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Fantastic Brick Workout..

Saturday, July 06, 2013

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.

Run details...

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"...


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SIMONEKP 7/15/2013 7:26AM


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MRSDAVIS09 7/12/2013 11:22PM

    Hello, friend. . .I'm easing back into SP and so glad to see how well you are doing. Great job!


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GRINCHLETTE 7/12/2013 12:56AM

    Very inspiring to read about your progress over time!! I can relate as I am currently training for my first Sprint Tri, to happen August 11, 2013. Never. Ever. thought I would be doing a triathlon,,,,and yet, here I am! I wish you the very best in all your training and your 70.3!! GO GET EM!!! :D

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IMSMILEY88 7/11/2013 9:07PM

    emoticon So glad your training is going well and you are keeping your ankle pain under control! Sounds like a terrific brick workout!

I worked out with a triathlon group this spring while training for a duathlon which didn't happen because of foot pain and because it was on Mother's Day and my daughter really wanted to go to a special mother/daughter event. Anyway, we were all training for sprint distances but our couch had us doing multiple back to back bike/run/bike/run/bike/run! For us, it was more like 3-5 mile bike rides followed by 1 mile runs, but still it was a great way to train for that 'brick' feeling! And, a GREAT way to train for a duathlon! Just wanted to throw that out there!

And, you are SO ahead of the game since you are not afraid of open water!!! That's what's kept me from doing a 3rd tri! I did swim some laps tonight, though, and I'm thinking about another tri!!!

My next event? In 10 days I plan on doing a very HOT 50 mile bike ride! My longest ride ever! Then I'll be training for a few 5K's on my way to my 5th half marathon in October. Just catching you up since you asked! emoticon

Thanks for always inspiring me to keep pushing harder!

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BUTTERFLY-1976 7/10/2013 11:23AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DIHEALTHYHAPPY 7/10/2013 10:12AM

    Very impressive! I'm always impressed with triathletes. I can only do duathlons! Way to go!

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CLPURNELL 7/9/2013 9:46PM


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KAREN_NY 7/9/2013 10:56AM

    Woo Hoo Hill -- love it, Flipper!! I am loving your tri training blogs because even when you're sloggin' it, overall it sounds like your having fun!

Brick = Bike + Run + (??? Ick????) lol!
Keep at it, man.

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LIVEDAILY 7/8/2013 11:03PM

That is excellent Robert!! You're doing do well!

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LEWILL1982 7/8/2013 4:28PM

    Thanks for sharing! I took your advice and tried coconut water on my bike ride yesterday, no cramping! I'm contemplating a sprint tri in August, I'm scared but you motivate me to want to try it.

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 7/8/2013 4:12PM

    Thanks for sharing this enlightening perspective. When you said that working out when you weren't feeling it. That you were tired and crabby to start. Now you're exultant and accomplished. Love it! Congrats. With the way you are training I'm sure you'll do great. Keep it fun.

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PATTISTAMPS 7/8/2013 12:44PM

    EXCELLENT! You are SO going to rock this!!!

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RUNNER4LIFE08 7/8/2013 11:16AM


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CM_GARDNER78 7/7/2013 10:12PM

    WOW!! That is fantastic!!! Way to go.....keep working it!! You really are an inspiration to all of us!! :-) I'm impressed with all the thought and preparation you have put into this. Not just a jaunt for you - this is serious stuff!! Keep it up!!!!!! :-)

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TIMOTHYNOHE 7/7/2013 9:58PM

    My biggest problem with the bike run transition was not a heavy feeling in my legs. On the contrary, they felt like rubber.

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    I completely understand what you are saying about the water. When I was a kid my parents called me an amphibian. I haven't been in the water for years, though. I can't wait to find out how you do in the tri.

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WORLDSERIES11 7/7/2013 6:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DIANNEMT 7/7/2013 4:49PM

    Great job!! Sounds like you are ready!

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LINDAK25 7/7/2013 4:39PM

    Woo Hoo! You've put a lot of thought into this process and you're not over training (yeah). You've got a handle on this. Good for you! You can do this!

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SLIMLEAF 7/7/2013 4:33PM


It's really good to hear how you're getting on and your training is progressing. Well done!

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ARRREAGLES 7/7/2013 3:24PM

    wow. totally jealous. Triathlons are amazing races, and it sounds like you're ready to kill it. Good for you! and good for going out in tough conditions -- getting over that mental barrier means you can get over any one.

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GINA180847 7/7/2013 2:28PM

    Wow, you're the man Robert!

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LKEITHO 7/7/2013 2:15PM

    Fantastic job! Sounds like your training is going great!

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_JODI404 7/7/2013 1:36PM

    emoticon on your super successful brick!! That is extremely impressive after a long, hot day at the mine. I understand your logic -- makes total sense.

Great training.... it's wonderful that you have really found your niche and your passion!!

emoticon emoticon

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123ELAINE456 7/7/2013 12:43PM

  Awesome!!! WTG!!! God Blessings to You and Everyone. Have a Wonderful Lord's Day. Take Care. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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ALIDOSHA 7/7/2013 12:20PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PROUD-GRANDMA 7/7/2013 11:54AM

    Amazing! emoticon

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JUNEAU2010 7/7/2013 10:32AM

    What a great day you had! FANTASTIC!

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LINDAKAY228 7/7/2013 10:24AM

    Awesome job! You are really do you work to be ready for anything! You are going to rock the tri!

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COLOR-BLUE 7/7/2013 9:01AM

    Great going, and congratulations on finishing your mini workout. I say mini, because of the 70.3 miles you'll be doing for the main event!!! This is a win, win, situation for you. You're already head of the game, with all of your training. The 70.3 will be a walk in the park for you. GO GET EM!!! emoticon

Be blessed,

- Nancy Jean -

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    Congrats on finishing a "good" brick. You will be ready

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    "My how things have changed."

Oh my, how they have indeed. Look how far you've come, Robert, and I don't mean in miles...Look at how you've transformed your entire life!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your joy as you've moved into health.

you are such an inspiration to me.

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ACTIVE_AT_60 7/7/2013 7:11AM

    Nice job Bud! You did the right thing doing a brick in that weather. It could be similar conditions during the event. BTW a brick can be any combination of the three disciplines

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NILLAPEPSI 7/7/2013 6:52AM

    emoticon for your inspiration!! emoticon

You're going to do this race & make it look so easy. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ALDEBARANIAN 7/7/2013 1:50AM

    emoticon emoticon

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RUNNERRACHEL 7/7/2013 12:53AM

    You WERE born to do this!

Loved reading your blog! You've got me smiling and happy for you and feeling that desire to start biking more and actually learn how to swim--you are giving me hope that I could become a better swimmer. Because now swimming is non-existent.

I don't know if a triathlon is in my future but I remember when I hadn't run a mile (not in this century, anyway) feeling inspired by your marathon blogs. And I am currently training for my 3rd half marathon and maybe second marathon in the next year. I am a runner now, something I couldn't imagine before. So, thank you for inspiring me and countless others to do what they didn't believe they could.

Awesome brick workout! So totally impressed you did this after work. Wow.

Great job!

Your equipment looks great. Happy you have the right gear for your sport.

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JADED_CHICK19 7/6/2013 11:56PM

    Woohoo! Awesome job! Super excited that you are swimming Teal Lake! That is pretty neat :)

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ONEKIDSMOM 7/6/2013 11:41PM

    Well done... only a month to go! Iron... man... Robert... emoticon

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COCK-ROBIN 7/6/2013 11:04PM


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GOING-STRONG 7/6/2013 10:41PM

    emoticon emoticon

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EBLOOMING 7/6/2013 10:24PM

    You are amazing again!! I enjoyed your writing about it. I always feel sluggish when starting so if I follow your lead I will keep going and get that extra spurt of energy.

Nice going!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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