An Idiots Guide To IronMan Cycling

First ridiculously newbie question in the arena of cycle training for my first Iron distance.

Which is better, preferential when riding on relatively flat ... is it to go for a lower gear and higher turniover, or to go for higher gear with greater 'push' required to turnover ?

 

«13

Comments

  • They've gone to lunch but should be back at 2.00pm

  • I would suggest that the former would be best for IM distance cycling. Higher cadence around the 80 - 90 RPM mark. That will keep your legs fresher for longer.

     

    And if Josey from Wales doesnt do The Outlaw then I dont know what race he/she should do! Surely a match made in heaven image

  • Beginners tend to pedal relatively low revs per minute - less than 60 (RPM)

    If you look at the more experienced riders- they spin happily at 80-100.



    I'd look to never going below 60 rpm - and aim to spin about 80 or so.



    If you're lower than 60 - you need lower gears.
  • Depends if you have a diesel or petrol engineimage i have a relativly slow but strong cadence and have no trouble generally running the narathon i know if i span at 80+ RPM i would be fecked 3/4 into the bike horses for courses

  • Ridgebackmax wrote (see)

    Depends if you have a diesel or petrol engineimage i have a relativly slow but strong cadence and have no trouble generally running the narathon i know if i span at 80+ RPM i would be fecked 3/4 into the bike horses for courses

    I like that analogy.

    As a diesel engine though RBM, are you louder with smellier emissions?

  •  

    sweetfeet... wrote (see)

     

    I would suggest that the former would be best for IM distance cycling. Higher cadence around the 80 - 90 RPM mark. That will keep your legs fresher for longer.

     

    And if Josey from Wales doesnt do The Outlaw then I dont know what race he/she should do! Surely a match made in heaven image

    This has to be the best piece of name/event to film association ever!!! 

  • Thanks, although I do have to admit that entry to the event did actually spawn my username, although I am from Wales if that helps, and if I survive my first Outlaw then there is always the deed poll option image

     

    So, a follow up newbie question would be, what is the easiest way to consistently measure your cadence, or are we getting in to serious gadgetry here (am presuming those old little gizmos from the 70's that fit on your spokes are not an option image )

  • Josey a Cadence monitor, I think you can get them reasonable cheap. I I did have a wireless one but theOH broke it and I didn't replace it as I tend to go on mph and feel, but I know my cadence is around 80-90rpm. I use speed as a target and try and stick to it allowing for hills etc.

  • Do you have a garmin of any description they have a sensor you can buy which works with several of the wrist worn models as well as the Edge bike models.

  • Cateye do a speedo with cadence function around. £40 iirc yes i admit it i am a smelly oily old dieselimage the Trabant of Triathlon (for those that can remember trabants)

  • A higher cadence is generally better, ive spent all year working cadence and avg about 92-95 according too strava/garmin connect... The result a faster bike time and a marathon that just went fantastic... Honestly felt like i had not ridden for 112 miles!

  • TRTR ✭✭✭

    Pedal a big gear faster than a smaller gear and you will get from A to B faster, theres a certain amount of leg strength that comes into play with cycling. Also depends if you're a skinny runner type or have a bit of power about you.  Folks that are good runners are often better off keeping a higher cadence to better replicate what they are good at (running).

    I wouldnt worry about it too much, as a newbie you just need to ride your bike often.

  • I'm sure some more knowledgeable people will add their two penneth.....

    but as cougie says,

    • begginers cycle at 60 rpm. 
    • more experienced cyclists spin along at 80-100

    I think its that beginners have not got the coordination to spin their legs around without thinking about it? or maybe they choose too high a gear as they want to go fast - but all that happens s their legs explode, (not literally)

    I have just noticed my cadence increasing naturally with time.  it was 80 - now its 90.

    Some people (very strong) prefer a bigger gear / lower cadence - its not wrong, just different and works for them. With my cse level physiology, high cadence is more aerobically challenging and easier on the legs.... low cadence / grinding it is tougher on the legs. / easier on the aeobic system???

    as a starting point you should be building endurance on the bike - and if you have the training time available, long rides are what you need - and those are at an steady / easy pace - Joe Friel advised your arse should give out before anything else image

    then use hard turbo sessions, (10 min warmup, 5* (5mins v hard, 5 mins easy)) to build strength and speed.

     

     

  • Apologise for the highjack - Whenever I look at my garmin my cadence is usually 90+ but the average is much lower - around 65-70. I assume this is due to the time when I am not pedalling when going down hill being taken into account - is this correct? Or do I just look at it when pedalling faster? 

    Here is a link to one of my rides to demonstrate:

    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/373593048

     

    feel free to laugh, criticise and pick fault - constructive feedback is also welcome, 

     

     

     

  • TheExile wrote (see)

    Apologise for the highjack - Whenever I look at my garmin my cadence is usually 90+ but the average is much lower - around 65-70. I assume this is due to the time when I am not pedalling when going down hill being taken into account - is this correct? Or do I just look at it when pedalling faster? 

    Here is a link to one of my rides to demonstrate:

    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/373593048

     

    feel free to laugh, criticise and pick fault - constructive feedback is also welcome, 

     

     

     

    Also the time spent at junctions, traffic lights etc perhaps?

  • I don't have a Garmin - but I guess that's the way it goes.



    One thing I noticed from racing Challenge Henley at the weekend - I passed an awful lot of people whilst they were freewheeling. Pedal ALL of the time unless you're hurtling downhill at over 50mph. Otherwise you're losing time.
  • cougie wrote (see)
    One thing I noticed from racing Challenge Henley at the weekend - I passed an awful lot of people whilst they were freewheeling. Pedal ALL of the time unless you're hurtling downhill at over 50mph. Otherwise you're losing time.


    That's where training on a Turbo Trainer or rollers helps!!

    Or even better, a fixie - 5 mins on a fixed wheel bike for the first time you'll try and freewheel and discover a whole world of pain image

  • cougie wrote (see)
    I don't have a Garmin - but I guess that's the way it goes.

    One thing I noticed from racing Challenge Henley at the weekend - I passed an awful lot of people whilst they were freewheeling. Pedal ALL of the time unless you're hurtling downhill at over 50mph. Otherwise you're losing time.

    Cougie that's not exactly correct (to a degree you are right) it is speed dependant... As we are talking about ironman distance cycling and ironman itself and not shorter events (that is a bit different) it is most viable to stop pedalling around 30mph/50kph as the gains from pedalling are thrown out the window with the effort used too overcome wind resistance, now then I'm not going too get all technical (engineer back in your cage) it makes sense too save that energy... But anything less then 30mph and you should be pedalling not coasting! 

    Disregard this information for time trials and anything less then ironman.... See rule no 5 and HTFU!

  • WhizKid wrote (see)
    cougie wrote (see)
    I don't have a Garmin - but I guess that's the way it goes.

    One thing I noticed from racing Challenge Henley at the weekend - I passed an awful lot of people whilst they were freewheeling. Pedal ALL of the time unless you're hurtling downhill at over 50mph. Otherwise you're losing time.

    Cougie that's not exactly correct (to a degree you are right) it is speed dependant... As we are talking about ironman distance cycling and ironman itself and not shorter events (that is a bit different) it is most viable to stop pedalling around 30mph/50kph as the gains from pedalling are thrown out the window with the effort used too overcome wind resistance, now then I'm not going too get all technical (engineer back in your cage) it makes sense too save that energy... But anything less then 30mph and you should be pedalling not coasting! 

    Disregard this information for time trials and anything less then ironman.... See rule no 5 and HTFU!

    It's not engineering, it's physiology. 200w all the time is faster for less physiological demand than 300 uphill and nothing downhill. (Figures plucked from arris but for concept). 

  • OK maybe my 50mph was overdoing it - but there were a lot of people freewheeling on the course. I guess they were just undertrained and sneaking rest wherever they could get it.
  • Yeah I would definitly say that! Yeah lesson is dont slack when a little downhill section comes about!

  • The idea of pushing more watts to go up a hill is a false notion anyway - those extra watts gain you height, which is regained in speed coming back down (unless you reach terminal velocity, which depending on your bike handling may or may not be terminal!). The only time you waste that energy is when you brake. 

    If you want to expend your energy where there is less aerodynamic cost... save it for the runimage

  • Fixies image i LOVE fixies and they give you Hoy like legs ( well they do if you rides a fixie in Cornwallimage ) 

  • Another numpty question: I've got a Garmin and my average cadence is 85-95 so I'm on the right track there I hope.......but I can't drink on a bikeimage. I have to stop, have a drink then put the bottle back. I don't have tri bars so I can't stick a bottle between them. Is there anything suitable on the market or could I make up some kind of contraption with a long straw? 

  • Molly, is it that you can't drink while riding, or can't get the bottle out/back?

    I had a lot of trouble drinking on the bike at first, because I was afraid to take my eyes off the road.

    I could reach down, grope around and find the bottle, but putting it back was another matter.  

    Eventually I just learned that it's OK to look down briefly to put the bottle back (although I did miss the other week and drop the bottle!).

  • Practice is what you need Molly. Find a quiet road or empty car park and practice putting it in and getting it out again. And again and again and again until you can.



    It'll help your bike handling too.
  • Wilkie - I can feel for it, then grab it have a quick drink and that's it. No chance of getting it back yet. Nice to know I'm not the only one image

    Cougie - good idea as I'm frightened of taking my eyes off the road. I'm so concentrated monitoring everything, I'm mentally shattered when I get home.

    Dave - thanks! I was hoping you were going to come up with Blue Peteresque idea!

    Once I've conquered that - how do you go about topping up your bottle in a race....surely that requires 2 hands?image 

  • Molly - don't worry it will come with time and confidence. When I first got a road bike I was scared to take one hand off the bars at any one time in case I fell off image  now I'm confident in getting bottles ina nd out of cages, furtling about in my back pocket for food, etc etc  so don't panic and just practice

    At bigger/longer races, you tend to have aid stations where you chuck your empty bottle away and they hand you a full one in return image

«13
Sign In or Register to comment.