Yesterday marked the end of my first of three high intensity brick workout weeks. Figured I would put this weeks goals and a recap of last weeks workout together as this tends to be more of a continuation from week to week. Last week started off a jumbled mess as traffic an time constrained nearly derailed my first brick effort for this phase. But Thursday I bounced back big time and I found a way to finish the week off on a positive note despite having to travel to a wedding in Jacksonville Florida.
As I have mentioned previously the focus of the last three weeks leading up to my taper week relies on an increased intensity. Previously, since last October at the least, my training focus has been volume, volume, volume and more volume. Everything I have read indicates people new to training should spend a lot more time focused on building volume and less time on intensity. I heeded this sage advice and slowly worked my training hours up to around nine to ten hours a week with an equal distribution of three workouts for each of the three disciplines: swim, bike and run as well as a strength and pilates session. This focus worked perfectly, but I knew for the last few weeks leading into the taper/race week I wanted to ramp up the intensity and focus on racing specific distances and issues.
This three week brick phase is intended to be that high intensity, race specific phase. The volume workout phases previously performed were probably a five or six on the intensity scale. This last weeks Thursday brick easily fell into the eight or nine out of ten rating on intensity and effort. For the first time in the last six months, last week I felt sore. Granted, my previous workouts had been hard, but this workout took it to another level entirely.
Of course this phase results in fewer hours, but each brick for me requires additional rest. I currently leave a day or two between each one for some recovery, and I truly do need it. This last week I completed just over four hours of training, but the intensity was through the roof and I could truly feel the effort.
This training of course mimics race conditions. Not in the length of transitions as these are done switching items in a locker, but by the intensity and distances. In my volume phases I often practices distances greater than my first race distances. With three weeks remaining, its all about those distances. I try to keep my runs around 5k distances, my spin sessions within an hour and of course my swim distance around 400 meters. Of course I have done a few longer spin sessions and swim sessions just to help wear down the legs and build up for the race. I am just trying to acclimate them to race specific distances.
Brick Week 1 Highlights:
- 4 Hours of total training time
- 2 Brick sessions and 1 run session (while traveling for a wedding)
- Thursday’s 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 phases.
- Intensity reached all time high
Brick Week 1 By the Numbers:
Brick Week 2 Goals:
- 3 Brick workouts, 2 Bike/Swim and 1 Bike/Run
- Keep working on nutrition
- 1 Pilates session
- Keep rolling and stretching regularly
- Possibly finish with a trifecta brick again.
This weeks goals are pretty similar to last weeks. I plan to continue to push the intensity and to prepare for my first triathlon, now only three weeks away. Its getting pretty exciting to realize that the day is getting so close and that I am in the peak fitness of my life. I will continue to wear my tri suit just to further get used to the way it feels if anything else. Additionally if I get some extra time I plan to practice transitions a little bit, just to try and control the total amount of time they will take. Its not a huge priority, but I would feel more confident knowing I at least figured out some of the basics. Should be another fun week. Til next time.