Friday, February 3, 2012

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Last night, as I was about to plunge into my solo strength-training sessions on my bike, I met Marco, my TriFam friend. I asked to join him, and we did one large 30K-plus loop of Selarang Hill. I felt that it was the safer thing to do, than to ride alone on a busy road and to break way from a monotonous circuit I normally ride on.

I combined two strength sessions in one: one on the heaviest gear, and the other a lighter one. I was to test my fitness on two separate time-trial sessions. I perform this test every mid-week, and for simulating hills and headwinds (of which there is plenty where I train at). Coach believes that it will help me develop better riding power, and he has been spot-on in his recommendation.

Marco had a tough midday spinning class in his gym, so his legs were quite thrashed. This tough German, Ironman 70.3 specialist is an elite-level swimmer and he rides very well. I managed to keep up with him until the last few kilometres, where he bolted off with me struggling to keep in tandem on my road-bike. I achieved my goals (an average of 30kph in headwinds), returned safely, with no glaring symptoms of my suspected fractured ribs or strained inter-coastal muscles. Marco and I have raced in Clearwater, Florida in the 2009 edition of Ironman 70.3 World Championships, and I trust his judgement when it comes to riding. Yesterday, he led and I followed. Hopefully soon enough, I will lead him on my route. He will be attending to his torn tendon injury with surgery soon, and he is hoping to retain as much of his fitness during his recovery period.

Have you thought about doing one of the toughest (and hottest) ultra-marathons in the world? You will require a tenacious team of serial supporters who will carry you through the end of 135 miles of shearing heat, persistent pain and agony. The same goes for the notoriously demanding cross-terrain Norseman triathlon, which is a full-Ironman distance. You will need a dedicated and alert support crew on wheels to fuel and motivate you. Craig Slattery and Tee Boon Teong from my club earn exclusive slots for this year's edition. I wish them well and a good shot at the black finisher t-shirt!

We get by with a few of our friends!

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