This morning was a swim, ride, run, but by far the ride was the lion’s share of the workout. The ride was 4 hours long, and a doozey. But I’m glad that I got it done.
I was very happy with the swim – my fastest ever time for 2100 yards (a Half Ironman swim is 2112 yards, but you run into the water, and out, so I’m calling it good). I then went straight home from the pool and jumped on the bike, on the trainer.
A four hour trainer ride is (some say) effectively the same, as far as training benefit goes, as a six hour or so ride on the roads, because on the trainer, you never stop pedaling – there’s no coasting. So it can be tough, and uncomfortable.
But I’m always working on my mental toughness, so for today’s ride, I set up my music – Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby, by Counting Crows, on repeat. I use music to keep my cadence consistent; I use the Maple music player on my Android, and that allows me to change the tempo on the fly. So I started Mrs. Potter, and slowed it down just enough to keep my cadence right close to 90 RPM.
The music keeps the cadence consistent – listening to the *same song*, eliminating variety, helps one to work on mental toughness. (A lot of folks listen to music for distraction, which does NOT help with mental toughness). I did this last year as well, a six hour version of the same workout (that was before a full Ironman; right now, I’m training for the half next month in Coeur D’Alene).
I’m a wimp, I’m wishy-washy, and I have no determination or character, so I have to work on mental toughness.
Now, I did STOP two times during the workout; while I learned how to pee on the bike during last year’s IMCdA Half Ironman, Ethel takes a dim view of me doing that in the training room, so I use a pee bottle; I stay on the bike and clipped in, but I do have to stop pedaling (I don’t know anyone who can pee on the bike while pedaling). One more way to build mental toughness – stay on the bike. And, as part of the “mental toughness” regimen, I set the pee times at the start of the ride – 1:20 and 2:40, or 1/3 and 2/3 of the, respectively. I don’t get to go when I want to – I have to go when it’s scheduled.
Now, while listening to the same song for four hours, there’s a lack of distraction, but I don’t get tired of things I like easily, and I’ve loved this song for many, many years. Mrs Potter lasts 7 minutes, 46 seconds, but with the tempo slowed down to a 90 RPM cadence, it last 8:10. So that’s 29 & 1/4 Mrs Potters for a four hour ride – however, eight minutes from the end of the ride, I restarted the song, so that I could sing along all the way to the end – out loud, vigorously, and joyfully.
I hope the neighbors didn’t mind.
After the ride, I had a twenty minute run – just a way of telling the body that when the ride is over, the workout is still going. (My long run is actually tomorrow).
I’m not sure whether I’m any more mentally tough right now. We’ll find out in Coeur D’Alene in five weeks.