25 AERO UP­GRADES

UP­GRAD­ING YOUR TRIATHLON GEAR –AND, BYVIRTUE, YOUR PER­FOR­MANCE – NEEDN’T BREAK THE BANK. HERE ARE 25 AF­FORD­ABLE WAYS TO BEAT YOUR PER­SONAL BEST…

220 Triathlon Magazine - - Contents -

How to swim, bike and run faster on a bud­get

01 DISC-WHEEL COVER

FROM £140 A disc wheel works by smooth­ing out the air­flow that’s nor­mally chopped up by spokes, re­sult­ing in less drag and higher speeds. Mavic’s Comete tubu­lar disc comes with bags of in­no­va­tion, crafts­man­ship and aero­dy­nam­ics. But sadly, for those on a bud­get, it costs £1,699. Wheel­builder’s AeroJacket Disc Cover fit­ted to your rear wheel fun­da­men­tally does the same thing, but for a frac­tion of the cost. Just see if discs are al­lowed at races. They are for many Iron­man events but not in Kona be­cause of the winds.

02 LEUCINE

£1 Leucine is one of the key amino acids be­hind mus­cle growth. Nu­tri­tion brands pack­age up the pow­dered form in wal­let-un­friendly tubs, but it’s not needed. Leucine is found in ev­ery­day foods like poul­try, dairy prod­ucts and fish. One tin of tuna, for in­stance, con­tains 3.5g leucine – a solid amount to start stim­u­lat­ing a stronger you.

03 BUFFERING

£1.40 High-in­ten­sity ex­er­cise pro­duces huge waves of lac­tic acid. Lac­tic acid is re­cy­cled for en­ergy but too much and it tips out of the mus­cle, into the blood­stream and has your brain pan­ick­ing that your whole sys­tem’s un­der threat. It slows you down and ban­ishes am­bi­tions of a new PB. But al­ka­line sub­stances like sodium bi­car­bon­ate and beta-ala­nine have been shown to neu­tralise this acidic threat, for a time any­way. Sodium bi­carb in the form of bak­ing soda’s the cheap­est method of de­liv­ery but be warned: some re­port an up­set stom­ach.

04 PAD­DLES

£7 Power de­vel­op­ment, greater feel for the wa­ter, a way to spice up your swim ses­sions – yes, pad­dles pro­vide a load of ben­e­fits and for all lev­els of triath­lete. Just re­mem­ber: the big­ger the pad­dle, the greater the re­sis­tance, so go min­i­mal if you have weak or in­juryprone shoul­ders.

05 HAND PO­SI­TION

£FREE A mul­ti­tude of fac­tors in­flu­ence a triath­lete’s sus­tain­able bike po­si­tion, in­clud­ing their size, flex­i­bil­ity, core strength and lung ca­pac­ity. Ev­ery facet of the bike and ride has an im­pact – and that in­cludes hand po­si­tion. Wind-tun­nel data sug­gests that an ‘ar­row grip’ on tri-bars, with the tips of the fin­gers touch­ing, gives a 0.54sec sav­ing for ev­ery minute rid­den at 35mph com­pared to a rider us­ing a tra­di­tional thumbs-in­side aer­o­bar grip. Clearly that’s Fro­deno-like, but there’ll still be sav­ings at more hu­man lev­els of speed. Time Saved: 10secs

06 BIKE PO­SI­TION

£100 In a power dis­ci­pline like cy­cling, it’s clear that mea­sured prag­ma­tism beats ran­dom ef­forts ev­ery time. That’s cer­tainly true of your bike po­si­tion where a per­fect fit will not only save you time on two wheels, but on the run leg, too. Pro­fes­sional bike-fit­ters aren’t as costly as you might

think, ei­ther, start­ing from £100. But you can also roll out the DIY method, com­pris­ing a part­ner, spirit level, Allen keys and felt-tip marker. Check out Bri­tish Cy­cling’s web­site (british­cy­cling. org.uk) for more in­for­ma­tion. Time Saved: 6mins over 40km

07 RATE OF PER­CEIVED EX­ER­TION CHART

£FREE The rise of the smart­phone and so­cial me­dia’s pro­vided am­ple op­por­tu­nity for the likes of Garmin, Su­unto and Po­lar to de­velop GPS watches and power me­ters that mea­sure ev­ery met­ric known to man be­fore wire­lessly telling all your mates all about it. Max­imise their fea­ture list and they’re a great in­vest­ment. But for many triathletes, a sim­ple rate of per­ceived ex­er­tion (RPE) chart will work just as well. Stud­ies show that there’s an ac­cu­rate cor­re­la­tion be­tween RPE and heart rate.

08 TEMPO TRAINER

£33.98 Of­ten those triathletes who en­ter T1 first aren’t nec­es­sar­ily the most pow­er­ful swim­mers but the ones who are most pro­fi­cient at pac­ing. Cue the tempo trainer. This smart lit­tle tool clips onto your gog­gle strap and sends out an audible beep for you to pace your stroke. One beep, one stroke and so on.

09 AERO HEL­MET

“There’s an ac­cu­rate cor­re­la­tion be­tween rate of per­ceived ex­er­tion and HR”

£39.99 Okay, com­pared to vented ver­sions, aero­dy­namic hel­mets aren’t cheap. But shop around and you’ll dis­cover teardrop-shaped or blunted stream­lined lids that come in un­der the £100 mark; in fact, Planet-X’s light and fast Carnac Aero Road Hel­met is just £39.99.

10 TRIATHLON WET­SUITS

£80 The top-end wet­suits of 2018 come loaded with tech and a price tag that of­ten ex­ceeds £600. But, de­spite their hy­dro­dy­namic claims and swift­ness in tran­si­tion, if they don’t fit you prop­erly they’d lose out to a com­fort­able, well-fit­ted and far more af­ford­able wet­suit. So as long as you try be­fore you buy, a sub-£100 wet­suit like the one from Dhb will serve you well.

11 TURBO TRAINER

£50 In­door train­ers are a God­send when ei­ther familial (babysit­ting du­ties) or cli­matic (rain that’d sink the Ark) rea­sons threaten your bike train­ing. The past few years have seen man­u­fac­tur­ers throw ev­ery­thing but the kitchen sink at the once hum­ble turbo in search of boost­ing mo­ti­va­tion. But a ba­sic ef­fort and bang­ing playlist should be enough for fort­nightly ef­forts.

12 BEET­ROOT

£5 Many prod­ucts come and go, their hy­per­bolic claims even­tu­ally ground down to zero by in­de­pen­dent stud­ies. But one that’s sur­vived the test of time, and nu­mer­ous lab tests, is beet­root. Ni­trates within this colour­ful root veg are con­verted within the body to ni­tric ox­ide, which

13 ROAD BIKE

£349 Train­ing on a hy­brid or moun­tain bike is ab­so­lutely fine and a great gate­way into our fine sport. A road bike, how­ever, of­fers im­proved aero­dy­nam­ics, swifter han­dling and the placebo that stems from dropped han­dle­bars over flat bars. eBay and sim­i­lar plat­forms of­fer sec­ond-hand bar­gains, though spank­ing new alum mod­els are avail­able for less than £400. re­sults in in­creased time to ex­haus­tion; in other words, you can train for longer. You can buy con­cen­trated forms like BeetIt for £5 per bot­tle. Time Saved: Im­prove 10-mile TT power out­put by 2.7%

14 LEG SHAV­ING

£2 Any­thing that causes tur­bu­lence is an im­ped­i­ment to speed. Cue epi­la­tion, wax­ing or leg shav­ing. You might draw ad­mir­ing/ dis­prov­ing looks (delete as ap­pli­ca­ble) on UK beaches but the crew at Spe­cial­ized’s ‘Win’ tun­nel cal­cu­lated that one of their spon­sored triathletes, Jesse Thomas, could cut 7% drag by smooth­ing out his sticks. Time Saved: 79secs over 40km

15 TRIATHLON LACES

£1.99 The eas­i­est way to save sig­nif­i­cant time in T2 is with a set of tri laces. While their lock­ing meth­ods vary, the likes of Lock Laces and Greeper re­place tra­di­tional lac­ing with sys­tems that clamp your feet in place in sec­onds. Sim­ple, ef­fec­tive and cheap. Time Saved: 60secs

16 TRIATHLON SAD­DLE

£65 It’s hard to quan­tify ex­actly how much time you’ll save by up­grad­ing to a triathlon sad­dle as, ul­ti­mately, it’s not only about eas­ing you into a more com­fort­able aero po­si­tion, but also about open­ing up your lower torso to con­serve en­ergy for the run. How­ever, triathlon sad­dles like the Tri Elite Flat from Fab­ric (pic­tured) of­ten come with a rear bot­tle mount, which stud­ies show has an aero­dy­namic edge over tra­di­tional down­tube bot­tle cages – around 45g of drag ac­cord­ing to Cervélo.

17 PULL BUOYS

£4 The pull buoy – aka, the hum­blest train­ing tool in triathlon but one of the most im­por­tant. Sim­ply place this flota­tion de­vice be­tween your legs to fo­cus your stroke on up­per-body strength and tech­nique de­vel­op­ment. A swim that max­imises up­per­body strength not only fires up speed but also spares your legs – ap­pre­ci­ated with the bike and run to come.

“A lab­o­ra­tory’s worth off sports sci­en­tists agree that the one er­gogenic aid that elic­its a per­for­mance ben­e­fit is caf­feine”

18 ELAS­TIC BANDS

£1Noth­ing screams triath­lete louder than rush­ing through tran­si­tion like a tor­nado. But how? Sim­ply click your tri shoes into the ped­als be­fore­hand, spin the ped­als to the three o’clock and nine o’clock po­si­tions, and tie two elas­tic bands through the heel loops. Stretch the drive­side shoe around the front mech; non-drive­side around the quick­re­lease and boom – swift foot en­try and away you go. Time Saved: 6secs

19 CAF­FEINE

£2 A lab­o­ra­tory’s worth of sports sci­en­tists and nutri­tion­ists agree that the one er­gogenic aid that elic­its a per­for­mance ben­e­fit time and time again is caf­feine. Stud­ies have shown a boost in power, in­creased fat burn­ing and greater en­durance with a caf­feinated hit. One cup of cof­fee’s enough to tap into its per­for­manceen­hanc­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Just don’t overdo it or you’ll strug­gle to sleep and can even suf­fer heart pal­pi­ta­tions.

21 WA­TER

£FREE Gels, en­ergy drinks, blocks, rice cakes – your on-bike fuelling plan can take many forms. But stud­ies show that the oc­ca­sional train­ing ride fu­elled solely by wa­ter can also pay div­i­dends. Train­ing glyco­gen­de­pleted, where your body’s car­bo­hy­drate stores are low, forces your body to rely more on fat for fuel, mean­ing you can spare pre­cious glyco­gen for tougher parts of the race like hills. A pre-break­fast ride is the eas­i­est way

TIME SAVED 1:30MINS /1.5KM

TIME SAVED 15-45SECS /40KM

TIME SAVED 45 SECS /40KM

TIME SAVED 20 SECS/ 40KM

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