After what felt like a lifetime of rain, but was probably only a few days, it felt great to get up and see the sun shining through our bedroom window. The sun wasn’t yet bright so I duct taped a headlight and tail light to my racing bike before setting out on my training session. The duct tape was necessary because I salvaged both lights from another old bike and the mounting brackets were both fused closed.
It’s day 2/75 for my Byron Bay Triathlon preparation and my training program has two sessions listed: a 60 minute cycle with 3 x 5 minute time trials and an 8km run with 5 x 100mm strides. I decided to start my day with the bike ride and to leave the run for this evening after work.
I warm up on the bike by riding out of my estate and onto Mt Cotton Road where I turn left enjoying my shadow playing in front of my bike. The traffic is light so I can just spin my way to the German Church Road cattle stud and flower farm where I turn left down the quiet back roads. I’ve ridden for 11 minutes at 28.6kph – not a bad warm up.
I start my first time trial by riding down the bumpy back roads, bouncing across pot holes and uneven stretches of tarmac. I negotiate the three corners quickly, looking but still hoping that I paid enough attention at the corners. I notice that my breathing is heavy and rapid, but at least it’s even. I’m sucking in air like a starving man stuffing his face on french fries. I zoom past horses, trees, cattle and flowing creeks as I cover 2.93km in my first 5:00:3 time trial at an average speed of 35.2kph.
I spin down the road for the next 5 minutes enjoying the sight of the sun coming up over the hills and paddocks. There’s no wind and the sun is now beating down on my skin, making my arm hairs glow.
My 5 minute spin over I turn around and ride hard on the tri-bars down Redland Bay Road back towards Loganholme. There’s long and relatively flat section of road with a smooth surface. I feel strong as I pedal forwards towards the hill in the distance. I hope I won’t run out of road because once I hit the hill I’ll be forced to ride on to Loganholme – it’s too dangerous to try to turn around and I know from experience that the traffic lights at the top won’t change for a lone cyclist. But the flat turns out to be the perfect length. For my second time trial I cover 3.01km in 5:00:9 at an average speed of 36.0kph. I am stoked by this because I want to complete the 40km at Byron Bay with a 36.0kph average speed, which would be the fastest 40km I have ever ridden.
I spin back down the road to the rough side streets for my 5 minute recovery. Some dogs chase me down the road and I yell at them hoping to wake their owners.
My final time trial is rough. The surface on the return leg on the side roads is rougher than the other side I rode on my first time trial. The three corners slow me down, as do the slight climbs. But that’s no real excuse – I’m just starting to feel tired. I run out of road and have to settle for a 4:31 time trial in which I covered 2.54km at an average speed of 33.6kph. While I was disappointed the reality this is actually quite fast for me – given that I’ve spent the past few months doing lots of slow mileage.
I rode back home, taking an 8.25km route at an average speed of 24.8kph. There were a few hills and I decided to try being patient by sitting back and spinning my way up them rather than standing to climb. I have always been the kind of cyclist who pushes big gears slowly and am trying to become a cyclist who is able to spin more efficiently. It’s taking a lot of conscious practice but I am sure it’s paying off because in the past I would never have been able to ride at 35-36kphfor 5 minutes on the flat because my legs would have blown up.
By the time I got home I felt like I’d accomplished something in my training. This evening I’ll head out for the run training after a short walk with my partner, who is recovering well since having half her bowels removed in late December.
Total: 25.61km @ 27.7kph