Saturday, March 18, 2006

training in hawaii

[february 23 - march 14]
hawaii is a great place to train!!

week of feb 26: bike 255 miles of mountainous terrain, run 4 miles, swim 2000m
(22:19 total training time)

week of mar 5: bike 160 miles, run 18 miles, swim 2 miles
(15:51 total training time)

This was a fabulous way to increase my bike mileage and mental toughness on the bike. This is the most time I have spent biking in a short period of time. The long climbs drastically improved my muscular endurance and aerobic capacity. I ended up biking in the rain a lot, and had a total of 7 flat tires. The amazing scenery kept me going even when things were hard. Every day I kept thinking that that day's ride was the most beautiful yet, and I thought that just about every day. Biking is my weakest of the triathlon sports, and I know it seems basic, but I have now really learned that the best way to get better at biking is to do a lot of biking. If I take shortcuts to spending time in the saddle, I can't expect to get any better.

I biked the 112 mile Ironman bike course in Kona and that was the longest I have ever biked at once. The long hills and winds were tough, especially the hill just before the halfway turnaround at Hawi. Things got especially tough at mile 95 or so... my lower back was killing me, I was having some painful chaffing, my hands were numb and I was too weak to open my desperately needed Powerbar. I really had to focus mentally and keep pushing on. I got a boost of adrenaline around mile 100 which took me almost to the end. At that point I was moving faster than the cars stuck in traffic on the Queen K highway next to me. It was fun to be passing them, given how far I had already gone. The whole thing took 7 hours and 35 minutes. I didn't know exactly how to pace a ride that long so I played it somewhat conservative. I feel great to have finished that ride and am happy to know this early in the season that I can do that distance. I did it on my last day in Kona which made it a spectacular grand finale of my time on the Big Island.

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