Baby, Let’s Cruise

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Have I given you an earworm? No? Well, have a little listen of this, and return. Great. On to last week’s training…

Monday

35km ride: I switched things up this morning and did my ride before work. It will be tricky to make Monday swim practice work before we move, so I did my low cadence ride nice and early.

1486m swim: I swam at night with my old group. It was a challenging workout that, while the actual swim volume wasn’t huge, there were core workouts on deck between swim sets. For example, planking on deck for a while, then hopping into the pool and throwing down a moderately paced 100yd set. I definitely need to get some core work in. I made it through the workout, but holy, does my core need some TLC!

#twofertuesday

7km run: #twofertuesday continues! 7 easy kms before work. About halfway through, it started poooooooooouring rain. I was glad to have this one done!

6km run: The run home called for some hills in the mix, so I ran uphill and then down to make it home. I struggled to get my HR up to where it needed to be, and ended up running just under 5:00/km for my last split! Wowza, it burned!

Wednesday

900m swim: Today’s swim workout was all about technique drills. Pretty low on the distance side, but it was good to get some targeted feedback on parts of my swim stroke that need work. Spoiler alert: almost all of them need work. Despite making gains in the pool, I’m not sure I will ever be a very efficient swimmer, truth be told. There are so many things to keep straight while you’re swimming and every time I focus on one, everything else falls apart. I used to pride myself on my multitasking skills. Thanks, swimming. 🙂 

37km ride: A moderate aerobic ride building through my power zones. Felt pretty good.

Thursday

9km run

40 minutes strength

Well, well, well. Two Thursday workouts in a row skipped. It has happened before that, if I spend a lot of time working on my swim kick, my foot tightens up the next day. I woke up with enough pain in my foot (it was okay once I stretched it out, just tight and sore all day) that I scrapped my run. As has been the case in the past, if I take a day off and stretch like a boss, that’s usually enough to keep the pain from getting worse.

Friday

Rest. Glorious, glorious (scheduled) rest day.

I initially thought I would attempt my interval workout today, but I decided to be cautious and give it an extra day. With some slight throbbing in my foot, I have nothing to prove. My goal races are a ways out, and my running fitness is coming along nicely. No need to push the envelope here.

 

Saturday

49.5km ride: OH, HEY THERE, GROUP RIDER! I survived my very first group ride outside today with the Toronto Triathlon Club. I also rode further than I ever have, so that was pretty exciting! More on the ride below…

2.4km run: I thought my legs would feel like absolute garbage running off the bike after that big ride. They didn’t feel any worse than they normally do on a brick workout. Fatigue didn’t really kick in until about 10 minutes in, when my body finally figured out what was going on. At that point, there were only 5 minutes to go. A solid day of exercise.

Sunday

TTC Learn to Tri Clinic: This one probably deserves a whole post in itself, and I will do a separate post on it. I spent half the day in Scarborough with a couple of the Toronto Triathlon Club coaches covering the basics of triathlon in a beginner’s clinic. There was a nutrition segment, a swim clinic, a bike clinic, and a run clinic. We didn’t cover a lot of distance throughout the day, as there was a big focus on learning the sport, but I was absolutely spent for the rest of the day when I got home. My planned long run did not happen. I have so much to practice and we learned a lot throughout the day, but the bike handling skills portion was definitely the most useful for me.

 

Swim: 2,569m/1:04

Bike: 121km/5:06

Run: 17.5km/1:45

Strength: 0:00

Total Time: 7:55

Oof. Another goose egg on the strength training. I have to wonder how much my foot would have hurt, had I stayed on top of my strength for the week. Alas, there is no sense in dwelling on last week’s workouts, but only try to do better this week.

My First Outdoor Group Ride

As you read above, I had my longest ride ever on Saturday. It was also my first outdoor ride of the season, and my first time riding in a group. Group road cycling has been something that has scared the bejesus out of me since long before I even considered participating in triathlon. I’ve always been a lone wolf on the bike. Much like my early days of group running, I am self-conscious about being too slow and inexperienced to ride with others. There are not many groups in the city that accommodate my speed and distance limits right now, so I knew that my first group ride would have to be one with no expectations and a group that wouldn’t drop me.

I met up with the Toronto Triathlon Club just before 9:00 at Cherry Beach. There were a nice few people out for the ride. I estimated 20 from my look around, but could have been a bit more, could have been a bit less. I’ve been out to enough club events now that I’m semi-comfortable approaching people to chat, so I quickly found a few people that I knew, including one of my Ragnar team mates. There were some post-ride announcements and then we were off.

As I expected, I was at the back, but I was able to keep someone in my sights the entire time. The ride leaders took turns staying back, and we were super friendly. Each one asked about my upcoming races, encouraged me on making it out for my first group ride, and gave tips on navigating the ride, etc. The ride was in the city, but there was still some gravel and uneven terrain to get around, especially on the Leslie Street Spit.

We were on some city streets, which made me really nervous from the outset. I don’t usually ride my road bike around Toronto (except on trails), and we were even riding on streets that have streetcars. The ride leaders talked me through everything, and it was not nearly as unnerving as I had expected.

After the ride, there were donuts and coffee, and everybody chatted about the ride and upcoming races, etc. Even though I didn’t quite get up to the speeds that I have been training with, I’m so glad I went on the ride. I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable I was handling my bike, even on the rough parts of the route. Despite training on the bike inside all winter, I think I’ve got a pretty good feel for handling Waltzing Matilda. Now I just need to get to work on my technical skills. 🙂

Once everyone started dispersing, I rode home, which rounded out my mileage for the day at 49.5km (If I had known the total at that point, I would have ridden around the block. Ha.). I immediately did a 15 minute run off the bike, and was expecting my legs to feel like death warmed over. It wasn’t as bad as I thought! In fact, I felt probably just as good as I have on any other brick workout, so that’s encouraging. I was so tired for the rest of the day. And the hunger! Oh, man. The hunger. It. Is. Real.

The club does group rides every week from Angus Glen, which are free, if you are a member of the club. There are details here, and I’m hoping to make it out to a few once we get settled after the move.

Have a great week, friends! 🙂

How was your week of training? Do you participate in group cycling rides? How did you get more comfortable?

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