Tri 70.3 week 5 – long ride and a lazy evening

After Wednesday morning’s early start, the last thing I needed was another 4:40am alarm call. However, my dedication (obsession) meant that’s exactly what I had in mind.

Of course, I awoke before the alarm… at 3:15am and then couldn’t get back to sleep.

With a 2 hour 45 minute long ride to do, I had little choice (yes, yes, I know had the choice to stay in bed but that would have made for a slightly duller blog post) but to get out of bed at 4:40 and head down for breakfast. I’d wisely prepared everything I needed the evening before so had a quick breakfast and got dressed in my cycling shorts, shoes and short-sleeved high-viz cycling top and arm warmers.

I have recently purchased a Headlux light to put on my helmet and along with my waist lights was flashing like Christmas lights as I left the house at 5:10am. My plan was to do 4 laps of my normal 45 minute route through West End, Hedge End, Botley, Fair Oak then home.

The weather was good although I did wish I’d had an extra layer at first.

On my first lap, there was little traffic on the road which was handy given the number of roadworks between home and Botley.

I completed the first lap in just over 42 minutes which meant if I could maintain the same pace, I’d take 168 minutes to complete all 4 laps. That would mean I’d get home at, or close to 8am which is roughly the time I get home from Run Camp. Perfect.

I repeated the same route for my next lap but on the 3rd and 4th, the traffic was getting heavier and the traffic lights were against me so I amended the route slightly but cutting out the far corner in Botley High Street so that I could still arrive home on time.

On the last lap, it was light enough for me to turn off all reachable lights to save battery power.

I completed my last lap at 8am and span up Arun Road to reach home at 8:03am. Not bad going.

I enjoyed the ride even though it was laps. The route has a few undulations in it and it’s good to know that none of the inclines are too serious. There are also a few ways to add or take off distance.

All-in-all, I cycled 42 miles. Certainly didn’t break any land-speed records but, then, that wasn’t the purpose of the session.

I was planning to compete in the Eastleigh Aquathlon in the evening but a combination of feeling shattered, tired and achy legs and a downpour shortly before led to me choosing to miss it and have a relaxing evening instead. I shall make sure I attend the next one!

As if having an evening off isn’t enough to show a temporary lack of commitment, I also bailed on an early morning long run with Neil from STC on Friday morning. However, I’ve done about 7 hours of training this week so far and do still plan to do the 90 minute run over the next few days which is exactly on plan.

I am wondering how I’m going to be able to fit 4 – 4 hour cycle rides into the coming weeks without impacting weekends and have a couple of options I’m exploring mentally. As mentioned before, the cycle rides are my biggest training challenge time wise. But, it’s the discipline where I should be able to make the most improvement so I need to find the time. I did google whether splitting long rides into 2 shorter rides would be an option and the response was that the effect wouldn’t provide optimal training but I may consider it. I know I can fairly easily do a morning ride of 3 – 3 1/4 hours so with an hour at lunchtime, that would almost give me the duration I need during the peak of my plan. Alternatively, if I have the availability, I may have to forego parkrun on a Saturday and do a long ride on a Saturday.

To avoid family impact, I may need to think about missing the next 12 week block of Run Camp which would be a shame as I really enjoy these sessions. But I need to weigh up the time it takes, the benefit it gives to my half Iron distance training (it’s not a session that’s called for on my plan), the social aspect of the session, the additional morning session it’d give for more-specific training and the cost.
If I do decide to not participate in the next 12 week set, I’d plan to rejoin in late September. That’s another decision to make.

Have got a really hectic few days ahead with a family day out on Saturday, Race Directing the Lordshill 10K on Sunday, a 90 minute run and preparing for next week’s trip. I’m really not sure how I’m going to fit it all in to be honest.

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