Several weeks ago, another blogger I follow and respect, IowaTriBob posted a little workout his trainer had given him involving doing short 800 meter repeat bricks. I was intrigued by this workout and curious if this might help me in my transitions and off the bike to run feel. While involved in my first triathlon I found my preparation was good, but there were certainly areas that could be improved upon for my second triathlon. As noted, transitions and off the bike running were two of these areas. As soon as I read Bob’s post, I knew I was going to have to try this workout and see if it could help. With my triathlon being this weekend I wanted practice in both areas and I wanted to get this workout done earlier than later in the week as the goal for the week involves rest, not grinding myself into the ground. But this little workout was just what I needed.
Initially I was hoping to complete the entire set, but time ran out and my night time illumination ran into issues(namely I did not charge the batteries). So I got in two full sets and the initial 400 meter running set. Both my run and bike course included a starting uphill and finished with a slight down hill. This provided a little bit of an analog for the race’s terrain, even though that will be steeper. Since I did not have access to a track I set up transition a little ways down my driveway and ran on the road.
One thing I realized was that the first run was difficult, my pacing was all off and I felt out of breath. I was running too hard and was having difficulty calming down. The second and third sets I found I felt calmer and was able to ease myself onto the road. While it was slower, it felt more easy and less laborious. Overall my pace was slow, but I felt comfortable and able to run the entire distance. It actually felt easier running off the bike than regular running.
The bike was interesting as I chose a path with a gradual uphill, little bit of down hill then turn around and ride reverse. Usually I ride these slight rises in the larger ring without difficulty, but after playing with different combinations, I found that riding in the smaller ring with a bit of a high cadence, while slightly slower actually left my legs feeling a tad bit fresher off the bike. I also practiced mounting and dismounting the bike as both have been areas of concern.
In my first triathlon, transitions killed me. So I used this exercise to also practice my transitions. I am going to try this triathlon sock less so I figured I would practice that. I found that the tongue on my bike shoes often folded funny, but more importantly it did not bother me enough to loose some time straightening. My times included a bit of travel time from the paved road to my transition area. The last transition included searching and trying to get my bike lights going, but it turned out they were all dead and needed charging after all. I feel this really helped as I started to feel calmer and more organized going into my transitions. I was hoping for a 1:30 for my swim to bike transition, but I would accept a 2 minute transition time as well.
I think Bob’s coach nailed this on the head. This workout is awesome for providing a consistent feel off the bike and for getting a feel for transitions. After doing the few short sets I was able to squeeze in before it got dark (In the country dark means pitch black) I feel more confident in my run off the bike, transitions and even some of the mechanics behind pedaling for the long haul. I think I might even like doing bricks more in this manner than the traditional ride some long distance then run a few miles approach. It is also challenging and great fun. Thanks Bob and Bob’s coach for this little training gem. Bring on the race!!! Til next time.
- Its Time To Race: Training Week 4 Wrap Up and Look Ahead (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- ‘Other’ Changes (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- A Life Without Limits: Triathlons Gift To Me (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)