Half Ironman training



instinct2

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Apr 7, 2005
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Alright here is my new plan. I will be at the Chicago Marathon in a few months, but my new goal is to start training for a half ironman in July 2006. What should I do come late October after my marathon for preseason training and 18 weeks out from the half ironman? Does anyone know of any good training routines - such as Hal Higdons marathon training? Also how important is it to have a triathlon bike? Am I going to get laughed at with my specialized road bike with a set of aero bars on it? Thanks!
 

RapDaddyo

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May 17, 2005
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instinct2 said:
how important is it to have a triathlon bike? Am I going to get laughed at with my specialized road bike with a set of aero bars on it? Thanks!
I don't know about being laughed at, but you'll be giving up at least a couple of minutes if you ride a standard road bike with only a set of aero bars. The following link discusses the time differences gained by (1) position, including aero bars; (2) aero wheels; (3) aero frame; (4) weight of frame & components. All the time savings are based on 40K, and your bike ride is 90K, so you can multiply all the time gains by 2.25. Bottom line -- position is huge, but wheels and frame are not insignificant. Tri bike rules are more liberal than UCI rules, so if you only want a bike for triathlons, you could probably get one a teensy bit faster than a UCI-approved bike. See the second link below. BTW, I don't work for Cervelo. They just happen to have some good discussions of aerodynamics and bike geometry. Good luck.
http://www.cervelo.com/tech/articles/article5.html
http://www.cervelo.com/articles/fit-article1.html
 

squidwranglr

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Jul 25, 2004
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instinct2 said:
Am I going to get laughed at with my specialized road bike with a set of aero bars on it? Thanks!
No, you won't get laughed at. A lot of folks ride Half Ironman distance triathlons with aerobars on regular road-geometry bikes. I myself did my first Half Ironman at Wildflower this past April with aerobars on my 2004 Trek 1500 and I did not stand out the tiniest bit among the variety of bike setups I was surrounded with - even mountain bikes, believe it or not!

Here's my ride data from that day if you're curious (Wildflower is a pretty hilly course):

http://www.employees.org/~bozceri/training/20050430T091608.22077.srd.html#distance

As far as the training regime is concerned, feel free to take a glance at my training log starting from mid-December 2004 (to April 30, 2005):

http://www.employees.org/~bozceri/training

As a shameless plug for a great cause, allow me to add that I train with Team In Training, raising funds for leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers while getting excellent endurance sports training and working out with a lot of fun people. Think about giving it a shot!

Berend
 

RapDaddyo

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May 17, 2005
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squidwranglr said:
That is a very good article that I've consulted in the past - it totally slipped my mind to post a link to it, even though it's in my bookmarks. Thanks for posting it, Rap!

Berend
Well, I hope it helps. But, you know, I think bike fitting is still in the dark ages. One of my inventions is a golf club fitting system, so I have followed golf club fitting through the years. It evolved from guessing to static fitting (taking detailed body metrics) to dynamic fitting (you actually swing a club and shaft and a launch monitor computes precisely how the ball launches -- velocity, backspin, sidespin, launch angle, and imputed distance and draw or fade, etc.). I feel like bike fitting is in stage 2 (static fitting) and should evolve to stage 3 (dynamic fitting), but the only tool anybody seems to know about is wind tunnel testing. That's only available in a few locations in the world and is incredibly expensive. I feel like one should be able to have a fitting bike that is infinitely adjustable (seat, cranks, bars) and equipped with a power meter. You could have a digital video camera mounted in front with a white background behind the cyclist. The cyclist would wear a black skinsuit (leotard, basically), to be clearly differentiated from the background. Frontal area would be relatively easy to compute digitally (all the area that's not white). And, of course power is known. The bike could be set up in various configurations and the cyclist could get in an aero position and crank up the watts to a certain level. The result of the fitting process would be a bike configuration proven to be optimal for that cyclist and his riding style. Kind of like getting an eye exam -- which is better, this one or that one? Because it wouldn't rely on a wind tunnel, it could be set up anywhere, anytime.
Paul
 

frenchyge

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Apr 3, 2005
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RapDaddyo said:
I feel like one should be able to have a fitting bike that is infinitely adjustable (seat, cranks, bars) and equipped with a power meter. You could have a digital video camera mounted in front with a white background behind the cyclist.
While that process would be a significant improvement, there's a lot about aero drag that can not be predicted by a black sillouette on a white background. The angle that the airstream hits the solid surfaces is extremely important, and does not factor into the frontal area measurement for a shape as complex as a human body on a bike. As an illustration, aero bars play a much larger aero role than you would guess by looking at frontal area because they help direct the airstream around the body rather than letting it smack right into the large convex chest area. Only a wind tunnel can predict that kind of effect.
 

RapDaddyo

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frenchyge said:
While that process would be a significant improvement, there's a lot about aero drag that can not be predicted by a black sillouette on a white background. The angle that the airstream hits the solid surfaces is extremely important, and does not factor into the frontal area measurement for a shape as complex as a human body on a bike. As an illustration, aero bars play a much larger aero role than you would guess by looking at frontal area because they help direct the airstream around the body rather than letting it smack right into the large convex chest area. Only a wind tunnel can predict that kind of effect.
I agree as it relates to objects that one can manufacture in different shapes such as aero bars, aero wheels and frame tubes. But, as it relates to the cyclist I think the key objective is to minimize frontal area. Granted, this is a first approximation of aerodynamic efficiency and a wind tunnel is the better tool for precise computation. It's sort of like putting one's hand out in the wind in a moving car. I think I could put my hand in something approximating the most aerodynamically efficient position by minimizing the frontal area (i.e., flat) without the need for a wind tunnel to verify that it is indeed the most aerodynamic position.
 

frenchyge

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Apr 3, 2005
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RapDaddyo said:
But, as it relates to the cyclist I think the key objective is to minimize frontal area. Granted, this is a first approximation of aerodynamic efficiency and a wind tunnel is the better tool for precise computation. It's sort of like putting one's hand out in the wind in a moving car. I think I could put my hand in something approximating the most aerodynamically efficient position by minimizing the frontal area (i.e., flat) without the need for a wind tunnel to verify that it is indeed the most aerodynamic position.
For a shape as simple as a hand, you would be right. For the shape of a person riding a bike, it's really the extent which the position of the hands/arms and head seal off airflow from the body cavity that has the greatest effect on drag. Good hand positioning more than offsets small increases in frontal area.

A bullet is much more aero than a disk of equal (or even much smaller) frontal area, even though their sillouettes are similar.
 

RapDaddyo

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frenchyge said:
For a shape as simple as a hand, you would be right. For the shape of a person riding a bike, it's really the extent which the position of the hands/arms and head seal off airflow from the body cavity that has the greatest effect on drag. Good hand positioning more than offsets small increases in frontal area.

A bullet is much more aero than a disk of equal (or even much smaller) frontal area, even though their sillouettes are similar.
I agree about hand position, but that is predictable and known and is addressed by the location and angle of the bars. As the cyclist, what I can primarily control (once I have put my hands on the bars in the pre-determined aero position) is the angle of my back and my head position. I can't do anything about my waist down other than keep my knees in close to the top tube and my back angle plus bars pre-determines the angles of my forearms, upper arms and chest. So, if I look at what I can control, it's primarily frontal area even though other factors outside of my control determine resulting drag.
 

frenchyge

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Apr 3, 2005
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RapDaddyo said:
I agree about hand position, but that is predictable and known and is addressed by the location and angle of the bars. As the cyclist, what I can primarily control (once I have put my hands on the bars in the pre-determined aero position) is the angle of my back and my head position. I can't do anything about my waist down other than keep my knees in close to the top tube and my back angle plus bars pre-determines the angles of my forearms, upper arms and chest. So, if I look at what I can control, it's primarily frontal area even though other factors outside of my control determine resulting drag.
Ok, on that level, sure. Still, you see a variety of aero bar styles and positions in the equipment that is currently available. It would be hard to evaluate between those choices based on frontal area alone since the hands and arms really aren't visible in the sillouette in any case.

I guess we've kinda gotten off track there. Sorry. :eek:
 

RapDaddyo

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frenchyge said:
I guess we've kinda gotten off track there. Sorry. :eek:
Well, yes and no. The OP wants to know if he should get a special bike for his Half Ironman bike ride. As all the research shows, at a given power (whatever the #) one's position and the aero characteristics of frame, bars and wheels and even helmet have a huge impact. If he ignores these variables, I estimate he is leaving 5-10 minutes on the table. That's not chump change.