The rules of the road(ie)

 

RULE 60: Pre-race, you must be tranquilo, resting on your top tube thusly. This may also be extended to any time one is aboard the bike, but not riding it, such as at stop lights or while waiting for riding partners

As triathlete we often bear the brunt of many jokes coming from die-hard road cyclists – AKA: Roadies. Quite honestly, many of these jokes are well deserved! Here’s a collection of rules put together by the Velominati, we suggest you read them and learn. As comical as they are, there is an element of seriousness to all of them.

 

Here’s a quick sample before going over to read the list in it’s entirety, which by having read this far you are required to do.

RULE 28:
Socks can be any damn colour you like. White is old school cool. Black is good, but once again were given a bad image by a Texan whose were too long. DeFeet Wool-E-Ators rule.

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Altitude and your performance over time

Here’s a great article on the effects of altitude, it’s well worth reading if you plan on racing or training at a higher elevation.  Further into the article you’ll find some power data from cyclists and a few other interesting bits of information.

Full article on: http://www.sportsscientists.com/2010/06/altitude-arriving-and-adapting.html

Two models: The Smash and Grab vs Patience pays

There is not too much research on this question.  That may be surprising, but remember that for most professional athletes, across all sports, the issue of when to arrive at altitude is one that they rarely even contemplate.  In Europe, sport is rarely played at even these moderate altitudes.  In the USA, it happens so infrequently as to be an inefficient way to investigate physiology.  And for individual endurance athletes, like cyclists and runners, altitude training is part of the package, with a majority now spending time at some altitude before racing, even at sea-level.

However, a couple of approaches have emerged, most of them from Super Rugby (a competition involving professional teams from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa), and from the Tri-Nations, an international competition between SA, Australia and New Zealand.  In these tournaments, the Australian and New Zealand teams will travel to South Africa and spend either two or three weeks here, during which time they would play one or two matches at altitude (1,500m or higher).

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Pre Race Mental Prep

The last week of before a big race can be one of the hardest for a triathlete to bare. You’ve done all the work, your training volume is way down and you may feel lethargic and antsy all at the same time. This is a perfect time to sit down and spend some time writing mental training notes for your big day. Sometimes we are super prepared on every other front, but we forget to have a concrete set of form cues and positive affirmations ingrained in our brains for easy access on race day. Writing things down in a journal before each race can help calm you down and give you concrete focus points. It is also great to go back and look over what you’ve written post race to see where you may have missed something or where you really succeeded mentally/strategically now that your performance is in the books.

Here are some suggestions for things to write about:
- put down realistic goal times for each discipline e.x.: I will swim 1:05, I have trained well in the pool, my form is improving all the time, remember that last time trial, this is totally within my reach
- write key words for each discipline that help you remember essential form cues or things that make you smile to get thru hard times. e.x. for swimming: “long an strong”, “catch”, “fishy”, riding: “pull up”, “patience”, “I rule”; running: “light”, “quick”, “chest up”, “Kenyans move over” etc… whatever works for you and makes you remember important things.
- don’t write passively, use powerful positive language: I will succeed, I will focus on my form and this will enable me to maintain my speed, my body is infinitely more powerful than I know I just need to be in the moment and free myself to excel, if I feel bad I may just need more electrolytes – do a body scan, I will get through hard times…
- write a newspaper headline about yourself “upcoming age-group athlete sets new bike course record”, “Mother of two conquers her demons”, “Irongeezer takes the day”…

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Need some motivation?

Need some motivation to get out and endure the cold and wet weather this winter?

Mimic the best

Studying pictures is a great way to improve your own form.  Find someone who does it well and compare your own photos or video.  They don’t have to be triathlon specific. What does Michael Phelps or Inge De Bruijn do that you don’t? Or, what COULD you do that [...]

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