Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fastest of the slow, slowest of the fast

I've joined a tri team. The Brisbane Tri Squad. It is far more serious than my training in Cairns, and it should be since I have to pay a monthly fee. But it means that I have coaches to oversee my program and improve my technique.

Last week I did my first ride with them. They break into three levels. Level 1 being super fast, Level 3 being entry level. Or as the bike coach defines them "Fast, Very Fast, Incredibly Fast". So I decided I'd try out the "fast" or entry level ride. This ride felt a bit slow. Granted, one of the girls got a flat in the first 10K or so. But still, I thought it wasn't really challenging. I decided to take on Level 2 this week.

Fastforward to last Sunday. I wake up with some pretty tired legs after an hour of twenty minutes of hill running the previous morning. But decide to go ahead and join up with level 2 anyway. There are only 4 other riders and the head coach when I arrive. We take off at a good pace, but we're heading through the city, so there's lots of lights, clipping in and clipping out. I'm still not especially good at that, so I always have to catch up from the lights. Then we start hitting the hills. And my legs just don't have it in them. The coach is great, riding along with me, several meters back from the pack, and giving me pointers (really got my money's worth out of this ride), but still, it's obvious, I can't hack it. He and I turn back early, catch up with group 3, where he drops me off.

Now I'm of two minds about this. One says, I should stick with the group I can hang with, a less humbling and far more enjoyable ride. The other says, if I want to improve I should ride with the fast group and be challenged. I'll get faster faster. I think after this week, I'll go back to level 3 for a few weeks til I build up the courage to try them out again. Maybe next time with stronger legs.

Similarly, I've been swimming with the UQ adult swim squad. There are three lanes. I tried the slow lane the first time, and I was faster than the rest. But this time, I didn't get too encouraged by this. I stuck to the slow lane, and I was the only one. So the coach moved some medium swimmers into my lane. And I was back to being the slowest of the slow. Yay.

I want to use this coaching time to really improve my technique. Take stroke improvement classes, I've been doing an indoor ride (where I bring my bike and put it on a wind trainer - which makes it into a stationary bike) to get technique improvement on my cycling.

Oh, and I signed up for my next olympic distance triathlon. November 2, in Noosa (2 hours north of Brisbane). It's the largest olympic distance race in australia, and it's supposed to be a crazy awesome party. Woo hoo. A few shorter tri's between now and then, and of course the Gold Coast half marathon coming up in a week and a half.


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