So training is well under way for the triathlon! Week 1 calls for prepping and planning so that I have all the tools I need to succeed. I have adjusted my nutrition and written myself a basic nutrition plan that I can use as a rough guide. When it comes to triathlon, there is obviously a lot of cardio involved, which requires a higher carb intake than weight training. When I was focussing on powerlifting, I was consuming a high fat/high protein/low carb diet which allowed me to maintain a healthy weight with very little cardio while still building muscle and increasing my strength. Now that I’ll be doing a lot more running and cycling, I’ll need more carbs to fuel my training sessions - definitely can’t complain! I’ve stocked up on couscous, popcorn, beans, fruit, and other clean carbs to keep me going.
The most exciting development in my triathlon journey so far is that I have bought my road bike!
The Boardman Road Sport Womens Bike 2016.
I did a fair bit of research before buying the bike so that I could get the perfect one for me and my specific goals. My budget was anything up to £1,000, so my first port of call was to read reviews on the best road bikes for under £1,000. The top results included the Giant Defy 4 at £420 from Giant Bicycles and the Boardman Road Team Carbon Bike at £1,000 from Halfords.
The Giant Defy 4 seemed great, with top reviews of its comfort, speed, and performance. However, it was only available for collection from a location nearly 2 hours from me so it wasn’t logistically possible to get it! The Boardman Team Carbon also seemed great, appearing in several reviews of the Top 5 Road Bikes Under £1,000. However, all the reviews seemed to be a double-edged sword; with pros and cons coming up equal. At that price, I wanted to be sure I’d love my bike and that there would be no drawbacks. I found the Boardman Road Sport Womens Bike on the Halfords website and it seemed perfect - ergonomically designed for women, built for endurance, and a high spec for a reasonable price.
I’m absolutely itching to get cycling! I’ve never ridden a road bike before; the closest I’ve ever been to riding one is when a friend lent me theirs to try and I couldn’t even get on it because the saddle was far too high and it didn’t have pedals! So learning how to get the most out of my road bike and its gears will be the next mission. The bike is a great investment as I am planning to do the London To Southend and London To Brighton bike rides on it and hopefully further in the future to even cycle Land’s End to John O’ Groats which has always been a dream of mine. I am also planning a cycling holiday in Tuscany next summer so this bike will definitely be getting plenty of use!
Another important task was to write myself a new training plan. The basic plan I’ve written includes 1 mid-distance run each week, 1 swim, 1 bike ride, a spin class here and there, and high-rep weight training at the gym for conditioning and cross-training. As my training progresses, I will increase the distances and intensities and will mix up the cross-training element at the gym. I have given myself a full year to train for this event so for now I am just laying the foundations with my training and getting my body used to the three disciplines of running, swimming, and cycling.
My bike arrives next week so I will let you all know how I get on and any mishaps I inevitably end up having!
Read the next instalment - Couch To Triathlon (3) - How On Earth Do You Ride A Road Bike?