Outlaw Half Bike Tips from Matt Bottrill
In 2017, Matt Bottrill rode 2:10:28 bike split at the Outlaw Half Nottingham en route to a top ten overall finish. He’s one of the best time trialists in Britain and has been for many years. We’re really pleased to share his bike tips below:
With Outlaw Half and full in mind I’ve been asked to share some tips. Over the last few years I’ve had the pleasure of coaching some of the best triathletes in the world for the cycling element. This includes Tim Don to his Ironman world record, Lucy Charles, Susie Cheatham, Rachel Joyce and Will Clarke, so it’s great to share some tips here.
I’ve ridden both of the half distance events and hold the current records for the courses so thought now would be a good time to pass on my knowledge so you too can go out there and ride to a new PB!
Outlaw Half Nottingham cycling tips:
1: Pay attention when leaving T1, the perimeter road around the lake is quite narrow. Always stay to the left-hand side so faster riders can pass with ease, this will prevent any dodgy moments (also watch out for geese)! Don’t panic, just get your breathing under control and focus on the task ahead.
2: Once out onto the main road, start to think about fuelling around the 10 minute mark after the swim, I always take on some solids along with some electrolyte drink. For myself 70-80 grams of carbs for solids and gels always worked for me along with keeping on top of fluid intake. Fuelling is individual so make sure you practice your strategy in training. If you’re not great at fuelling then set an alarm on your watch to remind you to take on some carbs!
3: Outlaw is a quick bike course so aerodynamics are critical to riding fast (your body is 80% of your drag), so you need to be thinking of holding a good position throughout the race. Key areas of making gains are tri-bars, helmet selection and clothing selection.
4: Pacing the course is a key area to make time gains. Riding fast and smart is the fastest way of setting a new course PB. For most age group athletes riding at 70-75% of your threshold power (FTP) or heart rate will allow you to conserve energy for the run. More experienced and stronger athletes can push this to 80%.
5: Climbing is another key area to make some gains and save energy. It is when you have massive spikes in power for triathlon that causes a lot of stress on the body. The key climb is Oxton Bank, it’s a decent climb and I always run the small ring climbing up here. You really want to and keep the cadence down around 90. Conserve your energy and as you start to get to the crest that the time to lay the power down. This is also the first feed station of the day so you don’t want put your body under too much stress if you plan to stop.
6: Descents are a key place to make time up on your rivals, they’re a perfect time to push on rather than free wheel and sit up. Aerodynamics on descents and tailwind sections are the key areas to focus on so make sure you’re holding your best position.
7: Around the 40 mile mark is always a key area to keep focused so carry on laying down the power and keeping the mind focused. You’re going to start thinking of the run soon but try and keep a good position on the bike and keep on top of fuelling still.
8: The last few miles into the Nottingham Outdoor Pursuit Centre can be quite sketchy with potholes and gravel. Just ease yourself around this, lay off the power and start to recover ready for the run.
9: With around 1 mile to go you’re back onto a decent section of road, try to still keep focused at this point. Stretch the body ready to make it into T2, once you turn right off the main road you will descend down hill over a speed bump ready for T2. Watch out for this!
10: Smile, you have made it! Now get ready for the run and try not to start too fast, the atmosphere is going to be electric with the live commentary and all the spectators.
Sing up today for Outlaw 2019: ENTER NOW!