5 Pro Cycling Tips With Cameron Wurf | Ride Faster In Your Next Triathlon


– Right, when we talk
about riding our bikes fast in a triathlon, there is one
name that springs to mind. It is Cam Wurf. So thanks so much for
joining us today, Cam. – Thanks for having me and my bike. – (laughs) So, Cam owns the
Ironman World Championship bike course record and has just set the Nice bike course record, and is working up to another
stellar performance for 2018 World Ironman Championships. So, today we are gonna be running through some top tips from Cam. (energetic rock music) – Okay Cam, our first
top tip for the bike. – When I’m racing, I try not to think too much about metrics. I try to think about riding fast. And what I mean by riding fast is, you’ve gotta look for speed on the course, and that can sometimes mean
accelerating over a rise, and accelerating down the other
side to get up to top speed. And then you might sort of have a bit of a flush to the legs
and back things off a bit. And it’s a bit like what we do
in a time trial on the road, ’cause I’ve found that when I just try and keep a steady power,
while that in theory for triathletes is meant to work, I’m not really your normal triathlete. So I’ve obviously come from
a very different background, and it didn’t help me run any better. So I feel like I need to be more racey. I mean I like to treat it as a race, so I’m out there racing. I’m not out there trying
to do my personal best, I’m out there trying to beat everybody. And with that in mind, the fastest way, obviously, to ride a time trial, is to find ways to find
speed on the course. – So you’ll actually, rather than getting too bolted down in the watts, the power that you’re putting
out, it’s actually that speed. Because at the end of the day, the speed is contributing
to how fast you go and the time that you’ll race. – It doesn’t matter how
much power you’ve got. If you’re going slow,
you’re gonna go slow. So the most important thing is to go fast. I mean in Kona, I didn’t
even have a power metre. I just didn’t bother looking at it. And so once I was on my own,
I was able to feel the speed and feel the road, and
there’s lots of rollers there, there’s lots of opportunities to go fast. Obviously that, for me personally, comes from years of racing on the road, where you’re either riding on the front and looking for opportunities to increase the speed of the bunch with ease, and then obviously have
periods of recovery as well. And now I’ve taken that same
approach into triathlon. But I think for everyone, I understand there’s a big training
focus on average power and average power over a
certain period of time. But if you break it down, not many people are gonna do that optimal four- to five-hour power
in training really anyway, for that longer of period of time. So breaking it into small
pieces and just concentrating on riding your bike quick
for a perceived effort. And that’s, I guess, is
probably be the key word there, is focusing on perceived effort
as opposed to average power. – [Host] Next top tip for us. – [Cameron] Clothing, and basically you, and the sort of easier ways
to get some free speed. If I had a thousand dollars, I’d spend 800 of it on
my suit and my helmet. And not that much on
aerodynamics for my frame, or for my wheels, or anything like that, because this is the thing
that’s slowing you down. So I hear a lot of people
talking about tyre widths, and fitting in the rim, and
this and that and whatever else, but they’re using a helmet
that I know is a piece of junk or an outfit that has a
huge amount of drag on it. So invest wisely, especially
if you’re on a bit of a budget, which most triathletes generally are. When they’re buying this
stuff, it’s not cheap. And I guarantee you that you’re gonna find more speed out on the course by having a really good, fast,
reputable suit and helmet. It’s gotta fit really well. That’s the start. I mean, if there’s anything
flapping your back, (laughs) obviously it doesn’t work. So, yeah, find a suit that fits you, but then do your research. You just wanna make sure
you’re not constantly jiggling, and wiggling, and
worrying about where it sits. – Okay, and on the Arrow
Helmet, visor, no visor? Tail, no tail? – Again, with that one, the
helmet is the most important. The glasses and the visor, I’ve certainly done a lot of testing and found pretty negligible
as to the advantage. You can obviously have
more of an advantage by having more wind on your
face because it cools you down. So if you think about over
the course of four and half, five, six hours, or however
long you’re out there, probably having that
cooling effect on your face is gonna be of greater
performance advantage than having a visor covering it and making you hot and uncomfortable. And a helmet, if you have a position where you like looking
around and up and down, there’s no point in having a
helmet with a big tail on it, (laughs) and one that’s
moulded to your back. You’re better off getting something like, what I’m wearing currently
is perfect, the Kask Bambino. It’s been around for a long time. – [Host] It’s a small,
it’s got almost like a little bump on the back. – [Cameron] It’s almost
like just a normal helmet, but obviously it’s very well made, very aerodynamic at the front,
which is where the wind hits. One of those is probably the way to go. – Okay, our third tip. – Find a bike that fits you, not you try and find a
bike that you want to fit. I see so many people
that they got the bike of their dreams or they wanted, and then they find out
it’s not comfortable. Not every bike is for every person. I personally tried about six
different bikes last year. And I define a bike by
fitting by I can really have the position anywhere
and it’s comfortable. So I could certainly find
a more aggressive position, and I could probably hold
that for five minutes, but I can’t do it for five hours. – So very different from, and
the same with a kit as well, I guess, is we’re talking
about being on a bike for four-plus hours, not 20 minutes, for a 10-mile time trial. – That’s right, that’s right. And so, you might be great
for five, 10 minutes, but you’ll be walking in five hours’ time if you’re on a bike that’s uncomfortable. So do your homework,
ask around, don’t rush. Find something that really fits you, that feels really comfortable. And then once you’ve found
something that’s comfortable, it’s at that point that you start looking for that free speed. It’s at that point that
you start to modify things, your start to move your arms, you start to move your saddle position, do
little tweaks here and there. But certainly don’t get a bike and say, “Oh, okay, now I’ve gotta
try and make it fit me.” If you wanna have an enjoyable
Ironman, this is. (laughs) – Okay, Cam, now you’ve already slightly touched on this already, but I’m really interested
to hear about how you pace for a triathlon, specifically
a long-distance triathlon. – Yeah, the key thing in
an Ironman is you know you’re gonna have these
big peaks and troughs. You’re never out there for that long and feel amazing all the time. So it needs to sort of change
with how you’re feeling. And some days, for
example, if you’re having a really tough day, the
places where it’s hard, there’s no point going hard
when you’re feeling like (beep), because you’re gonna feel a lot worse. So when I’m having those tough moments, I tend to take it really
easy, where it’s hard, and then I give it as much as I’ve got or as much as I’m comfortable
putting out where it’s easy. And then, psychologically,
you can be like, “Wow, I’m really going on this descent. “I’ve really got some good
power, I’m really feeling good.” And that can often also be enough to just turn your body around a little bit, because a lot of it is,
you know, even a placebo. You really need to just get out of, I mean, you’ve just got out of the water lying on your stomach for however long. You really need to let
everything settle down, and I just like to just
sort of get into the ride. And then that last 20 minutes, I really look forward to it,
’cause I feel like I’m home. And I can then start to just sort of back it off and freshen up a little bit. But that middle part, yeah,
it’s really, really variable, and I guess the key thing there is, if you don’t feel good, don’t
make yourself feel worse. Just be aware it’s a long day. – And do you analyse the course before and you know those sections, and how to attack them,
and how to ride them? – If you can do recon of a
course, it’s always the best. Again, you waste a lot
of psychological energy worrying about what’s coming up. It’s like I say, the
difference when I’m behind, and then when I get in front. You’re behind, you’re looking up the road, you’re seeing where you’re going, and then all of a sudden you’re in front. And then for some reason,
you’re just more relaxed. It seems so much easier. Yet, in theory, you should be
a hell of a lot more tired, because you’ve had to get there. Knowledge of the course is crucial, and obviously knowing where
a hard climb is gonna finish, or a long descent’s gonna
be, or the rest stop, the feed zones, all those things are all really important
to having a great race. – Okay, finally, another thing
that I’m quite interested in, and we get asked a lot on the channel, is about riding a TT bike, that TT focus. How often do you ride this bike? – Once a week, once every two weeks. – Really?
– Once every 10 days, yeah. I mean, certainly not
more than once a week. You can’t naturally produce
the same amount of power and strength and speed in
this position as you can on a normal road bike, which is obviously much more comfortable, much
more powerful position. So 75 to 80% of my training
is all done on a road bike, and just a little bit on
this, just to make sure my muscles and everything
know how to do it, and enough that on race
day, it’s not like a, “Oh, wow, what on earth
are you doing to me here?” It’s comfortable, and it means I can enjoy my training more. It’s obviously much more
enjoyable riding up mountains on a road bike and down the other side. – I was gonna say, in
terms of the training you’re actually doing,
the TT session or two that you do during the week,
that is very much tri-focused. – Yeah, the one session
I’ll always do is very much a tri-focused, sort of a
training session, you know? And it’s always a brick,
and it’s generally anywhere between two and four hours of race pace, whether it’s a half Ironman pace or a full Ironman sort of an effort. You never seem to
overachieve in this sport. If you haven’t done it in training, you’re not gonna do it on race day. So if you wanna be able
to ride a good time trial in an Ironman, because everyone says, “How do I ride faster,
how do I ride faster?” It’s like, well, I don’t really know, but I ride that fast all
the time in training. I’m not actually doing
anything special on race day. I’m merely trying to do as
good a bike as possible, so I can also do a good run. So I think that’s another key point. You need to train the way you race. – Well, I like the phrase
“train hard, race easy.” – Exactly, exactly, and that’s really how, I mean, especially in this sport, when you’re training for
three different things, day in day out, you have a
lot of accumulated fatigue, you’re training on tired legs a lot. You really should be
able to enjoy race day. That should be the best day of them all. But yeah, it’s different for everyone, but again, a bit like with the pacing, a bit like when you’re on the course, a bit like starting to stay comfortable, those little things to make
sure that you feel good throughout the race, adopt
that in your training. If you’re not comfortable
on your time trial bike riding it five days a week, don’t do it. Ride something else, or go for a walk, or ride a mountain bike or something. Mix it up, ’cause you’re still getting the same neuromuscular benefits, so. – Well, that’s been amazing, Cam. Thanks so much for that. I think there’s some really
valuable tips that everyone is gonna take away in this video. If you like this video,
hit that thumbs up button. If you’d like to see more videos from GTN, just click on the globe and subscribe. – Particularly the swimming
one by Lucy Charles, which I watch all the time, because I need to improve my swimming. – That’s where all our views come from. (Cam laughs)
– And if you’d like to see our Emma Pallant video,
Top Tips to Run Faster, just click down here.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Wow im really surprised that he doesnt spend most of his training in the TT-Position, but rather on a normal racing bike?

  2. Great interview…thanks for this video! Its nice to see athletes truelly share there REAL thoughts and ideals about there sport!

  3. I love how he’s the only one with money to have a bolide. And I love how he calls out marginal aero gains vs your body. But who cares he has bike records. Finish is all that counts.

  4. Cam seems like a really cool guy, he did really fast bike on my local IM last year also in Kalmar. also impressive that he changed sports 3 times 🙂

  5. Great video Mark, really good interview of a very forthright pro. A couple of key "takeaways" for me are: Get a bike that is comfortable as opposed to really cool looking; if you can't do it in training don't expect it to happen on race day – miracles don't happern on race day. Cam and Sebi don't even use power meters at Kona!

  6. Not related to this video… but have the winners of the give away helmets been contacted already? I din't see a video after these latest giveaway videos.
    Thanks

  7. Great video / interview. Thank You Cameron and GTN. It is always good when atheletes share their tips and experiences. Best Wishes.

  8. I think he should put the power meter back on and not time trial the triathlon races so he can run after.

  9. Excellent video. Cam is one of those people – as soon as he opens his mouth you just know that he knows what he's talking about.

  10. Its better too have a $2000 bike and ride 250 to 320 miles a week, than a $7500 bike and ride 150 miles , time on the bike

  11. I train only on my hart rate monitor and i have no powermeter.
    How can i put the training sessions what is based on the FTP in my training schedule?
    Keep up the good work.

    Mark

  12. Such a nice guy Cameron is!! Apart of the great quote "train hard, race easy" for me the most important tip here is that it doesn´t matter how much power you´ve got if you´re going slow! Such a great truth!!! Watts are not speed ! 🙂 Thanks GTN for this interview and thanks Cam for the tips!! Looking for more videos like this!

  13. Great advice from Cam! Interesting to note that other pro’s s seem obsessed with power meters ( like Sanders) whereas Cam seems to focus on what his body is telling him and using that as his ‘meter’ so to speak… results say it all.

  14. Ok so it seems to be working very well for him 🙂 but what would be the point in being able to put out more power on a road bike and why would you train on a road bike vs doing much bigger % on TT big as thats here you need to be able to get the power out?

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