[047] Right on track

Swim: 0 m/33,900 m

Bike: 6.2/102.2 miles

Run: 5/53.7 miles

Sticking to my plan to ramp up my running workouts this month, I was excited to make time for a speed session at the local school track this weekend. (Even though my wife and daughter were out of town and I had the morning to myself, I still set my alarm for the crack o’ dawn to make sure I had time for the workout before starting a busy day. I don’t think the Old Me would recognize the Current Me!)

I also decided to ride my bike to the track, which is a little more than 3 miles from my house. And, yes, I did consider the implications of pedaling the hilly road back home after a 5-mile speed session. But that’s what triathlon training is about, right?

The ride was great (have I mentioned I love my new bike?) and the run was very fulfilling. I planned in advance for a 5-mile run workout – a 1-mile warmup and 1-mile cool-down sandwiched around 6 repeats of 400 with 400 recovery. My goal was to be in the low 1:30’s for the speed portions.

The actual times were: 1:27, 1:33, 1:32, 1:32, 1:31 and 1:34. Other than starting out way too fast on the first set, I was very happy to be pretty consistent on the last five. And the speed felt just right – powerful at the beginning with a pleasant burning sensation setting in after about 150 to 200 meters, then opening up on the backstretch to finish strong. I considered going for a seventh repeat, but I was feeling kind of gassed at the end of the sixth (as illustrated by the slowest time of the bunch) and I didn’t want to risk overdoing anything. Besides, I still had that ride back home to look forward to.

The return ride, in the end, was not unpleasant. Tri bikes are engineered to use a different body geometry than a road bike so that you’re preserving leg muscles that are important to the run. So maybe that’s why the ride home wasn’t so bad – I was just relying on different muscles.

I’ve been very pleased with my workouts in the first days of March. Even while getting in a couple good runs, as I had anticipated, I also got in a 13-miler on the bike (in addition to the 6 miles to and from the track) and a good swim workout using drills learned from the Total Immersion book, plus a couple hours in the weight room.

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