To become a solid, well-rounded triathlete you need to master the swim, the bike, and the run (and being able to execute in that order). After you’ve learned to master the swim, it’s time to tackle the longest leg of any tri: the bike.
Professional triathlete Angela Naeth is here to help. Naeth is the 2015 North American Ironman Champion, is a multiple-time sub-9-hour Ironman finisher and a 12-time Ironman 70.3 Champion, and boasts more than 24 70.3 podium finishes.
She rides a Scott Plasma bike (“decked out with Shimano Dura-Ace electronic shifting,” she says), and the two spend a lot of time together. Here’s what Naeth has learned (and wants you to know) about nailing the second – and longest – triathlon leg: the bike.
spend most of your training time on the bike
“I spend anywhere from 10 to 15 hours on my bike every week,” Naeth says.
“I mix it up by riding in the mountains in Colorado and on flat roads, and I’m always on the lookout for new roads.”
log plenty of trainer time
“I do ride on the trainer, sometimes in the summer, but mostly in the winter when I’m unable to train outside because it’s snowing,” she says. “I actually get into a good mindset of riding indoors, and I love it.”
But thanks to manageable Colorado summers, Naeth prefers to log as many miles outside as possible.
“I love the solidarity of riding,” she says. “It’s when my mind becomes blank, and it’s the best time for me, personally. You learn a lot about yourself when you’re riding alone for five hours!”
Unless she’s at a training camp, Naeth doesn’t ride with friends or teammates – and her ideal route is up.
“My favorite rides, by far, are ones where I point the wheels uphill,” she says. “I absolutely love climbing and seeing the views when I reach the top.”
ANGELA NAETH’S TOP 5 TIPS FOR THE TRIATHLON BIKE LEG
#1: Get a good bike fit – regularly
“Make small changes until you feel good on the bike,” she says. “It took me a few years of tinkering and finding what works for me, but now that I’m dialed in, it’s the best I’ve felt.”
#2: Go long
Do a loner ride at least once a week, building toward your race distance.
#3: Change it up
“I like to include hills – climbing and descending – in the mix,” she says. “Add variety, and work on your skills in all areas.”
#4: Ride a road bike
“Riding road and time trial bikes are crucial when it comes to keeping your body healthy,” she says. “The TT position is simply the worst position for the human body to be in. It’s a necessity for racing, but doesn’t need to be done much in training.”
#5: Vary your cadence
“Use the bike as your gym,” she says. “I ride at a very low cadence sometimes, and other times you’ll find me at a very high cadence.”
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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.