Bike Training Tip – Downhill Techniques
Riding downhill can be scary for some athletes. Having your body and mind in the right place, doing the right things can reduce stress and improve downhill performance and speed. Here are a few tips on how to improve your downhill technique:
- Put your feet at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock pedal stroke positions (one foot forward and one foot at the back of pedal stroke).
- Tuck your knees “in” toward the top tube of your bike.
- Tuck your elbows “in” toward your chest/side.
- Move your hips toward the back of your seat.
- Fire (activate) your core abdominal muscles.
- Apply downward pressure to your feet and your seat.
- Relax your entire upper body.. face, neck, shoulders, arms and most importantly, your hands (no death gripping of the handle bars).
Finally, your mental state will play a big roll in downhill success. Try and relax your mind (don’t be freaking out) and become “one” with the bike. “Sense” the movements of the bike and “flow” with it. Don’t fight the slight movements that occur with the winds and bumps in the road. Stay loose and drive the bike through them. Focus on positive mental images and enjoy the ride down. Don’t think about what might go wrong, think about how much fun you are having!
Joe LoPresto is the CEO, Head Coach and Race Director of Experience Triathlon. As leaders in the endurance services industry, Coach Joe and the Experience Triathlon Leadership Team help athletes of all ages and abilities achieve success in every aspect of their lives. Learn more about Coach Joe and Experience Triathlon at www.experiencetriathlon.com.