My Weekly Triathlon Training Brick

19

January 21, 2013 by IowaTriBob

Triathlon Brick WorkoutAs 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?

19 thoughts on “My Weekly Triathlon Training Brick

  1. Sandra says:

    Nice improvement!

  2. Mike says:

    I have learned to love bricks! It helps so much knowing that I like to run now and am usually dying to get off the bike, especially on stationary rides. I kinda think the main benefit for me is mental. Those first few steps off the bike used to feel like I was gonna fall over, but now the whole situation seems “normal.” Nice gains!

    • IowaTriBob says:

      LOL. The first one I did I had almost the exact same feeling of face planting as I started running. In fact, I couldn’t feel my legs for the first 1/4 – 1/2 mile. Its funny on what one can consider “normal” after a while.

  3. Chatter says:

    I am still trying when is the best time to interject a brick session(s) into my plan, but I definitely see the advantage of doing them. I might go for one more month of base volume before doing a couple of weeks of bricks. Supposedly brick workouts can be taxing on the body as well and are not usually suggested as an everyday workout. Way to nail it man, looks like things are coming together for you.

    • IowaTriBob says:

      I’d definitely throw one or two in sooner vs. later. Since your first event is coming up within a few short weeks :-) you can learn a ton by doing one now. I agree 100% that a brick shouldn’t be done on a daily basis (at least for me as still somewhat of a beginner) but even learning to run after the bike or how to stay hydrated over the course of two hours has been a huge mental success for me. I’d love to hear how one goes for you.

  4. [...] My Weekly Triathlon Training Brick (iowatribob.com) [...]

  5. Carrie says:

    Oh, bricks–love ‘em and hate ‘em. During the summer, I’d do a bike-run brick once a week, but I haven’t completed any yet this year. (My team/training plan is still in the base-building stages.) Running off the bike proved to be a huge challenge last year, so hopefully, I can improve my run splits this season.

    • IowaTriBob says:

      Agree completely. After a few weeks of doing them I’m really enjoying the feeling of the run afterwards. I don’t have a lot to benchmark against yet but I have to imagine I’ll see a huge improvement from my first tri this past summer.

  6. bgddyjim says:

    I do a duathlon every Saturday in-season… Ride 12, run 6-10, ride 18 back home… The ride home helps me recover from the run – it’s perfect!

  7. elisariva says:

    Bricks are essential. I am realizing more and more how much it helps for race day endurance. Running long off the bike is very different and the more a body can acclimate the better.

    I am very intrigued with the computrainer. I also want to get a power meter for my bike. The dilemma is they are both around the same price. Buying both I would be spending more than I did on my Cervelo P2! I am leaning toward the power meter for riding outside too… Thoughts?

    • IowaTriBob says:

      I know what you mean! The computrainer was almost twice as much as the base Felt Z100 I purchased this past summer. I really enjoy training by power on the bike and it feels a lot like pace on the run. I’m beginning to understand my power to HR relationship and RPE of both on the bike. If you’re in between the two and you feel like you’ve got a solid off-season bike plan than I’d go with the power meter on the bike. I think I’m really going to miss it come this spring/summer and race days (which means I’m probably going to end up with both).

  8. Wow- impressive improvements!
    I really slack on bricks and don’t do many of them and not until pretty close to the race. I think they help me the most mentally and make me feel strong and know I can do it. I’d like to do more but sometimes I’m just not willing to put in more time.

    • IowaTriBob says:

      Thank you. Its definitely a committment in time, especially after you finish the bike and think what a great workout you just had. Makes it that much harder to throw on the shoes and head out the door for a run. Like anything though, once your finished it sure feels good.

  9. [...] My Weekly Triathlon Training Brick (iowatribob.com) [...]

  10. [...] My Weekly Triathlon Training Brick (iowatribob.com) [...]

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