Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On how not to do bike-run bricks

I do not do anything exciting in training (yes, I swim, yes, I run, and I even ride my bike) and therefore here is my take on bricks, which offers a more interesting blog topic (to me at least). After the tri race I did two weeks ago some people mentioned that I should do bike-run bricks because I can fake a bike leg but faking a run off the bike is harder. 

Although I still think that I was somehow successful in faking the run off the bike and my pathetic run had more to do with lack of a proper running training than with lack of brick sessions I know that I should do bricks. I do not do them because I do not want to, I do not do them because I do not ride my bike, which is a vital ingredient for a successful brick session, right? Anyway, I decided that since I am doing another triathlon this weekend I should do some crush brick training and I did a brick on Friday (easy ride, intervals run), Saturday (easy ride, easy run) and Monday (easy ride, intervals run). Wow, I know. 

However, I think that these brick session are just a waste of time. Maybe not a waste of time because training is training but I do not think that they are effective one bit. 

Last year in summer (when I was able to run for… what was it?...10-11 weeks?) I did almost all of my runs as bricks (mostly because m y ITB did not hurt after I warmed it up on a bike first. Although even that strategy did not last long.). I did a bike hills session and went straight to a track and run my intervals. I did a bike intervals session and then went straight to a track and did my intervals. I did my long bike ride and on my way home I stopped on a track and did my intervals. Every time I ran I ran right after a bike ride, like seconds after getting off the bike!

I was able to do it because back then I did not have clip-in pedals, bike shoes or bike shorts. I rode in my running sneakers and running shorts, dismounted my bike, leaned it against a fence around a track and went running. 

However now I have all the fancy equipment (you know, like bike shoes and shorts) and my bricks go like this:
Ride a bike, stop, open a door, carry my bike to the third floor, open another door, take bike shoes off, carry my bike in, drink something, change shorts, put running shoes on, open and close two doors, and only once all that is done I can finally start running. No matter how hard I try this “transition” always takes me more than 7minutes. Always. 

Although I am getting some benefits from doing this, bricks like these do not replicate “get off the bike and start clicking off sub-6min miles right away”. Not one bit.
These bricks are just stupid. All that fancy equipment is ruining my training! Although to be fair it is not only my equipment, it is also the fact that I do not run on a track very often now and thus must drop off the bike at home first.

I need to do this differently. I have some ideas but as long as I am in Germany I am not changing anything . Then once I am in Illinois I will hopefully be able to do this more effectively, even if it requires me to drag a bike trainer on a track with me.

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