An Idiots Guide To IronMan Cycling

Yes, this is going to get VERY basic ...

1 to 20 of 91 messages
10/09/2013 at 13:34

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 ?

 

10/09/2013 at 13:47

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

sweetfeet...    pirate
10/09/2013 at 13:47

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 

cougie    pirate
10/09/2013 at 13:48
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.
10/09/2013 at 13:53

Depends if you have a diesel or petrol engine 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

Pudge    pirate
10/09/2013 at 13:54
Ridgebackmax wrote (see)

Depends if you have a diesel or petrol engine 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?

10/09/2013 at 14:14

 

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 

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

10/09/2013 at 14:58

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

 

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  )

Running Postie    pirate
10/09/2013 at 15:05

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.

10/09/2013 at 15:33

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.

10/09/2013 at 16:06

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

WhizKid    pirate
10/09/2013 at 16:24

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!

TR
10/09/2013 at 18:49

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.

OrangeCannon kona-5    pirate
11/09/2013 at 09:28

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

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

 

 

Edited: 11/09/2013 at 09:29
11/09/2013 at 10:33

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, 

 

 

 

Pudge    pirate
11/09/2013 at 10:45
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?

cougie    pirate
11/09/2013 at 10:47
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.
11/09/2013 at 10:56
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

WhizKid    pirate
11/09/2013 at 11:23
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!

TheEngineer    pirate
11/09/2013 at 12:10
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). 

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