Pressed for time or stressed about how many hours you're feeling pressured to put on the bike? Here's 3 ways that triathletes can avoid wasting valuable time with too much riding.
While there are advantages to the beautiful, great outdoors, cycling outdoors can also involve dressing appropriately, pumping your tires, putting on gloves or toe warmers, filling water bottles, and then possibly meeting with a group. These type of activities can add 15-20 minutes before you’re even on the road, and when you’re finally out riding, traffic lights and stop signs can significantly detract from the time efficacy of your workout.
2. No Off-Season or Early-Season Long Bikes
Contrary to popular belief, you really only need to ride long a maximum of once per week, and you definitely don't need to be doing this in the off-season or early-season - even if you're training for Ironman. This one long ride can take anywhere from 2-5 hours, depending on how close you are to your race. In contrast to many other Ironman triathletes, who disappear into the basement during the winter to do 3 hour indoor trainer sessions, or head outside on 4–5 hour bike rides several months before the actual race, most of my Ironman triathletes do just two or three such long rides, and only in the final 8 weeks before Ironman.
3. Bike Solo
Sure, you don't want to be a social hermit, but for the majority of both your indoor training session and your outdoor rides, you should try to ride alone, and here’s why: as mentioned earlier, group rides require lots of time investment to get a group together and head out for the actual training session. But these rides also include lots of drafting, socializing and pace fluctuations – all of which won’t likely be happening during a typical non-draft legal triathlon. So if maximizing time is your goal, then ride solo and avoid groups during your cycling workouts - and along with these other strategies, you’ll get much more bang for your training buck.
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