Saturday, August 18, 2012

In Which I Explain a Brick and Other Strange Tri Workouts

So a few friends let me know that I was confusing them with my terminology as I talked about workouts.  So here is a helpful little glossary for you.

Brick:  (nounverb).  (brr-ick).  This is when you ride your bike for a while, jump off, and go for a run.   This actually helps you in the T2 transition, when racing.  You come in from the bike and have to change your gear to the run as fast as you can, and then take off running.  Pros can make that switch in something like negative 10 seconds.  My fastest ever was about 27 seconds.

As you start to run, your legs feel like bricks, hence the name.  This is also good because you learn to run through that leaden feeling, which usually lifts around the first mile (for me, at least), and you learn when you can start to push into your race pace.

Today's transition time was a non-starter, because I was alone, so I had to rack and lock my bike on top of my car before I could start the run, and I forgot all my water bottles at home so I'd bought some cheap supermarket bottled water and I didn't want to run with it in my hand, so I drank a bunch before setting out on the run and then spent half the run trying to find a bathroom.  So really, it was awkward.  In other news, thank goodness that the Armitage loos have doors.  Not all Lane Country public bathrooms have doors!!  Sometimes, I don't understand Lane county.

T1 and T2: (noun) (Tee-Wun and Tee-Too).  These mean transition 1, and transition 2.  In T1, you come from the swim, and have to get out of your wetsuit and on to your bike.  In T2, it's the bike to run, discussed above.  

Race Pace:  (verb)  (raysh paysh).  This is how fast you will mobilize during a race, and it's different for everyone.  Ideally, it's fast enough to be tough for you but slow enough that you don't blow yourself up and suffer horribly.  Really good runners can talk about "race pace" for 5ks, and 10ks, and marathon race paces.  I don't have that many speeds yet.  But this season, especially with the return to vegetarianism, I find that I've discovered I do have two speeds, at last.  Easy, and not easy.  I can hold easy for a long, long time before I wear out.  I can hold not-easy for a 10K, just about.  Last time I ran not-easy at the Rolf Prima, one of my teammates could hear me coming a mile away, huffing and puffing and blowing.  But then she called me a "beast on the run course", which is a compliment, so I was happy about that!

Do you train with power? (verbiage) (doo yoo TRAY-un weeth POW-ah?).  This is what some other athletes ask me sometime, wondering if I have a power-o-meter hidden in my hub or my cranks or wherever people hide their power-o-meters.  When I ride inside at MultiSport Advantage, their compuTrainer system can track power, I think, but otherwise, really, come on people.  I'm a priest.  I rarely buy anything new or full price for my bike.  (I got a screaming good deal on my BMC!)  I wear hand-me-down jerseys.  In the hospital three years ago, I pulled my own gloves off because I didn't want the doctor to cut my favorite gloves off my broken hand.  (Ok, I was really hypothermic and in shock at that particular moment and not thinking very clearly, but still.)  Power-o-meters are these expensive things for people who need watts to validate their riding all the time, and there is only one thing that ever makes riding worthwhile for me, and if I ever lose this worthwhile thing, it'll be time to hang up my wheels.

Here's my secret:


It's fun.  Power-o-meters would take away some (lots?) of the fun for me, to the point that I'd be analyzing everything all the time.  Tris right now are fun, and bike workouts are my favorite.  At the end of the day, I want to be the triathlete who comes in from the bike looking ridiculously happy and gleeful because I got to ride my awesome bike in an amazing place.

You can keep the power-o-meters, folks.

But jersey hand-me-downs are always welcome!  Especially if they are silly or funny or colorful or have anything about Oregon printed on them.

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