willingness to suffer.....
Last Post 08/01/2013 04:24 PM by Hoshie S. 51 Replies.
Author Messages
CERV

Posts:145

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07/26/2013 11:05 AM
Not so many years ago, riding was about seeing what my limits of suffering on the bike were. How fast? how hard could I push myself? This morning I did something I've never done in a race or a ride before. I was out for our Friday early morning championship of the world ride that a lot of the fast guys in town regularly show up for It's about 50km full gas. About 85% of the way through the ride I was riding on the front, and had just counterattacked a move a couple other guys made when it suddenly occurred to me that I didn't particularly feel like suffering so much this particular morning, so I just sat up and watched the ride disappear into the distance. IHalf my brain was asking the other half, "what are we doing, why are we stopping?", but the other half didn;t care. I've never done that before. I've been properly dropped, but today I wasn't in any real difficulty, just didn't feel like hurting so much. I must be getting old.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:972

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07/26/2013 11:13 AM
HTFU.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
CERV

Posts:145

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07/26/2013 11:28 AM
Posted By Cosmic Kid on 07/26/2013 11:13 AM
HTFU.


sigh.......while I know you're right. the espresso I went for instead was still really good.
zootracer

Posts:259

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07/26/2013 11:31 AM
The spirit of competition....
Entheo

Posts:312

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07/26/2013 12:03 PM
whereas in years gone by i would have a tractor beam attached to the rear wheel two inches in front of me for 50-100 miles (as well as my fair share of pulls) i now suffer at my own pace. i am getting old, but still happy to be able to get on a bike and hurt myself. :-)
Keith Richards

Posts:694

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07/26/2013 12:20 PM
lol...I reached a point a few years ago where I realized that I was no longer capable of putting myself in the pain cave.

Not saying that I didn't ride hard or couldn't get fit and all, but I just no longer had the ability to ride until I could not turn over the pedals one more time. I knew my body too well and knew what I needed to do. I wasn't trying to cat-up, I wasn't planning on winning...I knew how to ride wheels when I needed to, so I could not work when I didn't want to.

On one hand, I realized that I was never going to be The Man riding like that, on the other it felt nice to be at a point with my riding knowledge and fitness where I didn't HAVE to kill myself to enjoy a nice fast ride or make the front group.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
stronz

Posts:293

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07/26/2013 12:48 PM
I say congratulations! I loathe everything about the "Friday morning world championships" (beautifully put IMO) faction of cyclists. Waaaay too serious and absolutely not why I ride. Don't get me wrong -- I love pushing it and working hard. Hey you can always join back up next Friday -- but its ok to back out of the pressure cooker that group riding can sometimes be.
jmdirt

Posts:635

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07/26/2013 01:37 PM
I've been struggling with this for the last few years...if I figure out the answer I'll let you know.
steelbikerider

Posts:37

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07/26/2013 03:13 PM
I'm at that point now. Sometimes, I just don't want to or I don't like the group dynamics so I sit up. A number of times when I wasn't comfortable with the group, an incident or crash happened later so I was happy to miss it. Other times, I think of all the things that I need to do when I get home and realize that I can't dig too deep. I keep thinking that I want to race again but not wanting to train very hard puts a real kink in that plan.
Other days, I really miss the time when the weekend race was the most important item on my to do list but I do enjoy riding now as much or more than I ever have.
Pin0Q0

Posts:228

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07/26/2013 03:14 PM
I ride fort the love of riding and the challenge that goes along with it. It's a horrible and egotistical statement, but it feels really good when you fly by other riders barely breaking a sweat (reward for your suffering), the only difference is as Entheo pointed out, I choose when to suffer (I just happen to like it). "Choose" is the key word, so as long as you have the desire to choose it's all good.
C2K_Rider

Posts:168

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07/26/2013 03:41 PM
Same here. When I want to ride hard it is for portions of a particular road, not the whole ride. It's my choice. for the rest of the ride I just enjoy it. And take some pics now and then.
Yep, getting old. Let the youngin's do the hard work! i've have nothing to prove to anyone anymore...
Cranky Tom

Posts:2

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07/26/2013 03:51 PM
I hit that point a few years ago and at first it really freaked me out. I've competed hard my whole life and it just felt weird to see that fire start to burn less hot. Then I took stock and realized that I'm in my mid-40's and I've got a marriage, 4 young kids and a business to manage and that what I really needed was for cycling to be a reliever of the stress from the rest of my life and not something adds more stress. I figure I just got to my limit and my body started telling me that burying myself on the weekly world championship ride and dealing with all of the egos, etc. was taking a lot of the fun out of riding. Now I've got a core group of guys I ride with and I'll occasionally jump into the groups and ramp up for a competitive event now and then but as soon as my level of enjoyment drops off I dial it down. I don't know, sometimes I feel like that's all a rationalization for me just getting "soft" as I get older but, whatever, at least I'm enjoying cycling more these days than I was when I was trying to force it.
Orange Crush

Posts:1135

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07/26/2013 03:58 PM
I can suffer at low speed but much less so at high speed :-)
79pmooney

Posts:1011

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07/26/2013 04:04 PM
I'm accepting that this fall when I do Cycle Oregon, I will not be as strong as I would like. My focus is on my house and riding because I love it. I'll be strong enough to enjoy CO, but hanging out with pacelines, etc won't happen, That's OK.

Last year, the final year of my '50s, was my biggie. I was in great form for CO and did the fixie justice for a very hilly week. To get there, I went out every Thursday and rode a 40 mile loop with 2000' of climbing fixed. Those rides were hard, As I got stronger, I moved up the gear. It paid off. I didn't see a climb that was too much. Pacelines weren't fun early, but by the end of the week, I was holding my own and I would have to remember to slow on rises. But I paid. After CO, I was burned out to a deeper level than I ever remember. I used to love fall riding in my racing days, getting to play with that form. Not last year. Riding hard was zero fun. Just maintaining my mileage to set a new yearly record was work.

I don't regret last year at all, but I have no desire to do it again.

Ben
vtguy

Posts:221

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07/26/2013 04:40 PM
I, too, used to be much more serious about the bike than I am now. I still ride or run every day, but usually alone in the early am. I'm certainly less competitive, but I enjoy my cycling more than ever. I no longer have performance goals -- just want to be fit and healthy.
Entheo

Posts:312

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07/26/2013 05:12 PM
funny story -- this season i've been struggling to get my ave MPH up to where it's traditionally been... out on training rides feeling like i'm busting my arse, that feeling of constantly riding into a headwind on a hot tar road. then it occurred to me that the Strada K training tires i put on in the spring might be a little heavier than my usual Conti GP 4Ks... yeah, like 5 ounces of extra rolling resistance per tire, duh! put on a set of new conti's and now i at least feel like i'm not pulling a burley.
jacques_anquetil

Posts:199

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07/27/2013 08:40 PM
talk about a reality check. this past Wednesday, our usual gang of master riders head out but this time with two 15 y/o cadet boys with us. they proceed to put the boots to us. not lightly but totally and unmercifully. utter hubris to think that this 44 y/o could even think of trying to stay on these young kids' wheels. they're just on an upward trajectory. us, just trying to limit our losses until that last final taper towards death. but it is fun to watch their sheer joy and exuberance of being on the bike.
longslowdistance

Posts:578

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07/27/2013 10:05 PM
Ride for Joy! Whatever that may be for you SHOULD change as you mature.
Hoshie

Posts:111

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07/29/2013 01:19 AM
I think you should stay away from cyclocross.

Enjoy the ride!
vtguy

Posts:221

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07/29/2013 11:43 AM
+1 Hoshie -- 45-minutes of anaerobic hell.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:972

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07/29/2013 01:13 PM
Signed up for my frist tri race of the year last week. Race was yesterday and the weather sucked all weekend. Never broke 70* and the temps at the start were ~55*.

Throughout Sat, my motivation was waning....swimming and then hitting the bike 9soaking wet) in those temps was not something I was looking forward to. I'll admit that this thread crossed my mind and I questioned whether I still wanna do this schitt.

I hit the water and all the efforts I have been putting into my swim for the last month kicked in.....had my best tri swim ever (avg. 1:40 / 100m....not a fish by any stretch by a damn sight better than my normal 2:00 / 100m). Got on the bike and avg. ~23 mph for almost 15 miles, which was my goal pace. Run went better than expected and I beat my goal pace by 30" / mile (ran 8:00 miles).

Net-net: Motivation back in place!! SNot certain where I netted out for the race overall, but given my relative lack of training since the end of April, I was pretty happy with my results, especially since I am still not in great race shape.

Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:1011

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07/29/2013 02:26 PM
I thought about this thread as I rode yesterday, my first big climbing day in a while. Never went hard. Used my gears with no shame. (53-42-28 x 12-23.) Did the easy 1000' over the Chelems into Newberg south of Portland and stopped at my favorite coffee shop. Spent far longer than I planned chatting with a couple on a beautiful Co-Motion. Rode up to the planned high point, Bald Peak State Park, inquired the time and realized I'd better head straight home and was not so secretly glad I didn't have to climb Blooming Fern Hill Road!

And for all that not very hard climbing? I felt hammered after. I guess I should give myself a break. I've only been off the trainer barely over a month since I crashed. I just looked at the course profiles for September's Cycle Oregon and it is pretty easy this year. Longest day is 76 miles (with an 80 mile rest day option) and the biggest climbing day is 4300'. Not a big deal (unless the wind shows up!)

This year my motivation is VERY different from last year. This week is when I started my weekly rides of essentially what I did yesterday, but always riding fixed, climbing on a 42-20 then a 19. I don't have the passion to even think about those gears this year!

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:1135

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07/29/2013 02:48 PM
CK - the coolish temps may be a bit of a demotivator but they're actually good for performing. Two weeks ago, I had to delay my usual training ride to mid-afternoon heat. 10 pedal strokes into the climb I was already sweating like a hog in a sauna and surrounded by the usual horseflies. You know it's gonna be a long 12.5k. This week, same deal in the early morning cool, night and day difference.
vtguy

Posts:221

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07/29/2013 03:14 PM
Well done, CK. I was shivering just reading about your swim.
Dale

Posts:434

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07/29/2013 09:48 PM
What is this swimming you speak of?
Cosmic Kid

Posts:972

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07/29/2013 11:37 PM
It is the prelude required to me racing my bike.

Float, Hammer, Jog.

;-)

Side note - finished 20th overall (20 / 266) and 4th in my age group. Missed 3rd by 2 secs and second by 24. The guy who pipped me by 2 secs sprinted past me 100m from the line. Aaaarrrrgggghhh!! I coulda found 24 secs on the bike, too.....
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
eurochien

Posts:35

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07/29/2013 11:48 PM
As we all know there are suffering scales. Since I've joined the tri dark side, I only have one speed and when I join a roadie group (which I do twice weekly) I am finding that punching it to close gaps in cross winds or attacking have become extremely hard for me. I was never a sprinter and don't like to get my ass off the saddle (with the exception of climbing) so when the going gets tough in the pack I'm more willing to let them go rather than killing myself to stay on some distant wheel while completely anaerobic, relying on "experience" (at least that's how I rationalize it) to let someone get around and get on the pack's caboose because I can't dig this deep anymore. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. And when it doesn't I tt the rest of the way and even though I suffer too, I'm more in my "zone", albeit 3 mph slower than the pack.

CK good job. I did the "highest tri in the world" (Rocky Mountain Triathlon in Silverthorne, CO) this past week-end with conditions similar to yours and I had the indignity of suffering some kind of panic attack during the first 200 m of the swim (open water in a cold, dark mountain pond). I recovered but it was weird.
Dale

Posts:434

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07/30/2013 12:17 AM
I'm not skilled enough to be bad at three things, I can only manage singular ineptitude
CERV

Posts:145

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07/30/2013 12:21 AM
Posted By Hoshie S on 07/29/2013 01:19 AM
I think you should stay away from cyclocross.

Enjoy the ride!


No way. I'm looking forward to Cx this year.
Pin0Q0

Posts:228

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07/30/2013 05:56 AM
+1 Dale
Cosmic Kid

Posts:972

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07/30/2013 08:18 AM
Eurochien, i hear ya. I had a brief feeling of panic 2 years ago in another Sprint. Looked around at the guys in my age group as we lined up and thought "I can swim with these guys". Promptly went out too fast and blew up. Completely out of breath and desperate to do some breaststroke to recover. But I was in the middle of the pack and couldn't (at least not without kicking someone in the face). I could feel the panic building, but managed to get through it. Not fun.

Didn't you do Boulder Peak, too? How did that go?

Back on topic - I think this is one of the reasons why tri is growing so much lately. You can still compete, but you are in control of your own efforts. You aren't dependent on being able to hold wheels. You decide on your own personal level of discomfort.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
BuffFan

Posts:25

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07/30/2013 10:07 AM
"the reasons why tri is growing so much lately. You can still compete, but you are in control of your own efforts. You aren't dependent on being able to hold wheels." EXACTLY why I got into tris... if work or life gets crazy and I don't have the time to train as much as id like, you can still "compete"
eurochien

Posts:35

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07/30/2013 02:54 PM
This is a bit of thread hijacking, sorry.
CK, Boulder Peak was fun. 13th of the 45-49, 180/overall. As usual my swim was terrible, went off course to be out of the way so I swam extra! But the bike and run are coming together nicely and I don't spend 10 minutes in transitions anymore (still don't know how people can be out of T2 in 40 seconds but whatever). This last tri though, I couldn't believe this freak out in the water. I've done plenty of wreck diving and never ever once had any bit of anxiety 120 feet under water in some dark wreck, yet for the first 5 minutes of this open water swim portion of the rocky mountain tri I thought I was going to have to drop out to save my life, until I reasoned myself and started breaststroke and only then I could resume putting my head in the water and start swimming freestyle again, at which point I started feeling good and passing people who had swam by me minutes before. I've read up on this a bit now and it's not uncommon at all so I'm not worried this is going to last. I live near Chatfield Reservoir south of Denver and I think I'm going to hit the pond a few times before my next oly (Rattlesnake) and 70.3 (Harvest Moon).
I personally got into tri's because I had been curious for years (always have run and swam a bit for some conditioning/cross training), but as a competing roadie for many years, I never wanted to divert my energy in other sports. As I got older and going around in circles in crits started becoming stale, and as I was not getting any faster, I figured the time was right to switch to a new challenge and pick up triathlon. So far I've been enjoying it tremendously (I'm on my 3rd season).
79pmooney

Posts:1011

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07/30/2013 04:04 PM
"Float, Hammer, Jog" Thanks, C.K. My tri out. I can't. Float? Me? Only on some other planet.

Ben
Cosmic Kid

Posts:972

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07/30/2013 05:00 PM
*continues threadjack*

You are correct....it is pretty common. Sounds like you handled it well, though. Did you get a chance to warm-up in the water before Rocky Mountain? I have found that to be tremendously helpful in not only getting the HR up before time, but just getting myself settled as well. Face in the water, get used to the temps (warm or cold), etc.

I have been doing a swim program called Finding Freestyle the last month or so and it has been a MASSIVE boost in my swim. Like most Adult Onset Swimmers, my kick was horrific (I am actually slower if I kick) and my body position was really bad (legs sinking, etc). Since wetsuit swims are the norm around here, I usually just pull way through the swim and don't kick.

This new program has helped me actually develop a kick that has some propulsion and my body position is significantly improved. I can send you some of the workouts if you are interested.

13th in the 45-49 age group in Boulder? Damn dude.....that's pretty freakin' good!!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
CERV

Posts:145

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07/30/2013 05:33 PM
So, I'm getting the sense you guys are trying to tell me this is the start of my inevitable decline into triathlon?!?
Cosmic Kid

Posts:972

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07/30/2013 05:55 PM
Come to the dark side.....we have cookies.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:1135

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07/30/2013 06:28 PM
They have corn chips and guacamole in the land of riding slow up big hills - way more fun than splashing around in cold water with 100s of other doofuses trying not to drown.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:972

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07/30/2013 08:33 PM
Guacamole is vile.

;-)
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:1135

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07/30/2013 09:34 PM
No, no, gatorade and energy bars are vile. Avocados are good for energy, corn chips good for balancing that sodium in summer and the cerveza that goes with it good for hydration. it all makes sense :-)

(k well off topic now)
eurochien

Posts:35

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07/30/2013 11:20 PM
I had a chance to get in the water before the start... and I did not take it. But I will next time, I've learned my lesson. The challenge with swimming is that it's so technique intensive. It's pretty funny when you compare to cycling with all the gizmos that we buy for our bikes yet the technique (get low and aero, good rpm's) is not that special - particularly for triathlon. Then for swimming you have a 20-dollar investment in a pair of goggles and twice that for a pair of trunks and you just have to work your ass off to shave 30 seconds off a 400m.In a way it's a great equalizer, much as I hate to admit it. Boulder's full of crusty old bastards that are fast. And the women aren't much slower either!
pabiker

Posts:80

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07/30/2013 11:43 PM
cyclocross racing is horrible. watts/kg are very important because of the frequent accelerations from low speed - I'd rather race a ITT.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:972

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07/30/2013 11:48 PM
The great debate in swimming seems to be "technique" or "volume". Some will tell you to just swim lots while others will tell you to do drills so you can refine your technique.

Let year, I followed the volume option and became very dependent on my swim buoy and wetsuit. This year, with the Finding Freestyle program, I am doing a ton of drills and it is really paying off. There is a Guppie Challenge going on right now on Slowtwitch with Dan Empfield working with a bunch of newbie and slow swimmers. The workouts are also very drill centered and available to see for anyone who wants them.

I was thrilled with my swim on Sunday, and that was only after one month on the FF program. Last year, I sent 6 months training my ass off in the pool and was not as "fast" as where I am now.

Have you looked into any Masters programs in Boulder (although I would imagine that is a bit more daunting there than here for guys like us!!!)?

Lemme know if you want some f the FF workouts!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
BuffFan

Posts:25

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07/31/2013 02:40 PM
oh man, the pond, rattlesank tri and harvest moon.... that brings back memories! man I miss CO and racing..... I need to stop lurking and get back on the horse.
BuffFan

Posts:25

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07/31/2013 02:43 PM
PING CK... check your email (work I believe)
eurochien

Posts:35

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07/31/2013 03:33 PM
Hey CK, sure I'd be interested in the swim workouts. I don't like swimming with pool toys though (buoys or planks). All I do is freestyle at various distances and speeds in the pool, for a total of 2,000 meters/yards per session. Any more than that and I go crazy. I'm cheap so even though there are Masters program in my area (I'm in Highlands Ranch, not Boulder), I just do my own thing. Thanks to YouTube videos I've managed to learn to flip turn, breathe bilaterally and I'm constantly working on my position in the water, high elbow, head down, blah-blah. But the bottom line in open water swims is all this stuff doesn't really matter all that much anymore when you can't sight and/or you freak out or you're caught in traffic! Last year at my first ever open water tri (harvest moon) I did the 1.2 mile swim in 28 minutes - very average really - but I thought I had this thing down pat - enough to limit my losses. Now it's back to the drawing board.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:972

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07/31/2013 04:07 PM
Damn dude....1.2 miles in 28 min is pretty good. I wouldn't call that "average" (unless you live in Highlands Ranch, maybe!!)

Sent a friend request. Shoot me back a PM with your e-mail addy and I'll hook you up. NO toys in this program, but lots of drills. Defnitely working out for me.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
eurochien

Posts:35

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07/31/2013 05:23 PM
Oooops. Typo! Not 28 minutes, 38 minutes!! No way in hell can I swim 1.2 miles in less than 35 minutes ever. That must have been wishful thinking.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:972

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07/31/2013 05:46 PM
I did the Racine 70.3 in 36:XX, so we are in the same ball park. You seem to be right around 2:00 / 100m and I was just under that (with wetsuit). But like I said, I did 1:40 / 100m on Sunday so the FF program has definitely paid big dividends for me. I think you'll see similar results. We clearly have the cardio system to swim better than we are (bike times show that), so it has to be technique related.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
archistu

Posts:3

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08/01/2013 03:45 PM
@ CK - If you really want to come to the dark side, you'd race duathlons. None of that ridiculous swimming, and plenty of suffering to satisfy your appetite for pain.
Hoshie

Posts:111

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08/01/2013 04:18 PM
My 11 year old daughter does repititions of 100M on the 1:30 / 1:35s frequently but she's got junior olympic class times for SoCal which are ridiculous for all age groups

no way I could do those. Drills and time, drills and time....

j

Hoshie

Posts:111

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08/01/2013 04:24 PM
PA - yes, cross is rough.

I honestly don't know why I picked it as my return sport for bike racing since I never did it before.

bottom line - I find it fun.






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