I'm a runner / swimmer who unfortunately also has to cycle as there aren't too many "aquathons" around. Actually I do enjoy it, I just happen to be a bit pathetic on the bike.
Anyhow, I did my first ever half ironman on Sunday, and my cycling time on a fairly flat course, was about 3 hours. This put me in the bottom 20%.
I used my bog standard (mind you not bad) racing bike that has served me fine for 10 years.
At this race I was doing, there were 180 of us. I reckon there about 20 others like me with with standard racing bikes. The rest were split 50-50 between those with racing bikes with their own aero bars attached, and these hard core time-trial bikes. Some people even had these riduclous long, pointy helmets that my girlfriend has said she'd disown me if I ever bought one.
So, as 120 people overtook me on the bike leg of the course, I did start wondering, "maybe I'm missing a trick here..."
Now I know all these things must make a difference, but how much?? Presumably it also make more of a difference if you're a really good cyclist. If you can average 40 kmh then the effects of having a bike with reduced resistance will be much bigger, than if you're like me and can only average 30 kmh. Or maybe not??
So if anybody has any experience of "before" and "after" they've made some big changes to their bikes, I'd be very interested to hear from them!
I've looked around at various other forums / websites. I have come to the conclusion that I must be a bit of a freak when it comes to turning, as my current 400m 25m pool time (6:10) is 40 seconds faster than my current 400 50m pool time (06:50).
This means for the 8 extra turns, on average, I gain 5 seconds per turn.
Apparently for most other people the difference isn't nearly as big.
It's not as if I'm some highly-tuned swimmer who does butterfly kicks for 15m under water. I just turn around, push over, and start swimming again.
Can anyone come up with a good explanation - or do most other people (of a similar standard) get similar gains??
Does anyone know where you can buy them? I mean the proper things that the swimmers wear - not these pathetic, skimpy litlte things the likes of Tom Daley wore, which do seem fairly easy to find online.
I've convinced myself that the inspiration from wearing a pair of "Team GB" shorts will help me to crack the elusive 6min 30s barrier for 400m.