BIKE PREP AND TRAIN­ING FOR THE SPRING

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - SWIM BIKE RUN TRANSITION - BY SEAN MACKIN­NON

AS WE ANX­IOUSLY WAIT FOR THE 2018 OUT­DOOR RID­ING SEA­SON TO AR­RIVE, THERE ARE WAYS TO KEEP IN­DOOR TRAIN­ING IN­TER­EST­ING. AL­THOUGH I AL­WAYS KEEP MY EYE ON THE WEATHER FORE­CAST IN OR­DER TO SEE WHEN I WILL BE ABLE TO RIDE OUT­SIDE, THE RIDES AL­WAYS SEEM TOO FEW AND FAR BE­TWEEN. ON A POS­I­TIVE NOTE, THE CHANCE TO GET OUT­DOORS ON A REG­U­LAR BA­SIS IS OF­TEN A POS­SI­BIL­ITY ONCE MARCH ROLLS AROUND. WITH THE COR­RECT KIT, A TUNED BIKE AND THE URGE TO AVOID PAINFULLY BOR­ING WORK­OUTS ON THE TRAINER, THE FOL­LOW­ING TIPS WILL AS­SIST THOSE WHO ARE SEEK­ING TO BEAT THE PACK OUT ONTO THE ROAD.

For those who have rid­den on the trainer over the win­ter and are fi­nally tak­ing the bike off, there are a few things to dou­ble-check be­fore that first ride back out­side. I am a firm be­liever in hav­ing a tune-up done on your bike be­fore tak­ing it out­side for the first time. A bike over­haul is never a bad idea, as there is noth­ing worse than get­ting caught up with some sort of me­chan­i­cal prob­lem your first ride back on the road. I am en­vi­ous of those who find them­selves to be me­chan­i­cally savvy, as you are able to avoid costly tune-ups. Do a thor­ough check of all things that move on your bike – wheels, brakes, gears and the front cock­pit. All things that tighten should also be dou­ble checked be­fore head­ing out­side. It is also ex­tremely im­por­tant to check for rust if you have been sweat­ing over the top of your stem and han­dle­bars. Those long hours spent on the trainer are sweaty ones. When all that mois­ture gets into dif­fer­ent parts of your frame and com­po­nents, it can wreak havoc on your bike. I rec­om­mend re­plac­ing any rusted or dam­aged stem and head­set bolts.

When it is fi­nally time to head out­side and com­mit to what­ever rid­ing goals you have for 2018, it can be a chal­lenge to tran­si­tion the top end and in­ter­val-spe­cific train­ing gains you’ve made in­doors. One way that I like to check my fit­ness level in early spring is by test­ing my legs over ef­forts of vary­ing lengths – ev­ery­thing from 10-sec­ond sprints to 20- and 30-minute max ef­forts. I usu­ally align these ef­forts with Strava seg­ments, it seems to keep things that much more ex­cit­ing. Test­ing your­self on var­i­ous seg­ments that you can look back on later is a great way to check fit­ness through­out the sea­son.

When tran­si­tion­ing back to rid­ing out­side I try to ease into the dif­fer­ent train­ing. Take your time while you are get­ting used to be­ing back out­side. Al­low your­self time to get com­fort­able be­ing out­doors again and thank your lucky stars that you are no longer on the trainer.

One of the best parts about spring rid­ing is watch­ing your body adapt to putting in the steady and con­sis­tent miles. After a win­ter spent work­ing on your high-end strength and fit­ness through an ex­ten­sive in­ter­val pro­gram, you should see some im­pres­sive gains in your over­all rid­ing fit­ness. Use the spring to build on the win­ter train­ing with some reg­u­lar and spe­cific ef­forts and a con­sis­tent rid­ing rou­tine. Get­ting out for a few early spring rides and eval­u­at­ing your fit­ness lev­els early to fig­ure out what ar­eas you can con­tinue to im­prove on will en­hance your abil­ity to im­prove cy­cling fit­ness through the rest of the sea­son.

Hamil­ton, On.’s Sean Mackin­non com­peted as a triath­lete un­til he was 15, then com­peted on the Cana­dian Na­tional Cy­cling Team. He won two bronze medals at the 2015 Pan Amer­i­can Games.

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