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Workout Wednesday – Progressive Brick

Welcome to another edition of Workout Wednesday. Every Wednesday I will post a new Triathlon specific workout. If you like the workout, fit it into your training plan for the week. If you don’t like the workout you’re crazy, all of my workouts are brilliant pieces programming. (kidding)

Brick Workout

Today’s Workout – Progressive Brick

A quick intro: A BRICK is a bike to run workout. The purpose of these workouts is to work on your transitions from the bike to run. It’s a good idea to fit in a few of these sessions to your triathlon training cycle. Don’t get carried away, and think you have to do these workouts all of the time. It is better to work on biking and running individually, and sprinkle in some bricks.

BRICK workouts are also a great chance to practice your transitions. Set up a mini transition area in your driveway, and treat the workout like a race simulation.

Here’s the workout:

Bike – 30 mins

  • 5 min warm up
  • 3 X 5 min race effort (80%)/ 2 min easy spin.
  • 4 min moderate effort (60%) – Work on quick pedal strokes

Then immediately after transition to run.

Run – 10 mins

  • 2 min 70% of race effort – Work on quick turnover/ Control your effort.
  • 4 min 80% of race effort
  • 4 min full race effort.

Some points of emphasis for this workout:

  1. This workout should be moderately difficult. Don’t kill yourself with effort. The idea is to control your effort and heart rate.
  2. Work on quick pedal strokes ~80-90 RPM on the last set before the transition. This will get your legs primed to run.
  3. Resist the urge to go out too fast on the start of the run. When you start running after the bike, you will feel slow, but it is just your brain tricking you.
  4. Many athletes start the run too fast and blow up. The run portion of this workout builds in intensity to race effort. Focus on controlling your effort. On race day you will have better control of your effort for a more even and faster run.

Are You Bored doing Same Run Workouts? Try these Group Run Games.

Is running that same five mile loop with your friend getting a bit boring? Do your interval workouts become unfocused because there’s no one there to hold you accountable? Is your training just becoming straight up boring?

Do I have the solution for you. Group run games. (Infomercial voice off). Group run workouts offer some healthy competition, while making sure everyone sticks to their training goals. NO more slacking off, because your buddy will take great pleasure in pointing out your lack of effort. If your partner runs like a gazelle, and you run more like elk, don’t worry. These workouts are structured so runners of varying abilities can do them together.


Now grab your friend or friends (look at you Mr./Mrs. popular) and try out these workouts.

1. You run, I rest / I run, You rest.

From the title you probably get the idea. Go to the track, or pick a loop course. This works best with distances of 200-800M. Your partner runs a lap while you rest, and while you run your partner rests. You get a varied rest interval based on your partner’s lap. If you are not feeling great, you might give your partner a hard time, hoping they will slow down. If you are feeling frisky, you can speed up and take some of their rest. Overall the goal here to is to keep both runners engaged, get some good work in, all while having fun.

2. Stalk your prey.

This workout is a run (race) handicapped by your predicted finish times. Start with a predetermined course. (3 – 5k is a good distance). Each runner picks their finish times based on past performances. The slow runners starts first, and gets a head start based upon the difference of the finish times.

Example: If I say I will run 25 min, and Frank says he is going to running 21 minutes, I get a 4 minute head start. His goal is to try and chase me down. My goal is to hold him off. To make this work, all runners need to be honest with their times. NO SANDBAGGING. The only prize on the line here is pride. There’s no pride in cheating.

3. Run Golf

The goal in golf is to get a low score. It’s the same in run golf. Pick a one mile course, and place a watch or have a time keeper at the finish. Have each runner ¬†predict their mile finish time. The idea is to come as close to possible to that time without using a watch. How many seconds you are off of that time (fast or slow) is your score for that lap. If I say I will run a 7:28, and I run 7:39 my score is 11. Repeat the laps three times, and the runner with the lowest score wins. Like in golf having a side bet will make this more interesting. (Maybe a round of post workout beers?)

This workout is great to work on pacing. Having to keep pace without the watch, forces you to use perceived effort to keep pace. If you run with a GPS watch most of the time, this workout might be a challenge.

If you give one of these workouts a try, leave a comment to tell us how it went.