There was an interesting article posted on this week, Maximizing Economy: An Essential Parameter for Triathlon Success. The key point in this article is that in addition to increasing aerobic capacity and your lactate threshold, triathlon training should also focus on improving efficiency – being able to move at the same speed but with less effort, using less energy and allowing you to keep up a faster pace for a longer time.

The author goes on to provide a number of tips on how to improve cycling efficiency, mainly, finding an optimal cadence, and ensuring proper positioning on the bike. It was interesting that this author quoted studies that show a relatively lower cadence (~70rpms) tends to be more efficient than higher cadences. As always though, the key is to find the optimal cadence where we are able to produce the most power for the least amount of effort. Guess I’ll need to get a power meter sometime soon!!

Anyway, some interesting stuff, check it out.


2 comments untill now

  1. I think your body’s ability to handle lactic acid has something to do with it as well. Lance Armstrong chooses very high cadence with less power in each stroke whereas Jan Ullrich chose lower cadence with more power per stroke. Putting likely drug use aside, I would think that these athletes put a lot of effort into making a decision that was best and optimal for them. In my opinion, higher cadence would be better for most in a triathlon just because we need to save our legs for the run.

  2. I’d agree that the ability to handle lactic acid likely has something to do with it. Most of the literature I’ve seen has also said that a higher cadence is likely better in triathlon. I think the distance of race also plays into it, in a sprint, you can push the big gears the whole way through and still have a bit left for the run. I have never done an Ironman, but my guess is that it would be quite a bit harder to do that.

    Speaking of lactic acid resistance, I read an intersting article the other day about someone who doctors found had an amazing ability to resist lactic acid buildup. Check it out here: