Brick session takes it up a notch…or five

It was a cold, crisp evening as about ten of us lined up our bikes and wind trainers facing Rotorua’s Blue Lake. It had been a stunning day, warm in town, and I’d been looking forward to the season’s new brick training session all day.

RATs, our local Tri club, has spent winter Wednesday nights spinning in a local gym. Its usually packed with up to 40 plus people lined up with bikes, wind trainers and extremely loud music doing super-efficient spinning sessions with Lawrence. With the onset of daylight savings, and the 2009/10 tri season, winter Wednesdays have made way for outdoor brick sessions instead.

You couldn’t ask for a more picturesque setting. Rotorua’s Blue and Green lakes are located about 10 minutes drive from town, and are renowned as one of the must-see tourist spots in New Zealand. When you stand at the lookout in between, one lake – the Blue or Tikitapu – looks electric blue to the eye; turn around and you take in the Green lake or Rotokakahi, which looks a sea-green.

In summer we use the lake for open water swim training, we run around the lake on a 5.5km forestry trail, we bike on road and in forest across the area. Its an amazing outdoor wonderland and its right on our back doorstep. Lucky? You bet.

So anyway, we line up on the lakefront on our stationery bikes. Yes I am the first to admit that we must have looked likeĀ a bunch of idiots. A cold bunch of idiots at that. My day-long daydream about how we would be sitting in the sun, in front of a still, crystal lake was rapidly blown as soon as I arrived. It was blowing hard and straight into shore. So we’re sitting on our stationery bikes, with five layers on, and blue fingers and lips.

And we’re off. A very intense spin session (approximately 10 minutes), designed to mimic a hard road ride. A loud shout from Lawrence and we’re jumping off the bikes, into our running shoes, and taking off up the hill on the first of two laps. I thought I was going to be sick. I reached the top of the hill, rounded the cone and honestly thought I was about to keel over – this is, of course, on the back of a serious tummy bug where I had lost five kilos in four days. But I made it back around the bikes, and around again for the second lap.

Back on the bike for the next spin session. Long and hard. And off again for another two laps. And then the next spin session and off for a three lap run. And a final burst and then cool-down.

It was the hardest training session I’ve ever done. I hurt everywhere. And I LOVED it! I was on the biggest buzz and am still buzzing today, over 24 hours later. Of course I can’t walk properly because I hurt so much, but I’m already counting the sleeps until the next one.

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