In this video we cover off: How to avoid cycling cough, ITT position and bunch training

 In this video we cover:

00:24 – Avoiding Cycling Cough
01:29 – The use of Clip-on Time Trial Bars
03:00 – Time Trial Aero Position
05:16 – Simple Bunch Training Technique

Video Transcript:

Hi! Welcome to Cycling-Informs Weekly tips. My name is David Heatley and this is what were going to be covering off how to avoid cycling coughing in cold conditions; how to set up a bike for time trialing with clip on bars, and how to do group training.

Dale has asked a question, why do I get a slight bronchial condition when riding for about four hours in the cold, even when I’m appropriately dressed. I’m not a Doctor but I think I know what might be happening here. I think its to do with the cold air that’s rushing into your lungs when you’re breathing.

Thats irritating your lungs causing you to cough. Theres a couple of ways that you can help alleviate this issue.

One of them is to breathe in through your nose. By doing that you warm up the air so that when it hits your bronchial tubes theres less irritation. The other way of helping to reduce this issue is to place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Thats the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth. By doing so that helps warm up the air as its flowing through the bulk of your mouth into your bronchial tubes. Again that will help reduce the irritation that you get when you breathe cold air in the mornings.

Paul has asked a question about time trial clip on bars and how to fit them to your bike. Obviously theres a difference between clipping time trial bars onto your bike and having a time trial bike. The main difference is that when you clip the time trial bars onto a bike youre generally clipping them on to a road bike.

The frame configuration is different to that of time trial bikes. The main difference is that road bikes generally have a higher head tube or a longer top tube. That means that the top tube and where you mount your handlebars are higher. This is compounded by the fact that when you put clip on bars on your bike they usually sit on the top of your handlebars. Thats one of the fundamental issues between a time trial bike and a road bike in that the handlebars on a road bike would generally be set higher than a time trial bike.

One of the most important things about these two aero positions is reducing your frontal area. The largest restriction around your frontal area is to do with your head. Ive got some photos here of some good and bad set ups when it comes to reducing frontal area. Your idea is that you want to set up the position so that your head is below your shoulders. This will help by reducing your frontal area. That will make you more aero. When youre riding at fast speeds the aerodynamics become critically important and the faster you go the more important they become.

DSC 5719-good-time-trial-postion-II-600px
Good Time Trial Postion

DSC 6682-not-so-good-time-trial-postion-600px

Not So Good Tme Trail Postion

Paul has asked two other important questions. Do I need to move my seat forward to get into a good aero position and whats the ideal length between the seat and the handlebars?
Lets ask that first question around moving the seat forward. Yes, moving a seat forward does help you get into a better aerodynamic position. Thats only if youve got poor flexibility in your hamstrings. Its actually far more important to work on the flexibility in your hamstrings so that you can sit your seat up in a very similar position to that that you ride on your road bike.

The reason for this is that you actually develop more power if youre in a very similar position to your road bike with your guards to your seat fore and aft position. Im talking about road racing and time trials related to road racing. Generally those time trials are around about 20 or 30 kilometers long.

If youre riding shorter events and of course you can bring your seat forward a little bit to get yourself into the aerodynamic position. The idea is the longer the event the more comfortable you need to be in the time trial position. Its important to sit that seat up in a very similar position to your road bike.

One of the other great things about keeping that position on your time trial bike similar to your road bike is that it means that you dont need to spend so much time adapting to your time trial position. Its very similar to the position that you use on your road bike.

Weve had people take over a year to develop a similar sort of pattern on a time trial bike to that theyve developed on their road bike for this very reason. Its important to keep that seat in a very similar position to what you have on your road bike.

Whats the ideal length between the seat and the handlebars? Ideally youd want to look for a 90 degree angle in your arm. Heres a photo of a person in a good time trial position. What you can see is that their arm is at 90 degrees. Youll see that there is a 90 degree angle at their elbow joint. To get this position set up properly youll need to have your handlebars sit quite low. Ideally youll want to be on a time trial bike.

Caseys asked a question about group training. How do you get good quality group training? One of the big issues about group training is that generally when you go out riding with your mates you ride along a course and you go out and you smash each other over. Thats generally how group rides usually end up if they dont start off that way.

One of the issues about this type of training is that youre at the mercy of the stronger riders. If youre not so a strong a rider youll find that at some point youre going to get dropped. Then you training session really is over… you get to ride home. In some training groups they do stop for slower riders and this is obviously not so good for the faster riders.

The first thing about group riding is that you really need to get people of very similar ability riding together. Otherwise, you need to structure the training session to take into account the faster and slower riders and divide them up into different sections of the circuit. What we do to alleviate this issue is that we separate the riders. We may go through a warm up period where both riders are taking part in it, both types of riders, and then we separate the riders and grade them depending on their ability.

There are another couple of tactics that we use. One is to have a staggered time trial like a handicap race and send off the slow riders first and then have the faster riders chase them down.
Another thing that we do is we set up two up time trials. What well do is race them into the handicap system Ive just mentioned. Well team up stronger riders together and have them chase down teams of not so stronger riders.

The other thing about group rides is that it is important to have a plan before you start. That way you have some organization around how the group ride is going roll out. By doing so it means that youre able to take into account all the abilities of the riders that you have on the group ride. Thats going to be really good to make sure that your faster riders and your slower riders are getting a really good training session. This is far better than just having your riders smash each other over on the ride.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these cycling tips. My names David Heatley from Cycling Inform.