Biking, once a nemesis, future to be a strength
Historically the bike for me is my weak link in a triathlon. As I continue to work on it I want it to be a strength. My biggest effort to strengthen my bike ability was to buy a Computrainer in 2007. I haven't used it the way I should but lately I have used it more. I have been focusing mostly on wattage articles as my emphasis and you can read a variety of blog entries there as well as general bike blog entries
My current ride and computrainer
A few articles I have found interesting about bike training include:
Light up your Bike
Killer Bike Splits
Computrainer Bike Workouts
Favorite Bike Workouts
#1) 15 min warm-up, 9X90seconds intervals with 90 seconds rest, 15 minute cool-down
#2) technical warm-up (single leg drills) then 4 X 20 minutes at 85% of LTP wattage
#3) 6 X 5 minutes at 110% of LTP wattage
Ironman Bike Heart Rate and Watts
Over my last couple of Ironman races I have dialed in that my bike heart rate needs to be around 130-135 bpm or about 15-20 bpm below my marathon heart rate. I have found that in a half-ironman than riding the bike over 145bpm put me at risk to bonk on the run but riding 135-140bpm was fine. Now for the shorter distances I am able to push the envelope a bit higher.
However, a common practice now is to use wattage instead of heart rate as a better judgement of effort. Because I have not yet managed to purchase a power meter I am unable to determine race wattage values.
WARNING: I am not an expert but here is my experience in setting cleats. Use this method only if you do not have a bike shop nearby that will help you as they will be far more refined than what I am suggesting, they will also likely readjust the seat height based on the cleated shoe as well.
This method is to attach the cleats but don't tighten the screws all the way so they is a tiny bit of play in the shoe/cleat connection.
Either get someone to hold the bike or use a firm bike trainer that will offer full stability, you cant do this by yourself in the doorway very easily because you need to mimic riding without holding anything.
1) Clip into the pedals
2) Pedal backwards as closely as you can to your normal pedaling motion allowing the cleats to shift until they find a static position. If you have a trainer you can pedal forward.. even better (Don't pedal forward if you have a partner holding the handlebars...they wont like it much)
3) After you cleats have shifted to a neutral position have your partner mark the outline of the cleat on the bottom of the shoes with a pencil or felt. Obviously don't shift the cleats from the position you just established and stay on the bike until they have marked both.
4) Uncleat from the bike, its likely that they will shift a bit when you do so but at least you marked it.
5) Take off the shoes and readjust the cleats to the marked position then tighten the screws snug.
6) Get back on the bike and test the feel and adjust if there is ANY sign of knee discomfort.
Setting seat height
Same Warning as cleat setting
1) With your back against a wall and feet pedal distance width apart measure your inseam height from floor (best to use a hardbound book against the wall at right angles and push it upwards towards your crotch and mark the wall where the top of the book is).
2) Repeat step 1 two more times and take the average of the three (I know mine never was exactly the same)
3) Multiply that average by .889
4) Measure the distance in step 3 from the center of the crank to the top of the seat midway from the front and back edges of the seat.
5) Adjust the seat post height and middle to that location along the rear seat tube.