This Saturday I experience my first Full Brick. This means that we simulated the first transition (T1: Swim to Bike), biked 25 miles, completed the second transition (T2: Bike to Run), and then ran 6.1 miles. Basically 2/3 of a triathlon. Up to this point in my training I had yet to complete either of those distances on their own, let alone in a package deal. Though I feel like I've really pushed myself to do what is expected of me and more, I was still weary of my performance.
One of the cool things about doing a Full Brick, is you get to practice the little things like packing up your transition bag and laying out your gear in a way to help you have a fast transition. And, as I mentioned before, this is the perfect time to start testing out different supplements to help keep you hydrated and fueled to the finish. I ended up grabbing some Gatorade, water, Jelly Belly Sport Beans, and a Clif Bar. Everything seemed to work great... and I actually never touched my Clif Bar (but that might just be because I didn't swim a mile first). The Gatorade didn't taste gross, and the jelly beans were a great way to get in what I needed without the nasty Gu texture or the stickiness of the other gummy options. It also reminded me to get a second water bottle holder for my bike and look at different bag options to make snacking on your bike easier (this time I just taped everything to the handle bars which actually worked really well).
I ended up biking the 25 miles in about 1:30 hrs and ran the 6.1 miles in almost exactly an hour. So total time (including transitions) was 2:35 minutes. Not to shabby! I had asked Larry (head of the program) a couple weeks ago what time is reasonable for a newbie to aspire to? He said that 3 hours was pretty good for a beginner. Considering a 1500 meter swim takes about 30 minutes, it looks like I'm right on track!
Side note: Throughout this training we've been doing all of this biking, running and obviously swimming sans iPods. This was extremely hard for me to get used to when starting out, but I noticed, after the fact, that on Saturday I was biking and running completely alone for 2 1/2 hours with nothing in my ears. It was remarkably easy and almost peaceful getting lost in ones thoughts.