I am now only days away and soon hours from my first triathlon. While I while away the hours doing nothing but stretching and packing and watching as many Iron Man Kona championship videos as possible I figured I should post the numbers from my brick phase leading into the taper.
I wanted to do my bricks as a means of building endurance. With that in mind I figured I would do three bricks a week with a day off between each alternating between bike/swim and bike/run/swim. I figured since the implied intensity would be greater than my volume building phases, I would lower the number of hours for each week. In comparison, during volume weeks I on average worked out around 10 hours and exerted about a six intensity. For these bricks I would drop the hours below six hours but ramp the intensity up to an eight or nine.
The primary goal of the bricks aimed as familiarizing my body to the feel of transitioning between exercises and to extend my endurance fitness. Additionally I was using it as a gauge to plan my nutrition. While most might say its a short race and it should not matter, I have found tweaking my nutrition for my body and its function proved in training to be key in getting the best performance. The largest consequence of this three week brick cycle turned out to be extended confidence in my abilities and capabilities. I transformed my thinking from believing I might be able to do this triathlon to realizing and knowing I will complete it. All of my distances were set to simulate race distances: 12 mile bike (one hour spin zone three heart rate with some visits into zone four); 5k run and 400 meters of swimming. On all the bricks I attempted to transition as fast as possible to simulate race conditions.
While I was not focused on overall time, I still kept data for the entire three weeks including distances. A couple of times I had to replace a bike ride or a run due to extenuating circumstances. The first week did not seem too bad, except that a long car trip after my first trifecta brick caused extended soreness. Of course my lack of endurance also contributed to this. As I started the second week I realized that my legs were feeling heavy at similar resistances and speeds on the spin bike and my run had slowed down quite a bit by the final week of brick workouts.
The great thing about this workout phase was the fact that my recovery from these improved exponentially. By the end of the third week I felt stronger and better recovered within a day. My muscles felt more capable and able to handle the stresses. The best part of this phase came from learning allot about what I could and could not do. Each week of bricks and each workout my body grew more weary and sore. I felt spent by the end of the third week of bricks and I was ready to move on to taper week and race day.
But from that weariness I truly learned what I could do and what stresses I could push myself to. I for the first time realized I would finish this race and I would do it with my head high. It was no longer an if I could thing, I know that this race is mine and that I will finish it with all I have got. I know how to pull from down below and give the race all I have to give, I know how to manage my time, but leave nothing left in the end. I know deep down inside that I am stronger that I could ever have imagined and I know truly how far I have the potential to go and beyond. The biggest lesson these bricks and this workout plan have taught me is how to be tough and resilient and to transcend the mental image of my self past the unhealthy lazy couch potato I was when I started this adventure. No matter what happens this weekend as I race, I have improved my life both physically and mentally. I am a positive, goal setting, forward thinking juggernaut now that has the physical endurance and prowess to back it up. I feel like I exude confidence. Good bye old me, the fit, new me has a race to go tackle. Til next time.
- Gotta Listen to The Body (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- First Week of Brick Workouts In The Bag: Looking Back and Ahead (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Starry Night Brick (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- This Taper Thing Is Going to KILL ME!!! (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Are We There Yet? (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)