"Brick" methods to get the most out of your triathlon training

Veterans of the sport of triathlon are all too familiar with the term "brick." For those of you who are, let's say still wet behind the ears, a brick is the term used to describe any combination of swim, bike, or run in a single training session. This article will focus on the transition from bike to run and help you establish an efficient and productive running performance come race time.

Assuming you have other areas of interest/responsibility in your life; spouse, children, career, dog, cat or whatever, your time to train becomes a spot on your current wish list. Don't fret, as bricks can be an excellent way to make the most of your training time.

Letters to train by

When training remember these three letters; U, A, F. The letters represent the training methods you will use during your workouts.

"U" stands for uniform, which is predominately used during the base phase of training and is utilized to improve aerobic efficiency. This entails maintaining a set pace, of low to moderate intensity for the duration of the run.

"A" represents the alternate method, which is one of the most effective ways to develop run/race specific endurance. During the run the athlete or coach will predetermine a distance where you change the intensity from moderate to submaximal, without any interruptions during that distance. By interruptions, I mean no slowing down.

"F" stands for Fartlek. This method is a great way to break up the monotony of tempo running. This includes accelerating at different points during your run for random periods of time and distance depending on how strong you feel that day.

Aside from these methods, as often as you can, try to mimic race conditions as they would happen during T2 or bike-to-run transition. This means getting your heart rate up off the bike. Too often when training we take it easy in the last half mile of the bike in anticipation of running. Guess what? You don't do that in a race.

Instead, you usually come blazing into transition while the race volunteer is yelling at you to "dismount here, dismount here," as you unclip your shoes five meters past that point; then try to remember where your bike goes; then put on your shoes before you're off again. This means heart rate is already high and this is what you should prepare for during training. With a limited amount of time to train, keeping your training specific and effective will help you get the most out of it while keeping it fun.

Lastly and most importantly befriend patience, as the business of consistent and positive performances takes time. Believe in the work you have done and the rest will come.


For more information on subjects related to endurance training or for any of your coaching and training needs check out Reece and the rest of the coaches from the Peaks Coaching Group at www.peakscoachinggroup.com.

Reece Haettich is a C.H.E.K. level 1 practitioner, certified personal trainer and a triathlon coach at the Peaks Coaching Group. Reece has a long history of competing at the highest levels of triathlon, bodybuilding and track. Reece has coached many high school, collegiate, amateur and professional athletes and has devoted his entire professional career to helping others achieve their potential. Reece has also been the ESM, Clydesdale Division, sprint distance Triathlon Champion several times over and continues to compete at the highest levels of the sport locally and nationally. To learn more about Reece, check out his bio at www.peakscoachinggroup.com or contact him directly at rhatchet@yahoo.com.

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