Race your best

Men's Fitness - - Features -

SET UP PROP­ERLY

Se­cure any spare kit to your bike – and you have checked that the valve on your spare in­ner tube fits the wheels, right? If you haven’t got ded­i­cated hold­ers, duct-tape gels and bars to the frame. Put your hel­met on the han­dle­bars on the side you’ll ar­rive at af­ter the swim, and make sure your sun­glasses are clean if you like to wear them. If you’re re­ally go­ing for it, use a front-mount­ing bot­tle for wa­ter, and pack the min­i­mum - ex­tra can af­fect your bike’s han­dling.

GET UP TO SPEED

“Leave your bike in a gear that makes it easy to get away,” says Rooke. “Do not put the chain in a low gear be­cause it will take longer to get up to race speed. Let your legs get up to speed, then switch up to a gear that al­lows you to race hard with­out blow­ing up too early – you should have prac­tised this in brick ses­sions.” Wait un­til you’ve set­tled be­fore you hy­drate, and use aid sta­tions to sit up in the sad­dle: it’ll re­cruit dif­fer­ent mus­cles, which pre­vents dis­com­fort.

SPIN IT OUT

“Just be­fore you fin­ish the bike stage, in­crease your gear­ing to make it eas­ier to spin your legs out, so when you run it feels eas­ier,” says Rooke. “This stops the legs feel­ing heav­ier af­ter push­ing hard for a length of time.” In­crease your ca­dence (pedalling rate) with 500m to go and loosen the strap on your shoes in the fi­nal 100, but don’t un­clip your hel­met un­til you’ve racked your bike. Take a few deep breaths as you hit the run.

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