I awoke this morning with a goal to ride the Gary Kirby Triathlon bike loop four times.  Each loop is right around 3 miles, so my goal was to do all 12 miles in 45 minutes (or less).  45 minutes was my set workout according to the training plan, so this seemed like a good goal.  In order to reach my goal, I would have to average just north of 16mph, which for someone of my experience and size is not a super easy feat (I have only averaged 16+mph one time before!).  Now, it would be so easy for me to just go out and ride for 45 minutes, with barely breaking a sweat.  I could average 12mph and just coast around the neighborhood and still check my workout as ‘complete’.  I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like mailing in my workouts.  So, I attempt to set these arbitrary goals to motivate me to put in a full effort, to go for it and leave little on the table.

So, with that, I prepped my bike, put on my warm weather gear (it was only 42*) and set out with this goal in mind.  Things got off to a rocky start when I quickly realized I left my sunglasses at home.  So, after a quick detour back to the house, I was able to get rolling.  The Gary Kirby loop is a tale of three zones.  The first zone (from my starting point) is a set of small rolling hills, with no major climbs or descents.  The second zone is a long false flat – a road that just continues up a slight incline for about a mile.  And then the third zone includes two very nice declines – this is a place to take a breath, but also a place to get your average mph up.  —  My personal goal for the first zone is to average 15mph, the second zone – anything in double digits, and the third zone has to be above 20mph.  I figure if I can do that, I can get my 16mph average and complete my 12 mile ride in 45 minutes.

My results by lap:

  • 1st – 16.1mph, 14.1mph, 20.8mph — good, I am ahead of my goal here.
  • 2nd – 15.2, 14.2, 19.5 — OK, so I slowed down in zones 1 and 3, but I am still killing it on the false flat.
  • 3rd – 15.2, 15.0, 20.3 — Another good lap, I am set to finish this strong!
  • 4th – 13.9, 12.7, 17.8 — Boy, did I slow down all around.  My legs were definitely tired by this point, but I still put in full effort.

So… how did I end up?  Did I reach my target?

YEP – I sure did.  I rode the loop 4x in 44:47 at an average of 16.1mph!  I have to say that it felt great to set a goal, work hard against that goal – and achieve it!

Tomorrow I have a short run… but I have a reach goal for that run as well.  It is all about setting little goals for me to reach every day.

Today’s workout:

Plan: 45 minutes on the bike

Actual: 44:47 at an average speed of 16.1 mph — I hit my goal!