by Tim Whitburn
OK now you’re all swimming (hopefully). Lets start thinking about discipline 2. Yes the bike. Now I love the bike part, going fast on 20mm of rubber is a real buzz.
Sound scary? So who is nervous about riding a bike? Its ok if you are, the speed reached on a pushbike can be a little nerve wrecking. So the first thing we need to focus on is confidence, not speed. Speed will come eventually.
My background is actually in bike racing, but I remember my earlier days when it all was a bit daunting. I entered my first bike race back in Adelaide as a 15 year old; there was a field of about 40 to 50 riders. I was sh#*^ing my self at the start line. Everybody seemed so angry, glaring at me as if to say, “What the hell are you doing here you little twerp”
So when the race started I was spat out the back of the pack within 1km, all over. How demoralizing, but I struggled on and continued to race most weekends.
Eventually it all got a bit easier. First of all skill is critical part of cycling – for example: mounting and dismounting; cornering; stopping and actually getting your feet out of the pedals before falling over; emergency braking and the list goes on.
The skills come with time, so start cycling regularly and concentrate on increasing your miles. Slow and steady initially is better than flogging yourself on every ride. I wish I knew this in my earlier days. With time your skills will improve. You will have a big cycling base to build on and then you can start thinking about going fast.
2 to 3 rides a week will be ample; of which 1 will be a long ride to build your distance every week. This is very important, slow and steady until you can easily ride 2 to 3 hours. Then you can start some more specific speed sessions. This is when you need the help of a tri coach, so they can guide you in the right direction.
Enjoy the journey, see you at the races.