Ironman Bike Course Information
AUSTRIA IRONMAN – a good uncomplicated 2 lap course allows you to plan your drinking and eating. It is a fast course, which keep you aero for long periods so you need to stretch. Aim to stretch at least twice an hour for 5-10 seconds. You can spin and stretch as you slow down and approach feed stations.
Bike: A time trial bike is a good choice for this event.
FRANCE IRONMAN - one of the most difficult Ironman bike courses with over 5,000 ft of climbing. The hills are long, with even gradients and fast technical descents. Eating on the climbs has to be practiced.
Doing a long turbo ride with the front wheel raised will give you an idea. Descending is also a skill needed for the long down hills as you get tired. Slower reaction times are affected by limited nutrition from descending so fatigue is magnified.Bike: Choose a lighter road rather than aero TT. You will gain more time by having standard drop handlebars for climbing by being able to change hand positions and descend safely.
FRANKFURT IRONMAN - three laps with three hills per loop. Fast bike with some hills that require out of saddle efforts to keep your heart rate below your AT zone.
Stay loose and relax to go fast on the flat sections. Remain focused on your rehearsed race nutrition on the closed roads as the 400,000 knowledgeable cheering crowds can distract you. Prepare with training sessions that have a good mix of hills and flat. This event attracts a competitive professional field, so do not be fooled by fast elite times.
Bike: A time Trial bike is acceptable. Check out the cobbled section to determine your tyre pressure.
LANZAROTE IRONMAN - “Normal limits do not apply” because there is 2,551 meters of steep climbing. It is unquestionably the toughest bike course of the Ironman family with one large lap around the Island on tough rough surfaces with rolling hills and leg sapping climbs.
No Ironman bike is easy but this one is made worse by hot winds which cause your body temperature to rise without the normal cooling effect. Turbo cycling at Ironman pace after a warm shower or run will help you get use to a high core temperature for race day.
Bike: Your preferred choice should be light but comfortable. Shallow section rims with minimum spoke wheels. Be very wary of using deep section rims. A 39/27 gear is needed to enable you to spin up the early hills to save strength which is needed on the tougher climbs after half way. Otherwise you will be too tired and not benefit for the fast last section where you may make up some time.
SWITZERLAND IRONMAN – you need to concentrate as this is one of the most beautiful of the Ironman three lap courses. The first part is fast before you climb up into the hills from Lake Zurich.
You cannot fail to be filled with emotion form the view below of the lake which you were swimming in earlier. The hills are more demanding than first appears, be prepared to eat on the climbs. Avoid pushing hard on the flat like the inexperienced who hammer the flat sections then struggle on the climbs.
Bike: Standard drop handlebars should be your preferred choice. Superb smooth road surface allows for lighter tyres.
UK IRONMAN - Dorset hills are up and down and difficult to get into a rhythm. The large chip tarmac makes speed difficult and slow. Nutrition is difficult to plan by time as you may be climbing so be flexible and look ahead and eat early well before a climb rather than wait until over the top, otherwise you could end up carrying your food back to T2.
Bike: Comfort is important on the poor road surface. A difficult choice as you need a bike for the whole course which has everything from steep up hills fast descents and some flat sections.