Saturday, July 9, 2011


I really don't know why it is called a brick, but when you bike and then immediately run it goes by that name.  I had no idea such a thing existed until last year when I started training for my first triathlon.  Every bit of training advice advocates doing bricks to get ready for race day.  And this makes a lot of sense because when you do a triathlon you get off your bike and start running.  So you need to practice doing just that.  Here are somethings you can learn from doing them:
  • Switching gear.  What do you put on?  What do you take off?    
    • Head gear.  Well I guess you could run with your bike helmet on, but I suggest taking that off.  I switch to a hat because I like running with a hat.  
    • Shoes.  If you use bike shoes you need to take those off and put on your running shoes.  Lots of advice tells you to undo your bike shoes and leave them clipped into the bike.  I am sure this would work for some people, but it sounds a lot like what I would tell the paramedics I was doing when I sustained my massive injuries.  No thanks.  I am sure it might be a bit faster but it also increases my risk of being in a full body cast.  If you are more graceful than me (very likely) then give it a go, but either way you do need to experiment with getting in and out of shoes.  
    • Source of hydration.  I have water bottles on my bike and I use a hydration belt for running (even short distances).  I like to be hydrated.  I feel better and I perform better.  So I put on the hydration belt.  I haven't decided if I will do it for the race or not, but I do use it when I train.
Here is a diagram of the muscles that will be sore.
  • Switching Muscles.  Both cycling and running use your legs but they use them differently.  It is good to get some practice going from one to the other.  Running a 5K is different with tired vs. fresh legs.  Get your body used to running on jello legs!  This will also give you an idea of how fast you will do your run portion.  Don't expect it to be as fast as a stand alone run because (unless you were totally slacking in the other two events) you will be tired.   
  • All out or Burn out?  How hard should you push yourself?  If you go too slow you won't be able to make up that time even if you have a good run.  If you go too hard you will be crawling to the finish line.  So how do you know how hard to ride your bike?  Practice.  The only way to know is to do some bricks and figure out how hard you can push your ride without sacrificing your run performance.
So today I went out and finally did a brick.  I have to follow my own advice, right??  I learned from this experience that I need to do some more. . .like a lot more before my race (which is 4 weeks from tomorrow!!!).
This is how I felt after I finished.  I have a lot of work to do

No comments:

Post a Comment