PAN AM Triathlon Footwork

pan am triathlon          Triathletes are overcomers!  Of the three sports – swimming, biking and running – most triathletes are stronger in two. Bikers and runners, for example, may have poor ankle flexibility and find it difficult to do the straight-footed swimming kick. With one finish line, the clock is a tyrant for triathletes. Training becomes a lifestyle. Many do interval workouts based on the comparative energy required in each sport. Using the rule of thumb that 100 yards of swimming = ¼ mile of running = 1 mile of biking, they build up training blocks to beat the clock. (1)

The big time wasters are the transitions from swimming to biking and from biking to running.  Triathletes move from wet to dry, from no shoes to shoes, from horizontal to semi-vertical to vertical, from using one set of muscles to another, to another. Frustration can plague transitions: getting a foot stuck in a wet suit, lacing up shoes quickly, and managing blistered, swollen feet. Their woes compel wise preparation for every ‘next race’.  Triathletes are organized!  They enter transitions with physical and mental preparedness.

Swim –Balanced Footwork

The triathlete runs into shallow water before she begins to ‘dolphin’ – a shallow dive or leap forward. First, gliding under water, she stands up and leaps further into the water until it is deep enough to swim. She minimizes her freestyle swim kicks to stay balanced and to conserve energy.  Toes pointed, of course. Near the end, she ‘changes gear’, increasing her swim kick to get her blood flowing in preparation for moving on land.

Transition 1

On terra firma, she sprints to the bike racks.  Carrying her bike upright, she heads to the mount line. Alternatively, her bike is ready with shoes attached by rubber bands to the pedals; she hops on and coasts with her feet on top. As she starts to cruise, she puts her feet into her shoes.

Bike – Rhythmic Footwork

Eyes on the road and not her feet, the triathlete concentrates on her pedaling stroke. Initially, she works at a rhythm to let her heart rate calm down and to get ‘her legs back’.  Soon enough, she increases her tempo, pushing straight down on the pedal at the three o’clock position. With several minutes remaining she starts thinking “RUN”. She changes into a slightly bigger gear and pedals standing up. While still on the bike, she stretches her running muscles (hamstrings and calves). She dismounts ‘on the fly’.

Transition 2

T2 is fast but tough.

Run – Paced Footwork

The run begins on legs that feel wobbly and heavy. The athlete’s body must redirect blood to her running muscles. Her brain needs time to override the “pedal in circles” message. She pushes through until she finds her pace. Soon enough, her cadence of 90 rpms on the bike, matches her previous stride rate of 90/min.  In various segments of the race, she may pace herself differently. Ideally, it is a continuous build. She focuses on good leg turnover.  Her lower limbs feel ‘normal’ again.  She sprints for a good distance to the finish line.

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/triathlon

https://docs.google.com/folderview?pli=1&docId=0Bya1shSQAxUDU0p2VVRUWDZyZjA&id=0Bya1shSQAxUDMGgtdFFUUDN6c28  (1)

http://www.trinewbies.com/tno_swim/tno_swimarticle_04.asp

http://www.camelbackcoaching.com/olympic-distance-race-strategy-and-pacing/

http://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/10-tips-for-faster-triathlon-transitions

http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2011/01/18/pedal-efficiently-cyclist

http://www.active.com/triathlon/Articles/Learn-to-Master-the-Bike-to-Run-Transition.htm

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM

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PAN AM Cycling – Road Footwork

cycling road      Road cyclists are avid, even over-the-top enthusiasts for their sport.  Nose to tail, they seem to ride in packs. Drafting is all part of the competition. They move through air turbulence together, sharing the benefits.

Roadies have a handle on what is happening technically and biomechanically as they pedal their bikes. They know how to increase energy and efficiency by engaging new muscles and ‘spreading the load’.  They purposefully ride vortices in wakes.  Based on the cadence (RPM), they adjust to high- or low-heel pedaling techniques. They demonstrate how effort in pedaling combined with gravity affects acceleration and deceleration. As experienced bicyclists, they can transfer power and avoid ‘the dead spot’. They’ve revived talk of ‘ankling’, an old technique. It entails “drawing force across the bottom of the revolution arc and upwards to the start of the downward thrust”. (1)  Roadies’ ‘talking the walk/ride’ feeds their own enthusiasm.

However, coaches offering advice to pro-racers on road bikes will often set aside the advanced level talk in favour of simple visual cues:

On the upwards stroke:

  • “As the foot nears the top, think about pushing your knee toward the handlebar”.

On the downwards stroke:

  • “Pretend you’re scraping mud off the sole of your shoe”.

These cues are ‘activated’ well in advance of when the foot is actually at the top or bottom of the pedaling action. (2)  The roadies are on it!

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/cycling-road

http://cyclingtips.com.au/2009/05/efficiency-of-pedal-stroke-ankling/  (1)

http://www.bikesplit.com/bsa4.htm

http://www.brianmac.co.uk/articles/scni45a1.htm

http://www.exploratorium.edu/cycling/aerodynamics2.html

http://www.roadbikerider.com/cycling-science/perfect-pedal-strokes (2)

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM

PAN AM Mountain Biking Footwork

pan am cycling mountain bike       Mountain bikers cycle off-road trails. They face steep ascents and descents, switchbacks and surprises en route. Adrenaline pumps as feet pump pedals up and over rocks, mud and drop-offs.  The experience is as technically challenging as the lingo is colourful: “riding switch-foot, involuntary dismount, bomb holes and gonzo hills, aquaplaning over camel bumps, carving corners, and riding stumps and roots like they are eggshells.”

Footwork Tips:

Pedaling – Plant foot on pedal platform; line up pedal axle just behind ball of foot.  Push downward on pedal in a circular stroke as though ‘trying to wipe mud off the bottom of your shoe’.

Cornering – Stop pedaling in a corner, let heel of outer foot drop to increase traction in the turn. Swing inside knee into the corner. Keep weight on outer pedal, while taking inside foot off pedal. Shift hips laterally over bike seat.

Uphill –   Lean into handle bars, sit forward on the seat to keep front wheel down and give back wheel traction. Pedal powerfully and smoothly.  No standing or stomping on pedals which only increases heart rate and decreases balance.

Downhill – Point knees down track and then stand on pedals.  Place dominant foot forward and tilted slightly up. Roll with heels down when standing up. Weight is on both pedals and a little further back on the bike.

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/mountain-bike

http://www.mtbtechniques.co.uk/

http://bikemagic.com/how-to/clive-forths-a-z-of-mountain-biking-f-for-footwork.html#E8Cr1pgik6UYF5ey.97

http://www.pinkbike.com/news/5-Movement-Tips-to-Help-Your-Cornering-Technique-2013.html

http://cyclingtips.com.au/2010/11/mountain-bike-tips-the-big-three/

http://www.abc-of-mountainbiking.com/dictionary.asp

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

  TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM