Training Week 6: Rhiannon Berry
Week six has commenced and the heat has made its presence known. Week six has also continued the chaos of previous weeks with our high school's academic year coming to an end. What I have found is my training has continued to bring me a sense of peace, balance, and clarity as I packed classrooms, called parents, filled out graded, and began thinking about next year. As exhausted as I am from the days, training has been my saving grace.
This week's group swim session brought back an old friend: mass swim starts. My first and last mass swim start session left me literally gasping for air and thinking I would die, a cruel combination of panic, lack of form, and adverse effects of a nebulizer on my lungs. ....I may have cried...a lot... During the offseason, I promised myself I would work until I could survive a mass swim start in the spring.
I am shocked to say I (wait for it...) ENJOYED mass swim starts. I loved the intensity, the aggressive movement to find space, the determination to draft off the body in front of you, and the challenge of having your goggles kicked off your face and being able to adjust and "get back on your form." In short: I love mass swim starts. In two weeks we begin open water swims. ....Yikes.
Biking and running went hand in hand this week. Running was long and hot. There isn't much more to say. However, running AFTER biking is a whole different ballgame...
We did time trials out in Baldwinsville that consisted of riding a 4.5 mile "box" as fast as we could. We rode one for a warmup, one for sprint sequences, two for time trials, and one for a recovery. I tried staying with our head coach, Brendan, during sprints. I found myself close to 30+ mph at times. I felt accomplished, maybe even a little tough, but then the time trials began and my machismo ego went down the drain. My legs were gone, and I am still the rookie biker who tries to reach a 90 cadence and 20 mph within the first minute of taking off. Terrible idea, in case you were wondering. So, what are you supposed to do?
My fellow coach, Denise, taught me to get cadence first and then speed. She recommended starting in a low gear and shifting up one gear at a time until you reach the desired speed. (".......Ooooooh! That makes MUCH more sense!")
After losing our legs, we had to run for eight minutes as hard as we could. Pssssh.....easy!
There is a reason why you save your legs during the bike at a tri...and why they call this a "brick" workout...
My legs felt like bricks. I barely made a mile at the eight minute mark. Our legs remained numb until the 7:30 mark (and then they just hurt). The problem with running out for eight minutes is you eventually have to run BACK. The run back was endless, but we made it.
All discomfort went away when we realized it was 9 a.m. and we had already biked over 22 miles and ran 2.4 miles.