Yesterday, I had an idea… To cycle to the pool, swim and then cycle back. The idea came about from having quickly skim read http://www.220triathlon.com/article/ultimate-bricks-pt-1-swim-bike
I’ve often contemplated cycling to the pool but the concern that my road bike might be stolen while I am swimming had put me off. Every time I’ve walked past the cycle racks, all the bikes looked very old and past their best. My sparkly road bike would stand out like a sore thumb. Most likely a highly irrational idea but, to me, one that had meant I’d discounted the idea on many occasions.
Anyway, having though about it, I decided that the likelihood of the theft happening was low particularly if I locked my bike up with two D-locks.
I chose a route of about 10km to the pool which was on roads I know well. My one main concern was a busy roundabout where there was a high likelihood I’d need to unclip from my pedals. Hmmm! As you may have read, clipless pedals and myself don’t always get on!
I originally decided to cycle the 10km, swim 1km and then cycle back. However, I woke this morning and decided that it was time to do some real triathlon training and do swim, cycle, run as part of the workout which meant tagging on a swim so the plan changed to:
* cycle 10km
* swim 1km
* cycle 10km
* run 5km
The last 3 would be my first unofficial triathlon with a 10km cycle as warm up.
Although I did toy with the idea of wearing my trisuit, I decided that this would look odd in the pool so chose to wear cycle shorts, change into swim gear, change back for the return cycle ride (into sweaty stuff!) and then into running gear. I had to carry a rucksack for the 2 D locks and various other clothing to make sure I had the right gear for each section of the workout. The likelihood of accidentally ending up wearing the wrong thing on one section was high!
As it turned out, my route to the pool was a little longer than expected. In fact, the distance was 12.32km. It was a fairly straightforward route though and I didn’t have any issues unclipping or clipping into the pedals. Hooray!
Once I got to the pool, I had to change into different shoes (tottering into the leisure centre in my cycling shoes would make me look like I was wearing heels on a night out), lock the bike, remove the saddle bag for fear someone would take a fancy to its priceless contents (!) and then go and get changed. Hardly a realistic transition but it gave a little rest before the 1km in the pool. Result!
The swim went ok. There were some really slow swimmers in the fast lane which meant an earth shattering performance! Not!! Swimmers!! Please note that fast means that swimmers behind you shouldn’t need to stop, stand up, wait, grumble etc to give you chance to dawdle up the pool. Repeatedly. Get in the ‘medium’ lane. Please!! I am not a very fast swimmer by any stretch of the imagination but I know my limits.
Another slow transition back from the swim to the cycle and it was time to reverse the route (almost) for an 11.22km cycle back home. It was certainly a slower ride than the one to the pool. No excuses for why. I’d like to say that the elevation profile made it a more challenging route but I’m not sure that explains it.
Once home, I put my bike away and then went out for the 5km run. I’m not going to lie. It was a challenge!
So, approximately 25km travelled and about 1500 calories burned.
In hindsight, I enjoyed the challenge of the multi-sport workout and will definitely cycle to the pool (and back) in future. There’s a more direct route that would mean a 7km journey (approx) each way. That should take 15 minutes or less so an hour roughly door-to-door.
For future reading… http://www.220triathlon.com/article/ultimate-bricks-pt-2-bike-run