By Lora Erickson
Cycling and traveling for me usually also involves swimming and running since I am a triathlete. Earlier this year I traveled to Boulder, Colorado to attend a coaching summit as well as compete in the Ironman Boulder 70.3 event. What’s interesting about triathlon racing is trying to go hard but not too hard on the bike. It’s often a trade-off, if you go too hard on the bike you will most likely suffer on the run but if you push the bike and still can run okay in the end your overall time and placement is better even with a little slower pace on the run. That is what I choose to do in Boulder. I came into the race tired from racing an Olympic Distance event one- week before, traveled and had 4 days of mind numbing classes. I rode efficient with a higher cadence and clean pedal strokes patiently keeping an eye on my heart rate and power numbers and taking my nutrition as planned. I decided to push it to my higher numbers and see if I could hold it. I was the last wave of swimmers in the water and knew if I could finish the ride sooner I would have less time in the heat on the run so that is what I did. My legs struggled a bit on the run but overall not bad all things considered. This was a training race for me as I have the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in September. It worked. My run time was a bit slower but my ride time made up for it and more. I knew the effort on the bike yielded more benefit than that same increased effort on the run.
I find this same principle of knowing when to push and when not to can be a struggle for many athletes. Some athletes simple push every workout every day and get frustrated when they get injured or don’t see progress. Just like in my race, some portions of workouts or races are things we can push, other times we need to lay off the throttle and allow some easy coasting. Evaluate what is best for your effort for the most wanted outcome. As we are coming into winter it’s important to keep this in mind. Simply, flowers do not bloom all year. It’s good to scale back training and allow rest so when the race season comes you are fresh for it.
About the Author: Coach Lora Erickson is an Ironman All-World athlete and USAT certified triathlon coach. She is also a certified Slow Twitch Triathlon Cycling Coach with many years of experience coaching beginner to intermediate athletes. She offers on-line as well as in-person custom coaching. To learn more visit http://BlondeRunner.com or contact her directly at [email protected]