webmaster mike's blog

more KPBSD bloggery

Brick by Brick

Bricks are heavy. Most people know this, regardless of if they listened to L7. For last Wednesday’s Tri Class, I was informed we’d be doing a “brick workout.” Not being familiar with the term, I had fleeting thoughts of bricklaying – maybe we could build a foundation for a new edifice! I showed up ready for bike class – indoors again. Coach Angie told us that we were to leave immediately after cycling, change shoes, and go running. This training method – two or more disciplines back-to-back, is called a Brick Workout. Fortunately, it has many other bricklike features, as I was to soon find out. As our hour on the bikes rolled to a close, we jumped off and gathered our gear. This wasn’t easy, as my legs refused to cooperate well, and I looked like a three-sheets-to-the-wind sailor staggering off a ship.

Phase 1 of a Brick Workout: Your legs and feet – they feel like bricks.

Switching into running shoes, we began running. I might add that my gait had not deviated from that of the abovementioned sailor. To wit, I staggered. My calves felt insanely tight, but this moderated after a bit. We ended up running up Water Tower Hill, which has the charming feature of being at an extreme level of elevation compared to the surrounding city – gravity fed water and all that. Not only did we run up it once, we did sprint drills on that hill.

“Recover on the way down!” Coach would yell. Easier said than done.

Phase 2 of a Brick Workout: Your brain has to be over 80% brick to agree to do a brick workout.

We worked on form and psychological aspects of the run segment, which was good, since my body had given up halfway through the first hill climb. The good thing was that it was a gorgeous day, and it was nice to be outside, despite having a brain and legs made out of bricks. Another nice feature: according to my heart rate monitor, my heart still believes I’m in my 20s.

Phase 3 of a Brick Workout: Afterward, you feel like you’ve been pummeled by a great many bricks.

Friday found us cycling indoors as coach gave us important pointers on nutrition necessary for training and competing for events like triathlons. This was in anticipation of Saturday, where we had a fast but brutal swim workout. After a brief hiatus, a group of us got together for a bicycle ride around the Loop – the path/road system between Kenai and Soldotna.

This was the first time I had taken my gorgeous borrowed bicycle outside, so I had no idea what to expect. I had ridden plenty on the trainer, but that’s completely different than actually hurling along outside. I realized that this was the first time I had EVER ridden a true road bike. I had ridden some hybrid mountain/road bikes some two decades ago, but that was it.

I was excited.

We ended up going over 26 miles, with an average speed of 17.5 mph. I think that’s a pretty good starting point. It was way faster than any mountain bike. My borrowed bicycle did brilliantly – smooth and fast and easy to get going. Climbing, in particular, was very fun. Also of note: I hit 36 mph on the downhill from Skyview High School. Good times.

The next day, I did a very less-intensive mountain bike ride between Kenai and Soldotna. I noted how interesting the scenery was – something I had missed completely when road biking.

So, things are rolling (snort) right along with the tri training. I’m going to go for a run tonight before tomorrow’s Swim / Run Brick.

I’ll be the one with the brain and legs made of bricks.


Leave a Reply