Road to Super League Bali, Week 5

Hi everyone! So you’ll notice that the title of this series of blog posts has changed slightly. It’s now “Road to Super League Bali” and no longer just “Road to Super League Tri” — because the actual race I am aiming for is Super League Bali’s age-group Enduro format, with a little interlude in Singapore.

Singapore was fun, but now it’s time for the real work to come in. The Super League Bali Enduro for age-groupers like myself is a swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run. We would need to swim 250 meters, bike 10 kilometers, run 2.5 kilometers and then do it all again with no breaks. The total distance is just a little bit under what a sprint triathlon requires (the swim is shorter), but on the Super League Triathlon website this format is supposedly meant for advanced triathletes because it calls on theĀ fourth discipline: transition. Transitioning five times requires a lot of focus and practice, especially that middle transition from run to swim because we rarely if ever encounter it when training or racing. So it’s going to be a very interesting challenge!

Aside from the distances being short (perfect for my current level of fitness), racing Super League Bali lets me hit two birds with one stone because I’ve never been to Bali. It’s always nice when travel and triathlon converge.

Anyway, I took a bit of a breather at the start of last week because I traveled back from Singapore on Monday afternoon. Training properly started again on Wednesday.

Wednesday: Track session with Vic and Rey once again! We did a pyramid, which is a session that builds upwards from a 400-meter interval into a mile-long interval, and then back down towards a final 400-meter interval. The challenge was to hold pace over all the intervals, and the only way we could do that was increase our recovery times. We managed it in the end. It was a meaty session, but I think track has helped wake up my leg speed again after a few years of just jogging on treadmills.

Thursday: My swim involved speedwork, but I also took the time to record my stroke in slow-motion and implement some drills and mental reminders to make arm recovery more efficient. As a happy side effect it helped increase stroke turnover, which also improved speed…

Friday: I ordered new bike shoes last month with a group order at Sabak, and they arrived just in time because my old pair fell apart when we tried swapping the cleats out! This gave me a good opportunity to get into their indoor cycling studio and do an FTP test. The last time I did one was on a camp in Thailand, and I know I gamed the results back then because my cadence was pretty low and I just ground it out. This time around, I did the test properly with good cadence (although apparently I wasn’t pushing hard enough because I could still talk? Haha).

What do I do with these numbers? Well, I can use gym bikes which have power meters, or I can link power numbers to heart rate and set my training zones from there.

Saturday: Racing Singapore made me aware of my desperate need for better bike handling. While the Super League Bali age-group cycle course doesn’t have as many hard-angle turns as Singapore did, I could certainly have done a better job had I ridden outside more and practiced my turns. I also practiced my mount and dismount using the new bike shoes, and tested out a pair of shoes that I might turn into my tri shoes.

Sunday: I was supposed to do a recovery swim, but felt very tired from Saturday’s long hot ride (and the long, long drive home) so I just rested again.

And now there are only two weeks until I leave for Bali! There’s not a lot of time to get faster, but there is plenty of time to do brick sessions to get my body and mind used to transitions and the changes in discipline. I’m also doing a lot of outdoor sessions to get acclimated, because if there’s one advantage I have living in a tropical country, it’s that we can handle heat. I think that will be the key.

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