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My Bike-To-Run Epiphany

My Bike-To-Run Epiphany

Fiona Russell - aka Fiona Outdoors - Planet X sponsored rider & recent qualifier for the World Age-group Triathlon champs has recently discovered that riding & running are compatible after all...


Something strange has happened. It used to be that I preferred to run. Then I preferred cycling to running. But I never enjoyed putting the two together. A triathlon demands that you can come off your bike after a hard ride and run. (That’s after you have swum to within an inch of your life.) Running after a bike ride would always make my legs feel like jelly and I would rarely feel like I was achieving anything other than a plod.

 

But now, after months of triathlon training, I prefer running after cycling. I prefer running after a bike ride to just running. I feel warmed up and my legs seem to enjoy the change of tempo. I am not saying I now run like a gazelle the minute I jump off the Planet X Time Trial bike, but I do quite like the bike-to-run sensation.

 

Undoubtedly, the Brick sessions (bike-to-run) that I have been doing for months have helped physically. But also, I think there has been a psychological change. I used to believe that I couldn’t run fast after cycling but now I believe I can run fairly fast for the required 5km in my sprint triathlon races.

 

Something else occurred to me. Perhaps I like the idea that I am not “just” running. When I go out for a run now I am running after a hard bike ride; or running after a tough training day the day before. It could be that I feel somehow slightly superhuman.

 

Who knows what has happened to me but it is all occurring at the right time. I am now approaching the four-weeks-to-go mark before I take part in my first World Age Group Triathlon Championships in the age category 45 to 49. I never expected to qualify and so every improvement that I have seen since making it on to Team GB in June is a bonus.

 

When people ask what I am hoping for in the champs I simply say: “Not to come last.” It’s the taking part that is important to me and qualifying for the event has made me realise just what a single mum aged 45 can do if I put my mind to it. 

14 August 2013