First “long” brick of the season

So today was my first real brick workout of the season!  The reason I say real and have long in quotes in the title is because although the workout is long for the start of the season it’s not even half as long as some of my workouts will be as the season moves along!  I had a perfect winter day for the workout which made it much better.  40 degrees and sunny the whole time; can’t beat that for late January in Chicago.  For those who do not know what a brick workout is, it is doing back to back workouts without much time in between.  The only “rest” time is changing clothes and putting on my running shoes.  This helps the body, and mind, get ready for what the body will feel like during the race.

Today’s workout called for 2.5 hours on the bike and 1 hour run.  Both of these workouts were at a “forever” pace which basically means a pace I could sustain forever, hence the name!  These are always good early in the season because right now I am working on building my aerobic base so it’s very important to get miles in without pushing too hard and risking injury.  The bike was a blast!  I went on a route that I go on a lot and it was nice and sunny.  The only tough part was some of it was on a paved trail but because of the snow last week, parts were still icing and I almost bit it going under a tunnel but luckily I was quick on my brakes and was able to steer around it.  For the ride, I average 202 watts for the ride and 214 watts of normalized power and 18.2 MPH.  Normalized power is basically a super complicated equation that tells the rider how much power they could have put out if they stayed constant for the whole ride.  The reason this is a good reading is because if you are riding and have to stop at lights it will lower your watt average during a longer ride.  Either way I was happy with the power I put out because I did not think I worked that hard but according to my last FTP test the power I put out today was 85% of my FTP.  This leads me to believe my FTP is actually higher than the 252 I tested at last time!  That is always good to see but indoor power is usually lower than outdoors and can be up to a 10-15% difference.

For this ride I tried out some of my race nutrition.  I use First Endurance products.  I used them last year during my races and I really liked them.  I tried out a new flavor of EFS and the Liquid Shot.  I also tried out the Prerace product which I kept hearing great things about.  In one bottle I mixed about 3 scoops of EFS along with 4-5 ounces of Liquid shot with about a scoop of Prerace.  That bottle equates to around 500-600 calories depending on how much of each I actually put it.  My plan for the IM is to go with 2 bottles of my calories, around 600 each, then take water as needed on the course.  The first sip of the drink was very tangy.  The EFS was Lemon-Lime and the Liquid shot was Berry but I think the tang came from the Prerace.  Either way it was good and I am happy with my mixture and it seemed to have worked!

The hour run also went very smooth and felt good.  My legs didn’t feel too heavy which was good and I kept my HR under 150, zone 3 for me, and just went by how my legs felt.  I know I could have pushed faster than the 7:33 pace I averaged but there was no way in hell I was going to speed it up knowing I have 4000 yards in the pool tomorrow then a 2 hour 10 minute run tomorrow!  All in all today was a success.  Oh and my post workout drink of choice is chocolate milk and it always hits the spot.  And my post workout meal of choice is Chipotle.  It never disappoints!

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