2 Brick Workouts to Add to Your Training

If you are beginning triathlons, there are many great races to take advantage of.

When training for the event, you may initially think that the swim is the toughest part of a triathlon. But most triathletes will probably tell you that the biggest race-day challenge is to run after an exhausting bike ride. This is where your training needs to simulate transitions, which can improve your performance in a race...and more importantly give you the confidence and encouragement you need to succeed.

Workouts known as "bricks" combine two sports in a single session and they are instrumental to any racing success. As you might expect, they are not called bricks for fun! The name refers to the feeling you experience when you switch from one part to the race to the next. If you have experienced a triathlon, I am sure you are familiar with that heavy rubber-leg syndrome when you begin to run after getting off your bike.

Incorporating brick workouts into your training will help your body become familiar to adapting to the mental, muscular and metabolic changes required to switch from one sporting discipline to another. No matter how accomplished a runner you are, it is important to practice this transition.

Brick workouts can be designed for the various parts of your triathlon such as, swim-to-bike, run-to-bike, bike-to-swim, swim-to-run and run-to-swim combinations. In addition, you can add varied hilly terrains to your brick workouts to kick them up a notch.

With a multitude of brick workouts, you can keep your training fresh and fun. Come race day, your efforts will pay off and you will be leaving your competition in the dust!

Here are a few brick workout ideas for both bike/run and swim/bike to get you started!

Bike/Run

For sprint and Olympic-distance race, build up to a total time of one to two hours.

  • Bike: Ride 1 to 2 hours, with the last 20 minutes at race pace
  • Transition: immediately into your run
  • Run: a total of 30 to 50 min adding intervals along the way. During the intervals, make your recovery interval an easy jog. Try three-minute intervals spaced out with three-minute recovery. Repeat this workout each week on your non-rest weeks, up to one or two weeks prior to your key race.

Swim/Bike

  • For sprint and Olympic distances, build up to three repeats of a 500-yard swim followed up by a 5-mile bike.

Indianapolis Running Examiner Davina Lewis is a scientist and personal trainer with a long history of running.

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