I think the most important think you can do in terms of maintaining your motivation to exercise is to mix things up. A new sport, a new class, or a new environment can reinvigorate you, keep you from getting bored, and shock your body out of auto-pilot mode. Partly due to the three half-marathons I have run since April and partly due to the Streak I am committed to, I have been feeling a little like I am kind of sick of just running all the time. Given that some of the joy was missing from something I normally love, I decided it was time for something new, Streak not withstanding.
So this week I did my first "brick" work outs of recent memory in response to the above feelings and my maybe I'll do a triathlon this summer musings.
For those of you not fully initiated in triathlete lingo, "bricks" refer to training on two disciplines during the same workout, one after the other with minimal or no interruption in between, just as you would do in a race. A more complete explanation and some sample workouts are provided here.
The name for this dual workout is really quite odd, and although I have freely used the term for many years, I never bothered to actually look the name or the origin up until today. In fact, in my mind it had always been BRIC, the acronym for Bike, Run, In, (I never could figure out what the final word would be: Connection, Concert, Cohort, ....). The actual history of the name "brick" is apparently as follows:
- That's how your legs feel for the first part of the run.
- Named by Mark Sisson and Scott Zagarino one day in 1988 after they completed a Bike-Run workout -- "Just another brick in the wall".
The first brick I did was on Monday, wherein I cycled my butt off in an hour-long spin class, then threw on my running shoes and sprinted on my leaden and wobbly legs for two miles.
That was hard.
Today, on a warm and perfectly summery Friday morning, I did a more leisurely but equally satisfying version, including my first swim in months. In total, my workout consisted of the following:
- 1200 yard swim (warm up, 10x100 with every fourth lap an all-out sprint, cool down)
- 60 minute spin class (21.5 miles)
- 5 mile run
The spin class was dark and sweaty and satisfying.
The run was brightened by the company of a woman who I feel has been on the verge of becoming a friend for a while now, but we just haven't had the time to really connect (we usually see each other at the pool when our sum total of four kids manage to simultaneously and constantly run in four different directions). We have plans for future runs, both of us understanding that if friendship can't be coordinated with working out, it is unlikely to happen.
My body feels comfortably tired and my mind relaxed in a way that only a good workout makes me feel. A lovely afternoon with my kids, and a patio dinner with my family, including my parents, completed the picture of a pretty nice Friday. Have a great weekend everyone!