Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday trainer ride

Hmmm, I fear I am going to be terribly underprepared for this race...

I am glad to have the cycle computer working, it is particularly helpful for tracking cadence, pedaling form/efficiency and thinking about benefits and costs of pedaling in different gears. But it is going to be a very long, slow ride, I'm afraid!

So I went this afternoon and bought the first season of Buffy on DVD (amazingly I never have seen a single episode of this show, I am TV-deprived!) and just watched the first four episodes. Three hours on the trainer, at a steady and comfortable pace.

(Have not mastered workings of computer, so cannot tell you average speed for entire ride, but it was I suppose for the most part in the 14s and 15s--easier to keep in 15s if I really concentrated on pedal stroke--and then sometimes in the 13s or briefly the 16s-17s, but the latter only with more effort than I could sustain for a long ride like that at this point.)

HR avg 125--I had thought I would be able to get it steadily higher than this, and I had about ten minutes at the end where I held it in the low 140s and thought about what it felt like (I think on some of those Spinervals workouts I've seen it spike up into the low 160s, but in general it's really noticeably quite a bit lower than run HRs). But really I need more cycling fitness before I can cycle at a higher heartrate, if that makes sense. It would make my legs more tired than is appropriate!

Some pondering (and some pestering!) will be in order re: training tactics. Race is seven weeks from today, call it five weeks of serious training (but with appropriate rest/recovery time), one week of serious taper and one week of further taper/travel. I will have to think about how to get the best bang for the buck out of my remaining training time without overdoing it.

I need to build cycling endurance, strength/speed and road comfort. As many as possible of the long rides should be done in Central Park, but a medium-length park ride and a long trainer ride is often going to be a more convenient or manageable weekly combination than necessarily having the long one properly in the park.

In the repertoire: Spinervals workouts (interval training, high-intensity, builds strength); timid tooling-around rides in Riverside Park (builds confidence in non-scary way, good place to practice various technical stuff, also it's right next door); rides in Central Park (most like real riding--got to get a grip on myself and get comfortable riding bike over there rather than walking it, middle ground would be to ride over in sneakers and then change into bike shoes once I'm there, that I actually think I could handle... it is specter of tipping over at stop light while clipped in that is mentally holding me back!).

It's good that I'm doing this race. The New York City Tri in July is going to be very daunting--I have heard somewhat intimidating accounts of the bike component (sharp turns, fast riding, accident-prone) and that whole race wouldn't have been a good one to do as my first. (People in NY are often very unfriendly, too!) This one is going to be much less daunting in terms of scariness, though it is going to require a large amount of persistence and common sense to make it to the end in a happy frame of mind!

(I am just checking the race website to look at cutoff times and see if there is any danger that I will not have enough time! But no, surely it will be all right, even if I am one of the slowest riders there. Swim cut-off is 1 hr 20 mins after start of last wave, and bike cut-off four hours after that, so really even if the ride takes me an entire four hours which I rather think it will, I should be OK, and my running will be proportionately considerably faster than my riding so I should not have a problem with cut-offs on the last part.)

It will be interesting to see how it goes...

Addendum. Some consultation of last year's race results, sorted by total bike time, suggests to me that it is actually highly improbable that I will not be able to achieve even in a worst-case scenario a 3:30 bike time/16.0mph-type pace. The people riding at that speed are all running very, very slowly--maybe, really, I will be able to ride considerably better in a race situation and by six or seven weeks from now? This was definitely a zone 1/bottom zone 2 ride, if I can push up fitness so that I can stay more solidly in a zone 2 kind of feeling then I will be OK...


Levi Stahl said...

Oh, I envy you getting to start fresh with Buffy. Having not really grown up watching much serial drama--other than Star Trek, I suppose--it was one of the first shows, along with The X-Files and Homicide that I regularly looked forward to watching as a group event, and it was nearly always satisfying. The early seasons are pretty creature-trashy, but it really hits its stride around season three, and the character development reaches the sort of point that you get in a strong novel, where, in a given situation, you can completely understand why a character would choose to make either the right or the wrong choice--and you flat-out ache for them as they decide.

Plus, Alyson Hannigan is unbearably cute!

In other words: stick with Buffy and you'll be fully fit in time for your race!

Wendy said...

Buffy-verse and three trainer hours! Good for you.

Leah said...

I suspect that once you're out on the bike course and can take advantage of some downhill coasting stretches, you'll be better off than you expect. On the trainer you don't get the built-in recovery periods and higher speeds to figure in to your average. You'll be fine... But it doesn't hurt to work those confidence-building rides into your training, as you've planned. Also, since running is your strong suit, avoid too hard of a push during the bike and save your legs so they'll perform like you want them to. Just thoughts... :)

Jenny Davidson said...

Thanks, Leah!

Brent Buckner said...

My Florida HalfIronman 2005 Personal Race Report: link
Quite striking bike versus run fitness. Lore has it that bike training helps run time, but run training does little for bike time.

Coach Troy and others would estimate 3 trainer hours approximates the endurance load of 4 road hours. Buffy et al. sure do help with logging the trainer hours!

For me, if I'm not hitting zone 2, I figure that my type IIa muscle fibres aren't getting anything much in the way of training effect. Quite possible to do bike leg primarily on type I fibres, but implies slow.

Dorothy W. said...

I have no idea what it would be like to time trial for 56 miles, or whatever the exact number is -- I'm curious to hear more about it. (I also have no idea what it would be like to sit on the trainer for 3 hours, but that's another story!). At any rate, it makes sense to me that the road would actually be easier than the trainer, and I think you'll be just fine.