Workouts

Hawaii From Home: Brick Workout #4

This week's session will require a HIIT effort at the end.

Join us for Hawaii From Home—one week, 140.6 miles. Swag, prizes, training tips from coaches, bragging rights. Get all of the details at triathlete.com/hawaiifromhome. Each week we’ll be providing five key workouts (one swim, one bike, one run, one brick, and one strength) that you can work into your overall training plan.

Most people think of brick workouts as a bike session with a run off the bike, but there are huge benefits to doing “non-traditional” bricks—and you’ll see this pattern continuing throughout the six weeks of training for Hawaii From Home. Too many athletes get bogged down in doing long, slow, steady brick workouts that do little to boost their fitness. As with the previous brick workouts, this week’s session incorporates an element of HIIT work (high intensity interval training) and sees you switching from run to bike and back to run. There are a number of physiological and psychological reasons as to why I prescribe brick workouts in this way, which we’ll delve into in more detail below. This is also a tried and tested format I’ve used with pros and age-groupers alike with great success. It’s also a lot of fun!

There are two workouts below, one for the more advanced/seasoned athlete and another for a more novice athlete. Both workouts involve a run-bike-run with a variety of intensities. Like last week, this week’s session also combines several segments at Functional Threshold Power (FTP) or Lactate Threshold (LT) on the bike and LT on the run. If you know your FTP,  dial this in on the suggested segments. If you have no idea, you’ll see some notes below on how to use speed or heart rate instead. 

This week, the run distances are the same as last week but the segments are switched: In week three, you repeated the HIIT segments three times in the first run and twice in the second run. We now switch these around with two HIIT efforts in the first block and three in the second. They are also more spread out so that the final block of work is near the end of the workout—and finishing this brick on a HIIT effort will be a super challenge! 

Advanced Athlete

Part 1: Run 4 miles

Warm-up
10 min. with a gradual build-up over the final 2 min. to aerobic pace. 

Main Set – repeat 2x:
3.5 min. @ LT + 2 x 75 sec. @ AE
Rest interval 2 min. between all repeats
Run easy to finish the distance. 

Part 2: Bike 90 min.

Warm-up
12 min. and include 6 x 20 sec. pick-ups with fast legs, lower gear. Spread these out throughout the warm-up.

Main Set
Start with 5 x 75 sec. @ AE with 1 min. Rest interval between each repeat. Start and finish each 75-sec. effort with 15 sec. seated in a big gear. 

Easy for 2 min. — and then: 3 x 3 minutes @ LT/ FTP with a 45-sec. rest interval. The opening and final 20 sec. of each repeat is standing in a bigger gear. 

Ride aerobically for 15 min. as: 5 min. in a lower gear; 5 min. seated in bigger gear; 5 min. in your time trial gear.

Repeat the 3 x 3 min. set from above with the final 45 sec. of each repeat in a lower gear. Rest interval is 45 sec. Try to maintain the same intensity either measured with watts, speed or noting heart rate over the final one minute. Cool down until completing the 90-min. ride time. 

Part 3: Run 4 miles

Same as the first block but repeat 3x.

Allow 4 min. easy running between the three blocks and do them back to back.

Cruise easy to finish out the distance.

Developing Athlete

Part 1: Run 2.5 miles

Warm-up
10 min. with a gradual build-up over the final 2 min. to aerobic pace. 

Main Set – only once through:
2.5 min. @ LT + 1 x 50 sec. @ AE
Rest interval 2 min. between all repeats
Run easy to finish the distance. 

Part 2: Bike 60 min.

Start with 5 x 75 sec. @ AE with 1 min. Rest interval between each repeat. Start and finish each 75-sec. effort with 15 sec. seated in a big gear.
Easy for 2 min. — and then: 3 x 3 minutes @ LT/ FTP with a 45-sec. rest interval. The final 15 sec. of each repeat is standing in a bigger gear.
With remaining time, finish the workout with 3 min. of each: lower gear seated; big gear seated; time trial gear seated. 

Part 3: Run 2.5 miles

Same as Part 1 but repeat 3x. 

Cool-down
5-10 min. easy jog as needed

Notes on how to use speed or heart rate in these workouts instead of power:

Experienced athlete – bike: Use your best estimate for a 40-minute time trial. This is typically faster than FTP or LT, so deduct 5% from your number. For example, a 40-minute TT = 200 watts minus 5% = 10 watts, so your FTP/LT = 190 watts.

If you don’t have a power meter, you can also use speed as a measure of intensity, using your average speed for a 40-minute TT—or heart rate, using average heart rate for the final 15 minutes of a 40-mile TT. 

Experienced athlete – run: Use your 10K time for LT. If your time is 45 minutes or faster, add 3% to your time for LT. If your run is over 50 minutes use this pace as your LT.

Developing athlete – bike and run: Use your best estimate for a 20-minute time trial and add 5%. Using watts or speed will be your determinate for the remaining workouts. If you’re using a heart rate monitor and the test is done in mild conditions (under 70 F degrees / 21C and under 70% humidity) use the final 10 minutes and take your average heart rate. If you just want to use RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) then aim for 7/10. 

About Your Coach: Dave Scott is a master coach and six-time Ironman world champion who became the first person to be inducted into the Ironman Hall of Fame. He has coached scores of pro and age-group athletes to PRs and podiums based on his decades of training and racing experience. He writes a free newsletter twice monthly which covers a range of topics including training, aging, and diet—you can sign up for the next issue here. You can find out more about his Dave Scott Tri Club here and his training camps and clinics here.