Triathlon Cycling: Pedaling Technique – Part II

In Part I of our post on triathlon cycling: pedaling technique, I discussed the differences between toe down and heel down and, with all other things being equal, the lack of advantage one has over the other. Today we’ll look at the implementation of toe down or heel down when cycling on flats vs. climbs as well as the pedaling technique known as ‘ankling.’ First, it’s important to note that you will pedal differently depending on your cadence. It’s widely known that the faster your cadence is, the less likely you’ll be able to control any sort of pedaling technique. This makes sense. High cadence usually equates to high effort. And as Steve Hogg illustrates from "Pedaling Technique - Which…

Triathlon Cycling: Pedaling Technique – Part I

Toe Down vs. Heel Down Pedal efficiency is a cycling nerd subject. We all know how to ride a bike but the triathlete who’s really dedicated really wants to know how to ride a bike. Really. Pedaling technique is an argument over how to be more efficient. Should you ride toe down? Heel down? Or somewhere in between? Through my research and experience, great cyclists and triathletes have accompanied all forms of pedaling techniques. The legends have run the full gambit of toe down, heel down, and average. So it only stands to reason that this kind of pedal technique is not necessarily indicative of your cycling prowess. Thus, I suppose we could technically just stop here and say it…

Why Stroke Rate Matters to Your Triathlon Swim - Part 2

In the last blog, we looked at the importance of not only knowing and maximizing the cadence rates of your bike and run but also that of your swim. In this blog, we’ll look at how to calculate your strokes per minute (SPM) and whether to slow down or speed up your rates to be as efficient and productive as possible. Slowing Down and Speeding Up First of all, you should discover for yourself what your actual SPM are. The easiest way to do this is to use Swim Smooth’s calculator and measure how long it takes you to perform 10 strokes. Follow this link to find the calculator and the pictured graph below. In fact, I will be referencing…

Why Technical Cycling Matters in Triathlon – Part I

As triathletes, we prefer long, flat straightaways. That’s what our bikes were made for after all. Unfortunately, the real world isn’t always as conducive to how we’d prefer to ride. There are a multitude of race courses out there in the triathlon wilderness amok with sharp turns and wild descents. If you don’t know how to handle them you’ll be hindering your overall race performance and, even worse, potentially putting yourself in harm’s way. Technical cycling matters in triathlon and here’s why: AP = NP The less technical your cycling is, the harder it’s going to be to keep pace. For any event lasting over an hour (which last time I checked is virtually every triathlon in existence), it’s crucial…

3 Key Points to Remember About Triathlon Swim Technique

I often relate swimming to the sport of tennis. To be truly great at tennis, it requires an elegant combination of incredible fitness and superior technique. However, one of these elements has much more value than the other. Guess which one? I’ll describe a tennis analogy to help explain why technique takes precedence. Say I had a one-on-one match with John McEnroe later today. If the match were to be decided by the more physically fit competitor, I would win hands down. I could run up and down the court all over bad boy McEnroe. He’s 57 years old, retired, and out of shape. I, on the other hand, am in my prime. But who do you think is going…

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