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when to start bricking it?!


just wondering when do you lot begin brick sessions, i have read that ppl do them all yr round some only a few times.

i'm aiming to peak (ha, should be fun!) for June 28, the big cow middle...which is about 16 weeks away. i have also read that the longest brick should be no more than 10 weeks out from your A race..

so that leaves me 6 weeks to build my brick session up nice and slowly..should i start next sunday with 60k bike with 5-7k run?! or 30 bike 3-4k run, 30 bike, 3-4k run...any suggestions greatly appreciated

a confused triathlete


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    To add to the post with more questions..

    Is there advantages to bricks over and above just getting used to Jelly legs?? Does it have a genuine positive impact on training?

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    treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    The advice that I was given by an old coach was to do two types. 1.All year bricks, ie after every bike ride put the runners on and go for a short run (10 mins) 2. Serious bricks - where you are setting out to do a brick session.

    I think type 1 have a passive effect and type 2 are very specific and active.

    The advantages of bricks are the anti jelly legs thing, training your head that after a hard cycle comes a hard run and also if done correctly a brick session really sharpens up your transition

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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Seems you didnt read my thread scotty! It was just about some scientific evidence that said that bricks are detrimental to the muscular adaptation in cycling. And therefore its suggested that they are best used for getting used to the jelly legs and shoudnt be done too often. I tend to do one brick session a fortnight, often a multiple one on turbo and road, typically 5k, 3k, 5k, 3k, 5k, 3k, and then one a week as race season approaches.
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    Thanks Tommi,

    just re-read your post...

    What article did you read.. could you point me in the direction please?

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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Hope this link works


    If you cant get hold of the article, I have a PDF as my uni has access.

    This guy must be a triathlete as he has done loads of experimenting on training adaptation, he produced a similar paper comparing elite triathletes with elite runners and found no difference
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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    I'd start with about 5-10km of violent hill-repeat sprinting followed by any distance run you like. After the first 50 yds you'll realise that you never ever want to be 'surprised' by that feeling ever again and will get on with some bricks.

    Personally I rarely do a bike/run/bike/run etc brick. I just make sure I run for some distance or time every time I get off my bike. Bike can be long, fast, slow... run could be long, fast, slow... pick any combination and plan it in.

    Bricks are an all year thing for me. The difficulty, times, combinations and intensity varies a lot but they are always there.
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    GGBGGB Posts: 482
    Interesting question and some interesting answers too

    Can I add to this ?

    How long before you run after your bike before it makes it a non brick session ?

    I have the problem of its going to take me 5 to ten minutes at least to ensure my bike is secured before changing into my runners and going off for a run - is this still classed as a brick ? I know it may sound daft but I aint going to leave my bike on the driveway while I go out for a run. So is it still beneficial ?

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    bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    I leave mine on the driveway when running, but here in Torhout, Belgium that's no problem.

    Do the transition as fast as you can(yes, run), stash the bike and off you go!

    It still counts as a brick, just organise it and get on with it!!!

    I do brick every 2 weeks year round, more often during season.
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    BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    I tend to do a brick every time the bike comes out to play. so at the mo once a week. I will only run for 10-15 mins but enough to teach those muscle who's in charge.
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    jboyjboy Posts: 40
    thanks everyone,

    think i'll be doing various distance, speed, intensity bricks over the next 6 weeks then and try and lash out the full half IM at 10 weeks to go..and some easier bricks from 10weeks onwards

    looking forward to it now!!
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    I know this is an old post - but what is a brick? i thought it was something a house was built with, but now i think i was wrong?
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    JulesJules Posts: 987
    It's two elements of Tri put together - usually bike then run immediately afterwards. It helps train you to run after the bike, to avoid "jelly legs".

    You can do swim-bike bricks but they're less practical to do and biking after the swim seems less problematic than running after the bike.
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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Regarding the swim/bike brick mentioned... there are quite a few newbies looking forwards to their first pool-based sprint tris on the forum at the moment. As you say, Jules, the swim doesn't usually cause a problem on the bike leg (other than maybe shoulders feeling a bit tired at the start) but I think it's good for any newbies to bear two points in mind:

    1) How often have you done a full effort sprint/super-sprint distance (400 or 750m) swim then hauled yourself out from the deep-end? Your arms won't work. I've seen many people struggle with this.

    2) Same again, but get out of the pool, stand up and walk around quickly. You'll probaby feel very light-headed.

    A tri newbie at our club did exactly this drill before her first event. Took a few goes to get out of the water, stood up and walked 10m quickly, then nearly fainted. Not much you can do about this other than back off a bit, save time by going slower etc. Keep your head down and don;t feel you have to sprint into T1.

    Similarly for an open-water event... getting out of the water and running can be tough. Your first race is not the time to do this for the first time.

    Seems obvious, but like I said... lots of first-timers about at the mo. [:)]
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    I do bricks all year round - 20km bike ride followed by a 20-30min run. I keep my runners in the hallway and dump the bike indoors while legging it. Found this very useful for last season, but I only do it once a fortnight.

    Newbie/pool swims/transition: my first ever event was a pool-based sprint event. The advice given here about going slow out of the pool and keeping your head down to counter the giddiness is very fine. I had already decided not to run between transition and to do the transitions slow and steady and it really worked for me.

    Needless to say, you soon speed up and transitions get quicker as you gain experience.

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    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    As TommiTri has pointed out, there is debate about the physiological value of brick sessions. However, I feel that the mental aspect is very important. The change from one exercise to another cannot be overestimated - it really is a weird shock to the system the first time you do it! So, even if you only do it once or twice, it is worth doing - under race type conditions - i.e. off the back of at least lactate threshold efforts, just so you know what to expect. Tri is greater than the sum of its parts - it's not just about being good at the individual disciplines, but being able to string them together.

    I've always assumed that the derivation is from the idea that it feels like "hitting a brick wall" when you get off the bike and start to run. But it could be that your legs just feel like bricks.

    Also, transitions are all about being prepare - I think it is worth watching a triathlon transition before having to do one. Good preparation/organisation and a few key tips can make a huge difference in speed - a minute saved in transition is a hell of a lot easier than trying to save a minute in the run or swim. Or bike for that matter.

    So I think a brick session should be practiced (or experienced) - but also planning/practice of a transition.
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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    J'accuse, I'm in total agreement with you. I reckon it is best to learn transitions by doing them in races and generally getting it wrong. There are lots of beginners who expect to have the perfect race first time out, but in fact you can learn best when under pressure. Of course, practicing getting into your shoes and bike hat, or getting your runners on quickly is really valuable, but it is hard to learn all of it without doing a race... e.g....

    "Oh crap, where is my bike?"

    "I've just got out of the water and stood up, and now the whole world is black and white and I have tunnel vision. BARF!"

    "Somebody has kicked my carefully arranged kit"

    "How DO you get your cycling shoes on when the run into t1 was across a gravel car-park and your feet are covered in it?"

    "How did I spill Gatorade in my shoe?"

    "I've pinned my t-shirt together when I put my number on it."

    And of course.... "I'm getting so carried away with the race and the atmosphere of it that I've gone totally bananas in the swim/bike and now I want to just stop and cry."

    Sometimes I think people need to lower their expectations for their first events. Of course, many others are just happy to be there and to get round, which is great and probably more realistic.

    In light of that, maybe I should have said to all our tri newbies.. nah, don't bother about bricks, just see how it feels on the day. They'll learn, like me and many others have. [:D]
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