Sunday, January 22, 2012

This brick did the trick

Good training method and effective against big bad wolves
Today's workouts:
Treadmill - 30 minutes
Elliptical - 30 minutes

I may be using the term incorrectly, but the word "brick" is often used to denote a type of triathlon training. The idea is to perform two different workouts, back to back. This helps a triathlete acclimate from intense running to intense biking. This is also known as transitioning. I'm not sure if running to elliptical meets that definition, but it doesn't really matter since I'm not looking to train for a triathlon.

The roads were clearer this morning, but the remnants of yesterday's dry fluffy snow have turned to ice. I decided that indoors would be a better bet, especially with 18 degree temperatures outside. Last Sunday I did an hour on the treadmill using elevation to make it even more challenging. I traded elevation for speed today and did my run around 30 sec. per mile slower than 5K pace.

Thirty minutes on the treadmill went by faster than I'd expected. Before I started my run, I hooked up my Android smartphone to the treadmill so I could play music through the built in speakers. I was dissatisfied with the selections coming out of Slacker so I switched to YouTube and started a video of NYC Marathon participants in their final stretch through Central Park.

I'd hoped that watching other runners would motivate me, but the fixed camera and low resting position of my phone's screen made for a boring distraction. When I tried to select a different video I received sizable shocks from my phone (I have a terrible static issue with the treadmill) so I yanked my phone out of the machine and ran with no visual stimulation besides my snowy backyard scenery.

As usual, I progressed my speed in regular intervals so that, in my last five minutes, I was running my targeted pace for a 4 mile race. I was more than ready to stop when I passed the 30 minute mark.  Three minutes later, I was set up on the elliptical and starting the second half hour of my "brick."

Starting a workout with an elevated heart rate and full coat of sweat is an interesting experience. I was used to those conditions when finishing a session on the elliptical, but never before I started. The first couple of minutes were tough but I soon realized that my fitness was there. By the time I reached 20 minutes the only things that bothered me were my feet because I was wearing my Hattori's. Those thin soles are not a good choice for an elliptical machine.

I was pretty tired near the end and I kept telling myself that all workouts eventually finish and this one would too. I stepped off the machine feeling like I'd put in a good morning's effort and I felt that the "brick" idea was sound. Workouts on the treadmill and the elliptical can grow tedious, but 30 minutes of each was a good plan for an hour of training. 

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