Yesterday I had the first of my ‘long’ rides; my plan has me alternating long runs and long rides over the next 6 weeks as well as two rides during the week. The rational on alternating is that running focuses your efforts on you hamstrings (and calves) ignoring your quads, cycling addresses the imbalance this creates by using your quads (and calves) and ignores your hamstrings, this is particularly important to me as I am prone to ITB issues, (see below), and from experience cross training like this has helped me avoid any serious overuse injuries like I had in 2007.
That being said it has been 3 months since I have had any serious saddle time and the plan called for 50 miles. The route I choose is a pretty standard loop through to the coast and back again, I hesitate to say that the roads are mountain passes but I did end up with 5750’ of climbing so they are clearly bigger than hills but in my mind they are smaller that mountains, so maybe just calling them big hills will do. It's been raining here for the last three days and it was going to be a bit chilly, at least by SoCal standards, and there was a lot of low cloud in the canyons and I was grateful for full fingered gloves and shoe covers.
The second canyon has the much more steeper and longer climb and I was reasonably pleased with the way I was riding especially when I managed to throw off someone who I had been on my back wheel for the last two or three miles before the top. My legs started to feel it around mile 45 and I really suffered on the final 100' of climbing back to my front door. Once again reinforcing how quickly you can loose any advantage that you spent weeks or months building up. I also find that it takes me a few good rides before I stop being "twitchy" on the descents and can get on the drops, off the brakes and really push through the corners.
On the ITB front diligent stretching and foam rollering twice a day is keeping the problems at bay so far following it’s unexpected appearance last weekend and I managed Wednesday’s 6 and Friday’s 9 milers without any issues, although I am wearing my strap.
And so Friday's run concluded last week’s training and Sunday's ride started this week’s; pretty uneventful but I’ll take that over drama any day of the week.
MotionBased Data is here and a few photos here.