281.2 – Day 5
Today’s regiment consisted of a long bike ride through the city. You can check out the route here. Sunday’s are a great day for long bike rides on the main roads because there is little to no traffic and it’s a great recovery workout after a long run the day before. If you’re new to cycling, it too can seem as daunting as the swim workout I described earlier in the week. However, it need not be all-consuming. You only really need a bike in good shape, a helmet and a bike trail to get started. If you plan to take it up a notch, I recommend investing in proper equipment and practice.
When it comes to cycling, it really is a combination of man and machine. Even the hardest athletes can look ordinary on a Huffy compared to an average Joe on a top of the line race bike. That doesn’t mean you need to go out and spend a ton of cash on a carbon fiber beast, but remember you do get what you pay for. Also, it’s important to learn the rules of the road and a good idea to ride in packs on low traffic days. Being safe and comfortable on a well fitted bike will allow you to then focus on the things that will make you a better cyclist in the long run.
Cadence, hill climbing, and proper shifting require time to perfect. You won’t get good at any of these skills if you spend all your time worrying about cars and intersections. A lot of bike shops host weekly group rides that you can sign up for and use as safe riding options instead of going it alone. My particular ride was made extra interesting this morning, after only getting 5 hours of sleep, a night of drinking before, and the lingering anger of having dealt with our being booted the night before. Luckily, we had a massage session scheduled for later today day which I used as nap time and additional recovery.
This week as a whole puts me ahead of schedule on my march towards 281.2 cumulative miles. The temptation to chase 300 or more sometimes creeps in but there will be days when my body won’t want anything to do with training or our social calendar won’t allow. I knowingly front loaded a lot of my workouts with more mileage to allow for some tapering on the week of our half marathon, where we’ll use rest days before and after and not get in any miles. Below is a picture of my cycling shoes which have seen better days.