When most triathletes think of a brick, they think of a several hours-long bike ride followed by a short 20 minute run. This makes my skin crawl!

I’ve already talked about ways you can mix-up your brick workouts with a ‘non-traditional’ swim-bike brick or a run-bike-run brick.  Today let’s take a look at the traditional bike-run brick and see how we can really optimize its benefits.

Mimic the Race!

Bricks should simulate race conditions.  That’s why I despise a long easy-paced ride followed by a short easy run… it’s a waste of time. If that’s how you plan to race, then you’re on the wrong website!

The variation and progression of well-designed bricks are meant to help you prepare for race conditions and allow you to assess your progress. By doing these sessions regularly, you’ll also be able to effectively monitor and fine-tune your nutrition and fluid needs.

These higher intensity intervals will jolt you out of your typical steady pace routine. Training with a bit more variability is a wonderful physiological stimulus and confidence builder. Try this session weekly for 3 to 8 weeks.

Remember: in the main set, you can either choreograph the total time and segments before embarking on the workout, or just insert the efforts in a more random fashion, as desired. Good luck and let me know how it goes. Get in touch with me on Facebook or Twitter.


Weeks 1 & 2 


Warm Up

10 min

1st Set

4 x 45 sec

Rest Interval (RI) 45 sec

Start in Low Gear (LG) at 105 RPMs for 15 sec, shift to next cog for 15 sec, shift to the next for the final 15 sec. Effort is progressive from moderately hard to hard.

Main Set

3 x 20 min

4 min RI

For each 20 min segment include:

  1. 8 min at 70.3 race pace
  2. 4 min at Olympic distance pace
  3. Stand up for 90 sec in each block
  4. Remainder of set is an easier aerobic pace.

Take no longer than 10 min in your transition to run.


50 min total, with 20 min at 70.3 pace

6 min at Olympic pace

Remember these can be inserted at different points throughout the 50 min.

The remainder of the run is an easier aerobic pace.

Do this bike-run brick as prescribed, and you’ll see impressive results in your next triathlon!

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