02 April 2008

Do Brick Workouts Occur in Life?

This morning, I completed my first brick workout of the season. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a brick workout consists of completing back-to-back sessions of at least two sports in triathlon. My brick workout consisted of a 60 min. ride on the trainer at moderate aerobic pace, followed immediately by a 20 min. run. I hopped on the trainer at 5:40am and proceded to pedal for 60 min. and then I grabbed long sleeved shirt and headed outside for the 20 min. run. It took 1:35 min to make the transition between the two.

The reason triathletes complete brick workouts is to teach our bodies to quickly move from cycling to running and to improve your race day performance. Generally, my transition from cycling to running consists of a very awkward stride while my legs try to remember how to run. Usually my HR goes up because although, cycling and running use the same muscles they use those muscles differently, and it takes the body a moment to make those necessary changes in blood flow. For me, the brick workouts are helpful because I learn what I need to do to have my cycling legs strong enough that when I head out for the run, I know that I have enough left in my legs to get me through the rest of the race.

This morning, when I headed out for my run, I was cruising. There were none of those awkward wobbly leg moments or cramping or "geez, this is tough" sorts of moments. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at how well I transitioned from the bike to running nice and evenly. I felt totally empowered and strong and actually could have and wanted to run alot longer than the 20 min. on the training plan. I decided to follow the training plan because I'm certainly not an expert on training yet, but also because I have a race this weekend and would like to have somewhat fresh legs. Perhaps I need to pedal harder on the bike or perhaps my body is liking this 1/2 IM training, so it will be interesting to see how these brick workouts progress over the course of the season.

While I was riding and running this morning, I was thinking to myself do we do brick workouts in our daily lives? My answer to that is yes. How many different hats do we wear each day? Yesterday, I woke up, headed out the door for a swim, went straight to work, worked all day, ran home to grab my laundry, headed over to help out some friends, did homework with a couple of kids, read stories, fed animals, did bedtime stuff, went home and crawled into bed feeling very exhausted. I think that we've all had days where we've had to transition from our different roles or wearing our different hats, and while those days are exhausting, there is something about them that is empowering.

Of course, every day should not be a brick workout, but on the days that are, perhaps we should be celebrating our ability to adjust from role to role seamlessly or sometimes not so seamlessly, and our ability to accomplish the tasks that make up our life. While we finish those days exhausted (and I am definitely feeling the fatigue from the brick workout this morning), I think there is something to be said about recognizing and being grateful for our different roles, for our talents that allow us to be successful in our roles, for our ability to do the work that is necessary to make our lives "go" and to definitely appreciate that those days don't have to be "brick workouts" all the time.

Today, I learned that my body is on its way to being prepared for the Utah 1/2 IM in August. Today, I was reminded of how often the endurance training that plays such an important role in my life, actually mirrors my life in a variety of ways. Today, I was reminded to be grateful for my ability to survive "brick days" and to be grateful that I can choose when and how to spend my time so that everyday is not a "brick day."


The Wilks Family said...

I get so tired just reading about your workouts! I'm glad you're having fun and staying healthy. Good luck on all of your upcoming races! I wish I could watch one of them...have you ever considered the SpudMan in Idaho?? It's supposed to be fun.