written by runnergirl training
You may have heard the term “brick workout” and wondered if it was some latest fad of a bootcamp workout. When in fact it simply means to combine two modes of training into one workout.
Often this style of training is used by triathletes when they will do a run and bike workout, one right after the other. This trains the body to adapt to the physical and mental demands of both sports without rest. Brick workouts train the body to be metabolically and mentally prepared for race day.
An example of a run and bike brick workout could be 4 miles on the bike and a 1 mile run repeated three times. Some athletes prefer the running portion on a track to focus on speed without the distractions and hazards of traffic, sharing sidewalks and uneven roads.
Brick workouts should be eased into a training program. Start with short distances such as running a quarter mile and biking one mile repeating two times. Begin building the distance over time and then focus on increasing the speed or pace. Remember to allow for rest or easy workout days before and after for adequate recovery. A brick can substitute and replace a speed or tempo workout in your weekly training program.
When new to brick workouts expect to have muscle soreness and fatigue following them. Remember to foam roll, incorporate flexibility exercises, and treat it as a heavy workout day such as speed work or lifting weights in the gym.
You may wonder what gains to expect to see from using brick workouts. You should start to see an improvement in running economy, foot turnover, stamina or endurance over time. These are all essential physiological adaptations necessary to improve race performance. Brick workouts are fun to break up mental staleness in a routine. Give them a try and see if you notice the improvements over the first 6-8 weeks.