The biggest challenge, and frankly what makes triathlon a great sport in my mind, is putting all three sports together. What I mean by this is crafting your training to make sure one sport isn't lagging behind the others. I hear so many times at the end of races...."dude I had a personal record (that's called a PR) on the bike by 5 minutes." What they aren't talking about is that they had to start walking at mile 3 on the run because they had nothing left in their legs. All three sports have to progress at the same, or at least at race time you have to try to get your fitness as close as you can. This often means training your hardest on the sport you are the weakest in. Sounds easy, but for most this means they have to spend the most amount of time doing the sport they like the least. For me, I guess I'm lucky in that I like all 3 of the sports, but like running the best. For me they all are so different it is refreshing. Like yesterday I trained for 6.5 hours, doing a long bike, a short run, and a short swim later. It didn't feel like 6.5 hours of "training" because each sport is so different.
So speaking of training more on your weakest sport, which for me is biking. April and the first 1/2 of May are all about the bike, meaning biking is the focus. I hope to get 800 mils in on the bike in April and about that in May (I start racing in May so that impacts total miles by lowering them....which I know sounds funny). My calf injury has greatly reduced my run mileage in April to less than 1/2 of what it typically is, which is ok as I am in bike focus mode.
Speaking of the calf, I still haven't pinpointed exactly what is going on. I believe it is a strained muscle, but at times it has the characteristics of tendinitis. It is slowly healing and with any luck will be healed for my first Tri race mid May.
Yesterday's bike workout was in the mountains in North GA. and yes there are mountains in GA. 86 miles and 11,300 vertical ft of climbing. We did 6 gaps (mountains), think lot's of switchback and 7 miles of steady climbing and 2500 vertical ft. 40-42 mins to go 7 miles means you are just grinding. I am happy with my climbing ability and now believe it will be an advantage at IMCDA. I have been telling myself that for a couple months, because I have the perfect physical characteristics for a climber (very high strength to weight ratio). My lean build will wreck havoc on the big guys who are suited for pushing the big gears on the flats. I can get up the mountains faster with less effort. Hopefully this will all lead to less stress on my legs going into the marathon.
The biking is coming together! Need to do a little more work on the swim, which I am starting on today....4000 yd swim on the books for later today.