After a long and hectic week of work, I was ready for the weekend and to put in some tough training. There's always something about training hard that lets me forget about everything that happened earlier in the week. Friday night I had a nice, fairly easy ride planned. Mostly I wanted to train around the 55% heart rate range on the bike. Getting in some good power, but not maxing out my heart rate at all. I knew what I had coming the next day, and was getting mentally prepared for it. I got finished with a good ride around Twin Lakes, WI, then had a great dinner of some lean burgers and whole grain rice and veggies.
The next morning started a little later than I planned, but, I was ok with that. I needed to catch up on sleep from a long week of work and lots of school work as well. When I'm hitting a big training session, I really like to have 4 Kashi Whole Grain waffles , a banana, some Greek Yogurt, just one cup of coffee, then usually a power bar and I'm good to go.
I got my gear ready to go and was ready to hit the bike. Brick training is tough, no matter what distance you do. And Saturday I decided to do the toughest, or longest, one I've ever done. I usually split it into a little over an hour ride and a 30min run. Saturday, I changed it up a bit, looking to get some good base training. So I picked out my 100km route up around Lake Geneva, WI for the bike ride, and my 7.2 mile loop that is my go-to just about any time I want to run between 45min-1hr, depending on my effort.
The bike was great! Through the first 40 miles, I was feeling good and fresh. Also, the weather was cooperating nicely. Not much wind, and the temps were in the upper 70's. But when I was coming down the Northwest side of the lake, it started getting hotter. Also, coming down the killer hill that is part of the triathlon up there, my water bottle fell out of my cage in between my aero bars. It was my nice insulated camelbak bottle, so I had to go back and get it! The last 15 miles of my ride started to get a little tough. The long week of training and some good lifting sessions during the week were taking their toll. So, the last 10 I brought the effort down, knowing I had a good run left to do. I pulled into my garage, and needed to get some water and more nutrition in me.
I ran inside quick and changed into my run gear, grabbed a half powerbar , and a pack of Gu Chomps, then headed out for my run with my Salomon XT Twin Belt. I only used water, as EFS tends to upset my stomach while running, so I get all that in on the bike. But I love the taste!
The run was tough. I started off too quick, like usual. After 2 miles, I forced myself to slow down so I wouldn't bonk. I had to keep it under 90%, or I knew I wouldn't make it in the 90º heat, and high humidity. It was around noon at this point, so it was really beating down. I took in a good swig of water every mile, and poured some down my back. I wanted to make sure I didn't run out, or drink too much too fast. At mile 6, I knew I'd be ok, so I put a lot down my back to cool off and finish strong. I came in a little under an hour. Perfect.
I got everything out of this session I wanted to. It was a lot of psychological gain, let alone the physical gains. But, I knew right away I was dehydrated. I made my Endurox drink, then grabbed an ice pack to cool down. I was really overheated, so I laid in front of the fan with the ice pack on my forehead and chest for about 10 minutes. Then, I followed that up with a Reese's Cup candy bar. My sugar was really low, and this brought me right back to it. Almost a life saver for me!
Brick training is tough. No matter if you put in high mileage, or short hard efforts. But, you'll reap the benefits on race day. Your legs will know what to expect, and you'll already know how you're feeling when you get off the bike, giving you a better idea of how to pace your run. My best advice for brick training is to try to get one in once a week if you can. It takes a lot out of your body, so have some good recovery planned, or even the next day off so you can fully recover from your efforts.