Today we did a brick workout at moonlight beach in encinitas. In fact, we did many brick workouts. A brick workout is a bike followed by a run. This is a very race specific workout since we will do a run right off the bike at lavaman (and nearly every other triathlon in existance)!
The workout was 6 bricks of 2.5 mile bike ride, followed by a .5 mile run. So, brick #1 was ride 2.5 miles on the bike, get off the bike, throw on your running shoes, and then run half a mile. Come back, get your bike, and repeat. Simple enough. Probably the toughest part of the workout was running down to the beach, and then up the sidewalk hill to get back to the parking lot. The cool part was our tri coach brought a bunch of bike racks to simulate a race environment.
Doing a brick workout is not something new to me, but I did practice some new things for race day. In previous races, at the end of the bike ride before I get off my bike to enter the transition area, I leave my bike shoes on my bike. Its some what of an acrobatic move, but I just swing my right leg over the seat, and kind of balance myself and both feet on my left pedal leading up the dismount line. It helps save time, and who cares where your bike shoes are when you are running right? I guess spending half my childhood on a bike and doing jumps and a bunch of other stupid stuff kids do is actually paying off! Not to mention its a lot easier to run barefoot than with bike shoes & cleats on to get back to your transition space.
Some people are advanced enough to actually leave their bike shoes on the pedals when they first get on the bike after the swim. It probably shaves off a few seconds from your transition time since you don't have to worry about running through transition area with bike shoes on, then getting past the mount line, stopping, putting your leg over your bike, and then clipping in - which is really difficult when you are trying to move fast!! I was always intrigued by this, so today, I gave it a shot. I was certainly a little "off" in the first few attempts, but I think I got it down after a few tries. The key is to actually put your left foot IN the shoe, and with your right leg, kick off (the ground) to gain some momentum, do the acrobatic thing again with your right leg and swing it over the saddle (seat), and then somehow get your right foot into the shoe. This of course has to be done while moving, and not knocking anyone over in the process! Practice, practice, practice!!!