Posts Tagged Brick


This afternoon, I did NOT want to go for my bike ride.  For some reason, I really just felt like running, but I decided to suck it up and go anyways, especially since it was only supposed to be an hour and a half ride.  While I was getting my bike ready (more on this in a later post), I had the brilliant idea to follow Joe Friel’s exercise for determining lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR), and subsequently training zones for my riding.  As soon as I got on my bike I was so glad I had taken the time to do a little maintenance and give it a little TLC.  Wow, it is riding so much better now! With the exception of my front derailleur, which was acting up late in the ride, but I think I can fix it.

I went on my usual route, which I was hoping would not be too problematic with waiting at various lights and road crossings.  I managed to get through the worst of them during my 10 minute warm-up period, thankfully.  After 10 minutes, I pushed it and built up to riding as fast as I could and sustain for 30 minutes.  After 10 minutes of the test, I reset my HRM for the remaining 20 minutes.  What a great ride out it was!  After I finished the test, I stopped to drink some water and turn around and head back toward home.  I also checked my computer and saw that my average speed was 16.1 mph!  I was really pleased, it showed that I definitely was riding faster than my normal plodding along pace.  I did not worry about speed at all on the way back, I wanted to save some strength in my legs for a run, but I still finished with an overall average speed of 14.5 mph.  Not too shabby!  Stats for the ride:

Duration of ride time: 1:24:29

Distance: 20.45 miles

Average speed: 14.5 mph

Max speed: 30.6 mph

When I got back to the house, I took a quick bathroom break, changed shorts and had a quick snack of 3 small dates.  It was much longer than a normal transition, but my legs still felt like jelly when I started running.  After about 8 minutes I got my rhythm back.  Although it was about 90 F, the run wasn’t too bad because there was a nice cool breeze flowing.  A few minutes after I got my legs back I got a side stitch.  It wasn’t too bad, but it was bad enough to make me want to stop and make it go away.  I’d like to say that I continued to run through the pain, but I can’t.  At 16 minutes I stopped and walked for about 20 seconds before I motivated myself to start running again.  I ran the rest of the workout (42 minutes) and then walked to cool down for about 16 minutes or so.

I spent some time really stretching out well when I got home.  My muscles have felt really tight lately, especially in my lower back and shoulders, so I wanted to loosen up a bit while they were still warm.  I really would like to figure out a time to work some yoga into my training plan, I think that’s the one thing I’m missing!

My heart rate stats are broken up into 4 segments of today’s workout.  The first three are on the bike and the fourth is the run and cool-down.

Stats #1: Bike warm-up and first 10 minutes of LTHR test

Duration: 20:03

Average heart rate: 155

Max heart rate: 176

Calories: 188

Stats #2: Second 20 minutes of LTHR test (the part that counts!)

Duration: 20:01

Average heart rate: 177

Max heart rate: 187

Calories: 239

Stats #4: Remaining bike ride

Duration: 49:35

Average heart rate: 162

Max heart rate: 182

Calories: 505

Stats #5: Run and cool-down walk

Duration: 58:00

Average heart rate: 160

Max heart rate: 184

Calories: 587

Which means…drum roll, please!  That my LTHR for cycling is estimated to be 177 beats per minute.  This means that my workout zones (following from the Triathlete’s Training Bible) are as follows:

Zone 1 (Recovery): 116-145

Zone 2 (Extensive Endurance): 146-158

Zone 3 (Intensive Endurance): 159-165

Zone 4 (Subthreshold): 166-176

Zone 5A (Superthreshold): 177-180

Zone 5B (Anaerobic capacity): 181-186

Zone 5C (Power): 187-193

What does this all mean to me?  I’m not really sure yet.  I’ve tried to use some vague notion of zones in my training in the past, but never had a concrete number to follow.  I think this could really make me more disciplined over the long run, but for this next race I’m afraid it may be too late to start trying to incorporate this knowledge into my plan.  I’m not sure I have time right now to do more research and planning.  Unless I do it tonight, right now and figure everything out for the next few weeks.  I’ve been known to do things of that nature.  Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Good night!


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I’m on a Roll

I’ve been doing really well with this whole training thing.  Sunday was my first brick leading up to Nation’s, and I think it went pretty well.  I did a 21 mile ride followed by about 2 miles running.  The bike ride was quite a nice contrast to the incredibly hot run on Saturday.  I got up fairly early, around 7:00AM, and ate a small breakfast of dates and almond butter.  I really should have brought a snack with me for the ride, but I thought I’d be able to push it out.  I didn’t really think about the fact that I wouldn’t want to eat when I got back from the ride and was leaving for my run.  I should stop making excuses though, I know better than to go for over an hour without sustenance!  My ride was pretty slow, only about 14.2 mph on average, but I’m chalking it up (at least partially) to my legs being tired from the run.  Thankfully, it was fairly cool that early in the morning, and a lot of the trail was shaded.  It definitely had the feeling like it was going to be getting hotter, but it wasn’t yet!  Overall, it was a decent ride but not fantastic.  I did manage to get my running legs pretty quickly after getting off the bike, so that was good.  I just ran a couple loops around my neighborhood and added a bit extra to do as close to 2 miles as possible.  Then I took a nice 10 minute walk to cool down.

Today was a lifting day, so I headed over to Mom’s after work for some NROL4W action.  Here’s the workout:

A. Squats – 2 sets of 12 @ 70 lbs

B1. Push-ups – 2 sets of 12 real push-ups

B2. Seated Row – 2 sets of 12 @ 80 lbs

C1. Step-ups – 2 sets of 12 @ 17.5 lbs Dumbbells

C2. Prone jackknife – 2 sets of 12 @ BW

I increased all my weights today since there were 3 fewer reps per set, and I felt great on everything.  I was feeling really strong today, which was a nice change!  I haven’t been feeling great about my weight lifting skills lately, but I think I’m back in the groove now.  I’m really on a roll with my training!

I got in some more gym time after weight lifting too.  Curtis and I had planned a run with his dad because he was in town for work for the night.  As it turned out, he wanted to go to our gym and lift instead, so we headed over there to meet him.  While he hit the weights, Curtis and I did some running on the track to warm-up.  We also did a couple of sprint intervals before heading down to the free weights.  Since I had already lifted for the day, I decided to do some extra core work as I feel as though I’ve been lacking in that department with the NROL4W program.  I just did three different exercises at 2 sets each:

Plank – 1 set @ 2 minutes, 1 set @ 90 seconds

Leg lifts – 2 sets @ 1 minute

Russian twists – 2 sets @ 1 minute with 10 lbs medicine ball

After my core work, I spent some time stretching out really well.  I’ve been feeling pretty tight lately, and considering trying to work in some yoga I just haven’t yet figured out when I’ve got the extra time.  Might try it on Thursday.

Dinner tonight was a delicious meal of tequila lime chicken, which we marinated since last night, roasted baby red potatoes, and salad with romaine, grape tomatoes, cucumber, green onions and feta.  Deliciousness.  The chicken was so perfectly tender and juicy and so flavorful!  The recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa, and it’s the perfect summer meal.

Now, it’s off to read some blogs and get to bed!  Good night and have a great week!

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It was way too hot today for April!  It got up above 90°F and was sunny all day, so I waited till almost 7 before doing my brick.  I set up my shoes for running so I could “transition” on the front porch.  I rode about 14.2 miles in 1:01, but I think I went out too hard on the first half because I really had to work to keep up the pace on the second leg.  I felt a lot more comfortable riding today than I have before.  I’m really getting the hang of the cycling shoes and clipping out.  Clipping in is lagging a little bit, but I’m sure I’ll have it mastered soon.  I’m definitely more efficient with the clipless pedals, even if sometimes I still forget that I should pull up and push.  I think my heart rate was too high when I got off the bike, so I’m going to need to remember to spin a bit more and try and get it down during the race.  My transition was quick – definitely under 2 minutes, but all I did was take my helmet, gloves and shoes off and put on socks and running shoes.

I had a hard time starting out on the run, it was uphill and I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath.  My legs were okay though, which is good.  I didn’t have too much of the “jelly-legs” sensation.  Once I got into a rhythm I picked up the pace a bit and ran for 3.1 miles.  The whole workout was about 1:40.  Most importantly, after this workout I still feel quite confident about my performance next weekend.  I know that I can run the whole distance on tired legs, which is one thing that I was a little worried about.  I am ready!  I just keep repeating that to myself over and over.  I am ready.  I’m working on putting together my final race plan for the rest of the week and race day preparation, so look out for that tomorrow.

6 days left.

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I AM Ready

What a gross, rainy day!  At least the weekend was nice.  Today was a weight training day and I also moved the brick workout that I was supposed to do Saturday to today.  I was feeling pretty unathletic throughout the day today and really didn’t feel like working out.  I think it probably had something to do weather combined with the fact that I hadn’t really done any training over the weekend.  Once I started moving, all that went away and I felt strong.

Here’s the workout…

Core (2 sets of each):

Holding your legs straight up, lower them to the left or right side (alternating), then lift and touch your toes

“Can opener” crunches, with both legs off the ground, extend right and bend your left knee, then do crunches touching right elbow to left knee and vice versa

Tucks – just as they sound, extend your legs and upper body then tuck in

Main sets (2 sets of each):

Standing downward row

Bicep curls

Shoulder shrugs

Lat Pulldown

Squat push-press

Straight-arm lifts

Single-leg hamstring curls

Chest press

French press (I am terrible at these!)

Rotator cuff while doing a wall sit

Legs (1 set after every 2 sets in main):

4 sets squats with a reverse lunges alternating legs

4 sets of “bounce” squats – 30 per set

After weight training, I did my brick workout.  I was supposed to do a full hour of riding and a half hour of running, but I cut both in half.  So, I rode for 30 minutes on the stationary bike, staying in zones 1/2 and keeping my cadence at about 90 cycles per minute.  With about 5-10 minutes left of cycling, I increased my cadence to prepare for the run.  After completing about 9 miles of biking (I forgot to check the exact distance), I got on the treadmill and ran a little over 1.5 miles in the 15 minutes at 1% incline.  Then I walked for a bit to cool-down and stretched out really well.

While I was biking, this older gentleman who I see often at the gym came up to me to say hi and see how my workout was going.  He knows that I’m training for a tri and asked when it was, then when he knew it was only 2 weeks away, asked if I’m ready.  Without even thinking about it, I said, “Yes, I AM!”  I couldn’t even believe I answered with such resounding confidence!  Thinking about it, though, I DO think I’m ready with 12 days to go!  I have no doubts that I’ll finish and finish stronger than my previous attempt.  Not only is my fitness about where I want it to be, but I have all my equipment ready to go, I tried out the bike segment of the race course, and I’ve almost got my nutrition planned out for the day.  I’m way ahead of the game compared to my last attempt at this tri.  I AM ready.  I CAN do this.

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