Monday, July 06, 2009


I had this idea that, having hiked 8-10 hours a day for 3 months over steep hills, 5,000-ft mountains, rocks and boulders, carrying a 30-pound backpack, it would be a cinch to switch to a couple hours a day of triathlon training carrying *no* pack.

It's not.

My arms and shoulders, accustomed to "poling" with my hiking poles, as well as push-ups, aren't used to swimming.

My legs, hardened to hauling me and my pack up and down hills, aren't used to pedalling.

My back, strengthened to the weight of my backpack, isn't used to riding position on a road bike.

My rib cage muscles, used to heavy breathing over long, slow effort, aren't used to the aerobic intensity of biking up hills.

My feet, accustomed to 15-20 miles a day walking on dirt and rocks in thick-soled leather-and-Goretex hiking boots, aren't used to running on pavement in flexible lightweight fabric running shoes.

I was worried about my Achilles tendons. I wasn't prepared for metatarsal soreness just from flexing my feet more on the road than on the trail. Plus I'm still concerned about my tendons.

My butt, smaller with less cushioning than before, isn't used to the saddle. My sitbones hurt.

Nevertheless, here's the training story:

Last week
Came home from Trail on Monday. Rested Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thursday: 35-minute swim, in wetsuit in lake. Later, one loop of SavageMan run course (6+ miles) walking, 30-second run every 10 minutes for total of 80 minutes with grand total of a whopping 4 minutes of running.

Friday: 16-mile bike, on SavageMan course, average 14.7mph. Saw a black bear, a turkey, and a deer -- more wildlilfe than on any single day on the AT.

Saturday: Rested.

This week
Sunday: Brick consisting of 18-mile bike, including a 2-mile-long uphill and a bunch of shorter ones, 15.7mph avg., then a one-minute walk followed by 5-minute run. No complaints from tendons.

Monday (today): Although my rib muscles were sore from yesterday, 40-minute swim with swim-to-bike transition and easy-spin 11.5 mile bike. Then got ambitious and did 9-minute run.

Tomorrow: I better be careful. Going pretty hard here. And right now, it's 9:30pm and I'm going to bed. Good night!


bunnygirl said...

FWIW, I've Kinesio-taped my feet with good success. Do a U-shaped "anchor" on the outside of the foot, running from the ball of the foot, around the heel and to the outside of your foot, stopping around the base of your 5th metatarsal. Then do a couple of short support tapes on the underside of the foot, then a couple over the top. Don't wrap one piece all the way around--it's too hard to get the fit right.

I have a feeling you'll get back into tri shape quickly. It'll only feel slow. :)

ShirleyPerly said...

Interesting comparisons between backpacking and tri training. But in a few weeks I'll bet your body will adjust to the new routine. Welcome back!

Steve said...

I had to laugh about your skinny butt not fitting the bike.
It is a big change and with your determination, it will come.