Training for a triathlon? Get simple brick workouts under your belt

Are you ready to try a tri in 2015? Triathlons are a lot of fun to train for and race. They keep your weekly workouts varied and develop muscles that cycling (or running) alone doesn’t develop. You may think it is a challenge to fit in swimming, cycling, and running into your schedule but it doesn’t need to be that complicated. Brick workouts are a simple way to make the most of your training sessions and will help you greatly come race day.

Even for seasoned triathletes, the importance of brick workouts is hard to overemphasize. When you first come off the bike, your legs, especially your quads feel stiff and transitioning to the run makes your legs feel wobbly. It takes about a mile or so for that feeling to ease up and to regain good control of the running motion. This is where simple brick workouts, where you practice that transition repeatedly in training, help a great deal.

Here are some workouts that are easy to incorporate into your triathlon training:

  • Add a 1 mile run immediately after any ride.
  • If you’re aiming to improve your triathlon time or hit a goal time, run intervals after your ride. For example, after a tempo ride, run 6×400 m intervals at 5K pace with 200 m jog in between each.
  • For longer distances, make long bricks every other weekend leading up to the race a priority. Following your long ride, cover 3-8 miles running, depending on the length of your race.
  • If bad weather is keeping you indoors in the winter months, take a spin class and head straight to the treadmill for 15 mins afterwards.

Tips for a smooth transition

Have your run shoes and socks ready to go. If starting from home, keep them by the entrance, so you can change and go as soon as you rack your bike. If you drove to some other location, practice packing a little transition bag with your running shoes and socks.

For longer brick workouts, you will also need to think about refueling before and during your run. Have a (preferably insulated) bottle filled with your favorite sports drink ready for a quick rehydration stop as you get your running gear on.

If you’ll be running more than 30 minutes immediately following a ride, it is a good idea to also have energy gels with you. Stash your gels in the pockets of your jersey, bike shorts, or in a fuel belt during your bike-to-run transition.



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