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The Benefits Of Bike Racing

  • By Robbie Ventura
  • Published Jun 29, 2012
  • Updated Feb 19, 2013 at 11:31 AM UTC
Illustration by Oliver Baker.

Master The Surge

In the bike leg of a triathlon, you determine how hard you want to go and keep accelerations to a minimum to save your legs for the run. For the most part, maintaining steady-state power over the course of the bike leg will maximize your speed over the given distance. In road racing, pace is determined by others—“your own pace” is not an option. You are constantly going over your limit to stay with the group and benefit from its massive draft. Unlike triathlon, you must surge to survive a bike race.

High-intensity surges do huge damage to the muscles and anaerobic energy systems, so it takes training to get used to these efforts. These are the same intervals I believe triathletes should be doing anyway—if you’re bike racing, you do them more frequently and during the specificity period of your training. I am a big believer that triathletes need to build overall range of power, regardless of the race distance they’re focused on.

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