Brick Workout

What’s a brick workout? Don’t worry, it’s not some Crossfitter’s fantasy of running with heavy bricks and stacking them in a corner of the Box (gym); although, they’ve probably done that and called it something else. On the other hand, triathletes are a different kind of crazy, and a brick workout is a triathlete’s workout; however, even if you’re not a triathlete, many of you can incorporate it into your cardio circuits since cross-training helps you be a stronger runner and can help prevent your body from getting injured.

A brick workout is basically two cardio workouts back to back, typically cycling and then running, and it’s intended to mimic how you might feel during a triathlon. Now, unless you swim in your tri kit and it’s really warm outside where your bike is located, then you can swim and bike; however, cycling directly after a swim can be tricky even if you’re at a gym. You still have to dry off and change before hopping on an exercise bike because a pool of sweat below your bike is bad enough without the chlorinated water too. That being said, I have seen people do brick workouts where they swim and then bike at the gym.

Anyway, it’s much easier to ride the bike and then go for a run. This can be done in a gym or at home with any bike.

Here’s a typical brick workout:

Bike for 40 minutes to an hour and include 10 minutes of a warm up. In the warm up, incorporate some faster pedaling for 30 seconds and slow down the pace for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times. Do a steady ride or a tempo ride after the warm up. Your choice.

When an hour is up, change out of your bike shoes and go for a run! Go outside or on the treadmill.

The run is at an easy pace and lasts for 20-30 minutes total. Yes, your legs will feel like concrete blocks, and if you rode your bike really hard, they can and will feel like peg legs. Keep running. Your body will get used to pushing out that lactic acid.

Total time 1:20:00

Just so you know, those pictures above were taken at a triathlon in May. My brick workout reality is not so pretty now. Here’s a more accurate portrayal of the workout:

I’m inside on my road bike on the trainer where I sweat to death even with a fan blowing on me before bundling up to run outside where it’s 40 degrees or colder. I usually don’t do brick workouts with a swim followed by a bike because I’m a freak and absolutely love swimming–I’d end up skipping the bike for more pool time. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m still terrified of open water swimming and getting eaten by a shark or slipping below the depths without the numerous lifeguards seeing me. Both situations are unlikely, but I still think about them. I prefer brackish water for open water swims so I can’t see anything. It’s better that way, and I swim as fast as I can. Unless, a jellyfish stops me. I hate jellyfish.

When the weather gets warmer, I’ll swim in a lake and then hop on my bike, until then I’ll be inside on the trainer and then out for a run.