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Training Information
> Winter Training Tips and Information
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> Hills, Chocolate Milk and Ice baths
> 2008 NYC Marathon Notes
> Final Marathon Tips
> Starting Lines 27: Big Miles - Joe Henderson
> Make Your Running More Efficient
> Get out of your comfort zone
> CP Map - call boxes & bathrooms
> Tri Stroke Clinic 2008
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> Running Speed - AG Tri Club Workshop
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> Periodization...Say What?
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> Four Tips for a Good Season
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> Macro Periodization
> Spring Has Finally Arrived
> Bike Safety - from Joe Friel
> Winter Weather & Training
> Missed Workout Days
> Training for Women over 50
> Marathon to Ultra-Marathon
> Winter Training (Base Phase) - for triathletes
> In Training for Triathlon
> Tip of The Month #7 - The Day Off
> Tip of The Month #1 - Select your "A" race
> Tip of The Month #2 - Build Mileage (Runners)
> Tip of The Month #3 Build Mileage (Triathletes)
> Tip of The Month - for runners - Base Phase
> Winter Training Workshop - Handout
> Winter Training Workshop - powerpoint
> Tip of The Month #5 Strength Building (LT)
> Tip of The Month #6 Lactate Threshold
> Tip of The Month #9 - Warm-up
> Tip of The Month #10 - New?
> Designing a Training Plan That Works ppt
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> Bicycle Maintenance Checklist
> Tip of The Month #4 Bike Fit
> Bike Gear Chart
> Tip of The Month #8 - Hills (Cycling)
> Tip of The Month #11 - Pedaling
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> Cycling Tips from Lanterne Rouge - Aero Bars
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Tip of The Month #10 - New?

Everyone knows that you’re not supposed to race in anything new.  Right?  No new shoes race day.  No new clothes race day.  No new energy drinks race day.

But, how about changes to your bike?  Fixing a noisy wheel or a flat tire?  Well, you have to fix the flat before you race, right?  Sure, you can’t race on a flat tire.  But, the rule still applies.  Have you ever changed a flat during a ride and the next morning the tires flat again?  It happens to us all.

Last week I was having problems with my rear wheel.  It was making strange noises.  I brought it into the local bike shop to have them look at it and figure out what was wrong.  I switched to my training wheel and rode all week on it.  Friday night I stopped by the LBS and picked up the wheel.  They had tightened the spokes and trued the wheel, checked the bearings and the noise problem was gone. 

I went to the race on Saturday morning.  I did a brief warm-up on the bike and everything seemed fine.  The noise was gone.  The race starts – it was a biathlon (duathlon).  My run went better than I had expected, I was running a faster pace than I had all year.  I get on the bike and head out of transition.  Everything seems to be fine.  I get up to speed and shift to my big chain ring.  I’m cruising along just fine.  The first few hills get my heart rate up and then the down hills come.  This was what I was waiting for! 

I shift into a bigger gear and start really moving.  40 mph!  The bike course is a two loop course.  There are hills in the beginning and the end of the loop.  The middle is mostly downhill.  I’m passing people and feeling good.  I’ve totally forgotten about the wheel problems from the beginning of the week.

I round a corner and head up the biggest hill on the course.  I’m working really hard.  I crest the top of the hill and can see the end of the first loop.  I’m feeling good and start to accelerate again after the hill. 

Thump, thump, thump, thump.  What’s that sound?  BAM!!!!

I know that sound – blowout!  I get off the bike.  The rear wheel isn’t spinning freely.  Because of the thumping that preceded the blowout and the fact that the wheel wasn’t spinning freely I either I popped a spoke or a spoke poked through the inner tube.  I get off the road and look.  The wheel is still true, there are no loose spokes. 

Then I see the problem: about 12 inches of the tire is off the rim!  The blow out forced the tire off the rim.  Still unsure of what caused the problem and because the little old lady with the training wheels was about to pass me, I decide to drop out of the race and walk back to transition.

I learned a lesson – don’t ride with anything new or repaired in a race!  I should have left my training wheels on for the race.  After the race I would have had time to put the racing wheels back on and test the repair.  Getting a blow out on a training ride is a pain, but at least it doesn’t ruin a good race.


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Neil L. Cook, 212-472-9281 or 917-575-1901 or Coach@SLB-Coaching.com or Neil.L.Cook@mindspring.com
"Sweet Lightning Bolt" used by permission.