Trifecta Brick!

images (14)Hard to believe I am only 23 days away from my primary goal and source of motivation for the last year, my first triathlon.  Preparation for this event previously focused on composing the base endurance building blocks necessary to allow me to complete this triathlon.  Currently the focus has shifted focus aiming now at increasing intensity and adaptability by switching the workout focus to multi-hour, miulti-exercise activities, aptly called bricks.  While having completed a moderate spin/swim brick on Monday, I wanted to complete a spin/run brick for this week.  Because this weekend will be taken up by a friends wedding, last night presented itself as the last possible day to squeeze in that spin/run brick.  Boy did I make that two hours count!!!!

First off, I decided to don my tri suit again as I wanted to try and get a little bit more comfortable wearing it.  I figure If I run and spin and swim in it a few times, it will feel more natural come race day.  Thanks to everyone’s support and one ‘big’ blogger, I sequestered my fears and put the suit on with pride.  I knew I would have to deal with it, as it was truly a matter of getting used to wearing it or try and adapt on race day.  I realized it was stupid to hide from the way I looked  in it and decided I would be better wearing it to practice in.  Once again thanks for the support. One cool thing that happened occurred when I got into the spin room. There was another triathlete woman I had met and talked with a bit in the spin room, I had not conversed with her or seen her for the past winter months, so it was cool to see how she was doing and to find out about her races for the year.  The cool thing was though she asked if the tri-suit I was wearing was what I was going to race in.  I sorta got a little nervous as I am a bit self conscious in it, but she said she could tell I was making good progress and it looked like I had lost some weight and was looking good.  That made my night and I said haters be damned(even if they are only in my head!)

Heart Rate during spin session.

Heart Rate during spin session.

The brick workout plan involved an hour spin followed by a two to two and a half mile run.  The spin was ok, but my legs felt a little dead and I had some difficulty pushing my heart rate higher than zone two. Not sure why the legs felt so dead as I had two days rest between then and the previous brick workout.  I managed to give myself a good push and occasionally simulate some hills and other fun potential encounters while on the spin bike. By the end of an hour I had given my legs a brutal workout.

Calculated run route totaling 2.56 miles.

Calculated run route totaling 2.56 miles.

The run started as my brick runs usually start, sluggish.  I found for the first mile I occasionally had to slow down or walk for ten to fifteen second sessions before running again.  I continued the run til I just needed a  brief rest, then walk for a few seconds then back to run for the first mile. At some point just past the first mile, suddenly my legs felt ok and I just ran.  It became pure running bliss.  The legs were tired, but it just did not feel like a fight anymore, I was just running.  While I only did 2.56 miles (watch had issues so I just calculated it using Google Maps and the measure tool) I felt like at the end I could have gone longer.  I finished that two and a half miles in just under thirty five minutes with a pace just under fourteen minutes per mile.  If I continued to finish the 5k distance that pace would have ended closer to a thirteen minute per mile pace.  That is hands down much faster than my previous numbers and indicates I might be able to finish the 5k portion of my triathlon in or around forty minutes!!!

Trifecta means three of course and usually a brick entails two activities.  When I got back to the gym, my lungs were burning from the cold and my heart rate was elevated.   I suddenly decided I wanted to try and swim as well, I figured there was still enough gas in the tank for one more ten minute effort.  So I swam wearing my full suit and it was wonderful. When I used to swim I wore regular swim trunks.  But this time I was wearing tight lycra.  In my shorts I usually finished 400 meters of swimming in 10 -11 minutes.  With lycra shorts on I finished 8:59 and that was with elevated heart rate and exhaustion from spinning and running.  It was the perfect way to finish the evening.

Of course I followed my activity with a bout of time in the hot tub while nursing a protein shake, a clif bar and a sports drink.  I was exhausted when I finished and it took almost fifteen minutes or more to come down from the high and start recuperating.  My legs suddenly felt heavy, my lungs were thick and my heart rate returned to normal.  I seemed to feel a slight body ache all over and I realized I was tired… very tired.  Slowly over the hour after the brick the ache and tiredness began to seep in further. Its amazing how this feeling is non-existent one moment and very real and present the next.  Of course I could not help but grin as I realized I had just pulled off a very intense difficult workout.  Today, my legs are heavy and my arms feel stiff.  I am also feeling non-stop hunger.

Off too a wedding this weekend and no more bricks again til Monday.  I plan on getting a basic recovery run in tomorrow morning, but nothing strenuous.  I love running in new places and Jacksonville is where I plan to finish my season.  Should be good fun to see my friend get married and to get to experience running in Jacksonville.  Til next time.


  1. Great way to push it with the swim after two solid workouts. Not many would have made the jump into the pool and it will definitely pay off both physically and mentally during the race… I just recieved my tri suit and am really excited to give it a run through the paces!

    1. I actually found it was easier than you would expect. Lungs were heavy but it felt amazing! Thanks

  2. Great post. Sounds like you’re going to have a great first tri. From one couch potato turning triathlete to another: Keep it up!!!

    1. Thank you. My goal is to finish the race, but I want to have the best experience possible. i started the hard core training for that reason, to enjoy the experience and not be dead from exhaustion at the end. Looks like you were on a similar adventure last year. Will be a fun triathlon season as its my first!

  3. OneLovelyRun · · Reply

    Good for you – it’s hard to leave the self esteem hurting sometimes, but it’s not about that. The confidence comes from DOING it. – the bricks are really hard. Running off the bike is my biggest challenge! Dead leg all the way.

    1. Luckily the dead legs for me only last about a mile til it just becomes running and not struggling. The brick workouts are definitely extremely intense, you feel them more the next day. I am sore today unlike I have been since I started a little less than a year ago. .

  4. 😉

    Nicely done

  5. […] Not sure I want to call this a run, but it is what it is.  This weekend a good friend of mine was getting married in Jacksonville Florida, so the third weekly brick was replaced with a Saturday, pre-wedding jog.  I intended this jog as a way to get out and maybe work some of the travel out of my legs. As well I wanted to work out some of the stiffness from Thursday nights trifecta brick (here). […]

  6. […] brick ended up being a trifecta brick (did all 3 events, read about it here) might try to do this again at least once a week in the next two week […]

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