Posts Tagged ‘Brick Workouts’

Morning mess

August 10, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s not actually this bad – but it might as well be…

I feel like my morning could be turned into a camp fire song…

The alarm went off at 6:15 this morning.  The plan: A brick training session with focus on run endurance.  My wife was also getting up to do her long run this morning, training towards her half-marathon.

Getting out of bed was TOUGH, but I did it.  I looked out the window – the sky was dark and discouraging, and the ground wet from recent rain.  I really wished I was still in bed, but I was going to push through!  I ate a quick breakfast, and changed into my training clothes.

My bike needed to have the tires pumped up a bit.  I pumped up the front tire.  I was about to pump up the second tire when my wife came in and told me to stop and listen.  It’s amazing how silent the house can get at 6:15.  Then I heard it – the sound of heavy rain.  Shit.  We both agreed we’d be soaked within a minute out there.  This morning’s session was off.  I was out of bed for nothing!

But I’d pumped up one tire, I thought I might as well pump up the second…

Let’s be honest here: I’m not a morning person.  Sometimes things don’t go very smoothly in the morning, and I don’t always know why.  I put the pump nozzle onto the valve the same way I always do, pushed down on the pump plunger, but instead of the usual hiss of air moving into the tire, I heard a pop sound and the tire went flat.  I pulled the nozzle off the valve, and the valve pin had been pushed through the rim inside the tire.  It’s busted.  I have no idea how I made that happen.

I managed to not do any training, but somehow wreck my bike wheel in the process.  This morning just wasn’t meant to be.  Back to bed I went, grumpy and half asleep.  Maybe I’ll try a run this evening – bricks are not an option until I can get the bike into the shop.



Pacing matters

August 5, 2012 Leave a comment

This guy’s got the right idea

I got up this morning at 6:00am for a brick training session (and, by that, I mean my wife woke up at 6:00am and half an hour later I felt guilty enough to also haul my ass out of bed).

Today’s training session was a 16.8km bike followed by a 2.5km run.  Not huge distance by any stretch, but I’m still tired following Friday night’s festivities (I planned to wake up at 4:00am to watch the Olympic Triathlon… I ended up staying up until 4:00am instead).

The bike went really well – for a small distance, I pushed hard and rode at a great pace by my standards.  But I had nothing left for the run.  Nothing.  For only 2.5km, I walked more than I ran.

It’s easy to be disappointed in how poorly I ran, but I can work on that.  I think the bigger take-away from this morning’s session is the value of pacing.  The fast start on the bike was great, and training is all about pushing one’s self.  But there’s also a need to listen to the body – understand how much gas it has to burn, and manage that accordingly.

This sport always has something new to teach me



July 27, 2012 Leave a comment


brick  (brk)n.

1. pl.bricks or brick A molded rectangular block of clay baked by the sun or in a kiln until hard and used as a building and paving material. (
2. brick an unintelligent person. Derived from “dumb as a brick.” (
3. brick a term used to define training in back to back events. This could describe a variety of events, but for the purposes of Triathlon Prep I would define it as a swim, bike, or run workout immediately following a base workout. For example, a 20k bike after a 1600m swim would be a brick workout. Same thing for a 10k run after a 20k bike.(

The alarm went off this morning at 6:00am – the same time it does most mornings.  But this time, instead of getting ready for work, I headed out for my first brick training of the season.

The important aspect of a brick training session is to simulate the jelly legs that you get when hopping off the bike and going straight into the run.  In an actual race, the T2 transition (from bike to run) is usually sub 2:00.  That’s all the time you get to rest your legs and catch your breath before you head out.  The focus of the training session is not on how good your bike is, or how good your run is, but on burning out your legs on the bike so you can practice starting the run with jelly legs.

So today I did 12k hard on the bike followed by a 3k run.  I’ve done brick sessions in the past, but this was the first one this year.  I know it’s going to be hard.  I know the first 500m of the run are going to be murder.  But you can’t truly understand starting a run on jelly legs until you experience it.  Your mind knows the first 500m of your run route – you know that you’re usually strong here, sometimes starting out too fast, not too sweaty or hard of breath yet.  This morning it was hard to just get to the end of my street.  After 4 minutes and only 500m I had to stop and walk.  My legs had nothing.

But this is why we train – so we can get better.  We hurt, so we can hurt a little less next time.  And over time and repetition it will get better.  After the first 500m and my first (short) walk break, the run got better.  My pace leveled out to my standard running pace, and while my legs still felt like string cheese I was able to run with the endurance I’m used to.  I felt like shit, but a little less like shit with each meter that went by.  And by the time I got home I felt great – exhausted and gross, but great.

Chalk this one up as a victory.  A great first brick of the year.  A fantastic start to a Friday!

… although here’s hoping I can sneak a nap in today on my lunch break

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