Friday, April 28, 2006

The "Brick"

I spent a little time doing some research so I could produce a better answer for Lord Chubalot than, "A brick is a bike ride followed immediately by a run." Frankly he's a reasonably intelligent person, so I think he probably had figured that part out already. Thus I set about looking for the real "why". Why the name brick? Frankly I don't think many if any triathletes know beyond the assumed "because it's the building block of a race." Please, there's got to be more to it than that.

And then I remembered my philosophy (Lord Chubalot, who was once referred to as the "preppy philosopher" is getting excited now!). Didn't someone really old and famous talk about the brick? Hmmm, Kant? Nietzsche? No much, much older. How about Aristotle? Bingo! The brick is important in Aristotle's explanation of form and matter. What makes a brick? It's form. How does this apply to a workout? A brick is defined by it's form: In this case, one discipline followed immediately by another.

It does not matter if it is a swim followed by a run, or a swim followed by a bike, or a bike followed by a run. The particulars are largely irrelevant. It's form is a brick and the swim, bike or run are the matter. Put a couple brick's together and they create a new form: the Triathlon.