As we wrap up week 8 of ironman training, I’m happy to report that I have reached a milestone: I biked 56 miles! And not just flat miles, there were hills and my legs were in some major pain!
The ride was part of the DC Tri Club’s Annual Brick-Nic, which is a Brick followed by a Picnic. In case you don’t tri, a brick is a bike-run workout. Bricks are recommended (even if it’s just a 15 min run), because running on tired legs is very different than running on fresh legs and during a triathlon, especially an ironman, your legs will definitely be tired.
Bricks are often dreaded by triathletes, but over time I have become a big fan of bricks. A good brick workout typically leaves you feeling invincible during the run! If you’ve fed your body the right stuff while on the bike, taken in enough hydration and kept your output on the bike comfortable with a high cadence, you are likely going to have a strong run and any run that feels good after 56 miles of biking is awesome!
Today’s was not a great brick for me…My lack of practice climbing hills left my legs shot and my cadence lacking; I didn’t drink quite enough; and I also don’t think I ate enough. Add all of that up and you get what seems like the longest 2.5 mile run of your life…
Nonetheless, today is a day of celebrations!
With my pains, will come gains and despite the miserable run, today’s training was extremely valuable. I learned some good things about my nutritional needs and where I should be honing in my focus; bring on the cadence drills, strength training and hill climbing!
I was also reminded that while triathlon is an individual sport, it is so much better when you’re part of a team and I am so lucky to have been part of an awesome 4-women no-drop ride this morning. I do not know what I would have done without those ladies pushing me through those 56 miles and jumping in to save me from a minor chain issue and xlab wing failure. Riding with friends is always better (and safer)! [Pablo discovered the same thing last week, check out his Recipe for Making Long Training Rides Enjoyable]
Oh and I learned two more things; bring a glove, so you don’t get your hands all greasy when engaging in on-the-road bike repair emergencies (which you inevitably will on long rides), and always carry rubber bands, because you never know what kind of MacGyver tricks you’ll have to use to save your bike gear!