T-22 On Ya Bike
One of the challenges a with triathlon is having to balance the three disciplines: balance how much energy is spent on each, how much training time is allocated to each and juggling where you focus your attention in respect to what is going to give you the greatest return on race day. A little while ago I mentioned that I was happy with my swimming - it feels like I have a solid base laid down, I’m doing more than the distance in each session that I need to do on race day and I’m getting ever so slightly faster. After what I have now dubbed The Episode, namely the meltdown run three weeks ago, my running is now in a much better place where I’m now comfortably, albeit slowly, running longer than an hour in 14min intervals with 1min walk breaks. We’re aiming to be able to go as far as I can in each discipline with a nice low heart rate so the walk/run technique is the mechanic we’re using for that and in swimming it’s zero kicking.
It’s a really interesting, and sometimes challenging, mindset to get comfortable with: we’re more interested in setting performance floors rather than ceilings. How far can I run with a heart rate under 150bpm rather than can I do a 6min kilometre; can I swim non-stop for 700m easy rather than can I do a sub 2min 100m? It’s such a different way of thinking about training, progress and performance when almost all the literature, all the tracking apps and my DNA is geared to go faster, go longer, go more. Sometimes its a little tough to stay anchored in this approach and scrolling through my Strava feed comparing my tortoise speeds to everyone else’s does occasionally bring on a fit of the envies. But our floor approach is working and the results are starting to come.
However, whilst I’ve got momentum in my swimming and running, it’s time to turn my attention to my cycling. The bike has always been my best discipline: I enjoy it enormously, I have a good solid pair of thighs custom built for pedalling and I’m comparatively somewhere around just slightly better than average. I might though have been so focused on my swimming and running that I’ve kind of assumed that my cycling will take care of itself. A reflective look back through the last couple of months would indicate that this is perhaps an erroneous assumption and just like the cliche tells us, it’s clear that hope is not a strategy. Today is my favourite day of the month - new plan day - and so this month it’s going to be about making sure the bike sessions are all maximized.
Quote of the week
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.