partie vélo triathlon zefal

Advice and tutorials


That's it, you've taken the plunge and decided to try triathlon! This Olympic discipline which combines 3 endurance sports (swimming, cycling, running) requires a certain effort, both for the body and the brain! The cycling part will come as the 2nd event, just after the swimming. It is therefore decisive according to your level in the other sports and allows you to make the transition between the beginning and the end of the race.

To help you prepare this part, Zéfal guides you in your preparation and our Olympic triathletes ambassadors, Dorian Coninx and Léonie Périault but also Grégory Rouault, trainer of Poissy Triathlon, the most titled triathlon club in France, will give you their precious advices about the event!

Sporting and mental preparation

Like every sports competition, preparation represents most of the work to progress and perform well on the day of the event. Triathlon is no exception to this rule, whether it is the Olympic distance or an Ironman.

Concerning the physical preparation, there is no magic formula, you have to do a lot of kilometers! Grégory Rouault, coach of Poissy Triathlon advises you to do these hours of cycling in winter, before doing a second phase of work on your running rhythm and on the split. Through training, you will learn to know your pace, your rhythm and you will be able to progress more quickly.

In addition, you will need to get to know your bike. Being comfortable on your bike is essential to be efficient, especially in long distance triathlons where you will be pedaling more than a hundred kilometers. Triathlon bike courses often have many 90° and 180° turns that will require unnecessary effort if you are not comfortable.

 « The part that is often totally underestimated is the technical part of cycling. It is very important to know how to handle your bike correctly to find the right trajectories. Don't be afraid to set up small technical circuits to train and improve your bike agility. » 

Grégory Rouault, coach of Poissy Triathlon

For the mental part, it will be complicated at first because without experience, it is difficult to apprehend such an event without having participated. Your optimal mental preparation will come with time! But in any case it is necessary to visualize the race well and to prepare for all eventualities.

 « I worked on mental preparation to be able to improve my decision making and my perception of a group but we also work a lot on it during training sessions like criteriums. » 

Dorian Coninx, bronze medalist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

We will also have to deal with stress management, because in all cases there will be some and it is normal. You must not leave any room for chance in the equation by knowing your abilities and your equipment as much as possible. In this case, always say to yourself that if you have trained correctly and at 100%, then there will be no regrets on race day!

dorian coninx triathlon zefal

Dorian Coninx training at the WTCS Abu Dhabi

The preparation of your bike

If a good physical preparation is necessary for all the triathlon disciplines, the bike part generates a very specific preparation, the equipment one. Your bike will be your best ally during these long kilometers that separate the swimming part from the running part, so you have to take care of it as much as you do! The first step is to clean it well. To do this, see our article on how to clean your bike.

Then, you will have to pay attention to the mechanical parts of your bike. Grégory Rouault recommends a deep check of the steering, braking, tires and transmission to minimize problems during the race.

 « Remember to check the tire pressure and don't forget to adjust it according to the weather conditions! » 

You will have enough to worry about with the race itself, your placement, transitions, to add potential stress with your bike. And remember, a bike that is properly maintained over time is a bike that is less likely to fail you at the worst possible moment!

Selection of Zéfal products by Grégory Rouault, coach of Poissy Triathlon :

Race day

Here we are, it's race day ! After several months of preparation, you are finally taking the plunge into your first triathlon. You get ready for the start of the swim and off you go! After several minutes of swimming, you start the transition to the bike part... Léonie Périault, Olympic medalist in Tokyo 2020 considers the bike part as  « a crucial moment, quite nervous »  so you are not alone in feeling this way! Be sure to take into account the intensity of the start of the bike part: the shorter it is, the more intensive it will be and vice versa. You can either find yourself in a grouped peloton or on your own in the longer distance triathlons.

 « You can win or lose races on the first five hundred meters of the bike. Then you have to stay focused on what is the longest event in a triathlon, whether it is a sprint or an Ironman format. » 

Grégory Rouault

Grégory also advises you not to hesitate to split your bike part into several segments to stay as mentally active as possible. On long distance formats, the gaps are often made in the last third of the race. For Léonie, it is important to know how to place yourself by saving as much energy as possible, by being vigilant, attentive and active in the race so as not to be at the back of the group.

Dorian Coninx focuses his race on several points:

  • Energy saving: protect yourself from the wind and the course, being efficient on the technical parts
  • Risk management: intensity of effort but also positioning in the peloton to be less affected by pace changes and to reduce the risk of falling
  • Nutrition : the bike part is where you can refuel the most, whether it is drinking or eating, it is often on the bike that it happens

 « The bike part is the most difficult strategically speaking. There are choices to be made. You can either get involved in a group to give yourself a chance to put the bike down in a breakaway, or you can keep as many as you can to race as fast as possible. In any case, it determines what happens next. » 

partie triathlon zefal

Favorite tips and products from our athlete ambassadors

And finally, here's some advice from our professional athlete ambassadors to those looking to get into triathlon:

 « You have to train by getting to know your body, keeping it fun and succeed in giving your best. »   - Léonie Périault

Selection of Zéfal products by Léonie Périault :

Arctica Pro 75

Extra Dry Wax

Zéfal Gravel Mini

 « First of all, learn to train quietly but regularly and don't underestimate the nutrition aspect, sleep and rest time! »  - Dorian Coninx

Selection of Zéfal products by Dorian Coninx :

Arctica Pro 75

Profil Travel

Z Adventure F2

The Arctica water bottles because it's nice to be able to drink fresh water in the summer when it's very hot, the Profil Travel pump because it doesn't take up any space for air travel and it's super efficient and the Z Adventure F2 bag, which is very practical, especially in the winter when you need a whole bunch of clothes, so you don't have to have full pockets!

léonie périault triathlon zefal

Léonie Périault during an outing with her Arctica Pro 75.

Your preparation for the bike part will be essential, whether you want to finish it or beat your record. You now benefit from the advice of the best professionals of the discipline in Europe!