As a child, one of my favorite pastimes was bike riding. Along with my brothers and the other neighborhood kids, I would race, explore, and enjoy the freedom my bike gave me.
Last year my husband bought me a bike for our anniversary (aluminum is the 10-year wedding anniversary gift—isn't that the perfect present?), and by the end of this summer I knew that one day I wanted to try a duathlon, even though the thought of running, biking, then running again scared the heck of me.
Last weekend I participated in the Espirt de She race in Lakeville, MN, and crossed that duathlon off my list. I ran the fastest I ever had in a race and felt great afterward and the days following.
Admittedly the hills were a beast because I was still recovering from a tough weight-room workout, but I still managed to pull it off. The most surprising thing: I wasn't even sore the next day!
What was my secret? Honestly, I think it's a combination of getting fit, lifting weights, playing tennis, running, and sprinting in my TEAM weight-loss group sessions. They have all helped to shape my athletic abilities. As for my bike training, I've been incoporating hills and interval training to increase my endurance and strength.
Intervals aren't new to me. My trainer, Tomery, has shown me how to get an effective interval training workout on the treadmill and rowing machine at the gym: Go hard for a minute, then take a break and keep a moderate pace. Training like this keeps me challenged while my legs continue to get stronger, which in the end builds muscle and, of course, that means easier cycling.
Here's an example of the intervals I do during a 30-minute ride:
|Time (Minutes)||What to Do||Rate of Perceived Exertion (1-10)|
|5-6||Ride for speed||7-9|
|15-16||Ride for speed||7-9|
|24-25||Ride for speed||7-9|