Sunday, 14 February 2010

my first draft

i've never drafted before. it's illegal in triathlon, so what's the point?

let's be honest, i haven't even understood what drafting really was. sure i knew it meant you stayed close to the cyclist ahead + saved energy, but that was about the extent of it.

yesterday i was out cycling with the group, and one of the guys suggested i draft off another two boys. we hit a hill, and they were off. just keeping up with them was hard work, but i was managing. i looked down and we were on 20 kph. a few minutes later, and we were on 22 kph. never in the history of my ass on that cycle seat have i gained speed going up a hill. nice.

on the way home, four of us took formation, me at the back. again, it was hard work keeping up with the boys, but once i was there it was a little easier. i looked down at one point and we were comfortably hitting 36 kph. sweet!

so, drafting, how did it feel? to be honest, i was expecting some sort of lovely magical pull dragging me forward with my legs barely moving. but it wasn't like that. i couldn't *feel* anything different, but then when i looked at my speed i was much faster than i usually would be with that level of exertion.

it took quite a bit of effort, being close enough to the person ahead without hitting their wheels. i was guilty of watching their wheel, but according to the folks at that isn't the right way

i'm not used to cycling close to other people, so this is something i think will definitely increase my cycling confidence. and also push my cycling, because keeping up with a faster group takes you outside your comfort zone.

and makes you go faster. and that, i like.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

winter fitness assessment; wowsers

hello jabba

triathletes globally have, in months past, reduced their training and increased their holiday eating. for some, they picked themselves up with the new year, others are still struggling to get on the bike in the arctic conditions.

i'm no exception. training in summer was a five day a week affair, now i'm sitting at two - three day max. my intensity has dropped as well.

in triathlon maths, this should mean my eating has subsided also, but like most other tri-ers in the world of winter training my input hasn't always matched my output and here we have the gaining of two kilos.

two kilos; hardly a gain to loose sleep by. however it did prompt me to wonder how my overall fitness had changed as a result of the reduced training - so i booked myself into a fitness assess at the gym.

i knew the results wouldn't be pretty, but i wanted something to re-focus on when i start training properly again. what's the point in just hearing the good news, right?

here's how i compared from 5 days a week high intensity training, to 2/3 days a week low intensity;

height: 174 cms > 174cms (no change!)
weight: 60 kilos > 62 kilos
body fat: 12.8% > 16%
waist: 25 inches > 25 inches
hips: 37 inches > 37 inches

i'm very surprised that my measurements have remained static while my body fat and weight have increased. most of my winter training has been weights based - but instead of gaining muscle it seems as though i've been turning muscle into fat?!? how can this be?

to be honest, i did starve myself a little before the first assessment, could my lack of water/food skewed the body fat results? or does weight training really do this little?

the results haven't made me want to start training at higher intensity yet; but add another kilo into the mix and i'll be forced to reconsider :)