Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Best Lay Some Plans

Two weeks to go 'til the first triathlon of the season. Four weeks after that is a century ride. Two weeks after that starts a three-race triathlon series, one per month. With all that going on, one has to get training organized. I try to put in my last hard workouts two weeks before a race, with the weekend before being easy that the days leading up to it being very easy. The Thursday before I practice transitions (which means I practice getting into and out of my shoes while on the bike).

With the races and events coming every four weeks or sooner, if I don't get organized then I might not get the hard workouts when I can or miss out on the rest I need. So I spent some time today writing down my workouts through the middle of June. No kidding. I've found that if I have things planned in advance, it's one less thing to worry about.

It's important to be flexible, though. For instance, literally while I was in the middle of writing this I ended up planning on riding the Pasadena Marathon Bike Tour tomorrow morning. It wasn't something I was planning on doing when I woke up this morning but these things happen. It'll be an easy 26 miles and when I get home I might even do the cycling workout I was originally planning on doing. We'll see.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

It Fits (I Think)!

If you've seen pictures of me from my triathlons, you've seen me in my Louis Garneau trisuit. It's what I wore in every triathlon last year, my first season. However, I have a deep, dark secret I have been hiding regarding that trisuit: it is not my first. My first trisuit was a DeSoto Power Skinsuit (MPSK3). It's an XL but when I tried it on...yow! There's snug, there's tight, there's too tight, there's it doesn't fit, and there's I can't get it on. I couldn't get it on. I had to scramble to find something else that would fit and, thankfully, the LG suit did. Today I decided to dig out the DeSoto, tags still on, to see how I've progressed. It fits! Tight, but it fits. I don't know how much weight I've lost in a year but it is enough to go from I can't get it on to tight. The nice thing with it is that the lower half is black, which provides more modesty when getting out of the swim than my all-royal blue LG suit.

In two weeks I will be heading to UCLA to ride the IronBruin course with the new bike to get my shifting nailed down. I think I'll take the DeSoto with me to see how it feels...and to see if the seams can take the punishment ;-).

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Head for the Hills

Saturday's rainy ride was supposed to be nice and easy after last week's 111-mile jaunt. Then as I approached "Little Woodley", which is about a 10 or 11% climb, I came up with another plan: go easy except for the hills--those get attacked. Little Woodley is steep but short so I decided to attack it out of the saddle in third or fourth gear (I forget which I ended up using). It wasn't a typical "I have to finish a ride after this hill" attack, either. It was a redline up to the top where the only energy I saved would be enough to get me to the summit. I got there much faster than I ever have before but oh was I tired.

Since it was raining I didn't want to go up "Big Woodley", which is about 12%, so I decide to go up Balboa as fast as I can. Balboa isn't so steep but it is long. As I started out I noticed that I was keeping it above 12mph but I knew it got a bit steeper later. Once I hit that part I tried to keep it above 11mph and I did, for the most part. Every so often I'd drop below 11 but never below 10. I even carried that through to Balboa 2, which is even a bit steeper. Good progress for someone who, not all that long ago, was amazed that I was going up that same hill above 8mph. I'd like to think it's a combination of getting stronger and losing some weight (I haven't stepped on a scale since July).

With the IronBruin Triathlon coming up in just four weeks, and its bike course is anything but flat, my short-term training routine on the bike is now clear: hills...hard. Hard up the hills on my weekend rides. The Griffith Park loop now becomes hard Garbage Truck Hill repeats. None of this just surviving up to the top stuff. I expect my rides until the week before the triathlon to be painful and not fun, which sounds kinda fun.