Newbie’s Guide to Group Rides & Gearing Up for Venus De Miles

I’ve been spending tons more time this summer cycling as I train for my big triathlon.  One of the best ways to prepare for a triathlon bike is to ride with other people… you are not doing the race by yourself!  Thinking back to when I first started cycling. And for anyone preparing for Venus de Miles or your first group ride (Venus was my first and I loved it!  It was such a welcoming atmosphere, with the best aid stations and an awesome post-ride party!)



Things to Bring:

  • Bike & Helmet
  • Bike Shoes
  • Driver’s License & Insurance card, $20 — all in a zip pocket somewhere on you or your bike.
  • A gel or bar to eat
  • Bottle with water or sports drink
  • Some groups require that you bring a flat-changing kit (spare tube, levers, patch kit, CO2 cartridge) in case you get a flat.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Call the bike shop to see what the typical distances are for the bike ride. Most group rides are beginner friendly or will clearly state a speed zone.
  • If you’re a newbie and not on a road bike, then you are likely to be riding 16 mph or less.

If you’ve been riding more lately, and want to try out a very welcoming ride, join me at the Venus de Miles ride on August 9!  They have a distance for everyone: 13 miles, 28 miles, and 64 miles!  To register with a $5 Discount, use the code LaurenRuns  when registering!

Wheels down!


Louisville Training Weekend

Last weekend we spent the fourth of July down in Louisville to scope out the Ironman course.  I’m glad Mike came down with me as we got a chance to explore the eats of the town together!  Here’s what I learned:

The Belle of Louisville (both the boat & the girl!)

The Belle of Louisville (both the boat & the girl!)

  • Louisville has some good, under-the-radar places to eat.  We ate at an underground bar for lunch, a brewery for dinner, and travelled across the river into Indiana for some awesome brewpub food again!  You won’t go hungry in Louisville.
  • The bike sharing program in Louisville (equivalent of Divvy in Chicago) is for Humana employees only.  Odd.  What’s everyone else supposed to do?
  • There is a single triathlon/multisport store in Louisville.  V02 Multisport.  Per Mike, they have a lot of stuff, including the gels that I forgot for my run.
  • The race starts at a waterfront park, and the swim start is about a mile away from transition, near a waterfront restaurant called Tumbleweeds.  You jump off a pier, swim upstream for about .8 miles, then get carried by the current downstream to the transition.  Overall, you spend half your time swimming upstream, and can get the 1.6 miles done more quickly once you turn around!
  • The bike course is 112 miles long (you probably already knew that).  And I rode every single mile of it!
  • Gas Station foods are better than expected!  I loved my Cheetos, extra water & gatorade, and even sampled a 5 Hour Energy!
  • There are a few spots that you should be prepared for:
    • Rt 1694 – has some steep descents, coupled with sudden and long ascents. I think there were two.
    • Good spectator spots on the bike course are at Oldham High School, and in LaGrange.
    • 393 has some steep uphills
    • Ballard Springs Road is a spot to be in your small chain ring.  The hills are small, but they can be steep!
    • River Road (the road in & out of Louisville for the course) is much rougher on the way back into town than on the way out.
  • Don’t eat your post-ride burger too quickly.  Your stomach may take a little while to get back to normal, even if you think you should EAT ALL THE FOODZ.


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Friday Realities, and a Giveaway! #ZoomaRun

I’m in the thick of training for Ironman Louisville, and life has been getting busy. It’s been all I can do to keep up with work, training, my marriage, and sometimes seeing friends. I felt a bit bad that it took me over a week to see one of my best friend’s new baby, but he’s so cute! Hopefully he’s still a cutie pie after August 24.

The training that’s ramped up is going to stay that way until early August. Then we head into taper mode.

I realized that my biggest Ironman race simulation workout is going to be the same weekend as the Zooma Chicago Half Marathon.  I love the Zooma spirit, and have been super excited to share in the love of their celebrating women and bringing ladies together to cheer each other on in the great sport of running.ZoomaMML-CHI-logo

I’m sad to have come to the decision that I should focus on the Ironman training that weekend, and decline running the Zooma Half Marathon.  Instead, I’ll be swimming 2.4 miles, biking 100 miles, and running whatever I can for an hour after that.  There’s a lot of logistics that go into planning that workout, and it’s best if I stick with my training group for that key workout day.

So that means that I have an entry into the Zooma Chicago race for a lucky reader!  I would love it if whoever wins is willing to share their Zooma story on my blog after the race.

Additionally, if you’re interested in running Zooma, you can register with a 10% discount using the code CAMB3.

I will be joining the wonderful ladies of Zooma on the 10 mile training run tomorrow morning at Universal Sole.  Join us if you’re interested!

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