Preview of the 56 mile bike leg

Posted: May 21, 2012 in cycling, Syracuse Ironman 70.3, Training, Triathlons
Tags: , , ,

This past Saturday I chose to do the upper half of the race course as part of my 3 hour training ride.Since I am not an elite cyclist, or a serious contender for an age group win, I can say “part” or “portion” of the course. Those in the mentioned categories can certainly complete the 56 mile leg under 3 hours. Where I live in the eastern portion of Cortland County gives me plenty of options to include a hill workout, whenever I desire to, and times when I don’t. Not at all hard to do hill workouts that would benefit training for the big race.

http://ironmansyracuse.com/course/bike/

http://ironmansyracuse.com/files/2010/09/Syracuse_BikeElevation_2012.pdf

I had done the lower section of the bike leg back earlier this spring for one of my 2-2/1/2 hour rides. In both cases I started my ride in Truxton, which anchors the south west corner on the route. Conveinant for me, as it is just a few miles from our home. During that ride, I picked up the 15 mile to 43 mile mark of the course by bridging over on route 90 and picking it back up in Fabius. I got a good taste for the dip around mile 19, and the climb up to mile 30 on West Lake Road. Once back on route 13, you get a nice reprieve. Most of the back end of the course is void of any big climbs, a few small rises.

On the upper section I hit the dreaded climb out of Jamesville to Sweet Road leg burner. Coming from Truxton, I had 20 miles on my legs before I tackled that. At least I was warmed up for it. It did get up in the high 70’s that day, and was a nice day to do it. Once I crossed route 20, I left the course, and headed south, back to route 91 and ended back in Truxton.

Living near the course is priceless, as I could learn where I can push or hold back as needed. One of the protocols that is emphasized heavily with Team Endurance Nation, is not to blow up on the bike leg, and ruin your run. Once you are forced to walk on the run leg, you lose so much more time than you could ever gain on blitzing the bike. Their saying for this- ” No such thing as a great bike, followed by a poor run”

My goal in previewing the course aside from getting a mental picture of turns, and visual clues, was to learn what gears I needed to keep my heart rate from spiking, and where not to red line. More time to gain by methodically working up the hills spinning rather than trying to crush them. By not crushing the hills, I can come over the top, and pick up the cadence on the following descents. crushing the down hills so much easier on the legs 🙂  On Sweet Road however, I found my heart rate jumping into zone 5, even though I was using small gear ratio’s. I did learn where the hill had a few breaks in grade, and where I could spin more, and recover my heart rate. It’s a real bonus to get a heads up to were I need to pay attention.

All in all, very happy to get it done,and I learned lots of valuable race information. I plan to do sections of the course again and in it’s entirety before race day.

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Comments
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