I graduated with my Masters degree in English from Sacramento State University in 2011. One of the highlights of my going back to school besides learning and becoming a better writer was biking from home to school using our beautiful American River Parkway. I was biking 20 miles round trip and loved my bike rides and the freedom they brought to my day. At the time, I was doing century rides for the American Diabetes Association in memory of my dear father who died of a heart attack due to his diabetes at the young age of 53.
TRIATHLON – A NEW SPORT TO MAKE US MORE WELL-ROUNDED
Now as a runner, I experience tremendous freedom and joy, but I also use the same muscles. After attending a free Triathlon information session at Fleet Feet, I have decided to jump right at it and do my first women only triathlon coming up on September 9th. Being new to triathlons, I did not even know what it really meant to do a triathlon. I found out that I would have to swim half a mile, bike 20 miles, and run 4 miles, so all doable. Moreover, after taking some clinics and talking to my runner friends who have done them, I realized that doing my first triathlon will open up new fitness doors that I never knew existed. This reminded me how important explorations and trying new things are.
What is a BRICK in triathlons? Why runners should do them once a week, or every other week to become stronger and faster whether training for a triathlon or not?
Veronica, one of my trail runner friends , who used to do half Ironman told me that I needed to start doing brick workouts. She explained to me what they meant, as I had no clue. The biking-running brick workout is one of the most popular, as one bikes first and then runs to prepare for the triathlon. Second most popular brick workout is swimming first and biking second. These two brick workouts can also be done in reverse, meaning run-bike, bike-swim, but the idea is to experience the same conditions and order as in the triathlon.
According to Chris Carmichael, there are various type of Brick workout, which he describes in his article.
TOP FIVE REASONS TO DO BRICK WORKOUTS AS A RUNNER, OR JUST FOR OVERALL FITNESS
- Excellent cross training exercises and routines.
- The two sports help work and train different muscles in our bodies.
- Reduced risk of injuries.
- Increased cardio fitness.
- Fun, fun, and more fun!
My first brick workout was biking 13.7 miles at a brisk pace and running 4 miles in the low 8s right after the biking. Although I felt my legs turn into bricks right after biking, I was able to run at a decent pace easing into each mile and being amazed at what my body could do. I felt confident and happy with my very first brick workout. I will report back after doing my second brick workout swimming and biking.
Whether doing a triathlon, or not, I highly recommend mixing these type of brick workouts into your training to help you stay stronger and infuse more variety and fun into your workouts. Happy feet! Happy pedaling! Happy swim strokes! This is my favorite order for my upcoming women only triathlon, but everyone will have different favorites.
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