Triathlon Preparation with Brick Training

by Jackie on November 14, 2014

The definition of “brick training” was coined when a triathlete mentioned one day that he was going to run after biking. He said that the run would be “just another brick in the wall.” Since then, a “brick” has come to be known as running after bicycling in the triathlete community.

What are the advantages of brick training?

Brick training is one of the most important workouts for a triathlete’s physical development. After jumping off a bike, a triathlete’s legs may suffer from the feeling of heaviness, thus making it difficult to run. Those who have not been trained to deal with this sensation, will likely find that the leg heaviness will slow them down while running. The triathlete’s strength and power can be increased through other exercises, but brick training is one of the best ways to deal directly with heavy leg syndrome.

Triathlons are typically won with a fast run time. While track workouts, long runs, and tempo runs all have the aim of decreasing running time, the ability to run fresh is redundant in a triathlon. Bricks are the only way to measure true running speed and discourage a false sense of security. A triathlete’s time running off the bike should be compared to open running in order to measure the effectiveness of bricks.

Getting Started

For beginners, brick training involves a single bike and run combination workout that simulates a transition in an event, often considered the most difficult aspect of a triathlon. Implement your bricks during the final training phase leading up to a competition.

As bricks are very demanding on the body, they should not be practiced too often, especially by those who are just starting out as triathletes. It is not even necessary to run your best time or even the full race distance. As the event nears, it can be useful to run a single mile after every bike workout. During the learning process for brick training, triathletes should lower their bike gear to enable increased pedal revolutions. This will loosen the muscles that will have tightened from pushing at higher gears. If there is enough time, even spending a few minutes to stretch leg muscles is recommended.

Advanced Training

More advanced brick workouts for veteran triathletes should involve numerous transitions from the bike to running. This helps the body to get used to shifting the blood from the muscles used for bicycling to those used for running. Transitions can be improved by using some kind of interval training workout coupled with a tempo run layout.

Alternatively, the workout recommended involves a total of 12 shifts between the two disciplines. After a 30 minute warm up on the bike, four sets of 10-minute exercises are completed, alternating between running and bicycling. For the remaining seven sets, running is decreased to five minutes, and the workout ends with a 20-minute cool down on the bike.

Regardless of the specific workout, triathletes who implement brick training may find themselves having an edge over the competition.

Jackie

Jackie

Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
I'm a fitness nut. I know what you're thinking, one of these people who has never been fat a day in her life, and can eat whatever she wants. The truth is I struggled with my weight growing up and lived in a household where everything seemed to be fried. Once I got away from home I realized I had the choice to eat and exercise how I wanted. I've gained a lot of insight into working as a personal trainer, and feel I can relate to others that were in my situation. I think if I can do it then you can to, and if you want to start kicking butt then hop on board and lets get started.
Jackie

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