I’m not quite in a full blown panic yet about my lack of bike preparation for Redman, but I’m close. I have just found it extremely difficult to get in the miles I want to for this race. My run mileage is fine, my swim mileage is really great. But I would like to be around 75-100 miles per week for this race and I have only been able to manage 50 or so for the last month due to work, etc. I’ve got one week of hard training left and then a week to taper before the race, so here is hoping I can get in some good bike miles this week.
Today I went out to Finger Lakes to swim. I put in a desperation email to the club to beg for someone to swim with and did get a taker. Otherwise I would not have gone. We are not supposed to do open water swims alone, and I respect that. When I got to the lake my partner wasn’t there and I thought she might have flaked on me so I wandered across the street and began putting on my bike stuff. Sure enough, as soon as I heard the click of my chinstrap, she pulled around the corner and into the parking lot. So I took off my bike stuff and wandered back across the street to swim.
The water felt cold today for some reason. It took us both a bit to get used to it, even in our wetsuits. But the water was also clear and we were the only people in the lake, which was awesome. I swam 1100 yards in 20:30. Not quite the 2 miles an hour that I am shooting for as a goal, but definitely much faster.
My big focus today was to slow down. I know it sounds weird, but I find the slower, smoother and longer my swim stroke, the faster I go. Going out I really focused on breathing and sighting. But coming back my entire focus was on being relaxed and long in the water. Amazingly, but not surprisingly, I was a minute faster coming back, and that was with two pauses to find my partner. And it all seemed easier. Getting the whole “go faster by being smoother and slower” thing is difficult for me. This is juxtaposed from the other two sports where if you want to go faster, you speed up or push harder. But I got to the end of the swim feeling like I could turn around and do it again without a problem.
After taking off my wetsuit and a bit of a chat with my partner, I wandered back across the road again, pulled out my bike and went for a short ride. only 7 miles and mostly just to get the feel for riding right after a swim again, but it felt good. No lingering effects of the crash other than a sore spot on my forearm that does not like to rest on the aero bars…!
This week I’m all about the bike and swim. Here’s hoping it works!