I haven't been able to spend much time on a bike so far this Spring. Several running events are impacting the time I have to train for Bike MS this year, starting with the Race to Robie Creek this weekend. But I have a plan to help mitigate that...
First up is the Race to Robie Creek this weekend (April 20th), and if you live in Boise you know all about this race. Robie bills itself as the "Toughest Race in the Northwest." I don't know about that, but I know it's a bugger. Robie is a half-marathon up and over Adalpe Summit. 2000 ft of climbing on the front, vicious descent on the back. But it's a lot of fun, and it's a good Spring goal to focus on. And there's a heck of a party afterwards.
I'd normally start cycling full time right after Robie - road cycling with a bit of mountain biking thrown in. But, I signed up for a 50K (31 mile) solo run, the Weiser River Trail Ultra on April 27th. My reasoning was: I have a couple of friends running it solo, and I know the course is relatively easy, having ridden it on my mountain bike and having run it as part of a relay team last year. Also, I am in fairly good running shape right now, and in good health with no nagging injuries - so if I may as well strike while the iron's hot.
I also signed up for the Famous Potato Marathon on May 18th with my friend and Robie partner-in-crime, Brad Sweeney. I cannot explain why I'm doing this one :) I think Brad convinced me one night after I'd had a couple of beers too many.
After the marathon, I'll only have five weeks to get ready for Bike MS - and that's just not very much time to get my butt accustomed to 175 miles of saddle time in one weekend.
My plan to mitigate that is to work in some bike riding between the Weiser River run and the Famous Potato marathon. I'm not running either of those races competitively, I just want to finish them and have as much fun as I can doing it. So, I figure that 50 to 75 miles of riding per week between those two races should be feasible.
I get asked why I'm concerned about the cycling - won't I be in good shape from all the running? That's a fair question. I'll be in pretty good cardio shape - but cycling works some different muscles than running. And, there is an impact on your body from riding a road bike long-distance - it hits your core, shoulders, neck, wrists, hands, etc. Getting accustomed to that impact requires a lot of time in the bike saddle, and I will not have as much of that this year. Another way I hope to mitigate this is to start hitting the weight room after the Weiser River race. Some low-weight, high-rep lifting should help get the shoulders, core, and back in better shape.
I think losing 10 to 15 pounds will help with the long distance biking as well, so that will be a goal of mine for May and early June.
It should be a very busy couple of months, but hopefully I'll feel great and be fully ramped up on the road cycling by June 29th!