Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The importance of a brick

I went to Lake Mead National Recreation Area today for a brick workout. In case you are unfamiliar with triathlon terminology, a brick is when you perform two or three disciplines in a row (swim and bike; bike and run; swim and run; or swim, bike, run) in one workout. It was a beautiful day that was scheduled to be in the mid-60's with no wind. I went with a friend because it's always more fun with someone else.

We are both training for a half distance triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run) so we really needed to get a long workout it. We arrived at the lake at 9:35 and got in our wetsuits, neoprene caps, booties, and gloves and headed towards the water. We both swim with a personal rescue can/buoy for safety and additional visibility. The entrance booth said that the water was 60 degrees. We entered the water, which was still really cold, and started our swim. We completed about 2200 yards in 40 minutes. That is a little farther than what we will be swimming for our half distance triathlon.

We then made our way back to her car so we could get ready for the bike portion of our workout. As I was preparing my bike, by checking the tire pressure, my tire valve broke off. Since I hadn't been able to complete the check and I was nervous about my tire pressure and if my tire would hold air with a broken valve, I decided to change my tube while still at the car. It was the back tire and I have only change two tires in my garage, I was really nervous about doing it right. It took about 10 minutes but all went well. I ate a mandarin orange, got all my biking gear on, and started the climb out of Boulder Beach.

We rode on the River Mountain Loop Trail which is a 34 mile loop that circles the River Mountains connecting Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Hoover Dam, Henderson, Boulder City and the rest of the Las Vegas Valley. We didn't have time to do the entire loop so we rode out 45 minutes to the north and then turned around and headed back to Boulder Beach. We ended up completing 17.92 miles in 1:24. 

We arrived back at the car and quickly changed into our running gear. We had wanted to do a 20 minute run but with the tire change, our time was a little limited. We ended up completing 1.15 miles in 13:42. 

This was the first triple brick I have done in a while and as soon as I started the run, I remembered why they are so important in our training. I wasn't too tired from the swim and bike but my legs still didn't want to cooperate on the run. It took at least half of the run for them to wake up and start working properly. Running on tired legs is something we do as triathletes but sometimes we tend to forget about it in training. I have just over 5 weeks until my half triathlon. Today's workout reminded me that I need to do more bricks before then. They are an important part of training and a key factor to our racing success. 

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