Before I get too far into this, let me define a brick workout. It is a combination bike / run workout used by triathletes to prepare for the stresses of transitioning from the bike leg of a triathlon to the run. Very taxing on your system and your legs feel like bricks as you are trying to run after getting off the bike. I had the perfect brick workout yesterday and I am overjoyed with how pain free I am. My ankle is not bothering me at all. It has been getting lots of TLC and with the modification I have been making, everything seems to be working like it should :)
I did the workout yesterday under some pretty tough conditions but I did it that way for a reason. Just getting home from work, I was tired, my blood sugar was a tad low and frankly, I did not "feel it"... Im sure the other more perfect people out there have no idea what I am talking about but... please try to relate for my sake..
I REALLY did NOT want to go out. Not after working all day out in the heat. It can be really hot out there in the pit. No shade, no trees, its like a moonscape and it gets HOT out there. All I wanted was to nurse a really tall glass of ice tea or lemonade or ANYTHING cold.
This was the PERFECT time to go hit a hard workout. The whole point of the brick is to prepare for the rigors of a long course triathlon. The bike to run transition is not going to come when I have had a shower, a nap, and a pre-workout snack. The transition is going to come after the swim then a long hard ride. I will be hot, I will want it to be over with, sweat will be stinging my eyes, and I will NOT be comfortable.
So I headed out, tired, slightly crabby, hungry, sweaty, fatigued, and wanting to be elsewhere.
Basically, the ideal condition to really see where my race routine needs improvement. I started out on the bike at a slow pace to warm up since I was not feeling with the program... just like after the swim...drained and needing nutrition. It took about 15 miles to really settle in. The strategy was to keep my cadence light and easy and not to put any torque on my right hip. My bike was really responsive since I had some adjustments made... now it shifts precisely.
Long story short, my strategy worked. As awkward as it felt to really turn it down, it was what I needed to do. If I was only doing a cycle event, I could go as hard as I felt like going but I have to leave enough in the tank to finish a half marathon after the bike.
I also hit some really gnarly crosswinds. The scary moment was when I was going full bore down "woo hoo hill" (if you look at the elevation profile at Garmin Connect, you will see what I am talking about) - if you click the link, the player will load and you can follow my ride on the map..
*** Elevation in green on the chart***
I got hit by a crosswind and doing about 30-35 mph, it felt like I was going to get knocked over by the gust... that was a white knuckle experience but all is well.
In short, I finished 40 miles in 2 hrs 35 minutes... 15.5 mph pace avg. If you want to see the geeky stuff, follow the link...
I transitioned to the run and the first mile pretty much felt like I was wading through waist high jello. Every step was labored and my sense of perceived exertion was totally skewed. I fueled and after about 1.5 miles, I felt myself start coming back to life and them by mile 3 I was clipping along even though I was pretty beat.
I finished 4 miles and felt great.
I could have gone further but that was enough. now its time to recover. The rule of thumb here is that it is better to quit feeling like you could have done more than to wish you had quit 5 minutes ago. Better yet, I felt REALLY good the next day, not sore one bit. I actually felt a lingering runners high today at work. It felt so good to finally be seeing real results even though my run training has been sluggish at best and fraught with issues. another 30 days of careful run training and I will be 100% on top of it and ready to bring my A game to the 70.3
Confidence is high and I couldnt be happier about how things are turning out... btw, this 70.3 will be my second tri I have ever done but it has such a good feel to it and I have such a natural knack for this stuff that it doesnt feel awkward or overreaching at all. When I am out there, I am totally at home.. almost like I was born to do this stuff :)
on another note... I am registered for the swim race on July 27th... 2.25 miles across Teal Lake, Negaunee, MI..
For some reason, I have no idea why, swimming along with biking is my strength. I dont have much fear of open water, I really love it out there, the longer the better, and I really feel at home... just call me flipper. Its hard to believe, but a little over a year ago, I was struggling to make it more than a lap or two without wheezing and gagging on pool water. My how things have changed. In my very first triathlon, out of 43 male participants, I was 28th out of the water.. not too shabby.
Blog from my first tri...
Anyway, here are a few hasty pics before I headed out...
Me, my bike, and my mobile "transition area"...