Hard as it was, I held back the effort and kept the heart rate lower for the bike portion of my early morning brick workout. On the hills I normally attack at Griffith Park, my heart rate can accelerate to the upper 150s, even low 160s if I'm pushing hard. Then, I'll wonder why my trail runs are at a 9:00 pace at best. Today was different.
I never exceeded 152 bpm at the toughest point of my climbs, typically staying within the 130s and low-mid 140s. I'll have to review the data from my ride when I eventually get home, but I don't think I was dramatically slower than if I had pushed harder. Fortunately, Fortius teammate and buddy David was riding up the Griffith Park Observatory road as I was cruising towards it, so we shared part of our ride. This further kept my heart-rate down and my effort level in check.
When it was time to part ways and head back to the car for my run workout, I felt fresh and energized. I was eager to see if the "stored" energy as in fact ready for use on the run.
It was! Granted, I only had time to run for 30 minutes instead of the full 60 thanks to my amended cycling route and pacing. But, I averaged just over an 8:00 pace while keeping my heart-rate in the low zone 3 area or even zone 2. This is huge news for me, and hopefully proof that saving myself for the run more effectively may just be the ticket to a better Ironman result.
I don't like the idea of sacrificing speed and power on the bike for the greater good. Cycling is my favorite sport, as we all know by now. BUT, if this is the best way to come close to breaking 12 hours in Coeur d'Alene I'm all for it.
I'll continue to put this theory to the test in the coming weeks and report the results.
The idea of slowing down to ultimately go faster fascinates me. Perhaps this should apply to other areas of my life too?
46 days and counting.
PS: Fingers update: May be going to doctor's tomorrow after lifeguards at the pool and a teammate doctor indicated last night that there is an infection risk for the cuts I sustained. I called the doctor's office today but they're closed on Wednesdays -- apparently the "urgent" message I left wasn't deemed important enough. More to come.