Spring is almost here! (At least it feels like it in some parts of Canada, fingers crossed for March!) You can now get the trainer out of the spare room and get your bike prepped for the road. Here are 5 things you may want to consider before getting back out there.
1. Get a spring tune up. Many of you may have taken your bike off the road and put it right onto the trainer. If you didn’t use a specific trainer tire, you will want to get a new one for outside. Indoor trainers can eat up your back tire. It becomes very thin leading to poor performance and many flats. Even though you have been inside for most of your rides over the winter months, you have still put a lot of miles on your bike and it won’t hurt to get your gears adjusted and your cables tightened. Nothing feels better than getting your bike in 100% working order to feel both physically and mentally ready for the season.
2. Changing bikes? If you are switching up your bikes, potentially going from your road bike to your tri bike, you should ease into your aero tri position in small increments. It is completely different from road geometry and can put a lot of strain on your back and neck until you have the strength in your core again. After a good warm up, get into your aero bars in 10 minute intervals and work your way up each week by slowly reducing the amount of time that you are not in your aero position.
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3. Nothing beats them, hills are your friend! Get out there for some repeats or find an undulating route that you like. Put to the test all that strength work you did on the trainer.
4. Keep focusing on your drills. You did them all winter to improve your cycling performance on the road. Cadence and single leg drills can still be done outside and are every bit as beneficial to your cycling as when performed on the trainer. Keep reminding yourself of a proper pedal rotation. Push forward at the top, pull backward at the bottom and lift the weight of your leg back through to the top all in a smooth motion.
5. Consider a bike fit. If you haven’t already, you may want to consider getting properly bike fitted by a reputable fitter. Getting this done at the beginning of the season can prevent future problems. A good bike fitter will adjust the bike to your specific proportions and condition of your body. They will set you up to be as comfortable as possible while optimizing your aerodynamic position. This is something you want to get done early in the season. You don’t want to make detrimental adjustments in the middle of your race season as it could lead to injury and/or poor performance.
Being proactive this spring with your bike maintenance and prep can only help your performance this season. Get these things done so that you can concentrate on your training instead of fussing with details. Have a great time getting back out on the road!
LifeSport triathlon coach Jessica Adam has been a coach in Victoria, Vancouver and now resides in the Toronto area. She loves to share her years of experience with beginner triathletes and also experienced triathletes that are trying new distances like ½ IM or IM for the first time. She coaches athletes online all across the country.
If you are interested in working with Jess, write Jess@LifeSportCoaching.com