Add these 1-Hour Bike Workouts to Your Training Plan

Stay on track with these 1-hour bike workouts for busy triathletes

Training for a triathlon is well-known for taking up a decent amount of time. Between swimming, cycling, running, brick workouts, and recovery your schedule can seem like a lot. Especially when you add in a family, career, and social life. The key to triathlon training is to be efficient. Strengthen your triathlon training with cycling sessions that are fast and effective. If you’re looking to save time, this list of 1-hour bike workouts is a great addition to your training.

Kitchen sink

Increase your strength with the kitchen sink workout.

In less than 60 minutes you can increase your strength with this routine. It involves five minutes of easy spin to begin followed by a 10-minute single-leg drill. Spin with one leg at a time while your other leg rests on a chair. Alternate legs and repeat. Follow that up with 10x 20-second all-out sprints with recovery spins in between for five minutes. The last 20 minutes of the routine involves a 20-minute time trial. Learn to build your mental toughness so you’re ready to push through the end of tough workouts.

Trainer speed pyramid

The purpose of this workout is to make you faster. The training is broken down into short intervals. This means if you give a hard effort for one minute during warm-up, the next minute is for recovery. The warm-up session lasts 15 minutes. The main set is 26 minutes long, divided into 2/2 minute, 4/4 minute, 3/3 minute, 2/2 minute, 1/1 minute on and off in producing cadence. Make sure you flush your legs after the main set. Focus on stretching your hip flexors. You can also use a foam roller for your sore muscles after the main set.

Menagerie

Add a core exercise at the end of your workout if you have extra time.

This workout involves a combination of single-leg drills, 100 cadence spin divided into 8 sections. The sections last for 15, 20, 25, 30, 30, 25, 20, 15 seconds respectively. It is recommended to maintain 100 RPM for the spin-up followed by 90 RPM recovery spin. The last chunk of the workout involves 5×15 seconds climbing action and two minutes of recovery spin to wrap things up. If you have some more time after this workout, add one of these 5 core exercises to the end.

Smooth pedal stroke 

This involves a warm-up of 20 minutes of single-leg and both-leg drills. You should increase your RPM gradually. For example, you produce 90 RPM for two minutes and then increase it to 95 RPM. The goal is to produce 110 RPM at the last stage followed by recovery spins and cooling down. 

Steady-state trainer session

Give maximum effort during the steady-state trainer session.

The first 10 minutes of this workout are spent on building up your strength. The next 20 minutes are spent focusing on high cadence. The main set is broken down into 4 sets (3×2 minutes/2). Focus on giving maximum effort, followed by recovery spins and cooling down. 

Incorporate these quick workouts to become stronger and faster. You’ll also save time by focusing on the workout and the needed effort. Build these rides into your busiest days so you can reserve your non-busy days for workouts that take more time, like brick workouts and longer weekend rides.

Add these 5 Core Exercises to Your Triathlon Training Plan

Triathletes: don’t skip these 5 core exercises

Core exercises are a crucial addition to a triathlete’s training plan. A weak core is detrimental to overall performance. The core represents the muscle groups in the mid-section of your body. These muscles are used to create and transfer force, stabilize the spine, and assist most major movements. The most important advantage of core training is that it doesn’t take much extra time, yet produces substantial results. These 5 core exercises can be done before, during, or after your workout. You could even build them into your rest days. Download the helpful PDF below for a visual reminder of each core exercise. Pro tip: knock them out during your lunch break with these other quick workouts.

Plank and kick

You can plank and kick anywhere!

Planks are good, but adding dynamic movement can strengthen your abdominal muscles. Start in a normal plank on your elbows or hands. Now alternate lifting your legs, 10-15 times each, in the air. Plank exercises help strengthen upper body muscles as well.

Flutter kicks

These are simple core exercises that’ll improve your mid-section and legs. Add these to a circuit workout or before or after your next ride or run. Lie on your back and place your hands behind your head or by your side flat on the ground. Alternate kick your legs slowly, raising them no more than 6 inches off the ground. Keep them straight and don’t let them touch the ground. Do at least 15 for each leg. These will work your leg muscles and abs at the same time.

Side plank rotation

Hold a plank with your elbows in a sideways position, poking out. Bring your right knee to meet your left elbow. Repeat 15 times for each leg/elbow. The side plank rotation is good for increasing strength in your lower back and legs. Add the side plank rotation to these dryland exercises to improve your swim when you can’t get in the water.

Single-leg crunch

These core exercises helps cyclists because it works the lower back, transverse abdomen, and obliques. Lie on a mat face up, extend your left leg out. Bend your right knee, put your right foot flat on the floor, squeeze your belly button toward your spine. Raise your upper back off the mat, lift your left leg, reach your left fingers towards your left toes. Keep your lower back on the mat. Repeat with each side 15 times.

Glute bridge

Strengthening your glutes can reduce the burden on your back and help prevent lower-body injuries. The glute bridge also helps you maintain good cycling and running form. Lie on your back, bend your knees at a 45-degree angle. Place your feet flat on the floor and raise your arms. Press your back to the ground. Contract your glutes and push down with your heels. Now raise your hips to knee height. Repeat 15 times.

A strong core is the best-kept secret for optimal triathlete performance. Core exercises can prevent injury throughout the body and help stabilize your balance. These 5 core exercises don’t take much time, making them easy to add to any triathlon training plan. You could even build them into your workout’s warm-up and cool down.

Triathlon Training After 40: What You Need to Know

Age is just a number; of course you can start triathlon training after 40!

Triathlon involves mastering three sports – swimming, cycling, and running. This makes many people over the age of 40 think that triathlon isn’t for them. But that line of thinking just isn’t true. Triathlon training after 40 is possible and you can do it!

Don’t wait any longer, start your training today with an easy run.

How you train changes as you age. If you’re 40 years or older, then you need to pick a training plan that meets your needs. Focus on strength and endurance training. That’ll give you the foundation you need to get started on your triathlon journey. Many of the world’s top triathletes are over the age of 40. This proves triathlon training after 40 is possible. Below is everything you need to know to jumpstart your training today!

You can complete a triathlon at any time, especially if you start training after 40

The first thing you need to do is to visualize your end result: crossing the finish line. Visualize yourself doing that. This helps remind yourself that you can finish a triathlon. More importantly, it helps you to establish a long-term goal. When you know what you’re long-term goals are, you can set short-term goals that’ll help you get there. Next, choose a particular finish line, like CapTex Triathlon’s downtown Austin one, and register. You have to make the goal a real one. Registering for a triathlon gives you that goal. Now you can incorporate the advice below and begin triathlon training after 40.

  1. Start today

Training is the first step in helping you reach your goals. Instead of using excuses for why you shouldn’t train, find reasons why you should begin. This will help you get the ball rolling and help you follow your plan. When you’re starting out you don’t have to run ten miles the first day.

Wake up earlier and knock your goals out in the morning.

Start small, with a 2-mile run. Tomorrow you can ride your bike for 45 minutes. Next, add in swimming an amount of time that’s comfortable for you. The amounts are up to you, but you have to start. You’ll eventually increase your time and distance. Getting your body used to the training process is a core part of your training, especially if you’re a beginner. Add to your preparation when you know what to expect at your first triathlon.

  1. Follow your training plan

As people age, their muscle mass and bone density become lower than when they were younger. This means that you need to focus on building your strength and endurance if you start triathlon training after 40. Creating and following your training plan helps inform you of what you need to do every day. You’ll gain the motivation you need as well. A triathlon training plan also helps you track your progress. Pro tip: get over your fear of open-water swimming with these 5 tips.

  1. Wake up earlier

Cycling to work is a great workout.

As someone who is training after 40, you may feel as if you don’t have enough time. This isn’t true. There’s plenty of time, you just have to adjust your schedule. For example, wake up one hour earlier for the first few months of training. Now you’ve finished your workout before work. 

Your life is busy with family and friends, work, and hobbies. It’s possible to incorporate training into your everyday life and not sacrifice any of that when you begin training after 40. Cycle to work instead of driving. Knock out your training, increase your bike mileage, and reduce your carbon footprint. Go for runs near your house. Find a swimming pool nearby so you can swim. Finding ways to increase the chance you work out helps you be consistent with your training.

  1. Use the gear you have

When you start training, you may already have the 6 items every beginner triathlete must have. This list includes running shoes, swimming trunks, and a road/mountain bike. Maybe you’ve seen or heard about expensive equipment that can improve your time. You don’t need that in the beginning. Work with what you have so you can begin your triathlon training as soon as possible. As you continue to train, you can slowly upgrade your gear with new equipment.

  1. Join a triathlon group

There are many benefits to joining a triathlon group.

Definitely join a triathlon training group near you. They’ll have veteran triathletes who can offer you great advice like how you can tell if you’re dehydrated. Triathlon training groups also act as a strong motivating force and might have a beginner group you can train with. They also might offer information on training plans, nutrition/hydration advice, and beneficial discounts. Those discounts could help you save money. Most importantly, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people who can act as a strong motivating force.

Triathlon training after 40 is a rewarding experience. You’ll try something new and improve your health. Who knows, you just might meet your goals this year! Remember, age is just a number. Learn how this Rookie Triathlon Ambassador began training at the young age of 52!

4 Signs Dehydration is Affecting Your Performance

These 4 signs can mean dehydration is affecting your performance

As a triathlete, you want to push harder every training session to ensure you can give your best performance on race day. However, in this pursuit of improvement, a common issue you might encounter is dehydration. How do you know when you’re suffering from dehydration? Watch for these 4 signs of dehydration and keep it from affecting your performance. Pro tip: if you experience any of the 4 signs of dehydration, stop what you’re doing immediately, find shade, and hydrate.

1. Body overheating

If your body begins to overheat, stop immediately.

During your triathlon training, you need to monitor your body’s ability to cool itself. Dehydration increases the thickness of your blood while reducing its volume simultaneously. As a result, your skin won’t be able to dissipate the heat generated during your training session. Not only does this overheat your body, but you’ll find it harder to continue pushing yourself to your limits. Pro tip: these habits of successful triathletes are beneficial to any training plan.

2. Dizziness and headaches

Signs you’re dehydrated include blurry vision, headaches, and dizziness.

Dehydration during triathlon training can have an adverse impact on your well-being if you don’t pay attention to your body. Signs you might be dehydrated include blurry vision, dizziness, headaches, and light-headedness. Due to overheating, you could experience chills, even if you train in a hot environment. This will increase your skin sensitivity and cause goosebumps. If you do live in a warmer climate, follow these tips to beat the heat.

3. Muscle cramps

Muscle cramps can indicate dehydration.

The intensity of training and dehydration can put immense stress on your body, especially when you’re increasing your bike mileage. Sweating and extensive training on a daily basis increases how much sodium and fluid you lose. Sodium is essential as it is in charge of nerve impulse transmission, cognitive function, muscle contraction, and nutrient absorption in your gut. Lack of sodium affects your calorie intake while also causing your muscles to cramp. 

4. Decrease in cardiovascular function

Due to the effects of dehydration, your heart won’t be able to pump the same amount of blood as it normally does. If you continue training under this condition, there will be a drop in your cardiovascular function. Your heart won’t be able to pump enough fresh blood to your muscles.

It’s imperative that you pay attention to your body during training. The more time spent training, the more you should hydrate beforehand and during. Check out these different ways to carry hydration during your runs. If you hydrate regularly on a daily basis, you can avoid many of these symptoms. Always make sure you replenish the fluids you lose while sweating, especially electrolytes. Remember, if you experience any of the 4 signs of dehydration, stop what you’re doing immediately, find shade, and hydrate.

Train Your Brain: Build Mental Toughness

Build mental toughness and explore what you’re capable of accomplishing

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the latest gear and training technology. Triathletes get caught up in the latest nutrition, the newest GPS watch, or the most recent bike to hit the market. But can those get you over the proverbial hump? Maybe not. Most agree that a big part of success in any sport is due to mental factors. You can have the fanciest items, but they can’t make you push yourself when it’s needed most. When you build mental toughness you create strategies for when an obstacle is encountered or an uncomfortable feeling arises. Those strategies become tools that help you become comfortable with the uncomfortable. Still uncomfortable during an open water swim? Add these 5 tips to get over your fear of open water to your strategy.

How you can build mental toughness

Assume that your thoughts, feelings, and performance are intertwined. With that, triathletes can begin the process of overcoming anything rather than the feeling of being overcome. Mental training is an important part of an athlete’s overall development. Many do not identify this part of training and often find themselves struggling during their training or a race. One of the basic principles of success and how to build mental toughness is to simplify the process of thinking. Be as prepared for your first triathlon as possible when you know what to expect with this breakdown.

You can accomplish anything you set out to do!

As many will confirm, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. With so many thoughts going through the brain, it can be difficult to reduce distractions and negatives. One of the reasons why athletes ignore the mental aspect of training is that they are not familiar with the basics of sports psychology and mental training. In keeping with the “less is better” philosophy, mental training is better understood using the construction of the following three words: Think –> Feel–> Perform.

Think

Check-in with yourself before your next swim, bike, or run workout.

Before your next workout, take a moment to identify your thoughts. Are you optimistic about your planned bike ride? Are you thinking about how good you will feel during and after the swim? Maintaining positive thoughts before and during an activity is the first step to controlling your performance. Uncomfortable and negative thoughts might start to creep in. Bring yourself back to your “why” and tell yourself positive “I am” statements. Make these “I am” statements become a habit. Then add that to these 8 additional habits of successful triathletes.

  • I am strong.
  • I am willing to push through this to complete my goal of riding 30 miles.
  • I can swim longer.
  • I am running 10 miles to better myself.  

Feel

Determine your emotional state as you warm up. Identify your thoughts. Are you excited to swim, bike, or run? Do you feel a personal challenge with the distance? Do you feel confident in your abilities? Are you anxious, nervous, or stressed about the mileage? Maintaining positive emotions before and during the workout is the second step in gaining control over your performance. Pro tip: feel more confident when you increase your bike mileage by incorporating these 6 tips.

Consistency is key during training.

Visualize other times in your life or training where you have achieved a goal you set for yourself. Harness this positive feeling and project it towards your current goal. Check your playlist if you are listening to music. Make sure your running playlist consists of music that’ll pump you up and energize you. If more relaxed music or a podcast helps, listen to that to calm your nerves. 

Perform

Practice daily. Be consistent. This does not mean you have to work out every day, but you can put yourself in situations where you have to practice mental toughness. Increase the weights during your workout or add more reps. Add more miles to your ride. Swim for 15 more minutes than last time. If you need to make tweaks to your training to see improvement, follow this advice and adjust accordingly.

Introduce yourself to situations that may happen on race day during your training. Get out of bed and start that workout in the cold weather. Next time it is raining, instead of skipping go out and run in the rain. Of course, that is only if it is safe to do so. Didn’t sleep well? Attempt your planned run. You can see how the lack of sleep affects your ability to keep positive thoughts and emotions. 

Overcome the struggle

Having positive thoughts and feelings right from the start will give you a chance to succeed. This may not result in PR, but you are in a much better position to have a pleasant experience with the right mindset. Your thoughts can affect your emotions, and your emotions can affect your performance. Once you get into the race, a strong swim will lead to more positive thoughts, more confident emotions. Conversely, negative thoughts usually lead to negative feelings.

If you find yourself struggling, understand your thought process during that specific workout. Chances are negative, self-defeating thoughts are what’s making you question your abilities. Turn your thoughts into something positive, optimistic, and confidence-building. When you go out on the streets, it will help you feel good about yourself and crush your next swim, bike, or run.

How Many Calories are Burned During a Sprint Triathlon?

Understand your body’s needs when you know how many calories are burned during a sprint triathlon

Triathlon is among the most physically demanding and grueling sports. The race is divided into three parts – cycling, swimming, and running. Sprint triathlon is the shortest of all triathlon distances and a great way for new triathletes to enter the sport. CapTex Triathlon’s sprint distance includes a 750m swim, 12.3-mile bike ride, and 5K run. Those are also typical of other sprint distances. While sprint distances are shorter, you still have to properly fuel your body. Proper nutrition is important no matter the distance. In order to know what your body needs, you have to understand how many calories are burned during a sprint triathlon.

Keep in mind that everyone burns calories at different rates. This is meant to be a general guide to understanding your needs. Here’s some more helpful information on what to expect at your first triathlon.

Pro tip: this information can be useful if you’re participating in The Rookie Triathlon’s super sprint distance. It consists of a 300m swim 11-mile ride, and 2-mile run.

Calories burned

For triathletes, several factors play a role in how many calories are burned during a race. The three biggest contributors are bodyweight, distance covered, and pace during the event. The majority of charts will have a ‘calories burned’ per time segment/per round, keeping in mind your body weight. The calorie values typically include the individual’s basal metabolic rate (BMR).

For a 750m swim, a person weighing 150 pounds would burn approximately 682 calories each hour. The sprint typically takes up to 20 minutes, so the total would be around 85 to 227.

It takes about 38 minutes to complete the 12.3-mile bike ride. For a person that weighs 150 pounds, the calories burned covering this distance would be around 682. A person weighing 120 pounds would burn around 545. Pro tip: safely practice eating and drinking on the bike and avoid traffic at these 3 cyclist-friendly Austin locations.

A 5K run usually takes 45 minutes for an average triathlete to complete. When you run at this particular pace, you burn up to 15 calories a minute. This equates to approximately 675 calories. That amount could increase for triathletes that run faster.

Things to keep in mind

If this is your first time training for a triathlon, you might notice a rise in your regular appetite. This will typically happen in the first few weeks of training and workouts. Why does this happen? An increase in appetite results from the body burning a greater number of calories than normal. However, when you’re training for your sprint triathlon make sure you don’t overeat. This will undo the benefits of your daily workouts. There are workout calculators that you can use to track the number of calories burned and monitor your calorie consumption. These aspects are critical for maintaining your weight goals. Additionally, practice these habits of successful triathletes to crush your training and hit your goals!

6 Ways to Increase Your Bike Mileage

Achieve your larger goals with this advice on how to increase your bike mileage

Cycling is fun. The wind is blowing in your face and you’re generating your own power. Naturally, we want to go further and further, push the boundaries. Testing ourselves is one way to build our self-esteem and learn about mental fortitude. Setting a bigger goal can be overwhelming when you look at the goal by itself. Follow our guide for the best way to increase your bike mileage. You’ll grow as a cyclist, reduce the chance of injury, and work towards your big goal! Pro tip: if you’re just getting started, avoid the roads and ride on these cyclist-friendly routes.

Do the work

Cyclists cross the South 1st Street bridge during the CapTex Tri.This is self-explanatory! Whether it’s a rest day or your longest ride ever, you have to do the work. You don’t need to set records every time, but you do need to be consistent. That’s how you’ll build your stamina and teach your body to ride further and further. If there’s a day where you just can’t squeeze in a ride or workout (because life happens), don’t stress. Don’t try to make it up the next day. Squeeze in a foam roll or stretch session if you can and keep moving forward with your plan! Make sure you practice these 5 bike handling skills every time you ride.

REST

If your training plan calls for a rest day, TAKE THE REST DAY. This allows your body the chance to recover from the previous workout. If you get the itch to do something, make it active recovery. Foam roll throughout the day. Set aside time for deep stretching. Take an online yoga class. Those three options will speed up the recovery process and get you ready for the next day. Pro tip: successful triathletes take advantage of rest days. Check out 7 more habits of successful triathletes.

Increase your stamina

Cyclist rides on a stretch of Cesar Chavez Street during the CapTex Tri.As you increase your bike mileage, you begin to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Weekend rides begin to get longer and longer. As you hit new distances, it’s important to remain focused on form and technique. You want to remain as efficient as possible. Focusing on your form will allow you to generate power efficiently. This will also help with your body’s ability to consume oxygen.

You want to ease into your ride to conserve energy. Start at a pace that feels effortless. You should be able to have a conversation. As you ride, you’ll eventually pick up speed to help with your stamina later in the ride.

Build lower body strength

You’ll need to prepare your body for completing your bigger goals. Break up rides with weight workouts. You don’t need to become chiseled or gain muscle mass. Focus on lighter weights with higher repetitions. You want to push the body, burn fat, and build lean muscle. Working muscles differently than when you’re cycling is critical. It helps prevent the overuse of the same muscles.

Plan your route

Before your long ride, make sure you have a plan. You should ride as consistently as possible to build your stamina. Planning your route reduces the chance you have to stop and check where you are or ask for directions. For longer rides, planning your route allows you to refuel at a gas station pitstop. You can grab a bite to eat, rest for a minute, and use the restroom. Continue to refuel during your ride, topping off with a few hundred calories every hour. Lastly, let someone know your planned route and when you should return.

Set smaller goals

On your next long ride, push yourself to ride further than you did last weekend. When preparing to increase your mileage, you need to slowly teach your body that it’s capable of completing longer distances. You’ll eventually see that last week’s distance that was difficult is now easier. Slowly but surely increasing your mileage will put you in a prime position to really crush longer and longer distances. Pro tip: stay motivated and reward yourself when you complete the smaller goals you set.

There are many other factors that can impact how you increase your bike mileage: diet, hydration, nutrition, cross-training, injuries, etc. Those items can be built-in or dealt with as you progress. Just remember, you don’t just wake up and ride these longer distances. This will take time, persistence, consistency. Do the work, set smaller goals, rest when you’re supposed to, and you will achieve whatever goals are in front of you! Stay safe and follow the cycling rules of the road.