After three races this year: Tyler Half, Raleigh 70.3, and Eagleman 70.3 I noticed lots of the guys I ride with pushing huge gears with slower RPMs than I was pushing. I immediately realized I was not as strong as I needed to be. I could hang with the bunch, but the efforts were taxing. So getting stronger in both the bike and run was the main focus heading into Steelhead and Lake Stevens 70.3
Riding in Austin is great and even better if you live on the out skirts, you avoid lots of city traffic. The only negative is the lack of long sustained climbs. So how do you get in lots of big gear work on hills to get stronger? You find a 2km stretch a ride it over and over and over. Just down the road from my place is Mansfield damn. Luckily there is a lower water crossing or else this set wouldn’t be as long. In the past three weeks I have done 80 x 2km reps up this hill! The set is pretty mentally challenging, especially when I only had one training partner for 15 of the 80 reps over the three weeks. I like to think I resembled Jan Ullrich riding up and down this climb at 70 rpm. This set better make me stronger.
I also recently went in for a bike fit as I felt my splits weren’t as good as they should be considering my FTP and w/kg in races. Seat was dropped nearly 2cm! Can’t wait to see how this affects ride and my trunk feels much more stable.
Running has been the toughest. I have resorted to waking up at 4-5 am just to get out the door for the tough session. There is one set I do x2 weekly that also consists of lots of hill reps. Even though can take 8 bottles of ice cold water, your splits don’t even come close to running in cooler conditions.
I have resorted to running more distance and aiming to get in as much vertical meters as I possible can. It is irritating to me when I can’t it goal splits, so I found so nice trails. I call this my Alpe d’ huez of Austin running. Lots of switch backs and great views.
I have found this block that more strength and small bouts of speed is the ticket for me. With out being extremely strong, speed is rather useless and can’t be supported or sustained. If you can run with a fast turn over but you stride length is short, your not going to be going any where too fast. Same as the bike. Plus, all the strength work keeps the HR lower, for me anyways, and I have found I can get away with a lot more volume without feeling as smashed as a high HR workout.
The following post is sponsored by Fit Fluential LLC on behalf of PowerPlay US
There is a new company out called PowerPlay US and I received my unit a while back and am loving it. It is portable cold/compression unit that is very affordable and doesnt cost an arm and a leg to purchase. So you go out and buy more triathlon equipment while preventing injury and recovering faster.
I have used other cold compression units but PowerPlay is much quicker and convenient to get going. There is an inner ice sleeve that you simple attach to the compression sleeve. Then a touch of a button gets the unit compressing.
The unit will give you the opportunity to select a range of 50-70 mmHg of pressure to build up to. The unit will build from to 50-70 mmHg then release. This cycle takes 20 minutes all together.
I chose the knee and ankle sleeve in my bundle. I really like how fast I could get into the unit and get it started with the removable ice pack. The compression feels great and would be nice if it went up to 80-or 90 mmHg. However, a little tip though. I will remove the ice pack 10 minutes before I’m going to use it. This allows the sleeve to have so more movement to it. I was able to wrap the sleeve that much tighter making the compression feel even tighter. This unit has three slots allowing you to use three pieces of compression, or share with friend.
My knee injury from years ago still requires lots of maintenance. If I’m not doing my strength and icing routines I eventually start feeling small amount of pain. The PowerPlay unit has done a great job at keeping pain at bay after hard workouts and has kept swelling down to minimums. So check them out of you are looking to add a great tool to speed up your recovery.
Nice carry bag that fits your compression gear and unit.
The knee compression sleeve with the unit that allows 50-70 mmHg of compression
The removable ice pack inside of sleeve.