What a difference four weeks can make. My hip and back still aren’t 100%, but they are remarkably better. I’m back to running and swimming without pain. I still have to be careful of my sciatic while lifting weights and my hip is a little stiff in the morning or if I sit for a while, but I’m not complaining. If I’m careful, I think I can continue to heal and still get the workouts in. Given the severity of the pain I was having, I am thrilled with how it is going.
I’ve been heart rate training on the bike for 3 weeks and, just like heart rate training for running, it’s been a learning experience. Even if my fat burning and zones don’t improve, I think riding in zone 2 was a good decision for me. The overall goal of my IM bike training is to be able to bike the entire leg in zone 2 and finish the bike with time to walk a lot of the run leg. Right now, I can’t push enough watts in my zone 2 to do that, so I need to widen my zone 2 and improve my power and efficiency. After just 3 weeks, I’m averaging 30 watts more at the same heart rate. Even though I still have a long way to go, I think I’m getting more efficient and improving my bike fitness. I’ll get my new zones on Thursday and hopefully there will be enough improvement that I can incorporate threshold rides to increase my power. With 33 weeks to go, it feels like the right training at the right time.
Just like much of the country, it was been crazy warm here in Minneapolis. It was 78 degrees here today, hotter than many summer days. The snow is completely gone and the bikers are out on the roads. Mike and I took the bikes outside last Sunday for a fun ride to a local lunch spot, had a bite to eat and rode home. Not a big workout, just getting used to being back on the roads and checking out the power meter off the trainer. While it was great to be outside and I felt really comfortable handling the bike, I will still be on the trainer a lot in the coming months. Riding on the trainer has a lot of advantages. It takes a lot less time to prep for a ride inside. My training plan dictates time, heart rate zone, and cadence. It’s a lot easier to bike the exact workout on the trainer. The trainer also provides constant resistance, so no loafing going down hills or waiting at a light. Okay, I have to admit that other big advantages are the fan that I set up to keep me perfectly cooled and the television to keep me entertained. There will be plenty of time to ride outside so I won’t pretend that I’m not enjoying being inside. Heck, if it gets much warmer, I’m going to be inside to get out of the heat!