Seven weeks until my first triathlon of the season… I think I’ve been in a bit of denial up until today! Three workouts a week has seen me through the winter but I’m now starting to gear myself up for some more intense training. I’ve been managing around two runs and one swim a week, this hasn’t been hard as I really enjoy both. Cycling is a whole different thing – it’s my least favourite of the three disciplines, yet such an important element of the whole event!
I joined a spinning class last week and will continue to go once a week, it’s a brilliant workout – so hard on my legs that I sometimes think I’ll keel over in the middle of a ‘hill climb’, but surely it can only help to build those leg muscles up for the big event? Bizarrely, I love being in a dimly lit sweaty room, with some great 90’s house music banging away. It helps distract me from the severe pain I am in through most of the session! It’s ironic really, because I love to be outdoors when I’m running and would hate to be holed up in a gym on a treadmill. But spinning is safe. No pot holes, no traffic, no punctures… and therein is my problem with cycling. I’m just too nervous on the roads, even if I am careful and ‘road wise’ I just can’t account for all the cars/lorries/white vans around.
However, spring has arrived, clocks have changed and yesterday I got my bike out of the shed and took to the roads. The weather was glorious and I headed for some quiet country lanes to re-acquaint myself with outdoor cycling. It was wonderful to be out in the sunshine with the daffodils in bloom and lambs in the fields, certainly enough to put a smile on my face. However, another reason for my lack of enthusiasm came straight back to me…
… my bike just isn’t up to triathlons! It’s a three-year-old mountain bike which is clunky and heavy. I spent £200 ‘upgrading’ it last year with thinner tyres and drop handle bars, but the reality is that it’s still slow and I’m using far too much energy just moving along the flat roads, let alone the hills! I was hoping that I’d jump on and just get on with it, but I can’t face a season of four or five triathlons using my old plodder… So, decision made, I’m on the hunt for a new ‘tri bike’. I’ve just been to my weekly tri group and got some basic advice, the most important thing is to make sure it’s the right frame size for my height and that it’s made of carbon fibre or aluminium so it’s as light as possible. Wish me luck- Ebay, here I come… perhaps a new bike is just what I need to get me into the cycling, I really hope so!