Today on The Kona Edge, Sara Fix shares all the tips and tricks on how to build the big body system when it comes to your Ironman bike.
BRAD BROWN: Onto the Ironman bike now. Sara, as far as your triathlon career goes, can you pin it down to a couple of things that you’ve done over time that you think has really improved your performance on the bike?
SARA FIX: I would tell anybody, if you can get out of the water and “I feel good”. Whatever your time was. But it doesn’t feel at all like you’ve been affected by the swim, that’s where you want to be. You don’t the swim to affect the rest of your day.
Set yourself up for a good run with a strong bike
The bike ride, I think is the pinnacle part of the sport. Because if you’re bike trained and strong on the bike, you can get off and run. Okay, so you’re setting yourself up for the run because you’re strong on the bike and it’s not wearing you down. This is a big gap of time that you can put time on everybody.
My cycling changed with Computrainer. So if anybody has a Computrainer program or can get one in your basement. There’s lots of Computrainers in gyms and stuff now. You want to make sure that you’re following a really good progression program. Which now you can get those online and tap into other people that have published those. But a really good Computrainer and continually testing yourself.
Train and build your Ironman bike power indoors
So getting a result, taking a power test. Training, taking a power test. Training and trying to build your power through an indoor season I think is the key.
Because outdoor, I don’t know if you use power when you ride but I know you ride outside all the time, but being able to focus on power and use different workouts to strengthen you, that I think is key for me. That was it. Really focusing 3 days a week on Computrainer, that was when my cycling changed.
BRAD BROWN: You mentioned outdoor vs indoor, even if you are training with power outdoor, there are so many variables. Whereas indoors you can really control that and really dial that in big time can’t you?
Build your Ironman bike body system on the Computrainer
SARA FIX: Right, and then you can take that outside and change it and modify it based on whatever it is. Whether it’s a weather condition, traffic or what not. It is important to ride elements and it is important to ride hills and learn how to ride hills and descend hills. All that is so important but building the system, the muscles, the heart.
Building that system on the bike, you can do on Computrainer. So the big body systems. That’s what you’re addressing and then going outside is like the icing on the cake. Now you’re learning how to ride in the elements. What it feels like to ride in wind, what it feels like to ride different wheel sets, what it feels like to do hills and traffic and bike handling. All of that is super important too. Turning, obviously all of that is super important. But as far as building your cycling system, I think Computrainer is the way to go. And our elite athletes, I know they would tell you the same thing.
Invest in the perfect Ironman bike fit
I coach 30 Computrainer classes a week in the winter and we work. It’s a complete step program. Where it’s a acclimation phase to heart rate phase, to strength phase to integrating both. Working a lot on the body position on the bike and being super aware of your body position. How to ride in aero. Where your knees are. Lots of work on the pedal stroke. All that stuff is so important and I think people don’t even realise it.
Madison camp, I’ll bring it up again. There was lots of clubs out there training and we would ride by other clubs and I thought “I don’t think they have anybody coaching them on cycling”. Because their form was horrible, their bike fits were horrible.
We do pro bike fits also at Endure It so our athletes are fit perfectly on their bikes. We make sure they’re powerful, they’re comfortable. They’re all within range of where they’re supposed to be.
And then we work a ton on their body position on the bike. So that when they’re riding, they look like they know what they’re doing. And they ride efficiently and their pedal strokes are efficient. I think it’s a really important part of cycling.
Brad Brown is a 40 something age grouper that dreams of one day qualifying for and racing on the big island (He may have to outlive everyone in his age group though).
Morbidly obese in 2009, Brad clocked in at 165kgs (363lbs) at his heaviest.
He's subsequently lost a third of his body weight on the way to a half Ironman pb of 5:06 and a full Ironman pb of 12:21.
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