bricked up

The last week or so has seen me nip out for a crafty 10-11k on a few occasions, squeezing my runs in around other commitments. I’ve tried to up the frequency a little as I have been feeling fairly sluggish and uninspired and this in turn has meant I run less which means I feel sluggish and unispired…
So, the weather getting milder and the impending Marlow Duathlon in a few weeks time have both given me a well needed kick up the behind.
Another thing that got me moving again was a response to one of my posts about my forthcoming Duathlon attempt. I got a good tip from the 5k runner who suggested I try “bricks”.
Bricks, for the uninitiated (such as I). is concentrating on 2 disciplines in the same workout in quick successiion. As I am training for a run/bike/run Duathlon, I decided to attempt a training session of run/bike/run/bike/run covering the same overall distance as my intended Duathlon (39kms) but in smaller chunks giving my body a chance to practice changing from one discipline to the other.
So, in my customary “Bull In A China Shop” style, I formulated a loose plan in my head on Saturday evening and then set off on Sunday morning to attempt my Brick Session.
First leg was a run of 5kms, a pleasant little run that felt easy. A quick change of footwear and onto the bike for 13.5kms. I’d drunk some water at the transition and during the ride guzzled some Lucozade sweets donated to me by the lovely Fit Artist. They seemed to do the trick as I felt rejuvenated for the bike ride with only the hill back home really making me work. Off the bike and back into the Vibrams for a 6k run. And this where I really started feeling it. The transition to the run after a cycle is a tough one – thighs that have been moving up and down for 13kms now have to learn to move back and forth again and this takes a little while for the body to understand. The first kilometre felt odd and then for a brief period everything was ok before a sudden onset of weariness. With a bike ride and another run to go, I was beginning to wonder why I had attempted this. Still, onwards and upwards we go so I returned home, jumped back on the bike, wolfed down some more energy sweets and I felt ok again. The bike ride was again quite enjoyable as I find it relatively easy but at the back of my mind, I began to dread the last run.
I arrived back, dropped the bike, swapped shoes and set off for my last 2k run. It was really hard. The transition was tough and I didn’t shake off the feeling of weariness. It was only a relatively short leg but I felt disorientated as I ran it, unsure of how long I’d been running and a bit detached from my self. I have had this feeling before towards the end of some of my more challenging runs… it’s not fun and is physicaly and mentally uncomfortable.
I was so relieved when I got back home. Glad that it was over but also glad that I had done what I intended. My time (2h 32mins) was about what I expected to complete the race in but this training session had 2 additional transitions and they involved unlocking the front door, carefully manouvering my bike through the hallway etc. which I obviously won’t have to concern myself with during the actual race.
As a footnote, I retrospectively researched “Bricks” and found that I’d gone about it completely the wrong way – advice on Beginner Triathlete.com says “If you have never done a brick before, you should get used to them before attempting these kind of workouts”. And also that the individual legs should be over shorter distances, ideally “5-6 miles bike + 1mile run”. I really need to learn that instructions and advice are what you seek before attempting something and not afterwards to check if you’ve done it right.

Soundtrack to this post:
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Starfighter


1 Response to “bricked up”

  1. February 27, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Blimey, well done on your first brick! I’m not surprised you felt disorientated and wobbly during the last leg, that’s quite some session. You don’t do things by half! I was thinking about you just now actually, I was on my bike running errands and spotted two women running along the pavement. Of course I had a good look and noticed they were both wearing barefoot shoes, one was in Vibrams and the other was in a rather lovely green pair of NBs (I’ve not seen these before). They ran so naturally and seemingly comfortably and it looked like they have probably been doing it for some time now. I am feeling inspired to dust off my pink Vibrams and give it another go 😉

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