Thursday, May 24, 2007

Another Brick in the Wall

I'm entering into the final days of preparation for the Racing for Recovery Half Distance tri on June 10th. This is my late spring/early summer A race for the season. This is my focus, my goal, my motivation, my inspiration to train.........and train hard. I'm bringing speed back into my workouts because of this "short" distance race. I guess anything is short after Ironman.

One area that has been lacking is my brick workouts. I've been doing them but something has been missing from them. One brick I skipped completely due to Mother's day, ran out of time. And another brick I rode to a local 5k race and did a controlled pace run. No brick this past weekend because of the 10k + 2 that I did on Sunday.

Coach Angela put a mid-week brick on tap for me yesterday, Wednesday. I've been working from home lately, big bonus, so I just had to get a conference call out of the way in the morning and do my workout during lunch. A 1 hour ride with a 30 minute run, but with some intensity. The weather also called for temps in the 80's by noon so this would be a good assimilation ride for warm weather, which we have not had a lot of around here.

The first 40 minutes of the ride in zone 2, pick it up to zone 3 working hard for 20 minutes. The run portion involved 10 minutes at zone 2 then finish with 20 minutes in zone 3. I was excited about the workout. The harder the better. Put in some big effort the will pay off on race day.

The ride was on target. I went over by 11 minutes because I didn't factor in the wind coming from the south. Regardless I hit the zones well. I transitioned into my run feeling good. At the half mile mark I saw 3:20 on the watch. A little too fast of a pace for zone 2 so I backed it down. I still had a ways to go and it was hot outside.

I clocked the first mile at 7:30 trying hard to keep my heart rate in zone 2, a high zone 2. The sun was beating down and I could feel the body getting hotter with the extra effort. At 10 minutes I did start to feel the legs could handle the run and I increased my pace. My heart rate easily went into high zone 3. I was able to keep a steady pace all the way back home.

When I finished my run I tried to feel my body. What was it doing? How tired was it? How was it feeling? I wanted to remember the effort exerted for this brick so I could duplicate the feeling on race day. It felt good. I was sweaty, tired and spent. That's what I want on race day.

So what did I learn from my workout on Wednesday? During the first mile of the run inspiration hit me like a....well....a.....ton of "bricks". I thought about the "WALL" that marathoners must face at some point between miles 18 and 22. How the body wants to start shutting down and pure will power and determination pushes a person through/around/over the wall.

I thought about what is the wall for a triathlete? Getting started on the run. Transitioning from cycling to running. Getting the legs used to the motion and effort that goes into running. The wall is placed at different distances for everyone. Most of the time the wall is withing the first 2 miles of the run. Once you are past the wall the legs want to run and the stride feels more natural and easier. Our brick workouts help us beat the wall when we face it come race day. These bricks help us tear down the wall and allows us to run better and faster after the bike segment of the race. And these workouts are seen as Bricks in the Wall, each time we complete a "brick" the wall is being torn down. Each brick completed makes it easier for us to get past the wall, have a better run, have a great race.

It's time to start tearing down your wall......Game On.


hak said...

Ahhh...good ol' Pink Floyd. My training may be closer to "Comfortably Numb" than your musical choice, but hey, you can't go wrong with Floyd.

Great analogy on the wall and the transition to run. That is the part where I have historically felt the worst, i.e., "Man, it shouldn't be this hard. C'mon legs! Move!"


JenC said...

It is amazing how practice can make the bike to run transition relatively smooth. I've done a brick almost every Saturday for the last 6 months. Money in the bank baby! Game on my friend! Look forward to racing with you on June 10 - of course, I'll be a bit behind you. : )

TriSaraTops said...

How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

I really miss outdoor bricks. Been doing them inside, but a nice, sweaty outdoor brick can be so fun.

Keep kickin' arse and takin' names!

SkiRough said...

My name is skirough and I am here to approve of the Pink Floyd in this post.

Iron Eric said...

Thanks for sharing the video!! I really enjoyed the music while I type. Great blog! Hope your race goes well.

Selene said...

Interesting to know.