This is my second article in a series of five articles for triathletes who are just getting back into training.
Whether you were injured, sick, off-season, took a break, or had a baby like me, it takes some time to get back to the shape you were in before you stopped training.
My goal for these articles is to share what has worked for me to give you some ideas to try for yourself. If you missed the other ones…
- Swim: http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/fitness/postpartum-triathlete-getting-your-swim-back/
- Run: http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/fitness/postpartum-triathlete-getting-your-run-back/
In my opinion, the bike was the easiest for me to get back on, but the hardest to get back to where I was, especially since I was training for an Ironman when I got pregnant and it is now winter here in Colorado.
My baby is almost 7 months old, and I have only been on my bike outside one time in over a year. It’s a lot easier for me mentally, physically, and schedule wise, to do my training either at the gym where there’s childcare and bikes with feedback, or on my trainer in my basement where I don’t have to leave the house, and can do it anytime.
For those reasons, I probably will stay primarily indoors for another few months.
My first race back is in May, which will be 11 months after Coura was born. I plan on biking indoors until March, which will give me two months to transfer my indoor skills to outside riding.
After my six-week check-up and I got the OK to start working out again, my first workout was on the bike. The first week I did 30 minutes, with no resistance, just spinning my legs and getting my butt back in saddle shape! I did most of the sessions at home, I wasn’t ready yet to leave the house and get to the gym or to take Coura to childcare.
My intention was to start a bike streak and bike 30 minutes a day minimum, but with my new mommy life, that didn’t always work. I still kept it as my intention, which usually got me on the bike five days a week. Some days it took me an hour to bike for 15 minutes because I was also taking care of a baby, but it was always my goal to get 30 minutes in!
For the first eight weeks, each week I just tried to add a little more time during one of my rides. For example, if I got on the bike five times, one time would be 40 minutes, and the next week that ride would be 50 minutes, and following week an hour.
I typically didn’t have time to go more than an hour so I would start adding time to a second ride of the week, working up to another ride of an hour.
By the end of the eight weeks, I was doing 2 to 3 60-minute rides and 2 to 3 30-minute rides, still at very little or no resistance.
After 8 weeks, I decided to start adding intensity to one of my weekly rides. I really like a challenge and working on improving, so I decided to do a weekly time trial on the bike at the gym.
The first week I started at level 1 and every 5 minutes went up a level. I ended up 12.0 miles in the hour. Each week I started at the next level (week 2=level 2, week 3=level 3, etc) so that I was progressively working harder each week and going longer in the hour.
I just did my week 13 time trial and have increased about 5 miles in the hour!!! I had a couple weeks where I was sick that went down, but in general I am getting better each week.
After about 8 weeks of one hard workout a week, I started adding one moderate intensity hour ride a week.
And that’s it for now! So in general I am doing my hour time trial, an hour moderate effort ride, and 3-5 30-minute easy rides.
My plan in another 4 weeks is to start increasing my moderate level ride by 30 minutes each week to train for the St George 70.3 I have coming up on May 4th.
I am finally feeling good on the bike! It will be interesting to see how my indoor fitness translates to riding outside. My goal is to get outside once a month!
Let me know if you have any questions about getting back into training after taking time off!
If you want to follow my training…
For a weekly workout…
And if you or anyone you know is looking for a coach for this upcoming triathlon season, I have room for 3 more clients this year!!
Call or text me to set up an appointment to see if we are the right fit for each other!!!
See you soon!