Earlier this year I purchased a road racing bike (a lovely Specialized Roubaix Elite Compact) and I’ve been trying to get some decent rides in as part of my triathlon training. Back in June I entered my first official middle-distance (comparable to Half Ironman distance – 1.2m swim, 56m bike, 13.1m run) triathlon and loved it (partly because of the awesome ‘pirate’ support) – read my Bala report for the background.
In triathlon the longest discipline (duration and distance) is always the bike and because of that getting decent miles in is a must. From talking to a few people and from reading forums it’s all about the bike – if you come off of the bike feeling ‘fresh’ (well, as fresh as can be expected!), then your run ‘should’ be alright. If you push too hard on the bike or are not ‘bike fit’ then you’re doomed!
I’ve been going through my logs and looking at the mileage I did in the 10 weeks prior to the Bala triathlon in June. I cycled approximately 412 miles (er, that’ll be an average of 41 each week), with four rides of over 30 miles distance – with an average of just under 52 miles (one long ride of 66 miles boosted that average).
Looking at the past 10 weeks I’ve cycled 464 miles, with six rides over 30 miles (an average of 51 miles). So, I’ve increased my cycling (slightly) although have been much more consistent with getting in longer rides. Not every ride has been fun, and some have been quite tough – with today’s being a good example.
After a tough 5k race at Bushy Park where I got my best time (18:21) on the course since October last year, I headed off on the bike to Box Hill – a superb place for training frequented by many cyclists. My legs have been pretty tired for a few days and this mornings run didn’t help matters! After doing one ‘loop’ of Box Hill (which is about 8 miles and takes in the big hill) I was more than ready to call it a day. Eventually I promised myself if I rode a second loop I could have a rest at the top of the hill – and that I did. I lay on the grass, had a drink and ate some flapjack. Much better. From here it was only 21 miles back to the car! Well, I’m glad I pushed on (albeit not too quickly) but I feel better for not giving up early – so much so that I’ve cracked open a bottle of white whilst I write this post…
So, when will I find out the fruits of my labours – well, that’ll be next weekend at the Vitruvian Triathlon – my last (er, and only third) triathlon race of the year. Here’s hoping that I have a good bike and come off feeling fresh and ready for the half marathon run at the end. This coming week I’ll really be stepping down the training in preparation for next Saturday. Expect a monster report from the race shortly afterwards.
Finally, the subject of this post – It’s Not About The Bike is a book by Lance Armstrong and I strongly recommend it. The guy is awesome. [UPDATE: I take everything back about Lance! OK, he’s a good cyclist, the book is a good read but it’s tainted by a rather large brush.]