#RoadTo: Triathlon – Cycling

The scenery moves by quickly, your feet pedal rhythmically, and the wind always seems to blow against your direction, regardless of which direction you’re heading. We are talking about the second and at the same time longest discipline of triathlon, cycling. Often significantly underestimated (after all, most of us can ride a bike), cycling is an athletic challenge you should not underestimate. You want to know what my cycling preparation for the triathlon looks like? Then read on and maybe even discover cycling for yourself!

Have you missed the previous articles of the #RoadTo: Triathlon series? Then you should definitely read it here: #RoadTo: Triathlon – The Beginning.

The beginning

When I started planning my triathlon training, my main focus was on swimming and running. For the time being I paid little attention to cycling, as I assumed that this would be the easiest discipline for me. A thought that proved to be wrong.

The first training session on my bike where I wanted to complete the 40km that I had to tackle at the Olympic Triathlon distance ended with a big surprise for me. It took much longer to do finish the distance than I expected and I was completely exhausted afterwards. So it was clear to me that I had to invest a lot more time into my cycling training, as I thought initially.

Unfortunately, by this time, it was almost winter, so I continued my training on an ergometer in confined spaces. That’s certainly not the same as riding a bike outside, but close enough to build a solid foundation for the coming spring.

My weeks on the ergometer went by as the snow started to melt and the temperatures rose: Time to train outside! Better prepared I was able to handle the distance much better than on my first try. However, there was still a big factor that bothered me: The wind!

Probably one of the greatest enemies of the cyclist is the headwind, which is always noticeable on my training route on the Danube! Also, I soon realized that the mountain bike I’ve been riding with so far is definitely not the best choice for a triathlon. The comparatively high weight as well as the unfavourable aerodynamic position would make the already very exhausting triathlon even more difficult.

After endless hours of intensive research on a variety of bike types and components, I decided to buy a second-hand racing bike, which should make it much easier for me to dive into the world of triathlon.
Why a road bike and not a triathlon bike? The price difference (especially as it is not certain whether I want to become a long-term triathlete) and the higher flexibility of a road bike were main reasons for this decision. If you want to read more about my reasons for making this decision, please let me know in the comments!

During my first ride the noticeable difference in weight as well as the advantegeous aerodynamic riding position were immediately noticeable compared to my mountainbike. I’m really excited to see what kind of performance I can achieve on my new bike!

What’s next?

One of the most important next steps is the training with cleats. Currently I have no experience with cleats, but riding with click pedals is essential if I want to performance best during a triathlon.

Otherwise, I expect many more hours of training, so I can get used to my new road bike and the different seating position. Maybe I will do small modifications to my sitting position or on the stem of the bike, so I’m optimally prepared to master my first triathlon!

Cycling only for the triathlon?

Cycling is certainly one of the most joint-friendly options for endurance training. It is not without reason that many athletes spend a lot of time on the ergometer, for example after knee surgery. Another positive aspect is the fact that you spend a lot of time outside while cycling!

Nevertheless, I had to realize for myself that the bike is primarily a means of transport for me, on which one can do sports. I have not yet been able to discover cycling as a sport for myself. Even if I did not feel uncomfortable during my previous training sessions, I would definitely prefer running over cycling.

Will my attitude change with my new road bike? That will be decided during the coming weeks!

Are you motivated for cycling or even for a whole triathlon? Let me know in the comments!
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