FML Workout: Brick
This month’s workout segment caters to your inner triathlete! Brick workouts combine two or more of the triathlon legs into a single workout.
performed by Doreen Redenius at Austin Aquatics and Sports Academy
Photography by Weston Carls
Six Brick Benefits
1. Gives you the “race day” feel of transitioning quickly from sport to sport—you get a sense of how much the swim (no matter what distance) takes out of you. Plus, you also get the feel of how your legs feel when you get off the bike.
2. It’s an opportunity to practice proper pacing and other race tactics such as surges, sighting, and finding a comfortable cruise pace.
3. Builds mental strength and confidence. Making a brick workout non-negotiable makes you mentally much tougher on race day.
4. Helps hone in more on nutrition and electrolyte needs.
5. Every second counts! Practice quick transitions for a faster and more efficient race.
6. It teaches you the importance of energy expenditures. You can’t go out too fast or you’ll bonk quickly.
Swim-to-Bike Brick Workouts
Can be done in a pool setting with spin bike or bike placed on trainer for efficiency. Of course, you can also ride on the roads with caution.
Short Course or Beginner Triathlete
Swim 400–500 meters total where the first 25 of every 100 is FAST to simulate that fast mass start. On the second 25, you will sight three to four times to practice good sighting form. (Don’t lift your head too much as your legs will immediately sink. Keep and lift your head slightly to scan the surface of the water like an alligator). The final 50 of each 100 is finding your comfortable cruising pace. So, the pattern is 25 fast–25 sighting–50 cruise up to 500 meters.
From there, you will make a quick transition to your bike and ride for 30 minutes in a progressive manner. Start slow to bring your heart rate down from the swim. The second 10 minutes should be a 6-7 on a scale of 1-10. Finally, really push it those final 10 minutes and build to a fast strong finish! Aim for a cadence of 80-90 throughout.
Long Course or More Advanced Triathlete Brick Session—DOUBLE BRICK!
Warm-up 10 minutes easy on the bike to get your heart rate going and some blood flowing. Then, 3 x 1 min hard efforts at 100+ rpms to increase sweat and heart rate.
Quick transition into pool: Don’t forget goggles and swim cap!
Swim: 10 minutes following 25 Fast, 25 Sight, 50 Cruise
Quick transition back to bike: Yes, you’ll be wet! Bike 10 minutes at 70 percent effort or 6-7 on a scale of 1-10.
Transition back to swim: 10 minutes following same pattern as above
Transition back to bike: 10 minutes at 70 percent or 6-7 effort. You’ll likely experience that this effort now feels because of the fatigue from swimming.
Bike-to-Run Brick Workouts
Short Course or Beginner Triathlete Brick Session
After 10 minute warm up on bike, start Two to Three Rounds of Progressive Power Pick-Ups:
2 minutes at 80 percent (7 rpe), 2 minutes at 85 percent (8 rpe), 2 minutes at 90 percent (9 rpe)
Take 3 minutes in between each six minute round to recover.
Once you’ve finished your rounds on the bike, quick transition to run.
Transition Run: 15 minutes total at 5 minutes easy, 5 minutes moderate, 5 minutes hard. Practice a strong fast finish!
Long Course or Advanced Triathlete Brick Session
This is similar to the short course workout, but you’ll be running in between each round!
After a 10 minute warm-up on bike, begin a six-minute
Progressive Power Pick-up: Two minutes at 80 percent (7 rpe), two minutes at 85 percent (8 rpe), two minutes at 90 percent (9 rpe)
Then, quick transition to run.
Transition Run: 15 minutes total at five minutes easy, five minutes moderate, five minutes hard. Practice a strong fast finish!
Transition Back to Bike for your next Progressive Pick-Up: 2 minutes at 80 percent (7 rpe), 2 minutes at 85 percent (8 rpe), 2 minutes at 90 percent (9 rpe)
Transition to Run: 15 minutes total at five minutes easy, five minutes moderate, five minutes hard. Practice a strong fast finish!
Can do a third bike/run round if you’re feeling mighty! The goal here is to stay sharp and focused on the run, especially in the second round when you may be more fatigued. Start slow and finish strong. Keep your form good and your cadence brisk.
Triathletes have notoriously tight hips, hamstrings, and glutes, so make sure you spend time stretching and rolling those trouble areas when you are finished.