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August 2, 2021

20 Training Tips for a Better Bike Split

A better bike split awaits! On today’s episode, coaches John Mayfield and Matt Bach provide 20 cycling tips to help you make the most of your training sessions and prepare for race day. John and Matt cover training metrics, pedal stroke, bike handling, positioning and more! This episode is packed with helpful information including everyday tips about ride safety and bike maintenance.

TriDot Podcast .097 20 Training Tips for a Better Bike Split Intro:  This is the TriDot podcast.  TriDot uses your training data and genetic profile, combined with predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to optimize your training, giving you better results in less time with fewer injuries. Our podcast is here to educate, inspire, and entertain.  We’ll talk all things triathlon with expert coaches and special guests.  Join the conversation and let’s improve together. Andrew Harley:  Hey folks!  We’ve got a bike episode for you today.  The wheels on the bike go round and round, but only as fast as we can pedal them.So today we’ve got 20 bike training tips to help you with all that cycling.  I’m joined today by TriDot’s very own, Matt Bach.  Matt is an accomplished athlete with an Ironman Maryland victory, and 77nd overall finish in Kona on his resume.  He worked on Wall Street as a trader and portfolio manager for nine years, earned his MBA from Temple University, worked at marketing at UCAN for two and a half years, before coming on board to lead TriDot’s marketing efforts.  How’s it going Matt? Matt Bach:  Great.  Love being on. Andrew:  Next up is Coach John Mayfield. John is a USAT Level II and Ironman U certified coach who leads TriDot’s athlete services, ambassador, and coaching programs.He has coached hundreds of athletes ranging from first-timers to Kona qualifiers and professional triathletes.John has been using TriDot since 2010 and coaching with TriDot since 2012.  John, what’s up friend? John Mayfield:  Looking forward to a good episode.  I love biking.  I love cycling.  It’s my thing.  So, I’m getting to do my jam on this one. Andrew: I’m Andrew the Average Triathlete, Voice of the People and Captain of the Middle of the Pack.  As always we'll approach the show like any other workout.  We’ll roll through our warm up question, settle in for our main set conversation, and then wind things down with our cool down.  Lots of good stuff, let's get to it! Warm up theme:  Time to warm up!  Let’s get moving. Andrew: Starting the show off with a little math today.The golden equation of owning bikes is famously n+1 where n is the number of bikes you currently own and the resulting answer being the amount of bikes you need.  The point of course, is no matter how many bikes you have in your arsenal, you always need one more.  So Matt, John since I’m sure all three of us would agree with this particular math equation and we do all indeed need one more bike, if you were purchasing your next bike today what would you add to your collection?  Matt Bach, let’s go to you. Matt: Yeah, and I love that.  The first thing I want to add is that there’s an addition to that equation that I’ve heard– Andrew:  Really? Matt: –from other folks and that is s-1.  So that is one of the constraints there and that’s because it’s the number of bikes cannot exceed that which your spouse will leave you.  So it’s s-1.  So there’s a constraint there on the upper limit. John:  So s equals the amount where your spouse is gone. Matt:  Yeah.So you’ve got to make sure you stay just one below that. John:  n+1 as long as n is less that s. Andrew: So if my wife draws the line in the sand at 20 bikes, that’s my s is 21-1. Matt:  Exactly. Andrew:  Okay, got it. Matt:  The bike that I would add is a mountain bike because I’ve never really had a good, quality mountain bike.  I’ve just had the little Huffys that I had when I was growing up just to ride around the neighborhood, but there are some amazing mountain bikes out there now. Andrew:  There sure are. Matt:  And I mean, mountain biking trails.  I’ve got a couple of buddies close by.  I live in New Jersey so we don’t have amazing mountain biking trails, but we’ve got some pretty good ones and I’ve got a couple buddies that live nearby that go out riding all the time and I’m just completely lost from that because I don’t have a mountain bike. Andrew:  Okay, well sounds like you have a conversation with your wife to be had about have you exceeded your s yet and can you add one?  Coach John Mayfield, what would you look to add right now? John:  This kind of hurts because I have actually been trying to buy a bike for the past seven or eight months.  Bikes are notoriously backordered right now.  There’s all sorts of multiple issues that are preventing bikes from getting to the consumer.So I’ve been waiting for about nine months now for my new bike.  Old Faithful keeps going.  She performs, but not like she used to. Andrew:  Your Specialized TT bike. John:  She doesn’t turn anymore. Andrew:  That’s not good. John:  So yeah.It’s to the point now it’s– Matt:  Is the headtube rusted shut?  Like, what happened? John:  Totally, totally seized up, but you know.  Like I said, it gets looser the more I ride so during a ride…but I actually need a new bike.  So I am looking forward to that, but man I’ve not done it, but I heard all about the gravel craze so I feel like I’m missing out something there.  So maybe if I ever get to beyond my n+2 it would be my new time trial bike and then a gravel bike. Andrew: A gravel bike shortly after.  Okay, yeah that’s fair.  I know in the Dallas Fort Worth area gravel has really caught on.I don’t have one yet.  For me– so I’ve got the tri bike, I’ve got the road bike, and what I really want to get next– so my road bike I’ve said on the podcast before is a Bianchi Aria.  So I love Bianchi.  I love just the Italian nostalgia of it.  I love the celeste old school color palette.  It’s just a great tradition in the cycling world.  So my road bike is a Bianchi and I would love to get my wife and I his and her Bianchi C-Sport City Fitness bikes.  So that is their model that is made for riding around town. Matt:  Good answer.I think you may have just raised yours. Andrew:  Yeah, so it’s no longer n+1 in this equation.  It’s n+2 so that she also has one because the point of this bike is to ride together.  Where we live there’s some great kind of city park trails nearby.  There’s some great restaurant strips nearby that we can bike to.So I would love for us to have just kind of those city commuter bikes to take us to those places and just as a cycling snob who loves my Bianchi I would love for those city bikes to be Bianchi ones.So that’s my particular choice.So hey, I know everyone who listens to the podcast you are not listening to this podcast unless you love your bike and chances are you would like another one.  So we’re going to throw this question out on the I AM TriDot Facebook group.  Make sure you're a member of that group whether you train with TriDot or not.You listen to this podcast, you're a part of the family.  Go join that group and find the post asking this question.  If you were adding a new bike to your stable, what would it be?Can’t wait to see what you guys have to say. Main set theme:  On to the main set.  Going in 3…2…1… PRECISION HYDRATION:  We recently had sport scientist, Andy Blow, from Precision Hydration on the show and learned that there isn’t a one-size fits all approach to hydration because everyone loses a different amount of salt in their sweat.  As someone who sweats a lot I wanted to get a better understanding of how much salt I lose in my sweat so I took their online sweat test and after taking the test I received a personalized hydration plan and was recommended their strongest electrolyte drink, PH 1500 which is three times stronger than most sports drinks out there.  It’s been a game changer for me particularly in hot conditions.  If you’ve ever struggled with hydration issues like dehydration or cramping during long and hot sessions, it’s worth checking out precisionhydration.com.  You can take their free online sweat test and find out which PH strength matches how you sweat and then get 10% off your order with the code TRIDOT10.  To learn more you can even book a free 20 minute video consultation with them to ask any questions you have about hydration and fueling or even to discuss your own strategy for an upcoming race.  So again, that’s percisionhydration.com and use the coupon code TRIDOT10 to get 10% off your electrolytes and fuel. Andrew:  The bike leg of a triathlon holds the majority of the mileage and time that we will spend on the course making it crucial for us to train this discipline well.Whether you're an uber biker, pretty okay at bikes, or a weaker cyclist we all would love to raise our watts and lower our time on race day and today’s training tips can help us do just that.Now, for this episode I consulted with a lot of the coaches in the TriDot family to gather as many helpful bike training training tips as we could.  We’ve got 20 of them today, so excited to rip through these with Matt and John.  So Matt Bach, what is our first bike training tip for today’s episode? Matt:  Get a new bike. Andrew:  Of course it is! Matt:  Bikes make people happy and the proper number of bikes as you just mentioned is n+1. Andrew:  Of course. Matt:  So get a new bike.  That’s sort of half joking.  I mean, if it’s within your means or you have the– John:  Do we need to continue or is that just it?  Like, the other 19 do they matter? Andrew:  This episode became a bike purchasing episode.  So yeah.  Go try to buy a bike like John Mayfield is right now. Matt:  Good luck. Andrew:  But no, seriously.  I think a great point here to be made is you can be a triathlete with whatever bike you have.  You really can.  A lot of us, Matt you mentioned you started on a steel bike right? Matt:  Yeah.My first bike, my first triathlon was a 1980s, I don’t remember the exact year.  It was my dad’s bike.  It was a Peugeot.  It was steel.It must have been, I mean it had to be at least 30 pounds and it had those little shifters on the top tube, right?So you had to reach that.  Man, it was tricky.  I just kept it in the same gear the whole time and luckily I could because it was on the Jersey Shore.  It was nice and flat.  But yeah.You could use any bike you need.Right after that I noticed I loved triathlon so I went out and I bought a road bike. Andrew:  Yeah, and Matt, that’s actually what I recommend a lot of my friends do is if they’re trying to get started in the sport, start with whatever bike you can get on.Then from there if you like the sport and you can kind of save up the money at that point purchase whatever bike you can afford to get into. Matt:  Yeah, definitely.  Get a new bike is like… I mean I’m sort of serious, but I’m half joking as well.You don’t necessarily have to, obviously.  The first real tip is get fit on that bike.  Get a bike fit. Andrew:  Yes.Oh, thank you for saying that. Matt:  I feel like that had to be the first one that I mentioned; the first real one that I mentioned because it’s such a key thing.  If you’re going to invest in the sport, in yourself, and your enjoyment of the sport then a bike fit is crucial for that.  There’s really three main things that a bike fit is going to do for you.It’s optimizing your power, your aerodynamics, and your comfort.  So if you’re going to be doing something like– and this is what the bike fitter will do with you.  A trained bike fitter will help you to find that optimal thing.  You don’t want to just maximize your aerodynamics because then you might be horribly uncomfortable and especially if you’re doing something like an Ironman, a really long race,  or you’re a century rider.  You’re going to have a tough time holding that position the whole time and when you get off you’re probably going to have a tough time running off the bike.So you need to have some level of comfort as well, but you don’t want to maximize your comfort because then you’re probably going to be like a sail sitting up.  You’re not going to be very aerodynamic.  So you want to take those three things.  You don’t want to maximize your power either because you’re also, again, going to be kind of sitting up.  That's where you’re most powerful.  So you want to optimize and the bike fitter will help you to do that to optimize okay what race are you doing?  Are you doing an Ironman that’s hilly where maybe you can afford to sit up a little bit more for the comfort aspect of it?  Or are you doing USAT Nationals and you’re racing the sprint and Olympic distance and you can afford to be fairly uncomfortable because you’re not going to be uncomfortable for that long and output a lot of power, but really optimize and maximize almost your aerodynamics.  So the bike fitter will help you do that.  It’s just crucial no matter what you’re doing, whether you’re doing sprints or Olympics or Ironman distance stuff or you're slow or you’re fast.  It’s very, very critical to get a bike fit. John:  It is great that this is number one because it’s one of the hotbed issues I’ve talked about on other podcasts.  So it’s great to have another voice championing the bike fit and you follow it up with the right things too, Andrew, with it needs to be periodic and I’ll say this too.  It needs to be someone that understands the triathlon fit. Andrew:  Yes.Absolutely. John:  We are the minority.  I don’t know, where maybe one in ten bikes sold is a triathlon bike as opposed to a road cycling bike, and a fitter that may be fantastic at fitting road cyclists may or may not have the expertise and the nuances to fit a triathlete.  So make sure that– you may have the greatest fitter in the world, but if they don’t understand the unique needs of triathlon, they’re not going to fit you properly.  So check that out and make sure that they understand the unique nuances of triathlon riding. Andrew:  I think a lot of new triathletes, I think a lot of sprinters and Olympicers, I think a lot of folks who are just intermediate, average age groupers like myself, view the bike fit as a splurge not a necessity.  And all three of us are sitting here telling you it’s not. John:  Absolutely. Andrew:  It’s not a splurge.  It is a necessity regardless of what you’re training and racing for.  Let’s shift our way to– shift, a little bike lingo; tip #2.John Mayfield, what is bike training tip #2? John:  Learn how to change a flat.  This is like 101 type stuff.  It’s critical to know both in training and racing. Andrew:  And it’s a pretty easy skill to practice to be honest. John:  It really is and it’s one of those things once you’ve learned how to do it, you get proficient in doing it, you can do it quicker so especially worse case scenario if you’re in a race and you flat you can get it done in a matter of minutes as opposed to spending copious amounts of time on the side of the road waiting for support.  So it’s really important.  It’s really a safety thing as well and there are a lot of things even in that to be cognizant of where you are, where’s the traffic, do what you can to remove yourself away from the traffic, find a safe place to change the flat and then again, know what to do.  Make sure you’ve got plenty of gear with you.  I always have a minimum of two tubes and if you’ve got two tubes you’ve got to have two CO2’s or a pump.  We’ve been out there on those rides before where we got tubes and no CO2’s and yeah, you can’t blow them up.  So a great tip for there is dollar bills make excellent patches. Andrew:  Interesting. John: So if you get a gash in the tire that blows out the tube a dollar bill has that fiber in it that it’s not just paper.  It’s almost a material. Andrew:  It can hold air in. John:  So if you have a gash in the tire and the tube is sticking through that whole in the tire, just fold up the bill and it works as a great patch.  I’ve had tires where I took it off, went to replace the tire and didn’t even know–  I had no idea how long that dollar bill had been in there.  Yeah take the tire off and all of a sudden there’s money falling out.So it’s kind of like a savings plan. Andrew:  It can help you save for that new bike. John:  Exactly.But, you know you get to the gas station, you need hydration, it works for that as well. Matt:  I have used that tip before; the dollar bill successfully. Andrew:  I’ve never heard that one. Matt:  One thing to add here though is that trends have changed and things have changed in the space with tires.  So sometimes people aren’t riding clenchers, but the point here is really make sure that you know either how to change a flat or how to just handle if your tire is messed up. Andrew:  Yes.Because now tubeless is becoming more popular amongst triathletes in particular.  So yeah.  Know what your system is and know how to do it.  Bike shops are more than happy to help you learn these kinds of things.Don’t be intimidated by your local bike shop.  They’re a great resource to help.  Obviously YouTube videos can help you as well learn how to do this.  Also, quick side note/shoutout.  John, that was a fantastic use of the word copious as you were presenting that tip.  So kudos to you for that.  Word of the day, copious.  #3, Matt Bach, what is tip #3 for us today? Matt:  Practice riding in aero.  Your neck muscles in particular need to get used to it.  It doesn’t matter how fast your bike, helmet, wheels are.  You’re like a sail if you’re sitting up.  So the rider position is the biggest factor in aerodynamics.  So if you’re sitting up and you’re not in aero even though you have a tri bike and you have the fast wheels and the fast helmet and all these things, it’s not really doing you much good.  So you really need to practice in your training riding in aero especially on those longer rides when you have a chance to be down in aero for lets say three, four hours at a time.  Note that in your races if you’re doing something like Ironman Florida, Ironman Arizona, Ironman Maryland; one of the flat bike courses you’re going to be down in aero probably 98% of the time. Andrew:  At least you should be. Matt:  Or you should be.  Yeah.A lot of people aren’t especially because once they get to mile 60, 70, 80 their neck is bothering them.  Their back is bothering them and they can’t hold the aero for that long.  So it’s critical to be able to be down in aero for that long period of time.  Even if you’re on a hilly course like a Placid or a Wisconsin or something.  You’re still going to be in aero most of the time.  85% of the time or you should be. Andrew:  That’s why we pay for the n+1 fancy tri bikes.  You don’t buy that bike to not be in aero as often and as much as you can be. Matt:  Um-hmm.And I like to think of a good rule of thumb where if you’re going about 15 miles an hour or less.  Let’s say you’re on a pretty steep climb or something, then it’s okay to not be in aero because you can generate power more effectively.  You can give your back a break and you can get out of aero because you’re not getting much of a penalty from sitting up like a sail.  But if you’re doing anything above 15-ish miles an hour you should definitely be down in aero because it’s going to start impacting on an exponential basis, especially obviously if you're on the pointy end and you’re averaging 20-something, 25 miles an hour.  I mean, you're going to have a huge aerodynamic penalty if you’re sitting up really at all.  You’ve got to be down in aero the whole time. Andrew:  A very interesting RaceX functionality that kind of goes hand in hand with that.  You can actually in your RaceX settings as it’s optimizing your race plan for race day, you can tell RaceX at what speed you’re going to be out of aero and up either in the drops or on the base bars and out of aero.  So if that’s 15 miles an hour– then there’s a default value in there.  But if you know in your head, “Okay, I don’t break aero until 12 miles an hour, or 17 miles an hour,” you can actually program that into RaceX and it will consider that in its optimization for you.  Same thing on the descents.  You can tell RaceX at what speed you are no longer pedaling.  I know for me I’ve had some descents where once I get into 34, 35, 36 miles an hour I’m not pedaling anymore.  I’m just hanging on until I get to the bottom of the descent at that point.  For a more experienced cyclist, I imagine, that’s a higher speed.  Obviously you see the Tour de France guys are pedaling downhill and they’re going 60 miles an hour.  At 37, I’m hanging on for dear life.  So you can program that into RaceX and it’s going to add that into your race day optimization and times.  Total side nugget there.  That’s not one of the tips for today, but while you’re talking about that I thought I’d throw it out there.  But yeah.The TriDot stamina rides, the TriDot long rides, the TriDot Saturday rides, anytime you go outside for a session is a great time to hold aero as long as you can to practice being in that position because when race day comes you want to be in that position as much and as often as you can. John:  I think it dovetails right into… speaking of tip #4 is working on bike handling so that you can descend. Andrew:  Mmmm… Mmmm… John:  Nailed it. Andrew:  So tip #4 is work on your bike handling and that’s exactly what we’re talking about here.I mean, for me if I worked on descending maybe I could increase that speed to in the 40s miles per hour that I feel comfortable still continuing to pedal.  But work on your handling.  Work on your cornering.  There’s a lot of time to be saved on race day if you’re used to really judging the corners well and holding speed through the corners well.  That’s free time.  That’s free speed without doing any more training, without increasing your level of fitness.  The more confident you are on the bike, the more confident you are in your handling, the better you’re going to be able to start out of T1.  The better and smoother you’re going to be able to come into T2.The smoother you’re going to be able to go through those aid stations and grab bottles and grab your water bottle and your nutrition while you’re mid ride.  All of those are learned skills that while you’re out riding the more you do it the better.  When we work with youth and junior athletes we make them…hey if you’re really comfortable taking that water bottle with your right hand, on today’s ride don’t touch it with your right hand.  Do everything with your left.  Because the more you do it the better you get with that non-dominant hand and the better you can handle yourself on race day.  So there’s a lot of free speed to be gained just by improving your bike handling skills, your confidence on the bike, your confidence and balance grabbing things while you’re riding, and just practice that on those outdoor sessions and on race day it’s going to pay off I guarantee it. Matt: Fast is smooth and smooth is fast. Andrew:  That is absolutely right, sir.  That is absolutely right.  Tip #5, we just talked a little bit about riding outside, but let’s take it inside John.What’s tip #5? John:  Get a trainer.  So the trainer is perhaps the most efficient way to get in your bike training.  It’s just logistically easy.  It’s practical.  There are fewer things you have to do to hop on your trainer than to go out on a road ride so it’s efficient with your time and it really provides for a very efficient session.  So you’re not having to worry about things like changing flats and descending hills and that sort of thing.  You can simply follow your training, knock out your session with a very high level, again, of efficiency and accuracy when you’re not having to worry about intersections and cars and that sort of thing out on the road.  So it allows you really just to focus on getting the session done, getting it knocked out, it’s going to be a high quality session, and it’s going to be efficient with the time.  So smart trainers are great.  They seem to be somewhat the norm now.  Definitely increasing in proliferation, but there’s nothing wrong with the traditional fluid trainers as well. Matt:  Dumb trainers. John:  They’re not dumb trainers Matt. Matt:  I have a dumb trainer. John:  Just because something else is smart doesn’t mean that the others are dumb.  So I am an advocate for the fluid trainers out there.I think they’re getting a bad rap. Andrew:  So if someone’s going to use a fluid trainer in their training, they don’t have the budget perhaps for a smart trainer, but they are hearing us and saying, “Okay, I’ll do some of my training indoors.  There’s a lot of benefit there.”  What else do they need to really execute the session well inside on a fluid trainer? John:  So again, the power meter is going to be that primary metric that will best follow that training, but heart rate is still adequate there.  There are those limitations of heart rate.  It’s going to take longer to reach those desired zones.There’s going to be more kind of wiggle room to know exactly what that gear should be, what that intensity level should be as they wait on the heart rate to settle in and truly represent that intensity level whereas the power meter is going to provide that feedback almost instantly.  You’re going to know exactly what intensity you’re at with that immediate power feedback from the power meter. Andrew:  Tip #6:Wear enough clothing.  Learn how to layer for whatever the weather conditions are outside.  This is much more of a comfort thing, but it can also affect your training execution when you’re on an outdoor ride.  I always make the mistake every time the temperatures start dipping a little bit in the late fall, early winter.  I always make the mistake one time and I do it on one bike ride and one run outside.When it starts getting chilly I always reach for the long running tights and the long cycling bib pants a little too soon and I’ll go for one ride outside where it’s not quite cold enough for it and I end up overheating really quick because of it.  So really learn what is the temperature where you realistically need that kind of stuff where you need to layer appropriately.  You can get a great quality training session in outdoors if you’re layered the right way.  Then on the other side, know when it’s really hot, know what clothing and apparel you need to reach for to help keep yourself cool and mitigate the chances of you overheating; the odds of you overheating.  There’s some things you can do to thwart that.  So really get good at; for those outdoor rides we’ve talked about that they can be key to practicing your aero position.  They can be key to dialing in those handling skills.So layering appropriately for those outdoor rides can go a long way to you being more comfortable executing those sessions outdoors. John:  I bet Matt’s threshold up in New Jersey is much different than my Texas threshold on when to break out the cold weather gear. Matt:  Definitely.And I usually have the opposite problem as you, Andrew, where you mentioned that you bring out the tights too soon. Andrew:  Yeah. Matt:  I often do the opposite where I go out there and I have a bad experience where I don’t dress warmly enough especially on the bike because you’re moving pretty quickly so it’s easy to get cold. Andrew:  Yes. That’s a good point. Matt:  Especially up in the north east where I am.  So when it hits 60-something degrees or 50-something degrees and you’re not in tights or something, then you’re starting to flirt with some pretty chilly temperatures when you’re on a bike.  In the fall is definitely the point where, when it hits around 50-something degrees.And it’s different actually depending on whether you’re coming in or out of summer versus winter.  So if you’re accustomed to the cold and you’re coming out of winter… Andrew:  Very true. Matt:  …then for me once it hits 50 I feel like, “Wow!  It is balmy out here!” and I’m pulling on the shorts and the t-shirts. Andrew:  But in the fall, 50 starts feeling a little chilly. Matt:  50 feels brisk.  Yeah.Then I’ve got the tights on. Andrew:  Alright, moving on to bike training tip #7.  John Mayfield, what do we have here? John:  Care for your bike.  So what did we say earlier?  Smooth is fast and fast is smooth. Andrew:  A clean bike is a happy bike. John:  Well, I was going to say a clean bike is a fast bike kind of along those same lines. Matt:  It applies there too. John:  So yeah.Be a good mechanic.  Take care of your bike.  Be efficient in that yourself.  It’s great to drop off the bike periodically to your local mechanic for the full tune up, but it’s also important and really easy to do the basics yourself.  The most important thing is a clean chain.  It’s super easy to do just a basic degreaser.  I use Simple Green.  You can get it anywhere.  Spray it on a towel, wipe your chain down, and then re-lube it.  It takes like two minutes and keeps your bike fast, quiet.That’s one thing that drives me crazy if I’m ever around a cyclist and their bike is squeaking.  It absolutely just drives me nuts. Andrew:  You need to not join me then for an indoor bike training session, because I need to do this with my chain and haven’t. John:  You need to fix your stuff. Andrew:  Yep, I sure do. John:  That’s what needs to happen, but yeah. Matt:  John, don’t you need to fix your stuff too?  What about that head tube? John:  So granted, going back to training on a trainer, my poor bike just sits under me sweating for hours and hours and hours and it has for years. Matt:  And who needs to steer when you’re on the trainer all the time? John:  Yeah, you don’t need to turn on the trainer.  So yeah…I’ll save that one for another episode.  But yes.  I do have a clean chain. Andrew:  And to his point, I’ve started myself just over the years like slowly picking up the different mechanic tools and learning how to do some of those simple things because it is good to keep your bike in good working order.  It’s a little bit of a hassle sometimes to take it to the bike shop all the time.  So the more changing a flat that we’ve talked about earlier.  The more things like learning how to take care of your chain and clean it off.  If your chain’s talking to you, if your chain is making noise, you need to do something about it.  That’s the indicator. John:  It should be seen and not heard.  Yeah. Andrew:  It should be seen and not heard. John:  And along those lines, I love Park Tools.  A lot of them are pretty cheap.  So that’s like even one of my holiday things.  If I know somebody who wants to buy me like a $10 gift, buy me a Park Tools.I don’t care what it is, just whatever.I’ll put it to use or just throw it in the collection.  So yeah, I love Park Tools.  There’s not a whole lot of bike specific tools.  Parks is like, kind of the main one, but they’ve got some really cool stuff and they really make doing those things much easier.  There’s certain things you just absolutely cannot do unless you have the right tool.  And like so many projects and that sort of thing, having the right tool makes it so much easier. Andrew:  That’s absolutely true.  Moving us to bike training tip #8.  Matt Bach, what do we have here? Matt:  Shave down for race days. Andrew:  Ohhh.. Matt:  Shave it down.  So there’s like a famous article where Jesse Thomas– I think it was a Triathlete Magazine article and Jesse Thomas had gone to the Win Tunnel.  He’s a pro triathlete for anybody who was– Andrew:  The Specialized Win Tunnel. Matt:  The Specialized Win Tunnel.  Yep. John:  The Win Tunnel, not the wind tunnel.  It’s the Win Tunnel. Matt:  Thank you for that clarification.  So he went to the Win Tunnel and they just kind of, it wasn’t really in the plan, but they decided to do a test where he was very hairy and he hopped on the bike and they measured everything; his coefficient of aerodynamics and all that.Then he hopped off the bike, shaved, and went back on there.  And apples to apples, the only thing that changed was that he shaved and he saved a whole bunch of watts.  I think it was something like 8 watts or something just from shaving.  So that kind of opened the world… Andrew:  Free watts! Matt:  Yeah, free watts.  Every triathlete wanted to shave down– well not every triathlete, but a lot of triathletes wanted to shave down.  Anybody who read that article and so a lot of people started doing that and I found that it really does matter.  So every time I’m doing a race, the same way that swimmers do with shaving down, there’s drag that comes from the hair on your legs and even the hair on your arms.So if you shave down, you’re going to save yourself a bunch of time when you’re racing.  So I’ll shave down into A races and some of my B races.  If it’s a C race or just kind of a training ride or training race so to speak then I usually won’t shave down for that, but once it hits the B and A race that’s where the results matter for me then I’m definitely shaving down. Andrew:  I’m glad to have you bring this up and have you speak to your personal experience on why it matters so much to you on race day.  Our athletes have heard John and I talk about this many times.  What my policy is going to be…my wife doesn’t love the idea of me doing it every single time.  My personal policy will be I’ll do it for Ironman full distance because the time savings there is enormous and I’ll do it for 70.3’s where I have a legitimate chance of PR’ing.  If I can’t PR, what are those three minutes?  So that’s my personal policy.  That line is going to be different for everybody.  If you’re a type A and you want to do the best you can every single time, this is free time.  It’s free watts.  There’s no reason not to do it. Matt:  My wife loves it when I shave my legs.  She likes the smooth legs. Andrew:  Does she? Alright. Matt:  It’s kind of…I don’t know if that’s weird or not.  Maybe that’s a question for one of these future polls.  You could ask– Andrew:  How do you feel she’s going to feel about our podcast audience knowing that about her? Matt:  She’ll be fine with that.  She’s used to it. John:  My wife likes it too.  She even advocated for it even before I was a triathlete. Andrew:  Really? Interesting. Matt:  It also feels amazing in the sheets.  Shaved legs– I mean, women they’ve got it good most of the time. Andrew:  Sleeping in the sheets. Matt:  Right, right, yes. Andrew:  Just to clarify there what our intentions are.  Umm, okay.  I’m going to move us on to tip #9 here.  This is kind of along the same lines.  We’re talking aerodynamics.  We’re talking about things that can give you free speed without having to earn it through better fitness and there’s no denying, same thing, in the wind tunnel it’s proven on everybody, sleeved kits are faster than non-sleeved kits.  We had a podcast episode with Jesse Frank from Specialized.  He’s an engineer for their Win Tunnel that we were just talking about.  What he taught us on that episode was that a cylinder is the least aerodynamic shape imaginable.  And as humans, what are we?  We are cylinders.  Our heads are round.  Our arms are round.  Our legs are round.  Everything about us is round so that is the least aerodynamic shape.  So the more skin you can cover, the more of that round shape you can cover with aerodynamic material the better.  So just, when you’re in that aero tuck, you’ve practiced that position, you’re used to holding it, you’re ready to hold it, and having that material coming down your arm on race day is free speed when you’re out there on the course.  So we definitely recommend it.  We’ve got some great, really snazzy looking TriDot kits on the TriDot store.  I get along with it very, very well so that’s what I’ll be using on race day.  But whatever kit you’re looking at, it’s just free speed to go with the full length kit. Matt:  I’ll just add one thing.  With the sleeved kits they are faster for sure and I will always race in a sleeved kit now if it matters.  But one thing to pay attention to though is it’s only faster if it doesn’t have a lot of wrinkling. Andrew:  Yes. Matt:  You’ve got to make sure it fits really well. Andrew:  Great point.Great addition. Matt:  You’ve got to make sure it fits really well around the shoulder and the arm and that it’s tight enough on your body that it actually is faster for you.  So something to look out for. John:  Another benefit for me is I don’t handle the sun well so I appreciate that aspect that it hides more skin from the sun.  So it helps with cooling, sunburn, even skin cancer that we run a risk of with the amount of time we spend out on the road.  So multiple benefits in addition to just being faster. Andrew:  John, while you’re talking to us why don’t you move us on into tip #10? John:  #10:We’ve talked about this before.It seems like every bike focused podcast talks about getting a power meter if you don’t have one. Andrew:  I mean, they’re just great. John:  They are. Andrew:  We love data.We love the data, John! John:  We mentioned it earlier.  It really helps produce a high quality session.  It provides immediate feedback when our sessions are prescribing certain periods of intensity for specific periods of time it really allows us to dial in that exact intensity level and provides that immediate feedback.  The alternative and what was used prior to common place power meters was we went on heart rate, but there are several limitations to that.  It takes time to truly reflect the intensity level.  There are multiple things that can influence heart rate.  So it’s a good metric, but power is definitely a better metric.  It’s very advantageous on race day, especially paired with RaceX to know exactly what wattage you should be holding for any segment of the course to produce your best overall time.  So that’s one of those things, as soon as the budget allows– I would put very few upgrades in front of the power meter.  In fact that may be my number one up there right with the bike fit.  Bike fit, power meter; 1, 2.  Get those. Andrew:  Yep, that’s great.  So that closes out tip #10.  So I want to point out we are halfway through our 20 bike training tips.  How do you think people would feel if I just inserted about 30 seconds of the sound of a bike free wheeling as our intermission of this main set?  For it?Against it?  Yay?  Nay? Matt:  Nay. Andrew:  Fine Matt!We’ll move on.  Tip #11, Matt, why don’t you give it to us? Matt:  So don’t be a stomper.  That’s my next tip.  Learn to pedal all the way around and practice it during training, especially when you’re doing something like single leg drills.  You’ll get better at smoothing out the circle.  One thing to note, no matter how much you smooth out that circle, you’re always going to be more powerful on the down stroke. Andrew:  Yes. Matt:  When you’re engaging those quads, you’re pressing down, you’re working with gravity, you’re going to be more powerful there and you always will. Andrew:  You can put your weight into it a little bit, your own body weight. Matt:  Right, but you don’t want to just be a stomper and rely only on that part of the pedal stroke in order to generate the power to move yourself forward.  So you want to even it out a bit more and focus on engaging all the way around the circle with as little loss as possible.You want to be nice and efficient.That’s the main thing.  Really just rounding it out.  Being more efficient with the pedal stroke. Andrew:  Yep, and single leg drills are great for just kind of going through those one leg at a time and identifying in your pedal stroke, “Okay, am I pulling up really smoothly?What is my form like in making that circle?”  And this is something that any of my friends when they’re starting out in triathlon or any of the juniors that join our junior team that I help coach.  One of the first things we tell them is pick up those clipless pedals and some actual cycling shoes as soon as you can.  I did my first two triathlons without that.  I just had the normal platform pedals for my first tri.  I had the little kind of like bird cage looking toe clip things for my second one. Matt:  Toe cages, yeah. Andrew:  And it was my third triathlon that I finally sprung for the actual clipless pedals and shoes and it makes just a huge difference because you’re able to generate power through the entire circle of the pedal stroke instead of just on the down stroke.  So yep, absolutely.  If you’re out there and you’re listening and you haven’t made that investment yet, there are some great cost efficient pedals out there.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it’s really going to revolutionize your ability to produce power all the way through that stroke. Matt:  It’s a little scary at first with the clipless pedals. Andrew:  It is, and we all fall.  You will fall. Matt:  You get used to it quickly enough though.  You will fall.  I’ve fallen many times at stop lights. John:  Just something to follow up on the pedal stroke.  One thing I see and it’s kind of a pet peeve of mine is throughout that pedal stroke your foot should maintain relatively flat.  What I see a lot of times is athletes will have a very high angle from toe to heel.  I refer to it as “twinkle toes.”  It’s almost looking like a ballerina and what that’s going to do is over activate the calf which is going to lead to, oftentimes, cramping later on.  So if you’re off on the run and your calves are cramping, there’s a chance you may be over utilizing, over engaging those with that elevated heel in the back.  So it should look and feel relatively flat.  It shouldn’t exceed about 20 degrees which I know is hard to kind of see in real time, but watch for that as you can, but maybe even ask the person riding next to you if you’re out on a group ride, “Hey what do my heels look like?Do I look like I’m twinkle toes or is it relatively flat?” and kind of think about that.  It’s heels down. Andrew:  Driving through the heels.  Yeah. John:  As Matt mentioned in that pedal stroke, especially on the back I always think about wiping your feet like you’ve got mud on your shoes and you’re wiping the mud off.  That’s how that bottom of the pedal stroke should feel and throughout that your foot should be practically flat through there, but even then as you complete that stroke throughout that pedal cycle it should remain relatively level without big swings of up and down. Matt:  That’s one of the things that a bike fitter might measure as you’re doing that is they might look at that heel.  So it’s a good point.  You want to keep that fairly stable.  I think I could do a better job with that.  I tend to be maybe halfway to twinkle toes. Andrew:  Alright, Matt Bach, what is bike training tip #12? Matt:  Plan out your route.  This is one of my favorite things to do with my long bike rides. Andrew:  Is it? Matt:  Yeah.I love this stuff.  The exploration.  So if you’re going out for maybe a 50 mile ride and you have a lot of those on your schedule then there’s only so much you can explore if you’re just leaving from your house every time.  But I love it when there’s a ride on the calendar that’s 100 miles, 110 miles because it gives me a chance to just explore something that I’ve never explored before.  Especially because of where I am in New Jersey, I’m fairly close to New York City.So if I go anywhere east or if I go anywhere sort of near my house, it’s still suburban and there’s a good amount of houses and things.  There’s some great roads, but the roads get even better and more rural and more secluded and isolated if I go further out southwest away from New York City.  So when I have these big, long 100+ mile rides I get the chance to do that.  Or even better is I love doing a ride where I go from New Jersey up to Connecticut which is actually where my parents live.  So I’ll do a one way route all the way up there.  My wife graciously drives the car up so that I don’t have to ride back as well because it’s about 100 mile ride.  So I’ll ride one way up there.  But I’ve got to tell one quick story here.  When I was– 2015 I think it was.  Maybe it was a little earlier than that actually.  I was doing a one way ride up to Connecticut because I was going to go for a bachelor party.  Now, awful, awful idea. Andrew:  So you wanted to ride to the bachelor party, naturally.  Like any bachelor party attendant typically does. Matt:  Of course, right?  I was riding up there and once I got to Nyack in New York I hit a pothole.  I was by myself.  It was still basically dark out.  It was just before 6:00 am.  I hit a pothole, crashed, there’s blood everywhere.  Road rash like crazy.  I get up though and my bike is okay and I’m feeling okay.  I’m just a little shaken up and I’ve got blood everywhere. Andrew:  The bike being okay is the key component here, of course. Matt:  Of course. Of course I had to mention that.After the crash people are like is the bike okay? Andrew:  Yes it is. Matt:  I’m okay too, thanks.  So I hop back on the bike.  I’m like, “I’m going to continue.  I’m going to continue this ride back up to Connecticut.”  So I need something to patch up these bloody elbows, so let me see if I can find maybe a cop along the road or a gas station or something that maybe has a first aid kit and I can just ask for a few bandages to patch it up and then be on my way.  And I couldn’t find anything except this one convenience store that I went into and the guy looks at me and just wants nothing to do with me.  You know, I’m like the cyclist walking.  I’ve got blood all over the place.  He’s like, yeah, just “No, I don’t have a first aid kit.My bathroom’s out of order.” Andrew:  What if it wasn’t even that?  What if he wanted nothing to do with you because he just saw a guy in bright skin-tight lycra and wanted nothing to do with it? Matt:  Maybe he was shocked at my amazing physique.  So he looks at me and doesn’t want anything to do with me.  The people that are in the convenience store though say, “Oh, there’s a hospital down the road.”  So I hop back on my bike.  I ride over to the hospital.  I go to the ER.  They want to admit me.  I’m like, “No, no, no.  Can I just…”I’m like wheeling my bike through the hospital, by the way, and I’m bleeding all over the place.  So I ask them, “Hey, is it okay if I just use your sink and some soap and water to clean up and maybe some bandages?  Can you just give me some bandages or something?  I’ll do it myself, I don’t care.”  So they actually let me do that. Andrew: Interesting. Matt:  I’m in the hospital…yeah.  It’s kind of shocking, right? Andrew:  Yeah. Matt:  I mean the liabilities.  I don’t know.There’s something that would have prevented… Andrew:  They probably also at that point wanted nothing to do with you.  So what can we give this man here? Matt:  So I wheel my bike over to this side room that they send me to with a sink and I’m washing myself up with soap and water.  All these nurses are walking by and peaking in the room like “What is this guy doing?”  And they gave me a little sack of bandages and so I patched myself up and I hopped back on the bike and I’m on my way.  So I rode all the way up– almost all the way up to my parent’s house, but then my dad ended up hopping in the car and picking me up at mile like 76 or something. Andrew:  Okay. Matt:  So I wasn’t quite there, but picks me up and he’s like, “Matt, you’re being an idiot.Just get in the car.” John: So because of that, a couple things that are great aids.  I have Live360 on my phone.  A lot of people do these days whether they’re a cyclist or not.  A lot of people just kind of keep track of their family.  That’s my primary use is, I want to know where my kids are, I pull up Live 360.So it works great.  I always take my phone. Andrew:  I know some folks use Strava Beacon or now Garmin I think has a subscription where you can track a rider with Garmin. John:  Yeah, so any of those that provide real time tracking are great.  I always take my phone with me just in case for those types of scenarios. Andrew:  Matt’s wife could have pulled him up on Live360 and saw, “Oh, he’s at the hospital.” John:  He’s at the hospital! Andrew:  And panicked a little bit. John:  Yeah, that’s great.  Road ID in case there are times where, had Matt hit his head he could have been knocked unconscious.  It’s great to have that both for names, phone numbers, contacts, medical issues, anything like that it’s important to have.  Then also as far as planning the routes go there’s most of the GPS watches computers have the map functionality where you can load those maps and it will give you turn by turn directions.  So those can be great to help keep you on course. Andrew:  Yep, no.All good stuff.  I’ll move us on to tip #13.  I’m also reminded of this tip just thinking about falling and wrecking and crashing and the things that can go wrong.  Obviously when we race as triathletes I don’t think– a majority of us don’t take the time to put on cycling gloves before we go out and cycle.So the habit becomes, “Well I don’t race that way so why would I train that way?”  But there actually is tangible benefit to training with cycling gloves on.  For a while I was kind of snobish and like, “Oh, no I’m a triathlete.  I don’t use gloves.”  But just over time, I would come in from rides and my hands would be just a little sore and it’s like, get off your high horse.  Put the $25 gloves on.  It’s just going to increase your comfort on those long training rides.  If you were to fall off your bike it’s going to help your hands not get all skinned up and scraped up which could affect a future race.  So it’s just an extra added measure of safety just putting on a pair of gloves because it can help in a lot of ways.  Coach John Mayfield, what is bicycle training tip #14? John:  Learn group ride etiquette.  So, triathletes are notorious for showing up to group rides and just ruining things and riding dangerously, not following the rules, not being aware of the rules, just being kind of naive to what’s going on.  Lots of great triathletes ride with lots of great groups, but we certainly do raise some eyebrows if we show up to a group ride where the vast majority are roadies.  So it’s important there to kind of be a good representative. Andrew:  Yeah. John:  And also it’s very much a safety thing to make sure… especially each individual group.Because every group can have little different nuances, can do things a little bit different and if you do one thing according to the group you used to ride with and they do things differently, that may be two cyclists ending up at the same place at the same time which has a bad result.  So, learn kind of those rules of riding in a group and then especially if there’s anything specific to a group, find out how they do things and be sure to conform.  A lot of group rides won’t allow the athletes to ride in the aero bars.  So you may show up with your tri bike and you may be spending the whole ride up on your bull horns on the base bar.  And of course, if that’s the rules then you want to follow the rules. Andrew:  Yeah, yeah.Be respectful. John:  And then everything, it should go without saying, but it doesn’t; follow the traffic laws.  There are that kind of same thing.  We often get judged, the majority get judged by the few.  I see bad cyclists out there running red lights, stop lights, doing dumb things, cutting across traffic.  It’s dangerous.  It’s life threatening.  I think it’s one of those things like I wonder how many times those people have crashed.  Like Matt shared his story of crashing.  I’ve crashed a couple times and it changes you.  It shakes you and it’s hard to get back on the road after that and it’s almost like, “I wonder.  Have they experienced that?”  I think probably I was a little more fast and loose back in the beginning. Andrew:  Before you crashed? John:  Right.Yeah.  You learn that lesson.  You grow up real quick. Andrew:  B.C., before crashing. John:  Or, you know, you have that close encounter with a car and all of a sudden you’re like, “Wow.  That can happen.”  And it does.I mean we see this all the time with accidents, fatalities, that sort of thing.  We love what we do, but it’s dangerous.  So we need to do whatever we can to minimize those risks and maximize our opportunities to make sure we get back home safe. Andrew:  So along those lines, bike training tip #15 is safety.  Just be aware of your surroundings and Rachael Maney from Bike Law when she was on talking about bicycle safety, one of the things she really likes to do when you’re at a red light or you’re next to a car, wave.Like, be friendly.  Humanize yourself.  Humanize the world of cyclists to the motor vehicle operators around you.So be aware of drivers.  Be aware of what those cars around you are doing.Be aware of pedestrians and where they are.  Do they look like they’re about to cross the street in front of you or do they not?Be aware of pets on or off leashes and just be aware.  I’ve ridden on so many group rides where you can just tell there’s one guy with his head in the clouds and you’ve just got to watch him the whole time and you’re on edge a little bit.  So just be a good citizen of the road.  Be a good rule follower of the road.  Be aware of parked cars.  Obviously the term is getting doored, right?  If you’re riding along and all of a sudden somebody opens a door because they parallel parked on a street.  Be tentative around that.  That’s a real good way to get yourself hurt and you can just avoid it by just being aware of where those parked cars are.  Is there somebody in that parked car that looks like they’re about to open a door. Matt:  I’ve never heard that phrase before, but I’ve been in the situation where I’ve almost gotten doored many times. Andrew:  Yeah. John:  This can be major damage to you and major damage to the car.  So you don’t want to do it. Andrew:  Let’s move us on to bike training tip #16. Matt:  Handle the hills properly. Andrew:  Mmmmm. Matt:  And what I mean by that is when you’re riding up a hill, a lot of triathletes, a lot of cyclists in general tend to follow this pattern where they see the hill, they hammer up the hill, then when they’re getting to the top they go, “Oh, I made it to the top.” and then they let off the gas. Andrew:  I sure do that.  Yep. Matt:  I know I did that for the first several years until, really I spoke with this fellow triathlete.  His name is Tim Smith.  He’s a really fast triathlete.  He was living in New York City at the time and I was riding with him and he rode Ironman Texas in like 4:38 or something on the bike.  I mean, he was a top amature.  He’s a really, really fast triathlete and he gave me this tip.  He said, alright, when you’re going up the hills you want to stay fairly steady when you’re going up the hill.  Maybe your wattage is going to increase a little bit.Maybe it’s 20 watts or something, but you’re not going to hammer up the hill.  You’re just going to fairly steadily climb the hill.  Then when you’re getting towards the top, if you’re going to burn a match, you burn it at the top.  So you don’t hammer up the hill and then go aww, okay I’m good and then ease off.  You go towards the top and just as you’re cresting the hill is when you burn the match or when you kind of make sure that you keep that power going into the bike.And shift those gears and get the momentum back because if you get the momentum back, the faster you get the momentum back then on the way down if it’s really steep then you can let off the gas or bring the power wattage down a little bit.  But the overall speed that you’re going to get from that pattern of cresting strong, that overall speed is going to be faster for the same watts that you’re putting out. Andrew:  Yeah, cresting strong.  I really like that term and kind of that mindset of getting over that crest with strong legs.  Go through your pedal stroke a few more strokes to get going downhill before relaxing a little bit and letting your legs recoup from the effort.  That’s really, really great because for one hill maybe it makes a couple seconds difference, but over the course of an Olympic, over the course of a half, over the course of an Ironman, man you’re talking some big time savings just by executing those few moments on the course properly.  Coach John Mayfield, bike training tip #17. John:  Somewhat along those same lines, use your gears.  This is something we see quite often with beginners, they’ll tend to just ride at whatever wattage or whatever cadence their particular gear they’re in dictates.  So it’s being efficient, knowing when to use those gears.  Not just the gears, but your chain ring as well.  I know something I used to do is this big ego, I’m not going to shift to that small chain ring.  I’m going to ride my biggest cog in the back and so I can just stay on my big chain ring, but then you have drivetrain loss.  It would be more efficient, you would go faster for the same wattage if you kept your chain straight and utilize that small ring.So, utilize the gears.  Utilize your chain rings.  Utilize the equipment you have on your bike.  So just be efficient there and a lot of that has to do with cadence and I’ve talked about this before on several other podcasts.Vary your cadence.  Be efficient in riding at 70, 80, 90, maybe even 100 RPM because there are scenarios where you may need to ride at all of those.  We talk about things like stroke rate in the swim.Different swim conditions are going to dictate different stroke rates so it’s important to be able to do all of those.Different course conditions.Different environmental weather conditions are going to dictate different cadences so you need to be efficient in riding at various cadences and then you can also find your optimum cadence.  We’ve talked about that as well.  For most people it’s somewhere in the 80 to 90, give or take range where you are maximizing your output, your wattage, with a minimal input.  So it’s kind of that balance of your wattage and your heart rate.That’s how I tend to look at it.Is if I am at a power of X, if I increase my cadence what happens to my heart rate?  If I lower my cadence what happens to my heart rate?  And from there what I’m looking to do is what cadence am I at where I can hold the highest wattage at the lowest heart rate. Andrew:  Matt Bach, what is– there’s three left.  So I’ll have Matt do one, I’ll have John do one, and then I’ll do one more.  So what is bike training tip #18? Matt:  Gotta say strength training. Andrew:  Mmmm. Matt:  Strength training can be key.  In 2013 I started doing– religiously doing strength training and not for the purpose of making my cycling stronger.  I actually was doing it to prevent running injuries.  I had some chronic achilles and knee problems and I was trying to cure those and move forward as a healthier runner.  So I started doing a lot of strength training.  Single leg deadlifts, single leg squats, and using the band for crab walks and things like that with a physical therapist who was guiding me and I had a lot of success in helping the injuries for running, but it had a secondary benefit that I didn’t even really anticipate which was that my cycling became stronger. Andrew:  Wow. Matt:  I started doing my strength training off the bike sometimes too where I’d do a hard bike session and then 15 minutes later I’d be doing a strength session for about 30 minutes.  So there’s a short turnaround after the bike session to the strength and I found that my running got even better, like not just being injury free, but my running actually got better as well because I was doing the biking then the strength off the bike.  So my form just became better and better and my strength became better and better… Andrew:  Very interesting. Matt:  For both the run and the bike.  So strength training can definitely have a critical impact on all of it. Andrew:  Yeah, that’s great.  And obviously the muscles we’re using in our legs, in our glutes.  It’s all those big leg muscles that you’re using on the bike and so strengthening those up I imagine, even unintentionally you were strengthening it for a different purpose, but those big muscle groups getting stronger go a long way on the bike.  So that really makes sense.  Let’s just tap into those muscles a little bit more effectively.  John, tip #19.  What have we got? John:  So it was basically our #1 tip from our swim tip episode, but we’re going back to doing the right training right. Andrew:  We’ve got to say it. John:  We do. Andrew:  Yeah, we’ve got to say it. John:  So that’s why we do what we do within TriDot.  Optimize the training to produce each individual athlete’s best possible results.  So following the training as closely as possible and executing as best you can is doing the right training right.  That’s the beauty of it.  It’s fairly simple.  You know exactly what your training is for any given day and the better you can follow that training, execute as planned, you’re going to see those results and we see that consistently.  I’ve been training with TriDot for better than a decade now and I’ve continually, year over year continued to make gains.  I started in my early 30s.  I’m in my early 40s now and I’m stronger, faster, more fit than I was in my early 30s.So just a testament to the effectiveness of it.  I’ve never had an injury that has kept me out for any prolonged period of time.  So when we say better results in less time with less injury, I’m a walking case of it.  So doing the right training right is going to again, allow you to produce your best results and be very efficient with your time. Andrew:  Tip #20 to close out our main set today.  I’m going to say this one and it’s keep your bum happy.  Listen, I’m joking, but I mean it.  When you’re biking whether it’s indoors, whether it’s outdoors, however you’re getting your training in, you are sitting on your bum on a crazy, ridiculously looking saddle.  My in-laws are not athletes.  They are very supportive of my triathlon hobby, but my father-in-law saw my bike on my indoor trainer and he points at the saddle and was like, “That’s what you sit on?”  It’s like, “Yes.  That is what I sit on.  Absolutely.”So listen.  Find the right saddle for you.  A lot of bike fitters will help you with that and they’ll kind of map the actual pressure points on your sit bones and kind of help you dial in what saddle might be a good match for you.  I personally kind of did a trial and error.  I would buy one, I would try it for a few rides, and then return it within its return policy if it still had time left.  If not, I would sell it on ebay and move on to another one and I did that with several saddles before finding one that I’ve kind of settled on literally and figuratively.  So don’t be afraid to mix that up a little bit and try some things to find what’s going to make your bum happy for whatever duration it is that you’re going to be racing.  Things that can help with that is obviously the bike fit, but also the chamois creams.Don’t be afraid to lube it up.  Be real generous with the amount that you use.I personally, I’m not a big fan of the cream creams.  Some people love those.  I use like the Body Glide kind of deodorant stick style that just kind of deodorant yourself down there.  But make sure you’re using something just to kind of help with the friction down there on your rides whether it’s one hour or whether it’s a stamina session.  It can go a long way to keeping everything kosher down there.  Then also don’t be afraid to try a couple different bib short chamois thicknesses.Some people like the really thick, cushy padded ones.  Some people like the thinner kind of more tri style ones.  Find what makes your butt happy and stick with it is basically the tip here.  Anything to add guys on keeping your bum happy? John:  It’s kind of like we started the podcast with bikes make people happy and happy bums make people happy. Matt:  Well said. John:  There you go. Cool down theme:  Great set everyone!  Let’s cool down. Andrew:  A few weeks ago on episode 94 of the podcast we had a really fun warmup question that asked,“Has triathlon ever made its way into your dreams at night?”  I talked about dreaming of the Escape from Alcatraz swim course, John Mayfield talked about his dreams of the Ironman Tracker App misbehaving on race day, and Pro triathlete Elizabeth James said her tri dreams usually consist of things going wrong in a race.  We threw this question out to you, the TriDot Podcast Family, and you all had some great responses to this question.  I’ve asked each of the guys today to pick one or two of the responses that they particularly enjoyed and we’re going to share them right here and right now.  But before we do, Matt Bach you were not on that episode.  John and I were.  Have you ever had a triathlon dream while asleep at night? Matt:  No. Andrew:  Really? Matt:  Never dreams.Always nightmares and I think a lot of the people that I read on the comments board, they are in the same camp.The nightmares, the anxiety.  I mean so many times…I mean typically they have to do with me showing up to a start line late and missing the race and maybe even running past the people who were standing in line maybe for their wave start to go, but my wave already went and I’m running past them trying to catch up to the people who were in my wave.  Like, that’s definitely a common recurrence.  Another one is in transition.  I get to transition after the swim or the bike and I can’t find the stuff that I need.  My helmet’s gone.  Where’s my helmet?  I can’t race without the helmet.  Then I’m like trying to find my wife and I’m asking her if she can go get the helmet from the hotel and I’m in the middle of transition and my time is still clicking and here I am trying to find my helmet. Andrew:  I’m like getting the sense of anxiety rising with Matt just sharing about these.Alright, let’s go through a few of the audience responses that we really liked.  John, what was the one that really stood out to you? John:  Lots of good ones.  My favorite was Ande Wegner.  Hers was actually not a dream so much.  Her’s was actually having a dream in the middle of a race.  So I saw that and I was like– Andrew:  Whaaat? John:  –this definitely needs to be explored.  So it happened in the Triple Anvil Race in 2018.  She says, “I was about 40 miles into the run and absolutely delirious.”So this is not your typical triathlon.This is one of those ultra distance races.  “Painful from being awake and on my feet for about 43 hours straight.  My crew forced me to take a 30 minute nap to get my mind right again...it took me 25 of those minutes for my body to feel like it wasn't moving any longer (kind of like the feeling you get after coming off a cruise ship!)”  So kind of like sea legs.  “And in the five minutes of sleep that I actually got, I dreamed my dad was standing over me as I was lying down, and he reached down his hand to say, "Wake up! You've got s*** to do!"  I snapped out of sleep, rushed back out on the run course, and pounded out the last 38 miles faster than I did the first part of the run.  I felt so much stronger and motivated after that!” Andrew:  Yeah she did! John:  What a story. Andrew:  That’s fantastic.  And how appropriate for the races that Ande does where she does a lot of the long distance ultra tri’s.  So really, really cool there. John:  I’ve never had a dream during a triathlon. Andrew:  Most of us aren’t sleeping.  Most of us aren’t napping during our triathlons to have the chance to do so.So mine came from an athlete named Mark and this is what he said. “I dreamed that I had forgotten to leave my bike at transition so I had to complete the swim leg pulling my bike through the water behind me!  It made for a tough swim!  I’ve since stopped listening to triathlon podcasts the night before a race.” I loved that! Obviously we’re all for people listening to triathlon podcasts, especially the TriDot podcast, but yes.  I can imagine if you listen to too many episodes the night before a race that– John:  Or fall asleep listening to the episode. Andrew:  Or fall asleep listening to the episode, it definitely raises the odds that you will dream of triathlon and maybe even Andrew Harley makes an appearance in your dream.  Who knows?That’d be weird.  Matt Bach, which ones from the group really stood out to you? Matt:  I had two that were really funny that got me giggling.  Kaarina Marsili says, “Often!  And I’m usually frantically looking for the swim start and then discover it is in a river hidden in the jungle and full of alligators.” Andrew:  Talk about a nightmare! Matt:  So this is two things.  First of all, that is terrifying.  Second of all she uses the word usually.  So it’s like she’s indicating that she has had this dream multiple times.  This very specific– Andrew:  Oh, true! Matt:  –detailed nightmare multiple times.  So that I thought was pretty interesting. John:  But she’s not always frantic.  She’s just usually frantic.  Sometimes she’s like, “Oh, we’re swimming with the alligators again.” Matt:  Good point. John:  This one, huh?  That course in the jungle with the alligators?  Okay. Matt:  I didn’t even catch that.  I guess the word could have been always, but it’s usually.  So yeah, really, really interesting.  Jocelyn Nokes also was really funny.  “It was my goal to complete an Ironman by my 50th birthday so I could hear the words, “Jocelyn Nokes YOU are an IRONMAN” as my birthday present.  For months leading up to the race I dreamt that the announcer didn’t pronounce my name correctly so I had to do the race again and again until he got it right.” John:  I sure hope you pronounced her name right. Matt:  Uh-oh. John:  Otherwise we’re going to have to do this again. Matt:  I know. Andrew:  Well, that’s it for today folks.  I want to thank Matt Bach and John Mayfield for talking with us about bike training.Shout out to Precision Hydration for partnering with us on today’s episode.  Head to precisionhydration.com to learn how you sweat and to check out their hydration and fueling options.  Use code TriDot10 for 10% off your purchase.  Enjoying the podcast?  Have any topics or questions you want to hear us talk about?  Head to TriDot.com/podcast and let us know what you’re thinking.  We’ll do it all again soon.  Until then, Happy Training. Outro:  Thanks for joining us. Make sure to subscribe and share the TriDot podcast with your triathlon crew.  For more great tri content and community, connect with us on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.  Ready to optimize your training?  Head to TriDot.com and start your free trial today!  TriDot – the obvious and automatic choice for triathlon training.
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