The Scribbler

10 July 2010

Cycle, swim, cycle

Filed under: bike,swim — The Scribbler @ 19:41
Tags: , , ,

I’ve been hankering for a swim for a couple of weeks. I have to try and slot one into my rest days, which this week meant Friday or Saturday. And seeing as I got my haircut on Friday and it was my last day of holiday, I took my rest and enjoyed a leisurely walk in the sunshine and along the beach instead.

So today I promised myself a swim. And given that gym is only a couple of miles away and I’ve got my bike out once already this week, I thought I’d cycle there.

So sorry, good folks of the North East. That shower at around 1pm? That was my fault. I’d just pegged the washing out on the line and put my cycle helmet on. Thankfully it was just a shower and it soon passed, but I don’t fancy tackling wet roads on my bike until I’m a lot more confident.

It’s strange moving from driving to cycling. I think my road sense is more attuned to being in a car and I feel very exposed in traffic. I’d opted for a slightly longer route from the one I drive to keep me away from a couple of very busy fast moving roads, but I’m still not confident about turning right or tackling roundabouts, so I got off and walked across a couple of junctions.

I was also very conscious of my quads and a slight pressure on my inner knee as I got going. I guess it’s using muscles in a different way to running. Fortunately neither feeling was very severe, and soon wore off, so I figure it’s just my muscles getting used to working in a different direction. And I always knew that if the worst came to the worst it wasn’t too far to walk back.

I was surprised that the distance on my Garmin when I got to the pool was closer to 5 miles than the 2-3 I had estimated, but I hadn’t pushed it too hard and it was lovely to get in the pool for a swim.

I definitely swim better when I’m a bit tired. When I relax and don’t try too hard, I’m much smoother through the water and the breathing comes more naturally. Shame the swim’s always first in a triathlon then – unless anyone knows any different.

I did a couple of warm up lengths of breast stroke, then a steady 100m front crawl. I was pleased to clock my time for that at 2:15 which is pretty consistent. I then did a 400m set, allowing myself a little breather and goggle clearance after 200m, and managing to complete it in 9.13, adding another 100m on at the end to take me to 500m and 11.32.

And sorry, triathlete fans, but I didn’t run from the pool and jump straight on the bike. I spent 15 minutes ‘in transition’, enjoying a shower, a dry off, changing and scoffing a banana before getting back on the bike. (For all you non triathletes, ‘transition’ is the changeover bit where competitors go from swim to bike, then bike to run and wouldn’t normally involve much more than changing shoes, adding or removing a cycle helmet and getting on with the next bit of the race.)

There are lots of cycle paths near the gym, so I explored a different way back home. It ended up being even further than my outward journey at 5 and a bit miles, but it was off road almost all the way, and a definite net downhill as I freewheeled a good deal of it. Hopefully that’s saved my legs a little, as I’ve got an 8 mile rail run in store for them tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing and supporting some North East runners on the Run for Bob.

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