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2014-08-10 7:42 AM

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Subject: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
I'm in training for IMMD on September 20, and am worried about making the bike cutoff, mainly because of my bad biking skills.

Friday I swam 4,000 m (pool) in about 1:25. Saturday I rode in a century ride in about 7:30. It was hilly, and there was a lot of fraternizing at aid stations, but that's a pretty slow century. Next week I am running in a marathon (I've run in about 35 marathons and ultras) and expect to finish in 3:45-4:00, roughly.

I've been biking 4 times/wk, am using Trainer Road, had a bike fit, and yet not much improvement. At the end of the first 50 mile lap yesterday, which took 3:50 I almost left. I had taken my bike shoes off, had put my bike in my trunk, and was starting the car. I was ready to be done. Somehow I convinced myself to get back our there. That being said, I think I will struggle to make the bike cutoff in an IM race.

If there is any wisdom you all can share, I am all ears and would greatly appreciate it.


2014-08-10 7:53 AM
in reply to: #5037664

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
Based on what you are telling me , you are worrying too much. You are ready and bike cutoff won't be a concern for you based on fitness.

You did a century in 750 with talking , slow down etc on a hilly course. IMMD is essentially pancake flat unless IM made drastic changes to the chesapeakeman course.

Based on your swim you should be on bike around 830 +/- that gives you 9 hours to make 530 bike cutoff assuming you will easily make 1st loop cutofff.

You are good to go.

My only concern is that though you are an experienced runner why are you doing a marathon 1 month for the race? Though many will do a 20 mile run is 26 really worth the recovery toll on your body? Just food for thought, obviously I do not know you or your training schedule nor goals.

Have a great race
2014-08-10 8:02 AM
in reply to: niceguy542006

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
Out of curiosity, when using TrainerRoad, what is your FTP, how did you set it (what test) and what kind of trainer are you using ?
2014-08-10 8:24 AM
in reply to: #5037665

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
Biking is my weakness, too, but I honestly think you will make it. It sounds like you are a well-rounded athlete and putting in all the training! I am impressed with your swim and run times. Keep plugging away and I would venture to guess your finish time will be better than you think! Best of luck to you.
2014-08-10 8:26 AM
in reply to: #5037671

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
BTW, i was thinking the same thing about the marathon. I would worry about injury or lack of recovery time as well.
2014-08-10 8:30 AM
in reply to: #5037665

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
Thanks for your responses. Yes, I was thinking yesterday whether or not I could legitimately pull off the 112 miles in 9 hours, immediately after a 2.4 mile swim. I was thinking that it will be very close, and I will have to be efficient in all aspects, including transition, eating and drinking. There would be little room for mistakes.

Yes IMMD is flat, it's windy though. I am about 140 lbs on a good day so I'll use up a lot of energy to push through. I figured maybe the hills were a decent proxy for the wind.

Regarding Trainer Road, I use a a Travel Trac Fluid Plus. My FTP is 135. The trainer's tension is set to level 2 out of 5, if that helps at all. And yesterday, the gear I spent the most time in allowed for a cadence in the mid to high 80s, at a speed of about 14. I was trying to stay at that cadence and speed to preserve my energy at a steady level for the whole ride. But, a series of hills threw a wrench into that plan!


2014-08-10 8:33 AM
in reply to: niceguy542006

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike

Was the 7:30 clock time or ride time for 100?

Worrying about making the bike cut off won't help you in any way. Focus on what you are doing right now or will be doing in the near future. Do the best when you do your workouts.

You have 10.5 hours from swim start to bike cut off. If you can swim in 1.5 hours you have 9 hours for bike and T1. You did a 100 in 7.5 hours, math seems to work out you should make it.

I have done 4 IMs and am slow despite training consistently and working with a coach. I made bike cut off with 7 minutes to spare once due to getting sick on the bike but the others all within the last hour. I do understand the concern of not making the cut off.

I do think you would be better served if IM is a priority to ditch the upcoming Marathon and do more cycling. Even though you have done lots of Marys, I don't know any Ironman athletes or coaches that would suggest running a Marathon within last 6 weeks to an athletes first IM or any IM. Add in you worry about making bike cut off, seriously a very bad idea to do the Marathon next weekend. Instead ride more.

 

2014-08-10 8:33 AM
in reply to: #5037674

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
And regarding the marathon, I do these all the time, recovery is not too bad for me, I feel very lucky for that. This one is on a 1 mile loop course so I can pull over and end it any time. I'll definitely be taking it easy. It would be my seventh this year.
2014-08-10 8:39 AM
in reply to: #5037676

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
The 730 was riding time and some aid stations. I would say total time on the course, aid stations, talking, buying a Coke at the local country store, and everything else may have been 7:50.

And I am hearing you on the marathon. Maybe I will ditch it for a long ride. I do marathons because I like them. I bike because I have to. I am really trying to transfer my love of running over to the bike. Adding some trackable metrics via Trainer Road has helped a lot. I just wish I would see more improvement.

Anyway, back at it again today! And thank you for your responses.

2014-08-10 8:40 AM
in reply to: niceguy542006

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
what is your race setup like ? road bike, aerobars... aero helment, wheels....?

2014-08-10 9:18 AM
in reply to: #5037677

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
Also, major kudos to those of you getting it done on out there the bike. And in IMs. Seeing people out there casually biking 18 mph is amazing to me because that seems so hard! I am super excited to average 15 over long distances.

My bike setup is admittedly not optimal. I am using a 2 year old cross bike with road tires (25s), regular helmet, and fairly standard Alex rims. It's the only bike I have used in those two years. I rode it in several races, and a few centuries.

I realize I am at an equipment disadvantage on the bike. That is certainly part of the issue, both in performance and confidence. But until I get the funds for something better, I will just have to make up for it with hard training.



2014-08-10 9:26 AM
in reply to: niceguy542006

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
Originally posted by niceguy542006

The 730 was riding time and some aid stations. I would say total time on the course, aid stations, talking, buying a Coke at the local country store, and everything else may have been 7:50.

And I am hearing you on the marathon. Maybe I will ditch it for a long ride. I do marathons because I like them. I bike because I have to. I am really trying to transfer my love of running over to the bike. Adding some trackable metrics via Trainer Road has helped a lot. I just wish I would see more improvement.

Anyway, back at it again today! And thank you for your responses.




You sound exactly like me. When i started this IMFL journey 8 months ago (or so) I hated my bike! I was terrified of not making the cut-off and I had trouble carrying a 20 mph pace for an Olympic triathlon. I made myself bike all winter indoors just to build up the mental toughness. Now, I do a 3-4:30 ride every week (will be increasing very soon due to peak training) and I actually ENJOY it. And, I do it completely alone. I try to push and stay between 17-19 mph for my average even when I am miserable. There have been times I've wanted to quit. I try to ride with a fast group one day per week for an hour at the very least just to keep that feeling of speed familiar. I struggle! As I've added more on the bike and swim my run has certainly suffered. I am SLOW! I hate it and now for the first time in 20 years, I DREAD running. My legs are slowly getting stronger again and yesterday I ran 14 miles and averaged UNDER 9 minute miles (this is a first in many months). I was BEAMING. Suddenly, I love my bike rides because they don't hurt nearly as bad as my long run days. It's just a completely different type of training. I had no idea. I just kept saying, "Well, I am strong runners so I will be just fine." Well, I will be just fine, but I had to become stronger in a couple other sports first. And, you are not as weak as you think!

2014-08-10 9:31 AM
in reply to: midwesttrimom

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
And, I really think you need a different bike. I know it's a $$ issue but you could sell the one you have a few other items you aren't using (maybe) and buy a decent road bike for around $1000 I think. Also, used bikes are around and you can get some GREAT deals. They hold their value. My first bike was a mountain bike with hybrid tires. Then, I bought an old used $250 bike and sold it for $400 after I fixed it up. Bought a $750 bike and sold it for $800 after I had it race ready. Then, finally bought the tri bike I have now (we won't talk about that cost) but upgraded to a HED wheelset about a year ago. The bike does make a difference and for an IM distance race I would think you would want to be really comfy and confident. Just my two cents. I know it's tough but you are probably right about the pace with the bike you are riding. I could be 100% wrong, too, but just my opinion.
2014-08-10 7:28 PM
in reply to: #5037682

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
Thank you, all of this really helps. It's nice to hear that others have overcome some obstacles on the bike as well, and through hard work become really good on the bike. And it's really inspiring to hear how you all really stick with it to get better. Thanks for the replies. I guess we will see how the next few weeks go, and then this winter could involve a better bike and a lot of time on the trainer.

At least this addiction is a healthy one!

2014-08-10 8:20 PM
in reply to: niceguy542006

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike

Originally posted by niceguy542006 The 730 was riding time and some aid stations. I would say total time on the course, aid stations, talking, buying a Coke at the local country store, and everything else may have been 7:50. And I am hearing you on the marathon. Maybe I will ditch it for a long ride. I do marathons because I like them. I bike because I have to. I am really trying to transfer my love of running over to the bike. Adding some trackable metrics via Trainer Road has helped a lot. I just wish I would see more improvement. Anyway, back at it again today! And thank you for your responses.

You were riding and stopping and had hills. MD is is flat, aid stations w/o stops, and your time will be faster than what you did in your century. If your IM bike is 7.5 hours plus your 1.5 hour swim you will make the cut off by more than an hour.

Save your Mary for September on  race day.

Your cycling will improve as you ride more. On your other rides not long rides, are you doing intervals and working hard?

I hope your love of riding comes as it is glorious way to see the world being one with your bike.

 

 

2014-08-11 10:45 AM
in reply to: KathyG

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
Thank you. Usually I will spin lightly for an hour the day after a long ride (3.5+ hours). Then the other two rides I do each week are a 1-1.5 hour session of 12 minute intervals via Trainer Road (working at 90% FTP) then a 1.5-2 hour ride that consists of 20 minute intervals (I think at about 80-85% FTP but I will check). If I had more time to train I'd feel better but this is the hand I dealt myself so I'm going to keep working.

Also, I've recently been offered the chance to trade my current triathlon bike (which is a four year old cyclocross bike) for a used 2007 CAAD9 +3. I know it's six weeks to race day but I'm strongly considering it.

And yes, I definitely hope I can turn this biking angst into biking love!






2014-08-13 1:52 AM
in reply to: niceguy542006

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
I'm confused about selling the cross bike for a tri bike. If you do that, what will you do for cross season????

On a serious note, I have friends that promote & race 100 mile gravel off road races on cross bikes. No reason you cant do a tri on a cross bike with road tires. Would you be faster on a tri bike and/or more comfortable? Probably. But anyone who does 7 marathons in a year is enough of a badass to pull it off.

Final comment...6 marathons already in 2014? Maybe that's why you're not making progress on the bike? i know your'e following a plan on trainer road but running recoveyr impacts biking efforts.

Anyway, I agree with the comments not to do the marathon (or do a shorter distance) and to focus on what you do well. Great advice by Kathy.
2014-08-13 8:44 AM
in reply to: AdventureBear

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
Originally posted by AdventureBear

I'm confused about selling the cross bike for a tri bike. If you do that, what will you do for cross season????

On a serious note, I have friends that promote & race 100 mile gravel off road races on cross bikes. No reason you cant do a tri on a cross bike with road tires. Would you be faster on a tri bike and/or more comfortable? Probably. But anyone who does 7 marathons in a year is enough of a badass to pull it off.

Final comment...6 marathons already in 2014? Maybe that's why you're not making progress on the bike? i know your'e following a plan on trainer road but running recoveyr impacts biking efforts.

Anyway, I agree with the comments not to do the marathon (or do a shorter distance) and to focus on what you do well. Great advice by Kathy.


The comment about the marathons made me laugh. You are a bad . That is too funny! You will probably plow your way through that IM on the mountain bike and run like a maniac!
2014-08-13 11:05 AM
in reply to: niceguy542006

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
I would not worry about switching bikes. While a cyclo-cross bike will not be the fastest bike, if you are well positioned and comfortable on it, you are likely not giving up very much and would possibly be faster on your bike than swapping at the last minute. Very likely you would spend much of the ride on the pursuit bars as the aeroposition takes a while to get used to.

I would make sure you are comfortable in your drops and on the hoods and consider adding shorty aerobars as an alternate position. Then you have three solid positions you can move between through the ride.

Beyond that, what tires and tubes are you running? If you don't have good tires and latex tubes, I would also get those to save some time.

Shane
2014-08-13 1:42 PM
in reply to: gsmacleod

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
Thank you Midwest, Adventure Bear, and Kathy, you all are awesome. I really do appreciate the advice. I did decide to ditch the marathon on Saturday and instead am going to head out for a longer ride in the 70-80 mile range, maybe with a 5-6 mile run after. That's about 5 hours on the bike and one hour running, so a nice long day of exercise. On Sunday I'll get my long running fix. I'm a recovering marathon addict, there are times when I'll do one every month (not fast, but just comfortably) if it's within driving distance.

And Shane, I will heed your advice and stay with my bike. I've been training in it for two months and had a bike fitting as well, so it's definitely what I'm used to at this point. I believe my tires are regular Vittorias (size 25s) and my tubes are regular rubber and not latex, so I'll look for an upgrade and practice with them. I will need every advantage I can get.


2014-08-13 1:59 PM
in reply to: gsmacleod

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
I actually don't have Vittoria tires, I don't know where I came up with that. I have Forte Pro + tires, they are 700x25 and are what I use for riding on the road. I've been using a Vittoria training tire for the trainer.


2014-08-17 7:02 PM
in reply to: #5037824

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
I took everyone's advice and rode 75 miles this weekend instead of doing the marathon I had planned. I averaged about 16.5 mph while riding, but had a few restroom breaks, and another one at mile 50 to eat a bag of potato chips. Overall I averaged 14 mph. Total time was 530. Then I ran 6 miles after in about an hour. All in a fairly hot and sunny environment.

I just wanted to say thanks. I learned a lot during the ride, and used the first 56 miles to dial in nutrition for the first loop of the IM. It looks like 2 Power Bars, one Ensure, one banana, two bottles of water, and two bottles of Clip did the trick. Now I need to repeat this and maybe add a few items for the second 56 miles.

This weekend I am away and can't ride, so I am doing a long 4-5 hour trainer before we leave. I wish it could be outside! Thank you all for talking me into the ride, it was nice seeing a few miles at 17 mph, much more satisfying than another marathon!

2014-08-18 8:23 AM
in reply to: niceguy542006

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike

Nice job getting out there and riding long. In a race you have aid station you will get to refill and pick up nutrition on the fly that will save you lots of time. You averaged 16.5 while moving which is really what counts. Race day keep stops to bare minimum and you will not see that gap between 14 and 16.5 like you do while training.  I only stop on IM bike at SN if I need it.  The rest I can handle while still moving forward.

Well done and this training will serve you better for IMMD.

2014-08-18 8:44 AM
in reply to: niceguy542006

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike
Originally posted by niceguy542006

I took everyone's advice and rode 75 miles this weekend instead of doing the marathon I had planned. I averaged about 16.5 mph while riding, but had a few restroom breaks, and another one at mile 50 to eat a bag of potato chips. Overall I averaged 14 mph. Total time was 530. Then I ran 6 miles after in about an hour. All in a fairly hot and sunny environment.

I just wanted to say thanks. I learned a lot during the ride, and used the first 56 miles to dial in nutrition for the first loop of the IM. It looks like 2 Power Bars, one Ensure, one banana, two bottles of water, and two bottles of Clip did the trick. Now I need to repeat this and maybe add a few items for the second 56 miles.

This weekend I am away and can't ride, so I am doing a long 4-5 hour trainer before we leave. I wish it could be outside! Thank you all for talking me into the ride, it was nice seeing a few miles at 17 mph, much more satisfying than another marathon!




Where are you riding? There is a big difference between riding flats and riding hills.

I ride out of West Chester all the time and rides average around 17mph. At Eagleman (same coarse as IMMD) I average around 22mph, so if your riding the roads outside of Philly that 16.5 mph speed is pretty good.

Make sure you learn to eat and drink on the bike, stopping for anything cuts into your time fast.
2014-08-18 9:28 AM
in reply to: mike761

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Subject: RE: The IM Distance Continue to Sag on Bike

Please don't push through the wind on race day.  It is a hill in disguise that can go on for miles.  Be patient, focus on steady effort and figure out how to take in your nutrition without slowing or dismounting the bike.

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