Brick workouts (bike followed immediately by a run) are going to be part of my weekly routine from now until Ironman. Getting your legs used to running after being on a bike is something that takes time and that your legs will forget how to do if you go too long without reminding them!
This past Saturday I did the same 80 miles of the Ironman course that I did two weeks prior. That ride was supposed to be with a group, but I ended up going solo. This week I was invited by two fellow triathletes to join them on their ride. I know these guys…they ride hard. I was a little worried about being able to keep up, but the bike has always been my strongest discipline, so I looked forward to the challenge.
We met up at 7:00 am and headed out. As usually happens in a group of riders, we took turns riding out front. I wasn’t sure exactly how fast they wanted to go, so I let them take turns leading for the first 15 miles or so. I jumped out in front right before a big hill and hammered it up the hill pretty good. I looked back once I reached the top and they were several hundred yards behind me. I slowed a bit to let them catch up and after a few comments about how I rode the hill, they took off…I knew I was in trouble!
I spent the rest of the ride trying to keep up. I was able to hang with them on the uphills, gain ground on the downhills, but the flat/rolling hills were a struggle. I kept an eye on my heart rate and it wasn’t getting too high, but higher than normal.
When it was all said and done, I had completed 79.01 miles in 3:55:05, for an average pace of 20.2 mph. My avg HR was 135 bpm. In comparison, I did pretty much the same route (82.86 miles) two weeks ago in a time of 4:22:51, with an average pace of 19.0 mph and an average HR of 132 bpm.
So the moral of the story is that riding with faster riders makes you faster! I’m sure that they will let me tag along again if I want…I just need to make sure I eat my Wheaties before we ride!
I jumped off the bike and did a short run to complete my brick workout. I had planned on getting in 6-8 miles in my aerobic heart rate zone, but I just couldn’t keep my HR down. I need to be around 150 bpm and I was in the high 150’s – low 160’s the whole run. I don’t know if it was the heat or that my body was fatigued from the ride. Either way, I managed 5.27 miles in 44:19 (8:24 min/mile pace) with an avg HR of 158 bpm.