February 22, 2015 § 1 Comment
In my previous blog I mentioned that Jan/Feb would be my ‘off season’. The previous few months of gruelling training for the Mt Bogong event were over. I was more than ready to take a back seat to my partner’s peak training period for his March marathon. Yay for playing second fiddle!
More than anything, I was looking forward to training being fun – playing around, doing fewer Ks and just enjoying the scenery. I succeeded in that, and it has been great. Talking to kangaroos, staring at sunrises, running barefoot on the beach, taking photographs: taking my time. Everybody should have an off season at least once a year: rest, renew and re-imagine.
At the same time my plan was to gradually begin to build up the Ks on the bike. Almost all of my cycling is done solo, but I started riding hill reps with friends once a week, which has been about as enjoyable as it is possible for hill reps to be. The thing about training partners is: you pretty much have to show up.
I took the final week of school holidays off work and did some fun things with the kids. Then, just like that, the 2015 school year began and our family threw itself back into our crazy schedule. And for various reasons, it made sense for me to ride to work four days a week instead of two. I’ve been playing around with different commutes and throwing in some extra distance here and there. Less running means I’ve had more time and energy for riding.
The result of all this is that, without trying too hard, I’ve doubled my longstanding average weekly Ks and tripled the climbing. So that’s great. I’m pretty much exactly where I wanted to be at this point.
Unintended consequence of the @Roxcycl role? My 8-year-old has been asking me to take him cycling lately. So I have been fitting those rides in (at 8yo pace) as well. It’s actually become a nice thing that we do together. I haven’t given him a gel yet but I do take snakes if we do more than a few kilometres 😉
Doing more than one sport is a balancing act but it works for me. I feel that cycling and running can be complementary, that cycling builds a stronger runner and running builds a fitter cyclist. Apart from that, being able to swap is beneficial in terms of variety, flexibility and body mechanics. So an average week for me now is 3 or 4 rides, 2 or 3 runs and 1 weight training session in the gym. I’m pretty proud that I can sort of see my quads!
Having said that, I never did vast amounts of kilometres when I was running, and I won’t now that I’m cycling. My schedule doesn’t allow for it, and my mind and body sure as hell won’t stand for it. So for me it’s about doing enough while fitting all the other pieces of the puzzle in. The big event needs to be a stretch, in either distance or time or effort, rather than something I do every week.
Speaking of every week, here’s a snapshot of the last six months of Garmin data. That big pink spike is a 10 day holiday in Queensland with a pair of running shoes and no bike. But over the last three months, cycling is trending up: tick!
Next blog: Assuming all goes to plan, a report on Amy’s Ride Canberra. Good training for a great cause! Opting for the middle distance (not ready to go 3-figures yet). And a couple of other things I’m privately pondering – stay tuned!