Saturday, June 18, 2011


Yes, I've talked about "the wall" before...but that's not the kind of brick I'm talking about today.

A "brick" workout is basically a bike ride followed immediately by a run*.   I'm told it's so nameed because your legs feel like bricks; I can attest to that!!  The first time I did one, I kept having to consult my watch - I didn't believe I was actually running.  It felt like more like the "running man" (although NOT the running man featured in the link--amazing dance moves I have to say!).  Shockingly enough however, almost every time I've done a brick I'm moving much faster than it subjectively feels.

Today was no exception.

The workout was two and half hours on the bike (consisting mainly of intervals) then a fast two mile run.  Last week was my first solo long ride.  I noticed I wasn't nearly as fast as I am when riding with other people, so this week I concentrated on pushing myself.  I like intervals because the hard work is done in small chunks.  I tell myself I can do anything for X amount of time (and if X equals something believable it works!).  Knowing the run was going to be short I mentally prepared to give it all I had.  When I got off the bike and started moving, as usual it felt unbelievably slow.  However, I was ready for it.  Instead of looking at my watch and being overly concerned with the deceptive feeling of sluggishness...I just simply RAN.  I thought about leg turnover and keeping my stride short and quick**.

(Okay, so I did look at my watch...but I didn't study it as usual...and I didn't call it a liar as usual.)  When the split timer beeped at me, signaling the end of the first mile, I smiled at the result (9:02).  (Yes, I know that's not fast compared to some...but it's good for me, especially considering it followed 40 quality miles on the bike.)  I slowed a little on the second mile (9:20), but not much.

It's exciting to me to think I'm less than halfway through this training program and have seen huge progress in every sport.  I think we're going to be doing time trials soon so I'll have a quantitative picture of the improvement.  Bricks might not feel great, but they are producing RESULTS so I have to say I love them!!

Thanks for stopping in...come again soon!!

*A brick can be any workout followed by another very different workout (a swim/run brick for instance) but, from what I understand, the bike/run brick is the most common.

**Interestingly enough, Coach Eric says a triathlete's cadence "should be" about 96 whereas a runner's cadence "should be" about 85.  And...I can say I'm much faster, and more comfortable, running with a shorter quicker cadence coming off the bike.

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