It can be argued this is true for everyone doing triathlon. I'm not so sure. However, at this point it is all about the bike FOR ME.
It's about more hours on the bike, more focus on the bike, more dedication to the bike, more reading about the bike, more intervals and hills on the bike, and no more excuses ABOUT the bike! Me and Mrs. Z., TLA.
(Sorry, that rant was more for me than you.)
The problem is, I am a runner. I am a runner playing at triathlon. That needs to change if I ever want to get significantly stronger on the bike.
Don't get me wrong. I am not a gifted runner. I'm just a runner. I think about the run far more than the other two disciplines. I have been running for the last 20+years, and I have only been biking for the last two and a half. I was a swimmer in high school, but I didn't pick it up again until I started triathlon. It's always been about the run for me. Running was, and remains, my first and true athletic love.
I will slack on a swim workout or I will cut a long bike short. I will skip a recovery bike all together, but I will NEVER skimp on a run. In the last month I have digested three books on run training and two on sports nutrition (remember I'm a geeky reader, librarian type in the end) but have I even searched for a book on biking training? umm. no. I feel deprived when not road racing, and I squeeze one in any chance I get, but I've never done a bike race or a bike time trial, and I have currently no desire to do so. When I race, I smile on the bike at the camera because I'm just rolling along, noticing the scenery and saying Go get um'! to bikers who pass me. But I'm all business on the run.
Case in point--the ride at last week's Oly: (Note that there are no bikers in sight. I was so alone on that ride! I might have been smiling just because I was so happy to see a person, even though he was a photographer and not a biker.)
Compare that to my run at last weekend's Oly:
and compare my bike photo to how I look after my run at last week's Oly:
I am at a slight disadvantage on the bike do to the fact that I'm both short and small. This is an advantage, of course, on the run. I have less to carry. However, unless I get stronger and more proficient on the bike, I will never be able to take advantage of my advantage on the run, because I will be too pooped to execute the run the way I know I should and can.
At this point I have two ways of racing triathlon on the bike.
1. I don't work the bike hard enough and I have a solid run. *(example would be last weekened Oly, at which I had a good run).
2. I work the bike very hard and I have a shitty run. (examples would be Lake Placid or Mooseman Half).
What I need to be able to do is to work the bike hard, and STILL have a solid run. And this means, I think, less about my run training, and more about my bike training.
My question is this:
In your opinion, what is the key to solid bike training? What have you done that you think significantly contributes to a strong bike leg?
I have my ideas. And I know Jen is likely killing herself trying to satisfy my desire to run hard and fast while still getting me to work on my bike.
But I want to hear your ideas. I'm also interested in any books you may recommend on biking.