Athlete Journal: Andrew Read, Entry 28 – Waiting For My Bike

With the crash last week everything this week has all been about one thing – get the bike fixed. I’ve also been preparing for the first Australian RKC and my upcoming half Ironman.

Click here to read other journal entries and articles by Andrew Read, and look for his new journal every Monday as he trains for Ironman Melbourne.

Journal Entry 28 -Waiting For My Bike

With the crash last week everything this week has all been about one thing – get the bike fixed. There’s still been plenty of training, but the only thing I’ve really been concerned about is getting a quote for the damage quickly and then getting it into the insurance company so it can all get paid for.

At the start of the week I was sure that the lady who hit me wasn’t going to claim responsibility at all for failing to stop at the stop sign. When we spoke on the phone it was littered with phrases like, “It takes two people to have an accident,” which probably wasn’t helped by me agreeing and saying, “Yes, one incompetent driver and a victim to lie on the road.” After that exchange she started trying to tell me how I had left a mark on her car “where I had hit it with my bike.” And that because the mark was on the front quarter of the car she decided that I had run into her, clearly oblivious to such small technicalities like right of way and stopping at those pesky stop signs.

But sometime between that conversation and the end of the week she clearly changed her tune and has now made a claim with her insurance company and claimed full responsibility. That was always going to be the inevitable result but I’m thankful that at least we won’t have to go to court and waste time and money to get there. The damage to the bike was around $3,000 so it’s great to know that it will be taken care of.

While I’ve been waiting for my fast bike to be fixed I’ve been putting in miles on my road bike and this week will ride about 300kms with about 45kms of climbing on Sunday. I burn roughly 20cals/km so you can do the quick math to figure out how much food that is. Most adult males need around 2000 calories per day so my rides for the week account for nearly three days worth of food just to replenish what I’ve burned up. Looking at that it’s pretty easy to see why endurance people get so skinny – unless you work hard at eating and replenishing your energy stores as well as continuing to lift weights your body just won’t keep up.

The hardest part is actually the continuing to lift weights. There are days when I’m so tired I just want extra sleep and the thought of a session that I know is going to make me more tired the next day is hard to bring myself to do. However, I also know that lifting weights keeps my shoulders healthy for swimming, my legs strong for running, and balances out the riding by shifting emphasis to other unused muscle groups.

My lower body workout that has been giving me the kind of strength I need while not fatiguing me unduly (and which has taken a fair amount of trial and error) is as follows:

  • Single leg deadlifts x 5 each leg
  • Step ups x 5 each leg
  • Single leg swiss ball hamstring curl/ glute bridges x 10 each leg
  • Single leg calf raises x 15 each leg

Repeat the whole thing three times.

Single leg work is a great way to build strength and balance while at the same time not putting too much extra stress on the body. A heavy squat workout for me would be over 100kgs on my back, while a heavy single leg workout might see me using only 32kg. Still a very effective workout but it doesn’t leave me feeling stiff, sore or wiped out for the days after. I can hit this twice per week and still ride and run just fine.

For the upper body my plan is even more KISS simple:

  • Get ups: 5 singles each side starting at 24kg and working my way up to 40kg (for reference my max is a 55kg barbell get up so 40kg is still relatively light).
  • Pull ups: 4 – 5 sets alternating between bodyweight and low triples each time I do them.
  • Kettlebell clean and jerks – I use a variety of set and rep schemes but my favorite right now is 5 x 1 minute on, 1 minute off. Very simple but quite an effective session. The good thing about jerks is that they don’t seem to negatively effect my shoulders like pressing does. Lots of swimming plus pressing hurts my shoulders so instead of risking injury I avoid that movement.

With the first ever Australian RKC next weekend you won’t hear from me for two weeks. By then I’ll be only three weeks away from my first triathlon – a half ironman! My calf seems good to go and I’ve put in a few small runs this week. However, I have to admit to not feeling very confident about a half marathon finish to my first triathlon on only four weeks of running.

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