Posts Tagged ‘training’

Even novice triathletes know about the phenomena of brick training. These are back-to-back activities (usually cycling followed by running) that often wreak havoc on the legs.

What does “Brick” stand for? I’ve had this question posed to me on several occasions…and I’m a novice. Truth be told, it doesn’t stand for anything in particular. Some think its origin come from “B”ike and “R”un. Others say the term “brick” only accurately reflects what your legs feel like when you jump off the bike and start running. Still others say the term comes from New Zealand triathlete Mike Brick who perhaps coined the term when he started doing the regimen.

No matter.

What does count is that triathletes test themselves on their ability to move from one aspect of the event to the next – preferably before they’re actually standing in the water waiting for the horn.

When I did my first triathlon in 2007, I’d only completed one “brick” workout. A light, easy bike ride followed by a 2.5 mile run. It was a sweltering hot, humid afternoon. Even so, I didn’t really notice my legs churning any differently. In the actual event, however, after swimming and riding, the onset of the run nearly crushed my hopes of finishing. It was all I could do to plant my feet in any form of running stride for the first half of the run. Finally, just as I neared the half-way mark, my quads seemed to loosen and my stride lengthened to something resembling normal. The last quarter mile seemed like a breeze compared to the first three miles.

So train yourself, my friends. Add brick workouts into your training plan and work yourself up to a point where you’re comfortable getting off the bike and entering your stride with relative speed and ease. The payoff will be faster transitions and fewer head games that you have to compensate for as you complete your race.


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Training Update

After working diligently through January (missing only a handful of days without a workout of some kind), I tested my efforts this morning.

First, to set the stage, the roads and trails in Minneapolis are still ice and snow covered – especially the trails.  Last weekend we enjoyed 40 degree days, followed by sub zero temperatures Monday through Thursday morning. That meant water standing on Sunday turned to sheet ice on Monday morning and it remains there today.

The temp this morning was already 27 degrees when I got up at 7:30 – ideal for a run outside. In proper running attire I left at 9 a.m. did a light couple blocks of warm up trotting and then hit the start button on the watch timer. Fifty-two minutes 51 seconds later I was back in my driveway having put 5.5 miles behind me.

I realize many runners would laugh at a 9:35 pace, but hey, I’m no runner. By June 1, however, I’m thinking I can squeeze out a 8:45 5k pace, which would be blazing for me, and surpass last year’s run segment in the tri I participated in by a full 45 seconds per mile.  That’s a gain of more than a minute and a half in the run portion of the race. Coupled with a faster swim and better transitions and I’m well on my way to cutting 10 minutes from my finish time of 1:33:38.

Time for eggs and a waffle!


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I completed my first indoor BRICK this evening, spinning for 40 minutes (15.5 miles) and then running two miles in 20 minutes. I’ve got a long way to go on accelerating my running pace, but hey, it’s all progress at this early base-building stage. Swimming will start in another 30 days. Until then it’s just me, the bike, running shoes and weights for strength training.

On Monday I also registered as a member of the Minnesota Triathlon Club for 2008. While I may only do one tri in the calendar year, I think the support, suggestions and group training events will benefit my efforts in many ways.

Five months until the Buffalo Tri. At this point, I’m feeling right on plan.


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