Race To Make Training Easy

So I was slow during the ride in last Sunday's duathlon. That is far from the end of the world. If anything it has probably done me more good than harm. Firstly I now have a measured baseline or starting point to objectively my cycling. You have to start somewhere. I guess I had just been hoping the starting point wasn't as far back as it is.

I had a good swim on Monday, some VO2 intervals that ended up being 150m instead of 200m like I had originally planned. The higher than expected build up of lactic acid meant I really didn't have much chance of sustaining any semblance of a good technique past 150m. I still got the benefit of the session, without practising poor form.

Tuesday was meant to be my long run. After waiting around for most the morning, the guy eventually came and fixed the heater. Then I headed out onto my run. Ouch! As I ran my, the joint behind my right big toe became very painful, and just got worse during the run. I did notice it seemed a bit stiff and sore after the duathlon and also the half marathon last week, but that soon disappeared. So I packed it in and had Spit, the Pod extraordinaire have a look.

Basically the joint had jammed. I have very limited dorsi-flexion around my big toe. It needs to be about 65 degrees for walking, more for running, I'm sitting on about 40 degrees. Not good. As a midfoot loader, who also currently has very tight calves, my foot isn't doing a very good job of absorbing impact. So the load is going through the wrong joints, which is probably causing some deterioration and the connective tissues (tendons and ligaments) are struggling under this load. What's the answer? Basically stretch, massage and joint manipulation. Free up the movement in the joints and increase my range of flexibility. Essentially that should fix it.

Now onto the title of my post. Yesterday I got out the trusty turbo-trainer and cranked out a threshold ride of 2x20min with 5min of recovery. It was easy. I think now having included a race on the bike, I have retrained my brain and the neuromuscular recruitment patterns. The intensity was up, the gearing was good, the cadence in the correct range, and a good heart rate. It felt relatively easy. Only a couple of weeks ago I struggled through only one 20min repeat in a lower gear. Now I'm doing twice the time in a harder gear and it feels great.

"Better to do a little well, than a great deal badly." - Socrates


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