Speed cycling and beginning strength work

Perfect spot for chin ups

The days are slowly starting to get shorter again after the lengthening daylight of early summer. While the sun was streaming in our windows at 4:30am just a few weeks ago, it is now only barely light when I wake in the morning. Though it’s still full daylight before 5am.

I started my hard cycle session with a 2.1km warm up out to the roundabouts on the main road near my home. I cruised through the estate at an average speed of 22.8kph.

At the first of the four roundabouts on the main road I stand up on the pedals with my hands on the drops to get some power into the wheels. My first sprint is 3.35km long. It starts with a long gentle downhill, then there’s a sharp steep climb from the third roundabout and a short gentle downhill to the final roundabout. I take the roundabout hard on the drops before climbing back up the hill before taking a short downhill to the third roundabout and then climbing all the way back to the first one. I complete the sprint at an average speed of 32.0kph. I’m quite pleased by this because it’s only the second time I’ve done bike speed work this season.

After a short 1.6km recovery lap at 24.0kph I start from the second roundabout and do a 2.54km sprint lap. Again I ride on the drops, standing on the climbs and taking the turn-around roundabout hard on the drops. I average 33.7kph for this sprint.

The third and fourth sprints are short. Each is a lap of two roundabouts. Sprint three is 1.76km long and I ride it at 32.6kph. This was a tough ride because it is the lap with steep hills in both directions. It feels good to be out of breath and sweating heavily after the sprint. My final sprint is just 770m long and I manage an average of 35.7kph for it.

One of the really great things about this speed training is that I can practice my roundabout riding skills. It’s really common to have roundabouts at turn-around points in triathlon races and it’s easy to lose a lot of momentum on them. So this practice is really great for gaining a little bit of extra time, not just because I’ll be able to ride harder but also because I’ll feel more confident on roundabouts in my races.

After completing my sprints I ride to a large local park to do some strength training. I have signed up for the Tough Mudder in Sydney in September 2012. The Tough Mudder is a 16-20km run with about 25 seriously crazy military-style obstacles along the way. I’ve signed up for both days of the event (i.e. I’ll be doing the whole course twice) so will need some serious fitness, balance and upper body strength. I’m getting the fitness training through my triathlon training and hope to frequent a local high ropes course to get my balance.

But strength training is my weakness (no pun intended). I find the gym boring, even finding home weights dull. But I do like doing exercise outside and tend to get good strength results from basic exercises like push ups, chin ups, sit ups and planks. So I started my strength training regime with 10 chin ups on the children’s playground equipment (1st set was 5, 2nd set was 3, 3rd set was 2). I did 20 push ups, 20 sit ups and a 30 second plank on the grass after my chin ups. Then I completed my ride by cycling home.

My cycling total was 20.7km at 26.5kph average speed. I felt strong after the exercise. Bring on all the 2012 challenges.

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2 responses to “Speed cycling and beginning strength work

  1. Keep this up and you’ll be a machine by the time the “mudder” comes round! – Simone 🙂

    • :). I so hope to be fit & strong enough for it. I found a new activity through another blog I follow to help me get fit too … Stay tuned for a report when I add it to my training … It’s very different … Will be trying it this month.

      Oh and I also discovered an awesome high ropes course about half an hour from home that I want to do once a month to help with balance, patience and upper-body strength. Will write about it too when I hit the course 🙂

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