What is a Brick Workout and Why You Should Do Them


As with any endurance event, proper training is extremely important. Building up enough endurance to successfully push through an event will allow you to safely cross the finish line. While there are many different ways to train for a triathlon, adding “brick workouts” to your triathlon training is a necessity.

What is a brick workout?

A brick workout is when you take two components of your event and complete them together as one workout. For example, a triathlon is made up of three components (swimming, biking, and running), and while it may be easy for people to train for each of these events individually, sometimes the transition between events can make or break your race. Having practiced piecing events together and training for a smooth transition can be extremely beneficial to your race day.

Why should you add brick workouts to your triathlon training?

Unlike single race events that require just one start and stop, a triathlon not only requires you to work hard during an event, but it also requires you to switch between three different events.  The most common brick workout for triathletes is piecing together the biking and running portions of the race. Transitioning from cycling to running can be a weird and difficult transition if you’re not used to it. In many cases, your legs will feel weak and wobbly when trying to run directly off the bike.  This is why practicing grouping race components together can truly make or break your triathlon.

Another example of a triathlon brick workout would be transitioning from the swim portion over to biking. While this transition is a bit easier, it is also important to practice. It can be challenging to move from being horizontal while swimming to being vertical on the bike, so it can be beneficial to add in some swim/bike bricks to your training if this is a challenge for you.

What is the best way to go about adding a brick workout to your training schedule?

As with any training, start small and gradually build to a longer workout. The goal with this type of workout is to have no rest in between sessions.  Since the bike to run transition is the trickiest, start with a bike/run brick.  Do your regular long bike ride.  This can be done on a trainer or outside.  The moment you are finished with your ride, put on your running shoes and go run for 10 or 15 minutes.  Be sure not to “rest” in between.  The closer you can simulate a race day scenario, the better the result.  Unless you plan standing around, changing your clothes, having a snack or sitting down for a few minutes in your race, don’t do that in your brick sessions.  It is important to note that brick workouts do not need to be done every week or even every other week.  The most important time to add them in to your training is when your event is 2-3 months away.

Looking for other ways to advance your triathlon training for the most effective results?       Contact me today for all of your triathlon training needs!

Train Right, Tri Right!

Coach MJ



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