"Sharing the words and passions of the single and multisport enthusiast"

"The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are."
John Burroughs


(See ViF content index sidebar below - Quotes, Training Videos, and Articles of Interest)

ViF - Featured Motivational Quotes

"Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it."
Lou Holtz - College Coach Great

"If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won the race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just to finish the race - it's up to you"
Dave Scott - Six Time Ironman World Champion

Broken Brick Workout...You want me to do it again!

The Broken Brick Workout?
Most triathletes are familiar with the traditional brick workout - a bike ride followed immediately by a run. This simulates racing conditions and helps your body adapt to the transition of switching quickly from cycling to running.

Sprint and Olympic-distance focused triathletes can keep the distances on the shorter side, riding 10 to 20 miles and then running anywhere from 1 to 3 miles. 70.3 and Ironman distance athletes tend to go longer - riding anywhere from 2 to 5 hours and then running anywhere from 10 minutes to a couple of hours. Brick workouts like these, used appropriately and at the right times, are crucial to triathlon success.

The Broken Brick -
A more involved type of brick workout is what we call the broken brick. This starts out like a traditional brick but the cycle is repeated 2 or 3 times. For example, an Olympic distance racer might add a broken brick of 3 x 10 mile bike / 2 mile run into their training schedule three or four weeks out from their key race.

The effort should increase during each round so the last round is at or faster than goal race pace. These workouts are challenging and should be considered "key" workouts, both in terms of rest going in and recovery afterwards. You don't want to do this type of brick every weekend!

A few differences between Broken Bricks and Traditional Bricks:
More frequent transitioning adaptation from cycling to running (and back, for duathletes) helps athletes train self-monitoring and pacing abilities - if you go too hard on the first round you will know it on the last round. During Ironman training broken bricks (3 x 30/3 miles) the body does not sustain quite as much breakdown because the run is not continuous (allowing a bit of recovery between each 3 mile run section) Broken bricks enable "mental toughness" - it is challenging to go back out on the bike after that first round

I plan broken bricks for most of my athletes, from sprint to expert level, about once a month leading into the season and occasionally as time / racing permits during the race season.

If you currently do not include these, definitely consider it!

USA Triathlon coach Marty Gaal, CSCS,
offers multisport coaching at One Step Beyond.

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