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bike training
Coyotes Triathlon & Bike Club has currently two weekday bike workouts in the North County and 1 in the South. They are open to all levels and are roughly 1 to 2 hrs long. They include some challenging hills. Please see our training schedule for updated ride information.

Coyotes Triathlon & Bike Club has a standing Saturday bike ride, which varies every week to incorporate all areas of San Diego County, from the North County to South Bay, encompassing all the terrains that San Diego has to offer. Please see our training schedule for updated ride information


There is no secret to becoming a stronger cyclist. You ride long and you ride hard. The trick is defining what long and hard are for you. For an elite Ironman athlete this may include upwards of 12 hours per week on the bike with half of that pushing 25mph. For a beginner triathlete finishing their first sprint it could be closer to 2 hours of riding per week at a conversational pace. No two athletes are alike and one training agenda will not work for everyone. But below are a few guidelines that anyone can adapt into their training regimine to be stronger on the bike.

The foundation of a good cycling training regimine is your long slow distance (LSD) ride. To gain a good foundation on which to build strength and speed you first need the endurance to build upon. This should be your once weekly ride where you go a bit further than you have before. Keep the pace at a moderate level so that you can finish the distance but it should be hard enough that at the end you are ready to stop riding.

Conversely, your shorter rides should be ridden at a higher intensity than your LSD ride. There are a variety of workouts you can do to spice up your short rides and gain some fitness:

Hill workouts:
To build strength find some hills. Find a long gradual hill with no stoplights that takes 3 - 6 minutes to climb. Put your bike into a gear that, with some effort, you can maintain all the way to the top and start pedaling. When you get to the top, turn around and pedal down and do it all over again. Do this a few times. As you improve you can add to the number of times you repeat the hill, find a steeper hill, find a longer hill, or try pedaling in a gear that is a little harder.

If you want to go fast on your bike in a race you need to go fast in training. To build speed all you need is to find a flat uninterrupted area to ride and a stop watch. Interval training can be done in different ways but each way is comprised of a basic formula, you warm up very well, then you go hard, easy, hard, easy, hard, and then cool down. And throw in a few more or less hard, easy sets depending on the workout. My favorite interval workout is the 3 x 10. After warming up for 20 minutes of easy spinning I will ride really hard for 10 minutes, then spin easily for 2 minutes and repeat this 3 times. The trick is that the last 10 minutes should be ridden just as fast as the first 10 minutes and when you are done you should feel like you can't do it again. It takes a lot of riding to know how hard you can ride for a certain distance but for this workout I recommend going at about 85% of what you can sustain for no longer than 1 minute. Make sure you cool down really well after this ride and stretch those muscles. You'll probably be sore tomorrow.

The Group Ride:
To improve handling and just about everything else find a fast group ride to join. Trying to hang onto their wheels and learning to ride in close proximity with other riders will do wonders for your handling, fitness and confidence on the road. Come join the Coyotes on Saturday for the group ride and you'll be doing distances you never thought you could at speeds you haven't seen before. If you can't make it to the Coyotes ride there are a few other groups in San Diego like Swami's and SDBC. If you don't have much group riding experience head to their beginner rides and bring your road bike if you have one. You'll learn quick and have fun to boot.

The time trial:
To gauge your fitness and improvements do a time trial every two to three weeks instead of your speed workout. Do this on the same course with the same warm up so the results you see are due to fitness changes instead of course conditions. Another great place to do this is on an indoor trainer. No wind or rain inside the house. This can be done by time or distance but should be at least 20 minutes and no more than 1 hour.

Recovery ride:
All fitness gains are made while resting so if your legs need a break do a recovery ride. This means no sprinting up those hills or pushing big gears or going for a new distance record. Go out easy for 30 minutes or an hour and just enjoy being able to be outside on your bike. Doing a light recovery ride will help your legs feel better faster than if you take the whole day off. Another option would be a recovery run. Either way, don't do two hard workouts two days in a row until you know your body well enough to watch for injuries and burn out.

Remember to drink plenty of fluids and keep your body fueled. If you're eating a regular healthy diet you shouldn't need much more than a bottle of sports drink and water for a ride up to 2 hours. Just make sure to eat a healthy protein rich snack (or meal after your LSD) as soon after your ride as practical and within an hour of finishing.

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