Thursday, February 9, 2012

2012 - the year of the bike

When I decided to pursue this triathlon thing, it was without any experience running, and no ability to swim.  The one discipline I had some experience in was the bike.  I knew how to ride a bike and even occassionally took my kids out with me on my hybrid and them in the bike trailer.

So in May of 2010 when I decided to do a triathlon, I jumped headfirst into C25K, while simultaneously taking my first swimming lessons.  I think it's fair to say that running was my focus that year.  I did my first two 5k races and my first 10k race.

Then in 2011, I continued to make huge amounts of progress in my running.  I started a coached swim program, which has probably been one of the best things I could have done.  I increased my swim speed by about 20% and discovered that I am not actually destined to be a "slow runner".

Meanwhile, I did get a road bike, Bella.  And, I did ride it.

I did some okay mileage.  I got almost all my long bikes in, but at best, I usually rode twice a week, while I ran 3-4 times and swam 3.

Whenever something had to give, it was a bike ride.  If I had to miss a run, I'd make it up during the time I would normally do my next bike.  I already knew how to ride, I'd tell myself.

For some reason, it just didn't hold the same priority for me as running and swimming.

Yet, oddly enough, in a triathlon, the bike is important.  Very important.  Generally comprising about half the time of the triathlon.  If there is a discipline that it's the worst to be weak in, it's the bike.

Oddly enough, almost two years after starting this journey, my weakest discipline is the only one I was capable of when I began.  The bike.

So, with that in mind, I declare 2012 the year of the bike.  Since it's February, and I'm in Alberta, Canada, it's trainer time.  I still have a month before my HIM plan officially starts, and that will include 4 rides a week (one of them a brick).  

The plan for right now?  Be ready to start that plan.  Go to spin classes once a week, and spin on my own 3 other days.  Keep my posture strong, and my arms soft.  Push myself at times, and give a steady effort at others.

The long term plan?  Get those rides in.  Give up the death grip I still sometimes have on the handlebars.  Reach the point where it feels natural to keep my cadence up.  Become stronger on the uphills and braver on the downs.

There's a term in cycling known as T.I.T.S - "time in the saddle" (I assume it's a cycling term, even though I know about it from tri circles).  Basically, there's no substitute for it, and the more you can get of it, the better.

Bella and me are going to become good friends this year.


  1. I'm waiting to get my road bike, still riding my mountain bike. I so agree with you, biking seems to be something I feel like I should do it, but no biggie if I miss it.

    I need to get on the bike more!

  2. I agree the bike is very important. I think time wise a ratio of 3:2:1 for bike:run:swim is the perfect balanced plan.

  3. Oh, and I love your pic being inducted in to the clipless pedal club :-). We've all done it (several times).

  4. Wonderful! I still don't see myself as getting into tris anything serious, but I'm thinking spinning could be a good cross-training activity for me...

  5. I have come to realize how important the bike is, especially with longer distance triathlons (IM, HIM). I mean, you come off the bike wasted, its the run is going to suck!

    I like Mike's ratio for a busy triathlete with a life... while I have been trying 3:3:3, 3:2:1 would be acceptable when life gets in the way for some isolated training weeks.

  6. Girl you are going to kick some serious booty this year! I can't wait to see what you do!

  7. I'm starting to get glimpses that my core work is improving my swimming strength which in turn is starting to improve my running which in turn is starting to improve my core work. Very exciting to see it all reinforcing each other.

    Imagine what you'll be capable of after 6 spin sessions or 4 rides a week. You'll be invincable!

  8. Awesome! I went hunting again today for a road bike. I think I am narrowing it down, but have to get the $$$ worked out and we've been hit with some expenses lately. Though not as cold here, I've only been on a bike a few times in the last four months. Yikes! I don't own a trainer yet either (which I am going to try to swing by next winter). Best wishes to you and your year of the bike!!