On the weekend I decided to get some more miles under me on the bike, deciding just before setting off it should be a ‘BRICK’ training session. The term is used for training two consecutive disciplines into one session for Triathlon training, namely ‘B’ike, ‘R’un, ‘ICK’ (feeling sick!). It is quite tough, but I also find it quite an interesting experience! I am yet to try proper Bricks, where you do several sets of each in turn, I think I’ll build up to that… 😉
The legs feel very heavy when starting the run, however even though I feel like I’m going slower than what I call my ‘race pace’ for running, all three times I have tried this I have been surprised to find afterwards that I am faster than my race pace! It’s an odd phenomenon!
This time I decided to run a quarter of the distance I cycle, which is roughly the distances that most triathlon split into. As I have a nice regular running loop from home of 3 miles, I chose to cycle away (along the cycle path to the Bristol-Bath cycle path) for 6 miles, turn back and then attempt a quick transition in the garage and get straight out onto the run.
As I am very much still a beginner on the road bike, I am still sticking mostly to the cycle pathways, of which I am lucky to live very near some long ones. However this does come with several obstacles such as large road crossings which I sometimes have to stop for and various pedestrians, dog walkers, children, cyclists, runners, etc etc to dodge! So overall I find it a useful exercise in becoming more accustomed to the bike, its controls, my control of it and my speed of thought/coordination at ‘speed’.
I am now finding a much better rhythm in the saddle and clipped in to the pedals, and am beginning to understand the concept of pulling through the upstroke, although I find that doing it constantly is very draining on the legs, so I only tend to do that during downhills and uphills where I can maintain some speed.It seems that the real art to this technique is in keeping a small amount of tension under the front of the foot (where the clip is) during the bottom of the pedalling circle and the upstroke, as opposed to just pushing down all the time like I have always done in my past cycling (never having been clipped in!) and then suddenly pulling up through the top of the stroke. I am definitely feeling the difference and think I am becoming more economical and smoother as a cyclist. Also I don’t have any problem clipping in and out like my very first attempted ride!! 😉
I know that professional and amateur cyclist racers shave their legs, and I understand that when racing, every second can count, however I have now begun to realise that during the summer months, my hairy legs are also collecting a LOT of flies, trailing ends of weeds and grass, and spiders… so maybe its time to consider shaving them…!!! I might try unleashing the clippers on them first, and trimming dow to a grade 3 or 2, before going the whole hog and shaving my legs… Lol 😀
I wore my nice new Trisuit for the first time too, and it was really comfy and excellent for both the cycle and the run, very please with it.
I cycled 12 miles in 40 minutes and 50 seconds, had a 1:45 transition and then ran 3 miles in 22 minutes. I started out at 8:15am, so the temperature wasn’t too bad by the time I was running, although it was warming up! Quite please overall, and the ice bath afterwards set me up for an easy recovery and a lovely weekend in the sun… (Blog to follow on the benefits of ice baths soon)