Brick training is a superb way to prepare the body for the specific demands of race day. Adding them together frequently and at the right amount and intensity will prepare yourself for race day.
Brick training means doing another discipline following the first discipline immediately. Most people associate brick training as running after cycling but there can be other variations. Brick can also be cycling after a swimming session to simulate a transition in Triathlon, or cycling after a running session to simulate a Duathlon, or running to cycling immediately after swimming to simulate an Aquathlon.
Brick training is very specific to Triathlon, Duathlon or Aquathlon as it involves multi-sports.
A brick workout helps to prepare the body as it changes from one sport to the other similar to an actual race while adapting the body to the changes and minimizing drop in performance from one sport to the next.
You can also perfect your transition setup as well as you learn the best way to setup your gears and perform flying mount/dismount on the bike to minimize transition time.
When to do it
You can start to incorporate brick training at least 1 month before your race, the earlier the better. Brick session does not need to be too long as the effect diminishes after the first 30 mins.
Initially, you will feel brick workouts are very tough. After a hard swim, you will find it difficult to run/cycle as all the blood would have flowed to the upper body after the swim. Similarly, after a hard bike ride you will feel as though your legs are made of lead (very heavy and unresponsive).
You will notice the brick workouts gets easier as time goes by and the effect of the previous sport reduces as you do more brick workouts more frequently.
As you progress nearer towards race day, brick sessions should be longer and more race pace specific.
IRONMAN Ambassador and Triathlon Coach, Rupert Chen conducts Brick Training at National Aquatics Center, Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sessions are scheduled twice a week and will be conducted by a minimum of 2 coaches. Therefore, if you prefer to just swim continuously, feel free to do so.
More about the author
Rupert Chen is an IRONMAN Ambassador and Triathlon Coach. Currently, he runs RC Coaching and is part of Malaysia’s TIME Triathlon team. Through coaching, he aims to make a difference to the local Triathlon community and expand the sport regionally.
Follow Rupert Chen on Facebook here.