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Intelligent Triathlon Talk, Issue #016 -,Improve Bike Race Pace
June 10, 2014

Intelligent Triathlon Talk


10th June 2014, Issue No 16.


Welcome to Intelligent Triathlon Talk.

In this issue:

  • News Update
  • Coaching Services
  • Training Advice: Improve Bike Race Pace


News Update

Training alongside Mark’s British Triathlon squad this winter have been Cat and Joel Jameson, 5150 and Half/Ironman athletes respectively.

Cat has recently finished 2nd in the Mont Tremblant (Canada) 5150 and before that won the first race of the Castle Series Triathlon in Loughcutra, Ireland.

Joel had his best ever Ironman finish with 4th place in Lanzarote. You can read more about his race here: Joel Jameson Blog

Our South African duo, Dan and Terry have been busy competing, with some great results, notably:

  • African Duathlon Champs: Terry 3rd, Dan 4th.
  • South Africa National Triathlon Championships: Dan 2nd, Terry 3rd.
  • World Triathlon Series Cape Town Age Group Race: Dan 2nd, Terry 3rd

Above: Dan on the podium at SA Champs

For both of them, the World Duathlon Championships was one of their key races. Dan finished 27th, Terry 20th in their respective age groups. Dan in particular was very pleased with his result, having moved up into a competitive age group, and set a 10K pb in the first run.

Terry also got back to his first love of mountain biking, winning the African Cross Triathlon Championships - here he is on the podium (left).

Nick has been doing road race and sportives, in preparation for his key race which is Ironman Austria in July. Training is going well, as evidenced by him smashing his marathon pb, taking it from 3:04.13 to 2:48.29!


Intelligent Triathlon Training Coaching Services

We currently have one space available for coaching so if you are interested in being coached by us, please contact us.

We are hoping to be able to increase the number of athletes we coach in the coming months, again please contact us if you’d like to get onboard.


Continuing the theme from our last newsletter of introducing you to the athletes we coach, this time it is Nick’s turn:

Nick Teige - UK (ITT athlete since October 2013)

I first got into triathlon by accident really after having had knee surgery following an injury playing football. I started swimming and cycling in the gym as I wasn't able to run while I recovered.

I found I missed the competitive element of sport so decided to sign up for Derby Sprint Tri at the end of Sept 2011. Although I had swam/cycled when I was younger I hadn't really spent any serious time on either discipline in about 10 years so I bought myself an old tri bike off eBay and started to cycle to work and swim on my lunch hour. I really enjoyed the race and got hooked from there really.

As Derby was the last race locally for the season I started training with two local clubs (MVH Tri Club and Ivanhoe Runners) and decided to set myself the challenge of completing an Ironman the following year.

It just so happened that Ironman Wales 2012 fell on my 30th birthday so my fate was sealed.

Fast forward 12 months and in 12hrs 12mins I officially became an Ironman!

I didn't really have a training programme as such just an excel spreadsheet that I cobbled together various sections of training plans that I downloaded from the internet and tried to turn into a plan.

I decided to look for a coach at the end of summer 2013 when I seriously considered entering the three day Ultraman.

After agreeing with the wife that this was probably a bit too time demanding I entered Ironman Austria 2014 and started being coached by Mark and Intelligent Triathlon Training.

Being with Mark has certainly seen a difference to my approach to training as the structure he provides and explanation of why certain sessions are beneficial has meant I have enjoyed training immensely since I started working with him.

Results wise I have set a new PB in the half marathon (1:23:49) knocking off over 3 minutes from my previous best, seeing my 400m swim time trial reduce by 14 secs to 6:40 and definitely see an improvement in my cycling.

My main goals for this year will be to try and creep under 3hrs at Brighton Marathon in April (current PB is 3:04:13 – and he smashed this, running 2:48.29!) and get into the 10-11hr range at Ironman Austria.

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Training Tip Of The Month: Developing Bike Race Pace

The duration or distance of the bike section of the triathlon can have huge variation, from those racing sprints to the ironman, the former measured in minutes and the latter in multiple hours. 

We work with athletes competing across the range of distances, some training alongside each other.  One thing that is required in all these events is a high level of aerobic conditioning to enable:

  1. A good time to be set
  2. Retain the ability to run well after the bike leg. 

Much of the base of this comes in the Extensive Endurance rides (long slow distance work).

However to develop the speed you can ride at, you need to work above and below ‘threshold’ pace.  

If the long Ironman is your event then this is the first threshold or Lactate threshold 1 (LT1), where you begin to use more carbs as fuel.  You can use heart rate or power as a guide to the threshold but the key is variation around the point not riding on it. 

If you are sprint or standard distance (Olympic) orientated, then this is LT2 or the threshold where you begin to use exclusively carbs as the fuel source and also results in significant acidosis when you exceeded the threshold for very long or very far.  

In all likelihood most people will be racing at somewhere between the two points, which means raising both thresholds is a good plan and should be reflected in the training.  

We have had particular success using variations of the following session, and applying it to both thresholds:

  • 40 minutes Tempo (comfortably uncomfortable - you can talk but might prefer to concentrate`; RPE 13-14; 70-75% Max HR)
  • 5 minutes Easy 
  • 2 - 4 x 8 minutes Hard (uncomfortable; RPE 17-18; 88 - 92% Max HR); aiming for each effort to be even intensity, or building slightly within the rep if anything.   4 minutes Easy between the efforts.

This is not a beginner session and does require having done your extensive endurance training for a few weeks first.  

Beginners could start with shorter tempo and reduce the efforts to 6 minutes. 

Everyone must respect the tempo and not go too hard. If you cannot get up to above LT1 or 2 (watts or heart rate, depending upon what you are using as a guide) in the second part then the tempo was too hard.  

The main benefit of this session revolves around improving efficiency, muscular endurance and improving thresholds.


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See you next time!

Rhona & Mark

© 2014, Intelligent Triathlon Training, published by Rhona Pearce. Reproduction of any material from this newsletter without written permission is prohibited.

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