Sometimes, especially for a beginner, it wasn’t just the physical effort that got you across the finish line faster than your mates, but rather you avoided more common ‘rookie’ mistakes than them. We’re not talking ‘defective judgement’ here, more a focus on the new, big, exciting stuff at the expense of the basics! We’ve all been there, and we see them all the time, at every event.
Don’t make it harder than it has to be by expending energy where it’s not necessary.
Just the same as you explore your body for good form & for the most efficient way to run, search for efficiency on your bike too –
Not wasting energy is Free Speed!
The following list may seem obvious to some, but we see this happen time and again, so let’s attend to some detail.
Race Day Check List
- Clean your chain! It will travel round the cogs more smoothly & with less effort from you if it’s not caked in mud.
- Lube your chain! It will travel round the cogs more smoothly & with less effort from you with a little helpful ‘slide’.
- Change your chain before your race if you’ve put some miles into your training – that burst of adrenaline-fuelled power-to-the-pedal is no good if it results in a broken chain and the end of your event. A new chain is cheap race insurance.
- Pump up your tyres! Squishy tyres are energy-sapping! It takes less than a minute and will save you much more than that …
- Check your saddle height; rarely do we see saddles too high, but frequently we see saddles too low. It’s not only stressful for knees, but you’re not in a position to access full use of your legs, which are the only form of power you have on your bike!
- Think Cadence! Mashing pedals with brute force, a high gear and slow circles is energy-thirsty and makes it very difficult to ‘run off the bike’ if you’re a triathlete. Spinning with light feet, a lower gear and faster circles is energy-efficient, and kinder for triathletes’ legs. Watch what other cyclists are doing when they pass you and learn through the example of faster riders. It’s often not just fitness, but technique … free speed … 🙂