As an indoor cycling instructor, you’re going to find a large percentage of your students dabble in triathlon, or engage in it as a serious sport. Either way, you don’t want to be embarrassed by using the wrong triathlon-related words or terms in your class when talking to them about triathlon (including the ever-popular pronunciation of triathlon as “triath-a-lon”).
So to help you look better and converse intelligently and confidently with your indoor cycling students who are triathletes, this is Part 2 of a five part series called “Tri-Lingo 101” that will teach you how to use the correct triathlon terms. In this article, you’ll learn common triathlon bike terms. Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Aerobars – Because it is more comfortable and more aerodynamic for triathlon racing, most triathlon bikes are equipped with these type of bars, which attach to the handlebars or stem of a bicycle and allow you to ride in the aero position. These can also be placed on a road bike.
Aero Bottle – Many triathletes attach a water bottle to the aerobars rather than to the down tube or seat tube, which makes drinking in the aero position an easier task.
Aero Position – Also known as the time trial position, the aero position involves riding in a “hunched over” position with the elbows resting on the aerobar pads. This saves your running muscles and helps keep you aerodynamic, especially on the relatively flat bike courses that most triathlons have.
Bonk – Because you cover long distances while cycling, it's easy to get stuck during a ride or race without food or fuel. When this happens, your blood sugar can drop so low that your brain goes into a fog and your muscles quit firing. This is called a bonk. The fix? Eat fast and eat lots. I hate it when that happens… John
Brick – A “Bike-Run” workout, in which you run immediately after finishing the bike leg of a triathlon or a bike workout.
Cadence – The speed of pedaling while bicycling, also known as RPM, or Revolutions per Minute.
Disc – A solid wheel that is very aerodynamic and often used as a rear wheel in triathlons.
Down Tube – The tube of the bike that runs from the handlebars and diagonally slopes down towards your back wheel.
Drafting – Riding close enough behind the cyclist(s) in front of you that you pedaling becomes less difficult due to that rider stopping some of the wind resistance. This is illegal in most triathlons, and you must typical maintain 3-4 bike lengths behind the person in front of you.
Dropped – When you're riding with a group of cyclists who are drafting, and you eventually get too far behind to be in the draft, you'll find that the gap increases between you and the group, pedaling becomes harder, and you can't catch up. You've been dropped.
Hammer – To pedal very hard, typically for an extended period of time (i.e. “That ride was a Hammer-fest!”).
Seat Post – The tube on the bike that attaches to your saddle, and is typically adjustable up and down. On some triathlon bikes, it can be cut.
Spin – To ride easy, in recovery mode, or pedal with very low resistance. The opposite of hammer.
Time Trial – Typically a 20-180K ride at the maximum sustainable pace, usually performed in the aero position. The bike leg of most triathlons is defined as a time trial.
Top Tube – The tube that extends from the handlebars, between your legs, and horizontally back towards the back wheel.
Ben Greenfield is a fitness business coach, triathlon author, and sports nutritionist. If you want more videos, aricles and audios about swimming and other triathlon related topics, visit Ben’s free blog and podcast at http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com . Also be sure to check out Ben’s endurance sports website Endurance Planet, at http://www.enduranceplanet.com and his Rock Star Triathlete Academy, at http://www.rockstartriathlete.com . Finally, if you want to learn how to grow your fitness business and make more money, visit Ben’s fitness business advice website at http://www.trainfortopdollar.com .
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- Tri-Lingo 101 – Part 2: Common Triathlon Bike Terms - February 13, 2011
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