Hidden triathlon event… PLANNING.

We are moving into a phase of our training plan that has us starting to do a lot of bricks.  The hardest part of this is not the workouts themselves, but finding time to do it all.  Each of the workouts listed is up to an hour long and sometimes I just can’t do them together.  Today, for instance, we are supposed to be doing a swim/run combo.  I got the swim in this morning but the plan calls for a pretty long run as well and I just didn’t have time to get it in.  I am actually going to switch up and do some bike time this afternoon (inside…  We are expecting winds of 40-50 miles an hour this afternoon…)  and switch the run to tomorrow morning.

Unfortunately, tomorrow morning the plan calls for a swim/bike combo so I’m going to have to hack that one up as well.  Since I swam today, I will bike this evening and then I will run tomorrow instead of biking and then go to the pool on my way home.  Might be a little late for work but I thin they owe me that much for all the time I have put in over the last month and a half.

I know these brick workouts are essential to triathlon training and I will get used to them.  But for now it just means trying to remember all the right crap to take with me so I can actually get the workout done.  I’ve already been to the pool but forgotten my suit and jumped on the bike without my helmet.

I think the biggest part of triathlon that nobody talks about is planning.  Training planning as well as event planning.  You have GOT to be organized and have a plan, at least when you start out, or you won’t be successful.  And by successful I don’t mean “winning”, I mean achieving your basic goals of training right and completing events.

For example, I look at the plan that my coach laid out for me several times per day.  I THINK about my training and try to make my plan and my schedule fit together.  It’s not easy.  Then, once you are in shape and have started doing triathlons, making a schedule of events and BUDGETING the time and money necessary for events and equipment is almost as hard as the physical training.

Speaking of which, we did hill repeats yesterday on the bike.  It reminded me (although nowhere NEAR as difficult) of the trail I used to ride in California called Sulphur Mountain Road, just north of Ventura.  For a mountain biking trail, it was just a fire road.  The only difficulty in it was that it was steep in sections and it was 9.5 miles long.  So even if you destroyed yourself going up, the reward was a 9.5 mile downhill that barely ever required a turn of the pedals.  BEST.  RIDE.  EVER.  I really miss that place.

This ride was just over a mile up a moderate hill.  The emphasis was on spinning your way up (keeping a high pedal cadence) and I found that difficult.  Not the workout, but purposefully DOWNshifting and spinning a lower gear.  I know this is better for endurance riding but 15 years of mountain biking beats that out of you.  Mountain bikers mash pedals, stomp gears and generally go against every bicycling training rule.  When the object is just to survive and not fall off a cliff?  You just do what needs to be done.

Anyway, my reward for the hills was 4 fun downhills tucked in to my aerobars and really moving.  My max speed was about 43 miles per hour and I hit the bottom of every repeat with a big grin on my face (complete with bugs in teeth! …ahh… spring time…).  Our coach likes to emphasize the “free speed” portion of going downhill and encourages us to charge the downhills as much as we feel like.  For me… that’s not a problem…!

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