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Longest race of my life: eight weeks to Ironman; back to the drawing boards

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

If you have been following this series, then you would know that in eight weeks from this Sunday I will be competing in the Ironman 70.3 Superfrog. Last week I wrote about running being a weakness of mine but while competing in the base triathlon last weekend I found another area to improve.

Leading up to the base triathlon I was running between 50 and 60 miles a week, biking about 30, and swimming every few days. I’m proud of the progress I have made in running and swimming, but during the triathlon I realized how much work I need on the bike.

The base triathlon was only a 13-mile bike ride, 43 miles short of the half-Ironman distance, but geez that hurt. All of the running I have been doing has made my legs so weak for biking. The problem, though, is that the largest portion of the race is spent biking.

So to compensate, this week I have changed my strategy once again to adapt to a problem.

An issue for a lot of triathletes is the ratio of training in each discipline. If an athlete bikes too much, their legs get too strong and slow them down on the run. If an athlete runs too much, they end up losing the necessary muscle mass for biking. So, rolling into the next 8 weeks I will be ramping up the miles I ride and holding onto my run times. This is my favorite part of training, working on my weaknesses while maintaining my strengths.

To fortify my bike times I have enjoyed biking the coastline of south base and the hills of north base. By the time this is posted I’ll have put in 60 miles on my bike and will be doing 30 more this Sunday before I run.

If you are interested, I’ll be riding from the old gym parking lot around the airfield a few times this Sunday, July 30, starting at 8 a.m. No matter your fitness level or the amount of miles you decide to do, it would be great to see some Team V Airmen out there, alongside me.

Eight more weeks to ride.

 

 

Editor’s note: This is an on-going 10 week series. You can visit www.vandenberg.af.mil and the 30th Space Wing Facebook page every Friday for a new feature.