I've gotten way behind on my triathlon training. I've been meaning to do a brick workout for some time, but finally made it out Sunday. I decided I should do a 25 mile ride followed by a 10K run, just like in the race. This is probably too long given that I'm supposed to have started tapering, but I haven't been biking a lot so I thought this distance would give me more confidence for the race.
I started out a little slowly and my muscles started complaining. I started getting worried that doing so little biking over the past month has caused me to lose a lot of bike-fitness. After a few miles, I tried pushing the pace a bit and then got into a good rhythm. I think it's partially a case of getting the muscles firing in the right sequence to optimize effort (and partially just warming up).
I kept it at a hard effort until I passed CR 100E, because that was when my Strava segment ended. Turns out I managed to have my second-best time on that ride, so not too bad. I took it a bit easier for the rest of the ride, but still working. At the turn-around, I started feeling much better about the bike portion of the tri. A few miles from home, though, I noticed my energy starting to wane and had to push myself to keep going. Average speed was 15.4mph; once again, not too bad.
I dumped the bike off in the garage and tried to have a speedy "transition," but I think I might have taken as long as 10 minutes. The last few miles I started feeling really hungry, so I decided to go off-diet and wolf down a piece of toast with butter. That hit the spot! I also used the toilet, applied BodyGlide (hate it when I forget this!) and filled up a hand bottle with water. And I was out the door.
The start of the run reminded me of the Lyttle Park Triathlon: it felt like my legs were moving slowly, but I was actually making a decent pace. Bouncing along was doing a little number on my stomach and I was worried I might regret that piece of toast, but after a few minutes things actually settled down. I ran the first mile in about 10m and then stopped to walk for a few steps to simulate walking through water stops. My second mile felt pretty good and I was actually feeling relaxed, but then I looked down on my phone and noticed that my pace was slipping. I tried to push the pace a bit on the third mile, but felt a definite lack of energy reserves and I was feeling like the next walking break couldn't come soon enough. The next mile was harder still, in part because I was getting too warm. It's not that the weather was all that hot, but the sun had come out and I was starting to feel it.
I knew that doing the rest of the run would be a world of pain. I debated with myself about whether to continue to try to make the 10K distance, or stop to avoid pushing myself too hard with only a week before the race. Finally decided to take the easy option and walked home. 10:27 pace for 4.1 miles.
I was pretty disappointed in how the run went; I was hoping I'd be able to maintain at least 10m/mi. Granted, I think I could have pushed myself to go a little faster, but then again, I might have burned out even sooner in that case. I was mostly happy with the bike part, and I think I could have gone even faster... but this was starting fresh, and not after swimming for the better part of an hour.
In the end, I'm hoping that carbs will be my ace in the hold. I've been training (and racing) mostly without any carb intake, and while that has worked mostly fine, I decided that for this race I'd try carb-loading. (Runner's World even had an article recommending this exact strategy.) Hopefully that, plus getting some carbs along the course, will give me that extra energy boost.
Anyway, I'm glad I did this workout. It definitely made me feel better about biking and even transitioning, and, I guess, let me know to expect pain on the run. Also, I think I need to get different tri shorts; I have the Pearl Izumi Select ones, which have this "leg gripper" band at the bottom that is pretty tight. It didn't appear to be a problem last time I wore them, but this time my quads felt sore right at the spot where the band was (maybe my quads have gotten bigger?). Maybe it's time to upgrade to Elite, which don't have this feature.
6 days left!