Sunday, January 16, 2011

Recovery and skillz


My recovery week was well and truly a recovery week- with only 4.5 hours' training, no work, and no travel I wondered what to do with myself! (the answer? housework and too much internetting)

We went out adventuring on Monday (to Raglan and Waingaro Springs), but otherwise stayed home, and mucked around in Cambridge and Hamilton. Phil worked Thursday and Friday, but didn't have as much on as he'd expected, so it was all pretty cruisy.

The legs stayed stiff well into Tuesday, but were loosened up by the steep walk down to the beach at Raglan, and running up the stairs to the hydro-slide at Waingaro. I had a massage on Friday, and have done a bit of trigger point therapy to get rid of residual tightness, mostly in my hips and lower calves. Sadly, I couldn't make the most of my new quad sleeves, due to the damage my saddle bag to my poor fat inner thigh!

I've now definitely got to that point where I'm itching to train again- right where I should be. Yesterday's 2k swim and today's 1:30 ride both felt great- strong and easy. I'm looking forward to getting back into it tomorrow, especially the running.


I also decided to make use of recovery week for some bike skillz work. Not having ridden as a child (well, at least not since I was about 7) has meant I've always been a little behind when it comes to basic bike handling- it took me weeks to learn to stand up on the bike, , I couldn't drink on the bike for ages, and carried a camelbak on my first Half IM, and I sit my butt on my saddle before I clip my feet in, even at stop lights (oh, the SHAME)! Riding the MTB has helped, and I'm a million times for comfortable on the bike than I was in 2006-2008, but I still have a wee way to go.

But now that I have real tri shoes, I need to start working on real tri skillz, so I've set myself a goal of learning proper bike transitions in 2011. After our ride today, we decided to head to the polo grounds (we kept off the proper horsey grass) to give it a go! I took my camera thinking "yay, I'll have something to blog about", but when we got there it was flat. Which is a great pity, as this would have been much more interesting with photos. Maybe once I've got transitions down, I'll do a photo tutorial? But then, is anyone else as much of a gumby as me? I doubt it!

Watching Phil's demonstrations, I quickly realised I'd have to take a few baby steps before going the whole hog. I think weekly skillz sessions will be on the menu for a good few weeks, and I don't think I'll be smoothly transitioning by New Plymouth!

Step 1 was addressing my secret shame, and learning to start my bike off the saddle. Believe it or not, I gammied up my first couple of tries, but Phil was a good teacher, reminding me to push off hard. Once I had the push off down, we practiced gliding one-legged to get used to putting my weight on my anchor leg. The grass made this one a bit trickier, as we couldn't get much speed, and odd bumps made gliding trickier, but I got the hang of it.

Then we worked a little on my standing. Phil's been frustrated with how static my bike is when I'm out of the saddle, but moving it didn't feel natural, so we spent a few minutes riding round to at least get the hang of it on the flat.

Finally, we decided to put my new one-legged gliding skills to the test, and to practice dismounts. I've always had a weak left side, and generally anchor with my left hand while doing anything I need to do with the right. My lefthand indicating used to be completely ridiculous! However, I've practiced using my left hand more on the bike, and thought I was doing much better- at least until it was time to unstrap my left shoe. It took about four tries to rip a little piece of velcro! I managed one awkward but overall successful dismount, but then realised I'd been using my right leg the whole time, and had dismounted on the right. Apparently left would be better, so I went back to gliding practice, this time using the left leg as the anchor...

Even if I can't get a confident mount this season, I think the first stuff we practiced will help me take off quicker, and my goal will be to dismount like a real triathlete by the end of the season! A weekly skillz session will be invaluable- maybe u-turns next time?


Pip said...

Interesting. I always wait till I'm sitting on the saddle to clip in with my other foot as well. I know that's something I need to work on. I also have issues with taking my left hand off the handlebars, though my left hand signals (and hazard signaling when I'm riding in a pack) have gotten better. I don't think I could drink with that hand though. I'm keen to hear more as you progress!

Westy said...

Time well spent Kate in time saving skills!
Glad you enjoyed the week off :-)

Theresa @ActiveEggplant said...

A photo tutorial? Please do! I can clip in/out while I'm out of the saddle, but am just too scared to try to do the running mount/dismount!

Lisa (bakebikeblog) said...

I did a bike skills course when I joined a novice triathlon program last year and it was wonderful indeed!!!

Vaala ◪ said...

I can just see me attempting would be a disaster! I am so unco when it comes to anything to do with the bike. Definitely wouldn't mind a tutorial on the running (or even slow moving) mount and dismount.

rauparaha said...

I sit on the saddle before I clip any feet in. Hmmmm, I didn't realise how dorky I look! So I'm a little confused now: what is the cool way to get on a bike?

Casie said...

My shoes are always attached to the bike in transition and I do an awkward jump to get onto the bike. Riding normally I also remain seated to clip in, I'll take more notice of others around me now!

It's been a while since I've dismounted, but I always found it easier than mounting.

Certainly worthwhile skillz to have!