The Beauty of a Brick Workout
Whether you are training for your first race or training for your 100th, the brick workout should be an integral part of your training regiment. Brick workouts typically consist of a combination of cycling and running and the purpose of the workout is to practice the transition from bike to run. When cycling, depending on the size of your cranks, your “stride” is much shorter then your “stride” when you run. Depending on the length of the bike course, it can take you legs a significant amount of time to adjust from a short stride (cycling) to a longer stride (running).
The goal is to reduce the time it takes for your legs to adjust from cycling to running. There are a few things you can do. Arguably, the most important is to incorporate brick workouts into your training regiment. You can do these workouts a couple different ways. First, a long bike ride followed immediately by a long run. Another option is to do a short bike ride followed immediately by a short run and then repeat several times. Either way, doing this type of workout will enable you to experience the feeling you get in your legs going from cycling to running, and help you transition from your bike legs to your run legs faster.
Here are examples to the two different brick workouts I describe above.
1) 20k bike -> 5k run OR 40k bike -> 10k run
2) 5 mi. bike -> 1 mi. run, repeat 6 times.
The first example is beneficial because it very closely simulates a race. The distances are common Sprint and Olympic distances and after doing this brick you will have a decent idea of how you will feel during your race. The second is beneficial because instead of doing one transition, you are doing six. I like to incorporate a combination of both in my training regiment.
With triathlon season coming to an end for the year, make these brick workouts a regular part of your off-season training so when next season comes around, you are ready.
Written by Jay Pedersen