Ironman St. George Training - Week 2 - Major Bike Upgrade
I completed my second week of training for Ironman St. George 70.3 and I'm very excited because my bike set up made some great progress this week.
During first two weeks of triathlon training, I have been doing my bike workouts on my spin bike. I, or I should say my husband, added a Wahoo Cadence and Speed to my spin bike awhile back. The Wahoo Cadence and Speed allowed me to get some data and compare my performance from one workout to another. However, I obviously needed to upgrade and get a road bike to train for a triathlon. In addition to getting a road bike, I wanted to get a trainer. On weekdays the only time I can consistently workout is in the early mornings and I did not want to ride alone on the road at that time of day.
There a variety of indoor trainers available and you can spend hours researching different types. My husband did a bunch of research for me (thank you!) and ultimately we decided to buy the Tacx Neo 2t. This video from Triathlon Taren's YouTube Channel going over the differences of the Tacx Neo 2 versus the Wahoo Kickr:
Tacx is a Garmin company and I've always been really happy with my Garmin products. I can not give a full review yet because we just got everything set up last night, but so far it has been really easy to pair with my watch and Zwift.
I am still shopping around for a road bike of my own. I am having a hard time finding a bike shop that will do a fitting near me due to COVID. Buying online without a fitting is a little nerve wracking. so I am considering renting a bike for a few months. I am currently borrowing a road bike, but it is not the right size and more of a "make it work” situation.
Getting my bike set up has been a bigger project than I anticipated. I am not complaining at all, my husband again did 99.9% of the set up work. But just to warn anyone who is curious about triathlon, get yourself plenty of time to get your bike "situation" figured out before you need to start training. To just give an example of how the bike "things" snow ball: I went to buy cycling shoes for the bike that I borrowed. It turned out that I also needed to get new pedals for the bike because manufactures no longer use the type of clips that fit the pedals that were currently on the borrowed bike. Then the old pedals were super stuck and hard to get off. Then the shifter wasn't working on the bike and needed to be fixed. It all got sorted out, but it is not as simple as running I am quickly learning. Again, I am so thankful to have someone who is willing to help me work through all of these issues. If didn’t have someone helping me get through these bike hurdles, I probably would have felt like it was too much right now and stuck with running. Luckily I do and I now have a functioning road bike set up on the Tacx trainer.
For the first time, I am really looking forward to my bike workouts this week. I can't wait to see how I feel working out on a real bike and getting some accurate data on how I am performing on the bike.
Last week I set up my training like this:
Monday: Bike & Short Swim
Sunday: Long Run
This week will look similar, but I will be biking longer and replacing Saturday's run with a bike.
I discovered Ironman VR (Virtual Racing) this week and got hooked quickly. There are weekly challenges (swimming, biking, and running) that you can do and optional workouts that accompany the challenges. There are also the races (some races are run only, some are bike/run) which are really fun and have live race results so you can see how you are doing against athletes from around the globe. Best of all, it is all free. Link to sign up here:
For my Wednesday swim, I did a challenge to swim 2400m. I only have a 25 yard pool available to me, so I converted the distance to yards, 2,624 yards. Instead of doing the suggested workout with the challenge, I decide to try to swim the whole distance without stopping. I was able to hold a 1:31/ 100yd pace comfortably. I was pretty happy with that and the challenge had motivated me to swim further than I had planned.
On Sunday, I decided to make the Ironman VR2 10K race part of my long run. I ran for 70 minutes easy pace, then I ran a hard effort for 10k and then cooled down for 11 minutes. Seeing the live race results was definitely made me run faster and push myself a little more. I hope to do the Ironman VR3 this week, which is set up as a brick style race; bike 12.4miles then run 3.1 miles.
Training for any endurance race can get boring sometimes and I find virtual racing is a way to push myself and spice things up.
What are your thoughts on virtual racing? Do you love it hate it do you find it can be helpful in training?