Suggestions and triathlon bike training tips


If you are quite new to the world of road-biking it wouldn’t hurt to learn a little about bike terminology that perhaps you are not familiar with.

This way when you are discussing your triathlon bike training and racing with other triathletes you will have a better understanding of what is being discussed.

A triathlete on the triathlon bike course.

Plus it makes you feel you are “getting more into” the biking world once you learn the lingo.Being better informed about bike terminology is part of the learning process.


It can be very confusing trying to find that perfect triathlon bike for “you”.

Before the very first day of triathlon bike training begins there is one thing that is vitally important to keep in mind.

Just how much you get from your training and how well you will perform on competition day regardless of the length of the triathlon you are entered in can be determined by how well your bike fits you.


One of the most important triathlon bike training tips to keep in mind is that if you are really stretched out at the bottom of the pedal stroke, your bike is most likely not set up properly.

A triathlete on  the triathlon bike course during a race.

The same thing applies if you are all scrunched up and are not extending your legs far enough. Something as simple as raising or lowering the bike seat can make a huge difference to your pedal stroke.

Just be sure that an experienced bike expert fits you to your bike. It’s important to make use of the big muscle groups and a proper bike fit will help this become a reality and ultimately will make your triathlon bike training much more productive and enjoyable.

You’ll find that Triathlon bike training involves much more than biking itself. Something as simple as having the bike set up properly will make your transition into the run a lot less painful.Don’t underestimate the value of proper bike-fit.


When it comes to actually getting out on the road and beginning triathlon bike training, many novice Ironmen have the wrong idea. You don’t have to go out and cycle hundreds and hundreds of miles.

Ironman bikers on the King K. highway during the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon.

Maybe one day if you decide to really go for it and try and place in your age group or turn professional you might want to look at more intensive training, however for your first attempt at an Ironman your goal should be to have an enjoyable experience.

You’re not going out to set a new record for the bike split. You want to FINISH this thing and gear your triathlon bike training with that in mind!

I would recommend doing one 6-8 hour ride about 8 weeks from Ironman day. Go out with a couple of people. Pack lots of food and water and plan to be gone for the day.

Don’t worry about how MANY miles. All you are doing is getting an idea of what it will be like to be on the bike and in the saddle for an extended period of time.

For the rest of the triathlon bike training year, try and bike 3 or 4 times a week. You can do 1 or 2 of those rides on a wind-trainer or at a gym on one of their exercise bikes. As your season progresses, try and plan for one longer ride of 2 or 3 hours once a week.

Don’t worry about how many miles. Pay more attention to actual time on the bike and finding a cadence and speed that you’re comfortable with. I strongly recommend heart-monitor use on the bike.(see section on heart-monitor training).

Try and stay at or below your target heart rate and your fitness level will continue to improve over time.


A cyclists legs as he spins on his bike.

Be sure to try different liquid supplements and different types of solid nourishment until you find what agrees with you and then go with it on race day. Remember that proper nourishment is an important part of your triathlon bike training.

I would recommend getting used to one of the many gel products available on the market because they are handy in the event you need a quick pick-up in your energy levels during your training or racing.

They are convenient to carry due to their small size and often are available at bike aid stations as well. Just remember that they are basically a “simple” carbohydrate and you should also include a more complex carbohydrate –like a whole wheat bagel for instance–as part of your nutrition choice.


As your season progresses, you should try and do one transition ride every week. The best day for this is the day you’re on your wind-trainer. Ride for at least an hour and then run IMMEDIATELY after for at least half an hour.

This will help you get used to the bike-run transition. Its not necessary to bike 4 or 5 hours and then run 15 miles in order to see what it feels like. Trust me, after an hour on the bike, you’ll get the idea after about 4 strides into the run.

I won’t kid you. There’s nothing on earth that will ‘truly’ prepare you for what you will experience when you leave the bike transition tent and head out on your first Ironman marathon. Often it’s just a matter of getting through the first mile or so and then much of the stiffness begins to disappear.

On a lighter note, I’d like to take you back to my first ever Ironman in Kona 1984 and tell you a bit about my first Ironman bike experience.

A biker riding down the center line at sunset.

It’s one hour before swim start. Someone had suggested that it wasn’t a good idea to put too much air pressure in our tires because they may burst overnight with the humidity as the bike sits in the transition zone. So here I am pumping up my tires on race morning.

Being clever I had put brand new tubes in the tires the night before. I pumped and pumped and just like a gunshot the first tire I was pumping exploded. Like EVERYONE looked and went “oh-oh”. I hadn’t noticed, but the tube had come right out of the tire and exploded.

IT WAS THE WRONG SIZE! No problem I thought(sort of). I had a spare(one spare). I put it on. Being as I bought it at the same time as the other one, it was also THE WRONG SIZE and this time I saw it begin to bulge out of the tire.

I did the only thing I could. I let air out until the tube went back into the tire and pumped the other tire up to about the same air pressure. Most likely I had about 65-70 lbs of air pressure in both my tires.

It’s 4 hours later. Here I am on the King K. highway. The heat waves are massive. Its just over 100 degrees in the lava fields. Every pedal stroke I hear my tires squish into the soft asphalt. I have no spare left.

My Ironman dream pretty well rests on those squishy tires. Each torrid mile merges into the next. It was truly a miracle that I made it to the end of that bike course on those tires.

It was such a relief when I finally reached the bike-run transition. Words can’t express how the first few dozen strides into the marathon felt.

I told you a bit about my first Ironman bike for a reason….

Consider this. The furthest I had ever biked in training was about 40 miles. I didn’t really know how to train, how far to go, or how fast I should be going. I just went until I felt tired and turned around.

I didn’t really know what to eat or drink.

My bike was impossibly heavy. I had a rear tire that was missing about 40 pounds of air. I had no triathlon profile-bars, no clip-less pedals. I hadn’t even been on a bike for 20 years until I started training for the Ironman. My triathlon bike training was pretty well non-existent.

Yet, my bike time was 7 hours and 39 minutes. That’s all you need! 7-8 hours on the bike and you are left with enough time to beat the cut-off and finish the marathon

My point is. If I could do that ride, under those circumstances than YOU CAN CERTAINLY DO THIS!! It is well within the physical limits of many people to accomplish the same feat without having to be a super athlete.

If you are willing to put in the time it takes to get the most out of your triathlon bike training, and ensure that you bike is properly set up for you, most likely your first Ironman bike ride will go “way” smoother than mine did.

Don’t think for a moment you need hundreds and hundreds of miles of triathlon bike training, because that’s not true at all if your primary goal is to reach the Ironman finish line without worrying too much about time. There will be plenty of opportunities for that later if you decide to extend your Ironman career.

Get yourself into overall good condition and learn the basics of triathlon bike training and you will be well on your way to having a successful Ironman experience.

–Try and bike at least two or if possible, three times a week as you start out.

–Try and do a bit longer as you get in better shape. Try one long day about 8 weeks before Ironman day. –Get used to what you want to eat and drink on race day.

–Make sure your bike is set up properly for “you”.

–Do transition bike-runs once a week.

–Keep your bike properly maintained and clean and sparkling. Just like your car it will run smoother when it’s clean and you lovingly cared for it. Don’t ask my why. It just does.

These are all quite easy to accomplish and extremely valuable triathlon training tips to keep in mind. These are just some suggestions for you, but if you have a coach who has you on a training program that you are happy with then just go with it.

It’s really important that you enjoy the training part of the Ironman experience. So whatever works best for you is what you should stick with.




No Comments

Leave a Reply

Latest Tweets

  • swimbikerunph
    Secret training? #DuamanDuathlon2017 #swimbikerunph about 18 hours ago
  • swimbikerunph
    Oh my STI. #bike #cycling #bikecident #swimbikerunph Photo from : RBP about a day ago
  • swimbikerunph
    Duaman Duathlon 2017 updated start list! For questions and inquiries, email us at about 3 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    Attention, nation! Here's what you need to know about RA 10913 or the ANTI-DISTRACTED DRIVING LAW. about 4 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    Wearing a helmet works. Don't ever ride without one. Good to hear our comrade Laarni Paredes is ok!... about 5 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    Hmm. about 5 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    Hi everyone! Just a few Duaman Duathlon 2017 reminders. 1. Registration is closed. 2. We cannot transfer your... about 5 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    Training / riding never stops. . By : Jun Soliman . #bike #cycling #swimbikerunph about 6 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    Who slayed it better? #IRONMAN vs #IRONCHICKS. By : Ghio Adriano about 6 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    Duaman Duathlon 2017 | Start List | Race Info about 6 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    Duaman Duathlon 2017 start list is out! We are 1400+ strong on race day, Duamans! This is the BIGGEST duathlon... about 6 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    You can DU it! Last day of registration for the #DuamanDuathlon2017! 6k Run / 20k Bike / 3k Run (FULL) and 3k Run... about 9 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    @chrissiesmiles Hi Chrissie! We got lots on our facebook page. :) from newbies, families, to super newbies. about 10 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    A big THANK YOU to all the #IRONMOMs in the world. #HappyMothersDay #triathlon #ironman #swimbikerunph about 10 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    Sometimes the best ideas happen while you're riding. Agree? #bike #cycling #swimbikerunph about 10 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    We are now 10k strong on instagram! Thank you so much for all the love and support, nation! Let's keep the... about 10 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    Types of bikes allowed for the #DuamanDuathlon2017! Yep, you can use literally almost any type of bike. :)... about 10 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    In-store registration is available at the following registration hubs! #DuamanDuathlon2017 registration closes on... about 10 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    This is it, Duamans! Last 2 days to register for the #DuamanDuathlon2017! Let's DU it! Register now at... about 10 days ago
  • swimbikerunph
    #DuamanStories : Right after #AquamanAquathlon2017, this super chick "J.P." got herself a bike... for... about 11 days ago