Posted by: thefitacademic | April 4, 2011

My First Brick

No, not this kind of brick…


A “brick workout” is when you do two different types of workout “events” back-to-back. Triathletes do brick workouts to prep them for the triathlon – doing swimming, then biking OR biking, then running (since the order of a tri is swim, bike, run).

Although I would consider myself to be pretty well versed in running & swimming, I’m VERY new to cycling. Like, brand spanking new. I have a road bike that I use for transportation to & from school, but it’s more like “riding” than “cycling.” In fact, I’ve only been to a single cycling class EVER!

Well, this past month I’ve been doing P90X, and mixing in bouts of swimming OR cycling OR running. Today was my first scheduled brick: swimming and biking.

Here’s what I looked like when I was done.


I did 750 meters swimming (took about 25 minutes) and 10 kilometers biking (took 20 minutes – SLOW!). Then I ran from the gym to my office building, about 1/2 a mile (took about 7 minutes – Super Slow!) That’s a problem. Now, I think I could do more with the swimming and the running, but I was DONE by the time my 10km on the bike were complete.

And when I was done, although my body felt good to get some exercise, my brain felt…stressed. When I got back from Montreal, one of the first things I did was take a look at my schedule for the week. But I looked ahead too. And it was kind of frightening. I knew this week would be a tough one in terms of work-load, but I didn’t realize that every week until the end of the semester is going to be pretty horrendous. Our semester ends the second week of May, so that means over a month of long days and nights, serious weekends at the office, and no end in sight. It’s going to be very difficult to train to get my endurance up to where it needs to be do do an Olympic length triathlon.

Well, it was sad to face the facts, but I’ve been inspired by Caitlin to respect my boundaries and my limits and to set realistic goals. If you didn’t know, she recently injured herself and had to make some tough decisions – not running for 2 half-marathons she had scheduled (and had already paid for).

                Olympic Length                            Sprint Length

Swim                 1.5k                                             750m

Bike                    50k                                               20k

Run                     10k                                                5k

The race I am going to do, the Cap Tex Tri, is May 30th.

Because I know I won’t have the time or mental stamina to deal with some heavy-duty training over the course of the next 2 months, I’ve decided it’s best to register for the Sprint Length instead of the Olympic length. It may hurt my pride a little to admit that I won’t be able to do the Olympic length, but it’s better than hurting my body by not having the time for proper training prior to the race. Plus there’s always next year!

In the meantime, I’m pretty excited to revise my workout schedule for the next 2 months. It was looking pretty rigorous – an hour+ workout everyday with only 1 rest day a week (and sometimes NO rest days). Since I’ll be doing half the distance of everything, I can way cut back on training. The major bonus is the big reduction in cycling (since I’m still getting a hang of it). I still think it will be somewhat challenging due to all the transitions and everything back-to-back, but it is a MUCH more reasonable challenge. One that I think I can build up to in just a matter of weeks, so 2 months of training should be PLENTY.

Sometimes you just have to do what’s right for you.

Have you ever had to modify a dream or goal that you had?

and, just for fun, here’s a sweetie-sleepy boy moment. Too precious not to share!




  1. You’re going to rock that sprint length! I think you’re making the right decision! Listening to your body can be tough sometimes for me too!

  2. You are a beast! I would love to do a triathlon, but I’m terrified of open bodies of water. I want to find one in a pool 🙂 I also don’t have a real bike, hehe 🙂

    • I’m borrowing a bike from a friend! I’ve been told that for your first tri, though, it really doesnt matter WHAT kind of bike you use. I think it was Caitlin (or some other blogger) who said she’d been in a tri where someone rode a unicycle!!!

  3. Thanks for sharing your experince. I got some tips that I can do also on how to run effectively especially when having a training for triathlon.

    • thanks – I’ll check it out!!

  4. running after biking is so hard! it is the oddest sensation of muscles!
    biking after swimming is so hard! you feel so water-logged and uncomfortable!
    running after biking after swimming… too many exclamation points behind “so hard” to fit in this comment box!!!!

  5. Great job on the workout!
    Knowing our limits and doing what’s “right” for our minds and body is always so hard. But you also have plenty of time to reach that goal – maybe next year or next season! It’s not gone for goood. 🙂

  6. Good luck on the training! You can only improve 🙂

  7. I still think the sprint length tri is SUPER impressive!!!

    I have trouble listening to my body (and accepting what it’s telling me) sometimes too but whenever I honor my body I get my best results 🙂

  8. I’ve never heard that term before, but I’ve done workouts like that, about eleven years ago (gah) when I trained for a triathlon. It was SO FUN. I need to try doing that again.

  9. Rocky is such a cutie 🙂

  10. I modify my goals so much that it’s becoming routine for me. I felt bad for a while and now I just tell myself that I’d rather be giving 100% to something I can handle than get sub-par results on something I’m not prepared to take on.

  11. […] a triathlon I’ve found that lots of my exercise time has been spent at the gym where I can do “brick” workouts – doing some spinning, then straight to the treadmill. Or swimming, then straight to […]

  12. […] you know I’m a month and a half away from my first triathlon!!! I told you all about my first brick workout (2 portions of the triathlon sandwiched together:  swim + bike OR bike + run). Today I did an […]

  13. […] back soon. You are where I do my swimming and, of course, you are quite useful when it comes to my brick workouts for triathlon training – you’re the best equipped facility, for […]

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