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September 27, 2010

The Key Brick

With the wind howling on the weekend, I had to make my way out to Durbanville to ride what was supposed to be 114km in 3 hours. That was the goal. The attached Garmin file is therefor, a little misleading. There are a few km’s missing, where I am at fault for pressing the wrong buttons (I am still learning), right at the start. I had a mechanical issue out the gate and stopped the watch, only to realise this 10km down the road, which is too bad, as it was about the only 10km with tailwind. The rest was side on and not much fun. Learning to handle the new Urban Ninja wheels in this wind though, was a fantastic opportunity to test them in a race scenario.

Either way, the two main sections were covered at good pace and I called it with 8km to go for a bit of a cool down, as I was quite dehydrated (I went in the middle of the day and ran out of water at 10km to go, so just soft pedaled home until I could refresh before my t-run.

Nice little widget this, from Garmin. Something you`ll be seeing more of on here. I have, indeed, found an amazing new partner for 2010, and 2011, in Garmin. A big thank you, they have come to the party for the Kona trip in ways you cannot imagine. Also, this now makes me accountable for the mileage I do, as well as being able to show you what I am trying to achieve.

I wanted to push 37km/h for around 110km on the weekend. 37km/h gives me 4:51 at the Ironman distance. I went and found a course specific to Kona, with loads of rollers and drags. Indeed, only 600m in the 110km I have registered on the Garmin, but if you had to look at the altitude widget, you would find lots of little bumps in the road. What you will also not see is the headwind on the way home. In Kona, the wind kicks up once you get to the halfway mark, so simulating that meant having to suffer exactly like it, going through the mental notes of “damn, no tailwind to help early, and now, a headwind on the way home”.

Emotionally that is tough.

It took a lot of focus to do the ride on my own. Much bad language was heard around 80km by the birds and the bees. But you have to tough it out, get in the moment and make sure you get back home. I had SA Blog Awards to deal with that night, where Urban Ninja was voted the 2nd best sports blog in South Africa. Congrats to you, for voting so many times.

Just nice to beat all the football and rugby blogs… it shows you are a tight community who get involved. Thank you.

So, back to the brick. We do the brick because we want to simulate race day, what it feels like and to get a reality check on that.

For me, to have ridden the 114km mark in roughly 2:56-57 I reckon (factoring in 10km of downhill-esque riding missing from the data) at a heart rate of 141, I am super happy. I averaged around 145-148 in PE and will look to roughly do the same in Kona again. I am even more pleased that I was able to hold the same pace, into the headwind as with the tailwind on the way out. It took quite a bit more focus, effort and a higher heart rate for sure, but I managed.

My run after went great until about 2km when my mouth was so dry I had to make way for the Engen garage to get a coke into the system at 4km. Without a doubt, under fueled all day. When there is no aid station every 10km, its tough to stop and refill on a rural road. Still managed 6km in 25min. I only need to run 4:25 at Ironman to hit my ultimate goal, but the idea is to take it out a little harder in these bricks, but to follow the watch religiously in Kona. Hopefully, the thought goes, it will seem quite easy then, and that is the point, because when I hit the lab, I want to be able to shift a gear…

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