First Brick of 2011

Today was my first brick of the year! I did 24 minutes in the pool followed by 48 minutes on a bike at the gym, following Day 2 of Week 1 of my 20-week training plan.

First off: what's a brick? It's a workout where you do one workout followed immediately by another, typically a swim followed by a bike or a bike followed by a run. I did my first brick training for my first tri back in '07 (it wasn't pretty): while in the gym one day I did 20 minutes on a bike and then walked over and tried to run on a treadmill. My calves locked up tight and had to stop walking after 5 minutes and sit down. Much has changed since then. Back to today...

The swim: 24:10, ~800 yards Lap Pool at the Pro Club, Bellevue

Yes, I'm slow. My 100m time is somewhere around 2:30. The pool was a 25 yard pool and felt a little on the chilly side. Flip turns continue to elude me but I'll work on that later when I'm not so pressed for time. This was my first swim since my crash back in August. I had a lane in the lap pool all to myself and kept up a constant pace of 28 strokes per 25 yards. On the first lap I had a mysterious foot cramp that was quite painful but went away before my first turn.

The bike: 48:00, 13.5 miles, avg. 17.8 MPH

The bike ride was 48 minutes of the hill profile on a Lemond Trainer. One of these days I'll use the USB feature on the bike and download my ride stats for further analysis. Training Peaks is on my list of things to investigate this year.

Conclusions: Wow, it's been a while. Overall I did pretty well considering I haven't been in a pool in nearly 5 months. No major revelations today but it is only the first week of training for the new year.

Speaking of which, the gym was pretty crowded with all the New Years resolution folks. Sometime around mid-February the gym will be back to the regulars that actually keep resolutions, although by late March I'm doing all my runs and rides outside and by June all my swims as well.



Reflections on 2010

Biking info:

Miles biked in training/commuting: 921

Elevation gained: 63,972'

Run info: Limited but 2011 will have much more detail now that I have a Garmin Forerunner 310XT (more on this later)

Starting weight: 285

Ending weight: 284.4 (net loss: 0.4 pounds)

Races finished:

Issaquah Triathlon (Sprint)

Federal Escape Triathlon (Olympic)

Beaver Lake Triathlon (Sprint)

Cycling Events finished:

Flying Wheels Summer Century

Overview: (see the race reports for details, links included below)

Overall I did pretty well considering the crash on the Beaver Lake bike course. The Issaquah Tri mud slog was pretty fun but quite cold. The Federal Escape was my first shot at an Olympic distance event and was quite satisfying. Beaver Lake was also a lot of fun, right up until my in-race acrobatics. I was really looking forward to the Grand Columbian Olympic in September but will have to push that to 2011 or 2012.

Training for and completing the Flying Wheels Summer Century greatly improved my my bike times and overall distance fitness. It's already on the calendar for 2011.

The biggest benefit that I saw in 2010 has to be the run training I did for the Olympic distance. Ramping up from a 5K to a 10K goal dramatically increased my training volume which led to more cardio training. This year I'm on a similar program and hope to see similar results.

Swimming has never been my forte so this year I really ramped up the swim training leading up to my first Olympic tri. I now have great places to train, both in a pool and in open water (more on this later).

Lessons learned:

  1. In 2010 I broke the first 2 rules of athletic training: don't get sick and don't get injured. The crash and frequent sinus infections really hampered my training which put me right back to my starting weight for the year. In 2011 I'll be more careful on the road and take steps to fight these blasted sinus issues.
  2. Focus earlier in the year on distance running and cardio volume.
  3. My best and more consistent results are still from bike commuting, which I try to do 3-5x per week during the spring/summer and early fall months.