Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tri training, week 1, and a mid-year check-in

Some time ago I read this from the Telegraph, that bastion of liberal gender equality (/sarcasm cos it don't translate well on the internet) and was mostly baffled by the entire thing. Sometimes the stupidity is not worth getting worked up over. 

Anyway, it reminded me that the secret to a happy athlete marriage is that only one of you can train SERIOUSLY for a thing at one time - and you take turns and SHARE. Umm - I learned this in kindergarten, didn't you? Husband is training for the North Face trail 50K in October (I'll be there cheering, with gummy bears) so right now I'm taking a step back. (He has his own training plan - I'll leave him to it!)

I know it sounds like I have a funny definition of 'taking a step back', but the Tri-Factor OD tri in September isn't really a goal race. It's my first Olympic Distance tri, 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run, so I'm happy to complete it - even DFL. But since I'm used to a nice little six-day-a-week marathon training routine I figured I might as well carry on. Fortunately it's literally a change of pace from marathon training.  

Some people can believe six impossible things before breakfast. Here are all the short-term and long-term thoughts about training I am capable of having on any given morning before breakfast. There is way too much to think about: Ugh, am I going to be too late for swim? I'm already late, is it worth running for just 20 minutes? Am I running enough? Should I do more swim intervals? Should I add another bike ride?

But marathon training has given me a couple fine pieces of wisdom. Especially for something that isn't a goal race:  
a) don't think - just go 
b) trust in my training

And so I'm trying not to habitually-overthink things. running late? DON'T THINK - JUST GO. Is my training going to be enough to get me through this tri? DON'T THINK - JUST GO. TRUST IN YOUR TRAINING. 'Ok brain, whatever you say.' 'Go enjoy yourself, Pinky.'  

...Not gonna lie, the thought of doing my first OD scares the crap out of me.
In case you were wondering, here's my basic routine. 
Mondays - 45-min to 1h solo swim (this sounds substantial but it's not - usually 2km or so) (and yoga?) 
Tuesdays  - bike for an hour, run 20-30 minutes, glute & other strength exercises - I really miss AM track so I may just try to hit them up once or twice. For purely social purposes.  
Wednesdays - swim in the AM with my tri club  
Thursdays - tempo run, glute & other strength work  
Fridays or Saturdays - rest, yoga/ strength, or longish easy run (I can comfortably run up to 20ish km relatively easy as my long run for the OD tri, and not have it be too taxing) 
Sundays - long easy bike or bike/run brick with friends (accountability FTW!) 
And that's pretty much how it played out this week. This morning I checked off one of the items on my list of Things for this year
- go on a bike ride longer than anything I've ever done before. Enjoy it.

Lin, Boya and I rode about 40km along the East Coast Park/ Changi park connectors. Which is a minuscule distance, but I am a total n00b and it took us two hours with breaks. By the time the tri rolls around I would like to not take two hours to go 40km, thanks very much. I foresee checking off that list item several more times over the course of the next few weeks. 

I fell off only once, 
Please don't tell my mum. 
and that was a mis-stop (stopping too fast to avoid crashing into large group of cyclists that had inexplicably halted, couldn't dismount in time so I tipped over into the grass). I am fairly tough and chewy, so in general after the first fall of the day I'm good. 

I am also the world's slowest cyclist. People on foldies were passing me. If nothing else this tri is my way of entertaining myself! 

Here's something I need help with though: where did you learn bike maintenance and etiquette and the basics of how to be a cyclist? Not how to ride, that's simple enough. How to be a cyclist.


  1. I know nothing about bike etiquette/being a cyclist because I think biking is boring and uncomfortable, but I HAVE always wondered how people become such experts on it. Shouldn't your tri club be able to help you out? Do they have any group rides you can tag along for?

    1. Yeah, there's a reason why running is my preferred sport of choice... I would go on the group rides, but I am too slow for them and would get dropped pretty much immediately!

  2. Oh man, I feel you. I'm terrible at biking and somehow big things seem to exercise their gravitational pull when I'm on a bicycle... cue lots of crashing. My brother, on the other hand, is very into cycling and gets all his information from the cycling reddits (including tips on how to be "euro", whatever that means).

    All the best with the rest of the training!

    1. Haha! I have no idea what being a 'euro cyclist' means but I imagine it to involve shaved legs, facial stubble, aggressive riding and a lot of coffee.

  3. "Don't think just go" - If not for this motto my training would be total poop. I have to get out the door before my brain realizes what is happening.

    Good luck with your new goal!!

    1. It's true! But there's a delicate balance between brain engaging just enough to plan the logistics, and not thinking so much that the workout is a total flop. I found the hard way that not thinking enough results in some stupid training holdups...such as forgetting one's goggles...

  4. I hate when I run into large groups of cyclists! Besides feeling intimidated, I do get thrown off my course. Glad you're okay otherwise.