August 29, 2007

1 cm can make a huge difference

No this post has nothing to do with what you may be thinking, but rather with a good bike fit. I told you few days ago that I scheduled a bike fit at the Cadence bike store in Philly. I did not want to brag about the bike fit before I had completed at least one long ride. And long ride it was - this past Saturday I had the longest bike ride of my training - 4 hours of riding (more on that later). After the ride I can say that the bike fit really helped. But let's take it step by step.

Bike fit

The bike fit was an interesting experience. The whole session took little over 2 hours. We started with short discussion and filled out a form about my riding skiils, performance, goals and problems I perceive with my fit. Then Brady (my fitter) took some basic measurement that are needed for the fit including analysis of my feet, flexibility in different positions and only after about 30-40 minutes of doing this I was allowed on the bike. Brady told me that I look crammed in the bike and that my knees are little on the outside. Then we started to tinkle with the seat position - raised the seat by 1 cm and moved it about 0.5 cm to the back. I was riding it for a while and it seemed ok. Then Brady took a look at my cleat position and re-measured where they should be. We replaced the cleats and put them to where Brady felt they should be - I was riding with cleats too much in the front of my foot - that explains the pain I had after the long rides from pushing the pedals practically on my toes. Now the cleats are much further in the back and I'm pushing the pedals with less effort and there is no pain in my toes even after very long rides.

Long ride

Saturday morning was very humid - actually the visibility was about 15 meters in a foggy mist, just great conditions for bike riding. I took off at 6:30 and started riding shortly before 7am. The fog was condensating on my classes. I had to wipe water off of the glasses every 10 - 15 minutes just to be able to see. On the other hand it was really nice day and I was very happy that there was no cross-wind. I also had my new aero helmet which is really cool. I definitely had a great ride and averaged 22.5 mph (while on the bike) and 19.5 with all the pit-stops and refueling stops. I did 4 loops around the lake which comes to little over 82 miles. On the 4th loop my friend Steve joined me and kept my pace in check so I was able to finish the ride feeling quite well. The three laps I averaged 55-58 minutes per look which gives me a hope that I could do the bike leg of the race in little under 3 hours. I definitely trust my biking skills and with the new fit and helmet I'm ready to ride 56.7 miles and feel good.

Sunday run

I started Sunday training early with 50 minutes swim and transitioned immediately into the long run of 2 hours. I ate nature bar before the swim so I was not feeling hungry during the swim or shortly after. Before I headed out of the house for the run I filled-up the fuel belt with water and took 3 GU gels with me. I also took one gel just before heading out and washed it down with water. The run was fine, but I was unable to go very fast - I actually had troubles keeping the 8:00 min/mile pace on the flat stretches and the hills were as slow as 11:00 min/mile. I felt tired especially after mile 8 and eventhough I hydrated. It got even worse after mile 9 when I ran out of water and gels. So I basically shuffled back home and finished the day with 12.5 miles eventhough I had hoped for 14 miles. Well I'll take it - the day was very humid and hot - it was 83 F (28 C) at 8 am and it got worse as my run progressed. Actually the weather on Saturday and Sunday was quite bad for training - the temperature climbed to 95 F (35 C) and humidity was very high - normal August weather in Philly, but not good for running. And I guess the 82 miles ride on Saturday did not help my run either. But it is a great practice for the race - I'll not be fresh when it gets to the run - in fact I'll be like 4 hours into the event with my glycgen stores running low and lactate build up getting up there. So yeah it will be fun and quite a challenge.


Steve S. said...

Nice bike ride!! I'm jealous!!!

kxux said...

Yeah I thought so until I double checked my watch and found that my tire setting was little off. So the numbers are not as impressive - about 10% lower for the whole ride. But my last lap was quite slow as I was riding with my friend and did not push it as much. We will see how I will do during the race on Saturday. Can't wait to get lined up in the water and hear the siren to start. This taper is killing me.

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