Triathlon Training for Experienced Cyclists

Just as a veteran swimmer has a psychological advantage over those who fear water, an experienced cyclist joining triathlon has a physical edge on anybody with little cycling experience.  If you’re approaching triathlon from a cycling background, here are a few tips about how to get the most out of your training.



Get accustomed to riding all by yourself. If you come from a road racing background, then you may be pretty good at drafting and comfortably riding in a paceline.

But, triathlons are more like time trials rather than road races, so adjust your training accordingly. Be sure you do most of your training without drafting, but you could still do the occasional professional bike shop ride, or road race, just for fun and competition.

Get in the pool and pound the pavement. The temptation may be to concentrate on becoming a better cyclist, but your efforts are much better spent focusing on your weak points, not your strength. Cycling will comprise the majority of time in any proper triathlon training course, but that doesn’t give you permission to skip the other two sports.

Get over any aversion to aerobars. It took the road racing community quite a long time to acknowledge aerobars, and some traditionalists still scoff at their use, even for time trialing (although they are now in the minority). Aerobars provide a significant performance advantage, and my guess is that, as a veteran cyclist, you would like to do well on the bike leg of a race.

Get Aero. Having experts at your local specialty bike or triathlon shop take a look at you on your bicycle is a good way to find your ideal aero position. They may help you make the proper seat, stem, and handlebar modifications to improve your comfort level and aerodynamics.

Normally these bike fittings entail taking a number of exacting measurements (for instance, your position relative to the stem, crankarm, as well as other “landmarks” on your bike), because even small adjustments can help alleviate strain on your arms or provide you with greater pedaling extension.

Good Luck!


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