A good honest bike session

Pedalling hard

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’sΒ  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

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6 responses to “A good honest bike session

  1. LOL, Duct tape ? better get some good blinkers there aight? safety is important but so are lights to caution others.. liking your swim post always.. cause I am a lazy drill follower, will just swim and swim without guidance. are you on twitter A.Gills?

    • The duct tape doesn’t stop the lights shining and being visible πŸ™‚ I keep going out and buying new lights every winter only to find myself losing or destroying them. Haha.

      I’m on twitter but never use it. I don’t even know what my username or password are anymore – haha.

      • well, i recommend you get those blinkers that are clip on. that way you can use it for running as well instead of only for your bike.

      • Haha Isaac – the ones I taped on are clip on but I broke the clips so have duct taped them on. I don’t see the point in spending money on lights just because I broke the clip. Will take a photo of the duct tape job next time I go for a ride. Besides, it’s very Australian to make do … I just didn’t have any fencing wire available *LOL*

  2. I am still peaking in from around the corner, re; IM… Training has given me more confidence… What event are you training for??

    Cheers

    • I’m glad the training is giving you confidence for the IM. Did you check out the YouTube clip I put up yesterday morning? It might give you some confidence too πŸ™‚

      I’ve got three events coming up but the main one I’m aiming to peak for is the Byron Bay Triathlon on 12 May. It’s an Olympic Distance race. I’m hoping to go under 2:15 (though I’d really like to go under 2:10). My other goal for the race is to be first out of the water in my wave … It’s realistic given I’m now actually doing swimming training as opposed to just winging it πŸ™‚

      My other races are: Twilight Half Marathon on 18 March, which I’m really just going to use as a training run (I want to just cruise around at 6min/km) and the Julia Creek Triathlon (800m swim, 25km bike, 5km run) on 21 April, which I’m using as a full sprint hit out before Byron Bay.

      The weekend after Byron Bay I have the Adventure Race Australia but that’s more of a fun end of season play and then I will be taking a few months off to prepare for the Tough Mudder in Sydney in mid-September. I’ve entered both days so will be working on my strength and general fitness, rather than tri-specific fitness. I see a lot of parkour training and beach running happening through my off-season πŸ™‚

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