Triathlon brick

What’s a brick, you might ask? Well, I mean most people know what a brick is but how does that relate to a triathlon? Fear not gentle readers, I will let you know.

A brick is just doing two workouts back to back – most commonly biking and running (though I have also done running then swimming). Nobody knows for sure why it’s called a brick – it just is. Wikipedia has the following as claims for origin

  • A partial anagram of Bike-Run.
  • It may simply be a descriptive term for how your legs feel for the first part of the run.
  • Another is credited to Mark Sisson and Scott Zagarino (1988), who associated the term brick with the idea of “Just another brick in the wall”… as noted in a song by the group “Pink Floyd”.
  • Another association of this term has been claimed to originate from a New Zealand athlete by the name of Matt Brick.

Uh huh Matt Brick – you just go on thinking that…. I’m so sure.

Anyway with my triathlon coming up in 2 weeks, it’s time to do some serious preparation. I have been wanting to get out and do some biking and running outside since that’s much different than a treadmill / exercise bike. And since the triathlon is not ON a treadmill or exercise bike, it seemed prudent. Weather cooperated nicely and away I went.

I opted to just do a 3.05 mile course around my house and do 4 laps of it. That was about 12.2 miles which is about 1/2 mile short of the bike course but close enough. My lap times were: 12:38:33, 12:39:69, 12:54:56, and 13:24:07 for a total time of 51:37:45. Felt pretty good. That’s an average speed of about 14.2 mph which would put me at about 54:15 for my bike course. If I am to achieve my goal of 1:30:00, I really need to get that bike time down to about 50 minutes, which would be about 15.4 mph.

As I rode, I thought about the differences between this route and the race route. One thing I will have in my favor is that there will be less turning and slowing down to check for cars and such. I was not sure about hills. On the one hand, the hills on the Oxford course seemed like they were steeper and/or longer, but on the other hand, every hill I went on (Greenbriar from Miami, Homart from Thomas to Jethve, Sanoma from Osceola to Iuka) I had to go on 4 times! Of course I got to fly down that sweet downhill (25 mph+) on Thomas 4 times too….

The run was hard but satisfying in that I was able to run the whole way. One thing that I thought helped me was that physically the transition between biking and running is very difficult (the aforementioned way that your legs feel after biking). I think that this helped me to keep my pace slow. I just did 2 laps around my block which is 1.62 miles, or a little less than 1/2 my 5K race course. My 2 lap times were 6:58:33 and 6:31:16 for an overall time of 13:29:49, or a pace of an 8:20 mile.

An 8:20 mile is a 5K pace of 25:53 which would be sweet. I wanted to stop and walk several times but kept going. One thing I’ll definitely have to my advantage is that the course I ran today has a few nice hills in it, where the Miami course is fairly flat. Of course I have to run it almost twice as far….

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Comments (2) left to “Triathlon brick”

  1. Carolyn wrote:

    You’re the man now dawg!

  2. Anonymous wrote:

    So that Triathalon is this Saturday, 4/19 right? I’ll be thinking of you. Hopefully I’ll get out for a bike ride, though I doubt I’ll do 25 miles. My longest this year is 16 I think. I rode 15 miles yesterday, with a couple of good hills, a 15 mph headwind on the return, and averaged 13.5 mph. I’ve been listening to Lance Armstrong’s book “Every Second Counts”. I’ve been inspired by his stories of Tour de France stages in the mountains, and am trying get more hill climbs into my rides. Makes the legs burn.
    Dad G.

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