BRICKS, BAGS, KITS AND OTHER SUCH NONSENSE.

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The mini tri is less than three weeks away and I really have to start giving some thought to the biking leg of the race. I have been so focused on the swimming portion that I have neglected biking and brick workouts. If you are not familiar with triathlon speak you may be wondering, “What on earth is a brick workout?” Well, it is basically training for the transition between two different disciplines, e.g., swim to bike and bike to run. However, when people refer to brick they are usually referring to the bike to run transition. It’s been said that the workout received it’s name due to the fact that your legs feel like bricks when you start running off the bike. Wonderful!

I have done a few pseudo brick workouts in that I got on the treadmill right after spinning class. It was pretty awful. I felt like the treadmill had malfunctioned and was not providing accurate distance information. It seemed to take forever to cover a mile. However, as bad as that was, I have no illusions that it is the same as actually pounding the pavement after putting in mileage on a real bike. The logistics of doing real brick workouts are a little challenging as you have to actually cycle outdoors and in a location where your bike will be secure when you take off running. I will be doing one very soon though since I’m starting to do a little more biking as the weather slowly warms up.

There is so much to think about when you’re doing three events at one time. In addition to the transitions, it seems you need to know how to fix a flat. This is where the saddle bag repair kit comes in.

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As you can see from the picture above, the bag is small and fits nicely under the saddle. My saddle bag contains an inner tube, a patch kit, two wrenches and CO2. The CO2 is pretty nifty because it is so small but can blow up an inner tube. Here is a picture of the content of my bag.

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Now I just need to figure out how to apply a patch or replace my inner tube. Never a dull moment.

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QUITTERS NEVER WIN!

perseverance

I have occasion to remind my daughter that “quitters never win” at least once a week. Now I have to tell myself the same thing three or four times each week. My swimming is improving, but very slowly.

My form is atrocious. I know what I’m supposed to be doing but implementation is eluding me. There are so many things to remember. Keep your head down, breathe, lead with your elbow, kick from the thighs and not the knees, breathe, stay aligned, inhale with half of your face still in the water, relax, breathe. UGH! My swimming instructor has taken more hiatuses than Scandal this season, but I still get in the pool three or four times each week. My tri coach, Jackie, has been a lifesaver. Thankfully, she has been assisting me with drills and tips. So onward I go but time is working against me right now as the race is in 5 weeks.

Since we’ve had a real winter, complete with freezing temperatures and snowstorms, we just managed to get in our first group ride. It felt great to be able to dust the bike off and hit the outdoors. Although I am tres rusty, I enjoyed the 6 mile ride. But I really need to incorporate more spinning into my schedule because I struggled a little and we didn’t even hit any hills.

For all of my whining about swimming, it has been helping my achilles and I’ve found that I’m better off doing some running than none at all. I have been increasing my running distance slowly because I have to be ready for a half marathon on June 1st. I couldn’t resist. The real challenge that I’m facing with running is to not push too hard. I have to remember that it is better to run slowly than not at all.