Swim: 0 m/25,200 m
Bike: 18/76.1 miles
Run: 0/36.9 miles
On Sunday I went for the longest bike ride of my life. However, at 18 miles, it’s still about 8 miles short of the bike leg of the triathlon I’m aiming for in September. Unlike running, where I’ll probably never again run more than 26.2 miles in one day, I have many more “longest rides ever” in my biking future over the coming months.
As a runner, I am instinctively impressed with an 18-mile workout. But this workout only took 68 minutes to complete – a time comparable to about 8 or 9 miles on foot. It’s still a solid workout, but I’m going to be more impressed with myself when the bike distances creep into the 20s and 30s (and beyond?).
This workout felt great – I adopted my new grip on the lower part of the drop handles, and averaged about 16 mph for the ride. I felt strong and didn’t have to do much downshifting except to climb a couple of the steepest hills on the course (which was a 6-mile loop completed three times). I still felt a little slow, as if something was weighing me down even on the downhill sections, but overall I’m pleased with the effort.
I also tried something that I’ve never done on a running workout – I used my iPod. I had a feeling that repeating a loop course by myself might become a little tedious, so I took along some tunes (only using one earbud, for safety’s sake). With running, I like to be completely in touch with what’s going on – maybe because I am in direct contact with the ground and more physically connected to the effort at hand – so I don’t like running with music or being otherwise distracted. But, for me, biking is a little more passive than running, and the music seemed to help (particularly when a fast-paced song came on during a tough climb).
Sure enough, the miles melted away, and it seemed like one of the fastest hour-plus workouts that I’ve ever done. My legs were pretty sore afterward, but it was the good kind of soreness that lets you know you’ve done something. In fact, I took my running shoes in case I wanted to try a short run after the ride, but upon finishing the ride I didn’t think that was such a good idea. That’s something I’ll need to work up to!