It’s about time I scheduled a bike bike fit for me. It is truly the story of the plumber with leaky pipes. Not until my carbon bike creaks loud enough for an entire bike group to hear do I schedule a tune-up. Or, the seat on my QR tri bike makes me squirm to the point that Drew (one of Gear West tri bike fitter’s) said, “Jan, its time we scheduled you a real BIKE FIT”.
We did the bike fit, today, and I can’t wait to feel how some tiny but important tweaks will improve my comfort. My Quintanna Roo PR tri bike was new last year and there was an astonishing speed improvement with its new aero frame design as compared to my tried and true titanium Merlin from … 20 ? years (and six ironman’s) ago. The aero design was more aggressive as well; seat drop to the arm rest was greater than what I have ridden in the past. I quietly pride myself of staying in an aero position for 90% of the Wisconsin Ironman as well as adapting to many other performance challenges (bringing two left shoes to a race, riding in run shorts, skiing on someone else’s skis that looked the same as mine but were a man’s length, working retail all day on my feet and then racing some marathon….). I figured I could adapt to a new tri bike easily. I raced on it pretty much right out of the box, all last summer. But seriously, one cannot enjoy a bike seat that does not work. Ugg. So, with extremely cheerful assistance, they (at GW) changed out a couple of seats until the Bontrager RXL saddle fit the bill/bum, raised the QR arm rests 5mm and tightened the tri bar length so I did not extend my arms to shift (I was used to unadjustable Vision tech bars for zillions of years). My traditional bottle cages were replaced with those offering a side opening to more easily drink on a 48’ frame. Wow! What fun!
Additionally, I have my new power meter and Garmin computer with which to read all my exciting wattage, so I have no excuse but to be faster! Heck, turning 60 is the beginning of greater triathlon enjoyment with all my gadgets. Yet in my heart, I know real power comes from plain ol’ hard training, smart living, and a positive mindset. I have raced a total of 7 Ironman’s, countless other tris, canoe races, ski races and running races with only the knowledge that originates from inside me. I know when I am tired, when I start too fast, accelerate up a hill to quickly or when everything happens just as planned. Yes, if I was younger, additional information would help me speed up (or slow down) in measurable and helpful ways. Today, new training devices just illustrate the contrast of how endurance training has changed. But with all the technology of Zwift, Garmin and Strava grabbing ahold of our mental energy, I believe knowing our physical selves in a way that we FEEL how to race and threshold train is AS important a facet of one’s training as mechanical information. For me, technology has come late. For others, listening to their body, is a skill to be valued and acquire as limits to technology become apparent.
-Posted by Jan Guenther on May 16th 2019