Triathletes tend to focus on how aero they are on their bike and how fast they ride, but give little thought to how the way they ride affects their ability to run. There are no prizes in the results for who rides the fastest–the key to triathlon success is to maximise your speed and stamina over the complete race of swim, bike, run.
1. Maximise bike comfort
Set up your aero bars in a position that allows you to ride comfortably for 40km, while still being able to produce good power. It’s no use having a super aero position if after 10km you have to spend the rest of the race sitting up on the bar hoods like a sail.
2. Minimse pace variation
Think of your legs as a packet of matches. Every time you put in a strong effort you burn a match. Burn them all and you’ll be walking off the bike when you go to run. You want to be able to finish the 40km at the same speed you started. To do this you need to minimise the number surges you make. A controlled, even-paced ride will save matches and maximise your ability to finish strong in the run fast.
3. Practice makes perfect
It’s not just about the bike. Training the legs to adapt to running after riding is one of the most important aspects of triathlon. There are two ways you can practice this: jogging for 10 mintues after a long ride, or by alternating between riding and running multiple times over short durations (such as riding for five minutes, then running for two, and then repeating).
In the closing stages of the bike leg, stand up out of the saddle a few times and stretch out your front hip flexors in readiness to explode off bike.