While the finer details of executing the perfect triathlon bike leg are usually specific to the race distance, they generally fall under some broad principles. I’d like to share these with you to help you avoid three common pitfalls, and to set you up for a great run.
Pitfall #1: Treating the bike leg of a triathlon like an all-out bike race
In general, the longer the race, the greater the consequences of imploding on the run. Keep in mind that you’re in a triathlon, not a bike race. The fastest combined time wins—not the fastest bike. For example, a poorly executed Olympic bike can cause you to slow down by 30 seconds per mile for the last 2 to 3 miles of the run, adding about one minute or so to your final time. At the half-iron distance, the consequence can often be 45 to 60 seconds per mile for 3 to 4 miles. For Ironman, it can be up to eight extra minutes per mile for many, many miles as mistakes on the bike reduce you to a walk on the run.