cycling

Ready for London

Had a couple of great training sessions recently - a fun fartlek session after forgetting to charge my watch, anti-clockwise loop to Barnes Bridge and back. Varying the pace really made me feel like I was getting a proper workout.

Yesterday headed to Richmond Park for a last long brick session - about 25km on the bike (mostly aero once in the park) and then the 11km run loop, and then cycled home. All felt pretty good.

I feel like I'm actually ready for a race for a change, this one hasn't crept up on me. I won't be as fast as I could possibly be, my training regime hasn't been sufficiently consistent what with wedding and honeymoon etc, but at least the last three weeks have been good.

After yesterday, I think my realistic bike split is more like 1hr40 (i.e. 2:30/km) - to get my goal of 3hrs total probably requires it to be nearer 1hr20 (2:00/km).

0:40 + 0:07 + 1:40 + 0:03 + 0:55 = 3hr25, but with some time shaved off those, hopefully I'll get down to 3hr10. Dream would be 3hr00 though!

Bike run bike

My plan today was to do a shorter run this week after my half-marathon last weekend - this is supposed to be a recovery week, although I've been ensuring I've kept up with swim training!

So I figured the easiest thing to do was get the bike out for a proper spin. I'd taken it as far as the gym before (my GPS reckoned I'd done 5km total), and even that caused my knee to ache. Looking at the cleats, the left one did look a bit wonky, so I straightened it out before today's ride.

I was hoping for a sub 3 hour trip, on the basis that my route planning made it approx 10km there, a 10km run, then a 10km ride home. As I can do 10km run in less than an hour, I hoped my bike speeds would certainly beat that.

It took a while to get into the groove of cycling to Richmond Park, especially as I wanted to avoid the main roads, so took the backstreets of Barnes, which were pleasant enough, once you know where to turn off. The journey to the park was pretty quick after Barnes, after a trip up Priory Lane I was in at Roehampton Gate, and took the southern loop, passing Robin Hood Gate, Ladderstile Gate, Kingston Gate and Ham Gate, cycling up some monstrous hills (for me), before enjoying the downhill!

At Pembroke Lodge I took a really slow transition into my running gear. This involved removing lock and running shoes from my bag, and replacing it with cycling top, cycling gloves, cycling shoes, cycle computer and saddle bag (I didn't want to leave anything on the bike for obvious reasons, but I did lock my helmet up with the bike!). I had a quick stretch, and then set off northbound along the Tamsin Trail, before stopping after 90m to take a SIS-Go Gel. It was a bit slimy, but I managed to take it down!

My first couple of kms on the Tamsin Trail, passing Richmond, Cambrian and Bog Gates in the process, were damn quick (5.00/km) for me, which should perhaps have been a warning sign to slow down. I have no idea how, after cycling 12km, when your legs are supposed to be jelly, how I managed to go so quick, but I was pleasantly surprised! After crossing the road again at Sheen Gate, I was quickly back at where I entered the park, at Roehampton Gate. From there on in, things started to slow down a little, I stopped for a quick drink break, and again later for a small hill, then for some more drink, it quickly became a run/walk. However, I was still doing 6.00/km, even with the stops, so it wasn't too terminal. However, the walk up Broomfield Hill really slowed me down, but for some reason, once I got to the top, things started to pick up again, and there were few pauses after that. I really made the most of the downhills for a change (apparently there is little training benefit in downhills, but I still need to know how to use them to my advantage!), and they took me down to Kingston Gate, from there it was flat to Ham Gate, then uphill to Pembroke Lodge.

At Pembroke Lodge I again made the most of an untimed transition - I desperately wanted some water as I'd made my SIS energy drink a bit too concentrated, but the queue for refreshments was long. In the end I decided to change back ready to bike home, by which time the queue was much reduced, I poured most of the water into the energy drink bottle, and then headed home.

There were a few small uphills from Pembroke Lodge, and then from Richmond Gate, but I really enjoyed the downhills on the cycle ride home. Some of my speeds might not necessarily have been quite within the 20mph speed limit of Richmond Park. It was pretty much downhill all the way home from Roehampton Gate, and I was home in just 30mins from leaving Pembroke Lodge, a 10km ride.

After Swim n Spin on Friday, I guess this was my second brick. I can tell I did it, my elbows were aching the most from hanging on, but I'll look to get my position correct and maybe put in a few more strength exercises to help that out!

Swim n Spin

Today I decided to drag myself for a 2 hour session at Charing Cross Sports Club (in Hammersmith, obviously). I spent most of the first hour in the pool. I took a swim plan in with me, but I didn't really use it much - mostly I just swam a length or two at a time, trying to concentrate on good form, rolling from side to side, getting the timing right, rolling the head in the right direction, all the things we focused on in my last endless pool session.

After that, a quick shower and change before heading to spin class. This was my first ever spin class, and it was pretty much as hard as I expected. I cramped up a little half way through, so stopped and stretched, but was mostly able to complete what we were asked to do, although I found standing and pedalling in the lowest resistances quite tricky. It was also tricky not to just stop and freewheel as you would on any normal bike, but of course the flywheel doesn't exactly let that happen!

All in all, a pretty intense couple of hours. That and not diving into the beer fridge at 5pm for a quick couple of beers means that tonight is a healthier Friday night than many! Swim and spin certainly won't happen every week for me, but I'll definitely try and go again (although apparently Friday night spin classes often don't happen as there aren't more than 2 people).

Arrggh

I was hoping to practise with my clipless pedals today. Unfortunately the vendors of my triathlon cycling shoes sent me shoes two sizes too big. So that's another weekend not trying out my bike (which means that I won't realistically be riding it before Australia). How frustrating!

Triathlon - in the beginning

I am a total novice to triathlon. While I've run in the past, and cycled in the past, and even swum in the past, I certainly currently lack the endurance to do all three in one go.
Swim
My weakest discipline. I currently struggle to do a length. I went swimming in the pool today for the first time in many years. I managed several lengths. None consecutively.
Bike
I can manage a few miles on a bike. I need to work on high cadence - my school of thought until recently was that you should go in the highest gear you could - this really isn't good strategy for endurance!
Run
I've just finished Week 5 of the Runner's World Beginners Plan. So I'm managing to do 24 minutes running in 30. My last run was a worry, as I managed to do 5km exactly in 30 mins.
I've entered the Royal Parks Half Marathon on October 12. I'd love to do it in under 2 hours. However, that is predicted by a 26 min 5K, so there's some work to do.

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