Thursday, 3 September 2009

Ah...the bike....

The bike has traditionally been the bit of triathlon that I think I have the most opportunity to improve in. Having come from a rowing background I feel I probably have strong enough legs to do well in biking once I commit to long long miles, time trials and lots of drills!

Having sat around doing pretty much nothing the last week I couldn't bear it any longer and set out on Tuesday for a run. I thought I would just have a nice gentle 20mins or so just to say I was exercising again but instead ended up doing nearly 8 miles. Hmmmm. I must have been frustrated because normally wild horses can't make me enjoy running! It was very hot and windy though so by the hour mark I was definitely ready to make the turn for home as dehydration set in. I trialled a new thing for my long runs which is instead of a constant pace, which can see me 'plod' a bit and get generally slower and slower as I lose concentration, I did a 1 minute 'focused' run - probably at tempo speed - every 5mins. This helped keep my overall speed up I think. This early in the season my long runs are probably around 10min/mile pace but doing this resulted in an average pace of 9.37/mile - interesting! It also helps break up the length of the run and keep me concentrating.

So, back to the bike. Yesterday saw me out on the road for nearly 3 years! Having concentrated on marathons and ultra-running and swimming over the last few years I have totally neglected my biking and so it was a rather dusty Specialized that was dragged from hibernation in the garage yesterday. Biking is a funny one for me. Like I said I believe I have a lot of potential on the bike and I do really enjoy it (if I am not concentrating on speed anyway!) but it always seems a big deal. With running, you are never normally more than a few miles from home but with biking you can be 100miles from home at any point. This always makes me turn every ride into a mini-drama of all the things that could go wrong and involves me taking all manner of different clothing options, phone, credit cards, thousands of bike repair options, millions of inner tubes etc. It just seems a hassle sometime and I always panic about all the things that can go wrong, from being stranded with a puncture to being involved in a crash.

I have decided that they way to appraoch this is to do it more. A lot more. And to take away some of the stress involved by learning how to do basic bike maintenace (enough to get me home) and become the slickest tyre changer in the business! Hopefully this will give me more reassurance that the worst is not always going to happen and I can cope if it does! This will mean a fantastic winter doing long rides that will see me super fit and strong come spring! I guess, like with my crazy issue with inanimate objects scaring me in the water, that the more you are exposed to it the less it bothers you. In fact I am sure that's a theory somewhere.....aversion therapy anyone?!

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