January 21, 2013 by IowaTriBob
As my triathlon training has continued, I’ve moved from base endurance and skills training to speed interval and race specific workouts. These workouts have included a weekly “Brick” combined of a 23.9 mile ride on my Computrainer (Tuscaloosa USAT Age Group Nationals course) immediately followed by a 4 mile outdoor run.
For those not familiar with the term Brick, a Brick refers to combining two disciplines during the same workout. These are typically done one after the other with minimal transition in between, just as you would do in a triathlon race. Usually when someone refers to doing a Brick they are referring to a bike-to-run workout; however a Brick could also refer to a swim-to-bike workout or to a run-to-bike workout such as in a duathlon.
In doing a little research around the benefits of Brick workouts the pro’s include:
- Mental value: Teach the body to realize the sensation of running after a long bike ride, something you don’t want to save until race day.
- Strengthening the legs with the added stress of combining two disciplines.
- Helping to determine correct race day nutritional needs prior to the actual race event.
- Pace setting to help ensure you don’t go out too fast in either the bike or the run as well as to help determine the disconnect between the rate of perceived exertion and actual pace.
- Improving overall conditioning by involving different muscle groups in the same workout
I’ve come to really enjoy my Brick workout and feel like I’ve seen improvements in both my ride and my run because of them. Below are the results of my first Brick and my latest Brick workouts.
First Brick Workout (12/29):
Bike Time: 1:15:22
Speed: 19.1 mph
N. Power: 197 watts
Run Pace: 9:53
Latest Brick Workout (1/19)
Bike Time: 1:11:47
Speed: 20.0 mph
N. Power: 206 watts
Run Pace: 9:02
In addition to the workout improvements, I’ve learned a lot about my race day nutrition and what seems to work for me as I burn through 800-900 calories on the ride and then try to ensure I have adequate fuel and energy for the run.
Do you incorporate Brick’s into your training and if so, what have been your results and benefits?