We're going to diverge a little bit today on this episode of Runner's High, I got a question here on the screen. Shivam masks, please make some videos on triathlon like tempo or fartlek work well. Shivam, first, if I got your name wrong, I apologize if you've seen the podcast at all, you know I do my best, but sometimes I don't get it right.
Today we're going to talk about triathlon. I've raced triathlon almost as long as I've raced running at this point, so I've got a pretty deep history in the sport, and I'm going to talk about the things that are making triathlon workouts specific to triathlon and why you would do them.
If you haven't been on the channel before, this is where I normally talk about running, this show is called Runner's High, but I am open to talking about triathlon, as with Shivam's question.
So today we're going to talk about the Brick workout. It doesn't mean brick like this. This is a brick from my garden. It means brick, because that's how your legs are going to feel at the end of it.
We're concerned about the brick workout because so Shivam asked about tempos or fartlek and the the reason I'm talking about the brick is that it is distinctively a triathlon workout. The rest of the triathlon schedule, as far as I know, as far as I've seen coached, as far as my friends have been coached, is largely about doing each individual sports training, sometimes with triathlon specific technique like if you're in the pool, you need to know how to sight.
So there'll be some siding work added into that or you going to work on transitions at some time, which you wouldn't do normally if you just run.
But a brick workout is going to be specific to triathlon, unlike trying to, you know, make all of these other sports do their own individual things where normally it's just a matter of scheduling where you have to schedule properly. You can't schedule three super hard days back to back to back in the pool and then running, and then you have to manage your schedule.
Bricks in particular are specific to triathlon. You have basically no use for them as just a running individual. So if you're doing triathlon, you have to do this. But there are two styles of bricks, in my opinion, and they serve kind of very specific purposes depending on the kind of race you're doing and where you are in your stage of training.
So the first style of brick workout is really going to be more about learning to transition from the bike to the run and getting your legs accustomed to that feeling. And that is, I go out for a bike and then after I'm off the bike, I change or maybe you already have appropriate clothing on and then you go out for a run.
This is something I did a lot for the 70.3 training I was doing a couple of years back before I had my crash and, you know, broke my clavicle and had to have surgery. And it's a whole long story. We won't get into it in this episode. I've told a number of times on the Smart Athlete Podcast.
So this brick workout is where you're combining biking and running. Being a brick workout in general just means you're combining multiple sports. I've seen ones combine the pool as well, but the logistics get more complicated when you have to have a bike near the pool or you're trying to run out of the pool or something like that. So often a workout only refers to bike run, and that's what I'm talking about in this video.
This kind of brick workout can be done just about any time. We often did this for my Sunday like endurance day. At the peak of my training, I would go out for a five hour ride cover something like 80 ish miles, give or take, and I would come back and run five or six miles off the bike. So this had two effects one working on your endurance, obviously, when you're racing 70.3, for me, it lasted four hour, twenty minutes, four and a half hours somewhere in that range, trying to get down to like the four 15 range when I had that accident.
But it gives you the endurance, right?
So that's a big deal in these longer events. If you're racing 70.3 or you're racing the full Ironmans. And you need that. You also need to be able to have the endurance to get off the bike and continue to run for a while, so it's a very practical situation of dealing with that transition and then continuing to run.
But also if you've never run after getting off of a bike, there is this like bouncy feeling you're going to have because your muscles are used to this particular firing pattern. Excuse me. This firing pattern that you have been doing for maybe hours at that point where they're firing to pedal right?
And then you get off and you want to run and your muscles are like, "Hey, guys, like, we're doing the same thing, right?" And you're like, "No, we're not doing the same thing at all", but they're like, "we're just going to do the thing we've been doing for hours" and you're like, "No." So you have this like bouncy feeling and the practicality is you have to be able to kind of train your muscles and train your brain and get that muscle memory of switching from biking to running and get your running legs under you without that weird, bouncy feeling.
A little bit of practice and this gets under your legs pretty easy, but those are the two main components of doing this style of brick workout.
The other style of brick workout, which I find really, really fun. But I also love the shorter stuff the Olympic races, the international distance. Sometimes it's referred to as where you have a 1500 meter swim, a 40 K bike and then a 10k at the end. They're fast and furious, but they're also long.
I really love this distance if you're doing that or sprints anything shorter. This is the kind of workout you want to do as you're getting closer to your race season, and this is a style of Brick workout where you go back and forth.
This is all about getting race specific fitness, so I won't give in like specific details on how to do your particular workout because it depends on your schedule. But it's going to be something like, Hey, I'm going to be on the bike for five, six minutes, maybe, and I'm going to be going hard for that five or six minutes like race pace hard. And then I'm going to get off the bike and then I'm going to run a race pace interval and then I'm going to get back on the bike and do it again.
Usually there's a break in between, but you'll do that over and over. I used to do this. I'd set up my trainer outside, which is the most practical way to do it. Put your bike on the trainer, run off that come back instead of trying to do the logistics of putting all your gear on to bike helmet, all the safety gear, taking it off bike shoes, you can do that.
It's good to practice if you want to practice transitions too, but if you're just looking at the fitness portion of it, you can just work on setting up the trainer and running off of it.
But you do this repeat period where you're going back and forth and back and forth. You had the neuromuscular adaptation like in the first one where you're getting used to running off of the bike and you don't have that bouncy effect. You may in the beginning, especially because you've been going hard, but you adapt and you get smoother and smoother over time, even as you have your first interval in subsequent workouts. But this one is again race specific. So whereas the first one is going to be, Hey, we're going out for a long ride and then we're going to get off and run this one's, hey, I need to warm up before I even start this thing because we're going hard and we're going hard all day.
So you need to do your specific warmup. I like to do a run warm up and then a very short bike warm up, so I would do something like 15 to 20 minutes of running and then maybe five minutes spinning on the bike to get my bike legs going and then begin the workout.
Those numbers will change for you, depending on where you are, your fitness, that kind of thing. But keep in mind that it should all be tailored around where your schedule is and what your goal is, so Olympic distance will have its own particular requirements and then shorter stuff. You know, you're obviously not going to go for as long or do as many reps. Those are what I would consider these specific workouts for triathlon.
So Shivam, I hope I answered your question. If you have any more clarifying questions, I'll obviously living down the comments below like you did before. Maybe I'll make another video. Maybe I'll just reply to you. But for the rest of you, I hope that was useful. If you want more triathlon stuff, you know leaving the comments below, happy to talk about it. As always, subscribe and I'll see you next time on the next episode of Runner's High.