In the world of sports, bricks refer to when an athlete trains on two disciplines during the same workout. The disciplines are practiced one after other with little to no interruption in between, just as you would do in a race.
Bricks combine any triathlon discipline, for example, cycling/running workout, swimming/cycling or swimming/running. The former two are not very common, yet, there are still vital to incorporate in your training workout
The Swimming/Cycling Brick
When swimming, you should use your legs as little as possible. If not, you may find it though when you get on your bike before you start feeling comfortable.
A swim/bike workout that simulates an actual race can help you solve that issue. An example of an effective swim/bike brick is:
3 x (500 yards swim plus 5-mile bike). Additionally, you can improve the transition between swimming and cycling by using your legs more during the last 50 or 1000 yards of your swim.
This way, you’ll get more blood flowing to your legs. You can also start by using an easier gear during the start of the cycling race. This will give your legs the chance to get used to the new sport.
The Cycling/Running Brick
A bike/run brick is essential, particularly because the transition between both disciplines is the hardest in a triathlon.
Experts recommend trying out a sequence of short/medium rides alternated with a series of short runs. For this, you’ll need to make sure to track your progress and cover the same distance. An example of this kind of brick is:
The sprint triathlon workout, which consists of a 5-6 miles bike plus a 1 mile run repeated three or four times. There’s also the Olympic triathlon workout, repeating a series of 7-8 miles bike plus 1.5 or 2 miles run three or four times.
Doing Bricks for the first time
If you’re new to bricks, get used to them first. Do so by running or walking 1 mile after every bike ride.
The more you practice, the better you’ll feel when transitioning for one discipline to another.