Filling in the Gaps

It doesn’t matter where you are or how sunny it is the spaces in between training can still be dull. My plan sees a typical day contain at least 4 hours of training. That leaves a lot of daytime to occupy and believe me it can be tough. Fatigue makes it hard to do much in the down time but at the same time can help get you through when you find yourself dozing off in front of the Aussie version of Ready, Steady, Cook. The real challenge comes tomorrow – a full day off training and what to do?

If it gets boring for me, then it’s going to be boring to blog about that’s for sure. So mostly I’ve stuck to reporting on training and bird attacks for the past few posts (now at 4-nil, same bird). I’m still on the weekly plan and it goes well. It’s taken 3-4 days but my legs are over the beasting they got at the weekend. Turned out to be for the best as I did it to them again today, having discovered some particularly vicious climbs.

I was meant to be shown how to get to the Tallebudgera Creek road, but my riding partner for the morning had to cancel and I was left to my own devices. Last time I was here I’m pretty sure I’d ridden that road so I headed out to roughly the region it should start in and picked a route. Given my sense of direction I perhaps shouldn’t have been so confident! It became pretty obvious that either I wasn’t on the road or that Aussie’s have a different definition of gently rising to me. The road branched and I tried both branches, they both reach dead ends and they both involve some very nasty climbs to get there. Returning along the second branch a sign warned trucks that the hill I’d climbed was 22%! It felt like it too!

The great thing about climbing a 22% hill is that after it pretty much anything else feels quite easy. So I completed today’s ride with a few more little hills and an easy ride on the flat. Of course even the flat here isn’t necessarily easy, a head wind on the way back ensured I had to work if I wanted to get home. One good aspect of riding here is plenty of other cyclists are about. So I got to ride the route home with the help of a Melbourne based rider on holiday up here. He also kindly let me know that my knicks (shorts to those back home) were getting a bit old and see through from behind. I don’t know, I checked in the mirror when I got back and it doesn’t look too bad. I’m too cheap to want to spend out on new knicks right now.

A couple of emails with Steven have helped reassure me about my training programme. He’s had great success off the back of a high volume, consistent approach. Also have some interesting things to think about on the subject of running. Particularly brick runs, something I frequently put off doing. It’s partly laziness, you get in from a big bike and the last thing you feel like doing is running! I know as a triathlete I shouldn’t be thinking that, but what can I say, it’s the truth. There may be something in always doing brick runs, some people with pretty good results back the theory up. OK, so I skipped the run today, but next week I’ll start with short brick runs off the bike and build them over the coming weeks.

So brick runs off every bike is now a new goal in my program. They’re in addition to my regular scheduled runs so in part I suspect the benefit is you are running more anyway (I also see plenty of evidence of the importance of that). Another goal of mine is to swim over 100km in October, sounds a lot, but that’s under 25k a week. Apart from just sticking to my program as thoroughly as possible, adding in these extra targets is a great way to focus on improving my performance. They also add more work into the overall program so I’ll be watching my recovery carefully. And to be honest probably means I need more run kit as well as new opaque knicks!

So this post was a bit of a filler too. I’m aiming to put up some pre-race thoughts and plans before the Gold Coast Half-Ironman on Sunday.