Riding

I did my first triathlon on an old mountain bike and a friend of mine rescued one from the tip! Until you decide if you want to keep tri-ing, you don’t need to spend huge amounts of money on the gear.

All you really need is a bike that fits you, works ok and is safe. So if you don’t have a bike, talk to friends, neighbours or workmates (someone will have one stuck in the back of their shed). I recommend taking it down to your local bike shop for a service and to make sure it fits you. Then it’s time to hop on and get used to riding it around.

It really is just like riding a bike. You just need to practice a bit and get the hang of it again. It is important that you learn how to shift and use your gears. Gears make your life easier going up hills and allow you to go faster without putting in a huge amount more effort.

It is also a good idea to practice getting on and off your bike as well as making left, right and u turns. In a triathlon, you will need to make several turns with a lot of other people around you doing the same thing,. The more confident you are and the better control you have of your bike, the better off you will be.

In the winter when it’s cold and rainy, it can be difficult to fit a ride or two in each week. Using a stationary bike or wind trainer is an easy way to do those rides in the comfort of your own home.

Wind Trainer / Stationary Bike Session

If you are a beginner on the bike, the first thing you want to do is just build up the time you spend spinning the pedals. To make things a little more interesting, I have included a few sessions for you to choose from to keep you interested.

Start out spinning easily for 10 minutes as a warm up. Then, using the gears, progressively make it harder to pedal, pedalling for a couple minutes each time you change the gears. Then go back the opposite way, making it easier to pedal, again pedalling for a couple minutes each time until you are spinning easily again. Do another 5 minutes easy spinning warm down.

Fitness Ride
5 min Warm Up – Pedal in an easy gear (RL 1)
2 min – change to a slightly harder gear (RL 2)
1 min – go back to your warm up gear (RL 1)
2 min – change to a harder gear (RL 3)
1 min – go back to your warm up gear (RL 1)
2 min – change to a much harder gear (RL 4)
1 min – go back to your warm up gear (RL 1)
2 min – change to a slightly harder gear (RL 2)
5 min Warm Down – Pedal in an easy gear (RL 1)
Total 21 minutes

R1 – Easy
R2 – Moderate
R3 – Hard
R4 – Very Hard

You want to keep your RPM (Rotations Per Minute) around 70 – 80 throughout this session. The better you get, the longer you can stay in the harder gears.

Grinding Up Those Hills
10 min Warm Up – Pedal in an easy gear (RL 1) RPM 70 – 85
5 min – change to a much harder gear (RL 4) RPM 55-60
5 min – go back to your warm up gear (RL 1) RPM 70 – 85
5 min – change to a much harder gear (RL 4) RPM 55-60
5 – 10 min Warm Down – Pedal in an easy gear (RL 1) RPM 70 – 85

This sessions mimics climbing hills on your bike and is a great way to improve your strength and fitness. When you are doing the two 5 minutes segments in the harder gears, with the RPM between 55 -60, this is called grinding. You want to sit comfortably in the saddle, and only using your legs, just keep the pedals moving slowly but smoothly. Try not to rock your hips or any other part of your body.

As you get fitter, increase the 5 to 7 or 10 minutes or add another on into the session.

Always warm down at the end of a session to reduce tight or sore muscles to next day.

If you are riding out on the public roads, please be aware of and follow the road rules.