One of the things I like about triathlon is that you get to learn a lot about your body. Another thing is trying to find the right balance between the swim, bike and run and not just in a race but in training, as well. For much of the past year my #1 priority, by far, has been the run and it has paid off. My run speed has moved from pathetic to merely slow, and that's a good thing. I knew that my bike was going to suffer but I didn't know how much...until this weekend.
The Santa Clarita Century is in three weeks so to get ready for it, yesterday I rode what I call The Tour of Three Roads. It's an 80-mile ride on much of the same roads as the century ride so it would be a good barometer of my fitness for that ride. Good thing I did the ride, too, because there is no way I'm ready for the Santa Clarita Century, which is not only longer than The Tour of Three Roads but has a couple thousand more feet of climbing. It's bad enough that my legs were really tired but my butt is out of shape for a ride of that length, too. So, the Santa Clarita Century is out for this year but I have moved it on my calendar to next year.
That was yesterday. Today I had a run scheduled. I was originally planning on doing a 12-mile run but scaled that back to nine nice and easy miles. Things went well until mile four when I started feeling not so good. The next five miles were lots of running and walking. That's okay, though. It was the first time I had done a long run the day after a very long bike ride and doing hard workouts for the first time is always not fun. I learned a lot, though. I learned that I have a lot of training to do to get through the California Classic Weekend in May. For that I had planned to do the full century ride on Saturday before the half-marathon on Sunday. Now I"m wondering whether I should do the metric century instead. I'll see how the next month of workouts go before I make that decision.
So if I'm not ready for a long ride on Saturday followed by a long run on Sunday, I'm obviously not ready for a half-iron distance race, either. Fortunately, I already know that. That race is not happening until October so I have lots of hard training to look forward to before then. But not only do I have to train for those two multi-sport events but I have the Two Cities Marathon in November that I have to train for. That's the balancing act.
So, after learning what kind of shape I'm in this weekend, here's the plan: I need more rides on the bike and longer ones, too. On weekends where I'm not doing my longest long run, I do at least a three hour bike ride on Saturday, followed by at least a nine mile run on Sunday, working up to have that run be thirteen miles or two hours (whichever is shorter) by September. On the weekend of my longest long run, that is done on Saturday with an easy (?) 42 mile ride on Sunday. Oh, and I need to do a lunchtime ride on the hills of Griffith Park at least once a week.
I'll have to start doing long brick runs eventually, too, but I can't think of that until the summer. Oh, and I need to practice long runs in the heat of high noon because that's what I'll be doing in October's race. More on that later.
That should keep me busy for a few months.