Use this bike/run session to work on transitions, build bike-to-run adaptation, and to fine-tune your speed.

Use this bike/run session to work on transitions, build bike-to-run adaptation, and to fine-tune your speed. 

Despite the fact that, as triathletes, we do most of our workouts in single-sport mode, there are actually very few instances where we just swim, just bike, or just run while racing. The vast majority of the time, we’re combining all three, in succession, and our muscles need to learn how to function in that unnatural situation. This is why brick training is so important.

This week’s workout is incredibly valuable because it teaches your muscles how to move from a seating, pedaling position—often in the aerobars—using one set of muscles, to an upright, weight-bearing position—where form matters as much as pure power. Not only do you need to use different muscles, but you need to figure out how to do that quickly and do it well. If your form falls apart, no matter how strong you are, you’ll suffer in the final leg of your already long day on the road or trail.

Be sure to do this set after a month or two of base training, during the strength phase or in the later sharpening phase of your season. If performed during the strength phase, worry more about good transitions and consistent pacing, if done during the sharpening phase near your event, be sure to really push the final set.

This workout should be done with plenty of leg rest before (a strong swim prior is fine, but don’t do any anaerobic sets the morning before) and at least a day easy afterward. Try to complete at least two of these sessions—though 3-5 is best—prior to your ‘A’ race. Definitely don’t do your first brick workout the week of a race.

Though this set is best done with a trainer and an uninterrupted stretch of road to run on (a track for the run is even better!), you can also park a car to stash your bike while you’re out running—just be sure to minimize the amount of time between bike and run, think of it like transition practice. Set up your shoes, hat, glasses, helmet, etc. just like you would on race day.

Warm-Up:
10 minutes easy spin straight into
5 minutes build run to 6/10 Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)
stretch

Main Set:
7 min bike at 5/10 right into
5 min run at 6/10 right into
2 min easy spin
1 min rest, walk, reset transition

5 min bike at 6/10 right into
3 min run at 7/10 right into
2 min easy spin
1 min rest, walk, reset transition

3 min bike at 7/10 right into
1 min run at 8/10

Cool-Down:
15 minutes easy spin

More one-hour workouts