Wednesday, January 28, 2009

143 Days and Counting...

-Breakfast: Blueberry Bagel with Cream Cheese, 2 cups of coffee.
-Lunch: Can of Chicken and Sausage gumbo and handful of goldfish crackers.
-Large helping of Lasagna.
-Snacks: 2 packets instant oatmeal, handful of potato chips, 1 bottle vitamin water, one dish of fruit sherbert.

Training: 60 minutes on the bike and trainer; all small ring, 45 minutes on aero bars. RPE 5. 20oz. of Gatorade.

Then, took a 15 minute break for lasagna (yes, faithful reader, I took a 15 minute break for lasagna).

-After lasagna, got on the treadmill and did a nice easy recovery run, 10 minutes at 6mph (so, exactly one mile for all the math fans out there). RPE 4. Then, I cleaned up the 2nd hand lasagna off my shirt (lasagna is NOT good endurance fuel. But it makes for tasty burps).

So a question I have gotten on a pretty regular basis on the training I've done in the past, is "Why do you usually run after you ride your bike?" Well, to answer that, I'd like to tell a story about the first time I tried to jog after a 12 mile ride on the bike. I tripped and fell. On my face. Oh, and my legs cramped up. It was awesome.

Riding a bike and running require radically different things from the leg muscles (pedaling in circles versus supporting your body weight). Cycling tends to tighten up my hamstrings and calfs, while running tends to stretch them out. Add on top of that quads that have pushed/pulled on the pedals for 112 miles, and legs do funny things when you try to run on them! So, I make the effort to always go for at least a short jog every time I get off the bike; that way my legs get used to the transition. Then, on race day, they are able to easily do exactly what they've done hundreds of times in training. For an interesting article (which waters down the science behind the transition for us mere mortals), see this link.

In addition to the Brick workouts (bike/run/ick), I tend to try and get as much time on my aerobars as I can early in training. That is a personal thing, as I just don't seem to get that comfortable on the bike in general, and the aero position is tough to hold. Thus, trying to get used to it early, so it is a non-issue on race day.
For those wondering "What the heck are aero bars?" See the picture above... This handlebar configuration takes the place of traditional curved handlebars that you probably had on your 10-speed bike as a kid; they allow the rider to tuck into a more aerodynamic position for less resistance on the ride. Lots of people (me included) find it more comfortable (and WAY less expensive!) to purchase clip-on aero bars for their current handlebars, offering the "comfort" and flexibility of both.
That's all for today... Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow!

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