)