Monday, April 30, 2012
F4 Coach Julie Hudetz offers some awesome TRI BIKE tips.
First of all, congrats to everyone for completing an awesome workout on the bike yesterday! Those are the kind of workouts that will make you stronger and faster!
Based on some feedback from some of you, I thought I would share a few tips.
1) Descending: For starters, this is something that will improve the more you do it. But, as you are working on getting better here are some things that can help:
a. It is very helpful to “soft pedal” when descending. Soft pedaling is when your legs are slowly turning the cranks but not doing anything to propel your speed forward. Cadence doesn’t matter but you are keeping your legs turning. Why does this help? It keeps the blood flowing in your legs, and better yet, you actually have better balance when your legs are turning.
b. If you are simply coasting and not soft pedaling, be sure your cranks are always kept parallel to the ground – not one pedal up and one down. (If that doesn’t make sense have your coaches show you on the next ride). For super-fast descending you can lift your hips and push your weight back. You will see the pros in the Tour de France doing this when they want to pick up speed going downhill.
c. Work on using your drops and not descending on your hoods. You have more control in your drops.
2) Benefits of this workout: Keep in mind the purpose of a workout like this is not to make you a better climber. The purpose of the workout we did yesterday is to build your aerobic base and power. Even though you may not be racing on a long climb, by doing intervals on a gradual uphill grade you are able to work your aerobic base as well as build power in your glutes and quads. That in turn, makes you go faster on a flat or rolling TT course. The other advantage of doing intervals going uphill is that you can adjust your heart rate by modifying your gears and effort. Ideally for this workout, your heart beat builds in every interval. The first one for 15 minutes should be in a lower heart rate. Keep in mind, you can use your easiest gear here, speed is not as important and managing your heart rate/zone. The second interval you boost your heart rate about 10 beats. And for your last interval, you should be pushing really hard for those 5 minutes. Adjust your gears accordingly!
3) Clothing: I know some of you got cold on the descent, Colorado weather is crazy. For that reason, I always suggest you always take a jacket with you. I also suggest wearing more clothing than you think you might need. It is always easier to take clothes off than it is to warm up when you get cold. Carrying extra clothing is a great habit to get into when training in Colorado. The only time I would make an exception to that is if it is a scorching hot day and I know I will be on the flats. Otherwise, having a jacket, arm/knee or leg warmers never hurts.
4) Food and Hydration: It is so important to remember to eat and drink enough on these harder workouts. You should never worry about having too much food or drink with you on a training ride. Extra weight does not matter on training rides. If your bike is not set up with two water bottle cages, I highly recommend you get that set up. The other advantage of having two water bottles is so that you have additional hydration for your recovery. On the note of recovery, remember that first 30 minutes post workout is critical for recovery. Recovery drinks, MIX1 for example, are great to take within that first 30 minutes of completing your workout. If you find yourself experiencing headaches later in the day, that is usually a sign that you are dehydrated. This is one factor of your training that is easy to control and makes a huge difference. Be sure you are paying attention to this.
That’s it for now. Feel free to email me with any questions, or ask for help on the bike days. If you ever want me to ride behind you and observe your gearing, pedaling or descending, just let me know before the ride and I am happy to do that!
Have a great week!