Monday, April 13, 2009

Bike emphasis brick

Sunday I did a brick workout with a bike emphasis. It's a term I picked up from Joel Friel's Triathlete's Training Bible. Basically his theory is that doing a long bike ride following by a long run makes an athlete more prone to injury. So instead, do a long bike followed by a brief run, or do a short bike followed by a long run. I did both of these workouts this weekend, and was accompanied by other people during most of them.
 
I'm a member of the Sac Tri Club. The members are really great - nice, friendly, always willing to offer advice (or brandy before the start of an ice breaker swim...:)). One perk of membership is being a part of their very active email listserv. People often post workouts they're going to do to see if anyone else wants to join them. I mentioned that I would be biking the entire river trail Sunday morning, and I had 3 guys join me along various parts of the route. The guys were all definitely in better cycling shape than me. They pushed the pace for me, but for the most part didn't let me get too far behind (other than a short stretch of hills - I'm slower going up and I brake going down - wimpy kendra). It was a 62 mile ride for me. My average pace was only 15.7, which only served to remind me that cycling is once again my weakest link. I guess that's okay because it means I've improved my running significantly this past year. I told Dave in 2007 that I'd become a faster runner in 2008 and do my ironman in 2009. The plan is working so far. Hopefully my legs felt tired from the run on Saturday, and not just due to the pace. It was a great workout to try to keep up with those guys though. If I'd been riding on my own I know I would not have been pushing 19mph after mile 50, which is what we were doing for awhile. I ran for 15 minutes after I finished the ride. My lower back started hurting almost immediately, as it often does during a brick workout when I really push the bike. Probably need to work on my core strength and do more bricks to fix that.
 
Sunday's sprint tri will give me a better idea of my strengths/weaknesses because I'll be able to compare my splits (swim, bike, and run times) against other people in my division/age group. I registered for the (somewhat controversial) Athena division. Women over 150 lbs are eligible. (The Clydesdale is the men's equivalent and they have to be over 200lbs.)  150 is the lowest weight I've seen for Athena, it's often 160. At least two people told me I shouldn't do the Athena because it's not fair since I'm not heavy in their eyes. I figured the line is drawn somewhere, and there is no way I could possibly do well in my age group division (30-34 is usually the most competitive). I thought about it and decided I'd be most motivated by entering the Athena division because there's a slight chance I could actually podium. This race gives awards 5 deep. In the sprint tri I did in August, I also entered Athena division and I got 6th place. So I figured it's worth a shot mostly because during the race, I know there will be a time that I want to slow down or even quit, and I think if I can just focus on trying to get 5th place then maybe I'll keep going and push myself harder. Pushing myself harder is the only way to get faster. Getting faster makes for a better ironman. Even though I'm in the Athena division, once results are posted, I will be figuring out where I stand among women in my age group since that will give me a better idea of my strengths and weaknesses. I wonder how slow my transition out of the wetsuit will be!
 
I would've loved to make today a rest day, but had to ride my bike due to an interview/photo op for an office newsletter. My legs are tired, but the photographer will be riding with me for the first 3 miles, and then it's just over 4 miles home from there. By the time I convince myself I should never ride my bike to work again, I'm home and I've forgotten how much I dread the afternoon commute.
 
This week's plan: (one day might/should become a rest day)
Monday: Bike to/from work
Tuesday: PM group run (plus as little bike commuting as possible to get to work)
Wednesday: bike to/from work plus run a mile at the end of one ride.
Thursday: might run to/from work (from the park, so about 3 miles each way)
Friday: bike to/from work, but hopefully get a 2 hour ride in on either end
Saturday: rest or do a 1-2 hour ride
 
oh yeah and maybe swim in the wetsuit sometime too....

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