May 29, 2012

Triathlon Training Tuesdays: Bricks & Race Clothes

My first tri is right around the corner (T minus 12 days away...eek!), and I realized that while I've been training for it for several weeks, I haven't really talked much about any of the specifics of my training on the blog except to share that I am generally terrified about the race.  That being said, I must not be TOO terrified because I have already picked out Tri #2: The Danskin Women's Triathlon in Pleasant Prairie, WI on August 26th.  As I will be starting the summer with a triathlon and wrapping it up with a second, I've dubbed this "The Summer of the Triathlon," and decided I would take you guys along for the ride with me with weekly tri training recaps aka "Triathlon Training Tuesdays."  Get it? :)  Hopefully this summer will involve posts that are more actual training recaps and less me bemonaing yet another new injury...oh last summer... (< -- That being said, I am still me, so don't worry, you can count on me to complain about my IT bands at least a little bit.)
Since my tri is less than two weeks away, I am well into doing brick workouts on the weekends.  A brick (from my limited understanding) is when you swim, bike, and run (in that order) with minimal down time between them.  I was super nervous before my first brick a few weeks ago, but it turns out I actually kind of like them!  With a long run, when you first start out you know that there are MILES and MILES stretching ahead of you.  Don't get me wrong, I totally love that (most of the time...), but it can be a bit overwhelming.  With a swim/bike/run workout, yes, when you first start out there are THREE sports ahead of you, but I just stay focused on getting through the sport I'm doing NOW, then transitioning, then the next, etc.  In other words, my mind stays busy. :)
My gym is just a few miles from my apartment building, and lucky for me there is actually a bike path that takes me there, so I've been biking to the gym for my bricks, locking up my bike, then swimming in the pool.  Afterwards, I do my best to dry off quickly, pull on my shoes and helmet, and head out to retrieve my bike.  I bike around the nearby bike paths for however long my training plan calls for before heading back to my apartment building where I stash the bike in the trunk of my car, swap my helmet for a running hat, and hit the trail again running.  No, it's not exactly how it will be on race day, but my body is getting the hang of transitioning between sports--and I have to say, I'm a huge fan of running with wet hair and a damp sports bra, as it turns out.  Nice and cool.  :)

Yesterday I celebrated my memorial day with a swim/bike brick, opting to give my legs another day of rest after the Soldier Field 10.  I decided it was about time, though, that I try swimming in a pair of my tri shorts. I know it's dumb, but I've been hesitant to try them out in the pool because I've been worried I'd look silly swimming in shorts.  I know, I know, who cares, right?  It's more important that I know I CAN swim in the shorts come race day than how I look!
Dripping all over the sidewalk as I unlock my bike post-swim...
It turns out that choosing a race outfit is actually a really big ordeal when it comes to triathlons, at least for me.  I have clothes I like to run in, bike in, and swim in, but finding something I can do ALL THREE in has proved...challenging.  I knew I wanted to wear tri shorts because I didn't want to deal with a bathing suit and knew trying to run with bikini bottoms under my running shorts would be a chafing disaster, but FINDING a pair of tri shorts that I actually like has been kind of an issue...  I have tried four different pairs, two of which I nixed almost immediately.  Of the remaining two, one is great for biking but the chamois rubs my legs a little bit uncomfortably when running.  The other is decent for both, but less comfortable overall than the first.  I am hoping that a little body glide in the right places will make the first pair running friendly, but up until this weekend hadn't tried either on a swim.  This week, I tried out Skirt Sports 5-inch Tri Bottoms.
 After all my silly concerns about wearing tri shorts at the pool (I know, SO dumb), it was totally no big deal.  It felt a little weird to swim in shorts tho!  They stayed in place completely the whole swim without me needing to adjust them, thanks to these little grippers around the thighs and waist.  The only weird thing was getting used to the drag feeling in the front panel/crotch.  I'm sure if I had a tighter pair there would be less drag, but I would much rather feel a little drag in the swim than have to run and bike in an uncomfortably tight pair of shorts!!  Hate the feeling of tight clothes when I'm running!
The shorts also have two nifty side pockets that are the perfect size for gu:
I swam about 900 yds this morning, just over my tri swim distance, then hurried to do a quick locker room transition: squeeze water out of hair, wipe excessive water off body, socks, shirt, shoes, gloves, helmet, DONE!
Ready to bike!
I biked for about an hour then, although I don't know how far I went because I wasn't wearing my garmin.  All I know is that by the end, I was ready to collapse on my living room floor with chocolate milk:
My legs were definitely still recovering from Saturday's race!  All in all, a successful brick!  Here's hoping I somehow have the strength to run a 5K after that in a couple of weeks!! :)


  1. i am so excited for you! it sounds like your training set-up is perfect...especially since you are able to bike to the gym! i am not sure im brave enough to go after a tri so i am beyond impressed. cant wait to hear about how it goes! cheering for you!

  2. I can bike to my gym too and am looking forward to bricking when I get to that point! I'm looking forward to gaining tips for a first-timer!

  3. Keep up the tri Tuesdays. I need to know everything about tris.

  4. Adorable workout clothes!!!


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