Going the Distance – Week in Review

Here is a recap of what happened here this week!

Check out some awesome events and clinics to help you prep for the up coming race season – Endurance Sports Events

Get started with some basic info to help decide if it’s time to get a TT bike – Transition: From a road bike to a TT bike

How do you feel about relay teams being allowed in Ironman 70.3 races? – Relays in a Ironman event, will it hurt the brand?

Get some new shades and help a good cause at the same time – Oakley Charity Editions

You have a family, obligations and training, how to make it all work – Family, Life, Training, How to fit it all in

 

 

 

Transition: From a road bike to a TT Bike

With the goal of Ironman Wisconsin on the horizon, one of the things Coach Jen and I talked about was moving up from racing on my road bike to racing on a triathlon specific bike.

My road bike was great for last years 70.3 and Olympic distance races, but Jen said if I’m going to do an Ironman I needed a tri bike. You may be asking what the difference is between to the two. 

Road Bike: Felt AR5

 A road bike has a style that most beginner triathletes are familiar with. The design is meant to be riden in an upright position with your hands on the handle bars. They’re perfectly good for riding in a triathlon, you can add clip on aerobars to ride in an aero position. 

Triathlon Bike: Felt B16

 A triathlon bike like the Felt B16 pictured above is designed around riding in the aero position. Studies also show that you may run faster off the a tri bike (versus a road bike), by putting your weight forward it relieves pressure on your hamstrings.

Shifting is another major difference between the two bike styles. While the road bike is build with the shifters built in the handle bars. So even if you’re using clip on aerobars, you’d need to come out of aero position to shift gears.

Vision Metron Shifters: Felt DA4

With the Tri bike, your shifters are at the ends of the aerobars. This configuration allows you to shift with very little movement, keeping you in aero. The cables are also hidden in the frame to make the bike a little more aerodynamic. 

Triathlon Bike: Felt DA4

 Those are just a few of the things I’ve learned in the past couple of weeks while I’ve been getting ready to start riding a tri bike. 

With the help of Felt Bicycles, I’m going to start playing with 2 TT bikes this season. The B16 is an entry level tri bike and the DA4 which is a new model based off the DA1, Felt’s top of the line TT bike. In addition to information about getting started training with a tri bike, I’ll be bringing you training tips from the pro’s. Look for a “Transition” article each Tuesday!

Dealing with illness and training

Uuuuugh. I’ve been sick for weeks. It started out as a normal cold and for a while I was working out through it. I started to feel better, still with a cough but nothing I can’t handle, so I went ahead and did my bike test from Coach Jen to get a baseline for training.

After the test, my legs were shot and my lungs worse. I had a long hard coughing session as I uploaded the results to Training Peaks. Apparently doing and all out bike test was a poor decision on my part because the cough got worse and my illness kicked back in.

My plan was to get up early and go to the pool the next morning, but when I woke up my head was pounding, I was congested and still coughing. I skipped the swim in the morning and thought maybe my condition would improve and I could do it in the evening. Boy was I wrong, that evening I ended up at the Walgreen’s clinic getting drugs for a sinus infection.

I sent an email to Jen who told me to take it easy until felt better. That day didn’t come until Sunday. I finally felt okay enough to ride a little.

When you have a lot of training to do in order to meet lofty goals any amount of time your forced to sit out pounds at your brain. Each day I’d wake up to an auto-email from Jen with my scheduled workout and think about how not completing it is effecting Florida 70.3. Sunday I did a modified workout and was really excited get back at it. Not only to get back on track, but it was going to be my first session on a new bike!

For the bike test I rode my Madone but for the remainder of the season I’ll be working out and racing on a Felt B16 and Felt DA4 tri-bikes. It’ll be part of a weekly segment about transitioning to riding a Tri bike.

So you can look for that each Tuesday!

Triathlon 101: Get a Bike Fit

If you ask any experienced triathlete what’s important when starting out one of the first things they’ll tell you is to get a proper bike fit. It sounds like common sense, but I think you’d be surprised how many people (including myself) sort of ignore that advice.

When I picked up my road bike I asked what size bike would fit me and based on my height I ended up with a 56cm. As I started looking in to Tri and TT bikes I got mixed answers sizing. What it comes down to is getting a proper bike fit.

I’m going to be riding a one of Felt Bicycles TT bikes this season. Luckily Running Away Multisport is not only a Felt dealer, but they also have one of the coolest fit systems around the GURU DFU (Dynamic Fit Unit).

 GURU Dynamic Fit Unit

I met up with Fit Specialist Brian, who went over every detail of what was going to happen. After taking my measurements and outfitting the DFU with a set of Felt TT handlebars, Felt seat and a pair of SpeedPlay pedals it was time to clip in and get fitted!

 

What makes a fitting on the DFU different is that the unit is equipped with motors that allowed Brian to adjust the seat and handle bar position while I was riding. At no point do you have to get off the bike during the process. At the front of the machine are two laser levels to give your fit specialist an easy way to determine if your knees are in alignment (mine were not).

Brian determined that it may be an issue with the cleat placement on my shoes as well as the length of the stems on my pedals. As it turns it out was a little combination of both. After a few adjustments Brian began setting the seat and handle bar positions for optimal aerodynamics as well as comfort. He explained that while having proper aero position is important, if you’re not able to stay in that position for 70% of your ride then the bike isn’t set up correctly for you.

By making several small adjustments and comparing them much like an eye exam (which feels better #1 or #2), we found the most comfortable aero position to provide the most efficient ride. 

 And as if a specialist standing next to you watching your every move isn’t enough, the DFU utilized a video camera and laser pinpoints at your ankle, knee, hip and shoulder to precisely dial in your fit!

 

Brian was able to play back the video from my fitting showing those pin points and explain not only what range he was looking for but why it was important. He pointed out that I have some unwanted rotation in my hips and then told me a few ways to correct it including exercises and foam rolling.

 

The whole process only took a couple of hours and in the end Brian determined I would have no problem fitting on a Felt 54cm bike. Right now the team at Running Away Multisport are building my new ride to the exact measurements from my fit!

Brian said I’ll have to come back a few times between now and Ironman Wisconsin for some small adjustments, but for right now I’m fit perfectly!

A big thanks to Brian for helping me out (and taking all these pictures!)