Monday, March 16, 2015

What a difference a centimetre makes...

Considering I have used my triathlon bike the least out of all my bikes, I was surprised to see that I had worn out one of the arm rest cushions already. I found a place on the web that makes cushions for a wide range of aero bars, including those that are fitted as standard on my Giant Trinity Advanced. Apart from being much more comfy, they have the advantage of being about 1 cm thicker which may not sound like much, but it makes a noticeable difference to my comfort in the aero position. Given that I don't really have any other options to raise my position (other than paying 200 € for a special piece of carbon or - it occurred to me - putting on some more forearm muscle) every little help is welcome. In any case, I feel relatively happy with the position now and was able to maintain it without any breaks on the turbo trainer.

Other workouts of note were the split 10K which I ran at 17.5 kph (3:25 /km) in sections of 1, 3, 2, 3, 1 km, with 1 minute rest in between each. Then the brick this week consisted of 2 hours on the bike with a middle section of 40 minutes at Half Ironman intensity, followed by a 12.5 km run (20 minutes at 13.5 kph or 4:27 /km and 30 minutes at 16 kph or 3:45 /km). I chose about the flattest course I could find starting from my house and took the triathlon bike - even thought there was less climbing according to my Garmin watch, the roads were more bumpy (making the aero position more tiring) and the hills were steeper and more frequent or, at least, that's how it felt.

Since I found the last brick I did with similar intensities to be so tough, I was a little bit nervous about how I would find the run. Perhaps it was helped slightly by a short break that I took in order to catch a bird which had got into the house and was causing quite a scene with the dog. I felt very strong, no wobbly legs and certainly no early onset cramps and, although I allowed myself the option to cut it 10 minutes short, I made it to the end without any problems. It looks like the training is starting to have an effect at last.

The other reason I was a bit nervous about the run was because I had managed to rub a piece of skin off the side of my big toe the size of my thumbnail while doing my split 10K. This was because I had just taken delivery of my new Merrill Trail Glove 3 shoes to replace my already worn out Trail Glove 2. The important thing to note here is the change from 2 to 3. While the new version looks a lot more sturdy and has what looks to be a more stone proof sole, they weigh an extra 30 grammes each (at my oversized EUR 50 / UK 14 / US 15) and rub in new and different ways. I went for a very big size (only available in Germany) so that my toes would have ample wiggle space, particularly my bunion, and it was my bunion which got rubbed raw. As usual, the endorphins coursing through my veins meant that I didn't notice it until it was too late, although I did manage to conserve the flap of skin which I considered supergluing back on. I thought that this might put a temporary stop to my running but I discovered that I could run without problems in my Vibram SeeYas which I had stopped training in, just reserving them for races. 

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