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How often do you do brick sessions?
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And do you exclusively use them as a seasonally-specific stimulus or at the same frequency year-round? To quantify, maybe answer as "one brick run in every x number of runs". Olympic distance is what I'm most interested in, if that matters. Thanks.

Edit: just for clarity, time constraints and efficiency are not factors in my decision making here. Purely interested in optimizing training gains.
Last edited by: domingjm: Aug 13, 18 11:47
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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Out of curiousity, what do you consider to be a brick? Does a 1 h bike followed by 15 min transition run count? Or do both compoments need to be solid time lengths?

To breathe, to feel, to know I'm alive.
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [Tsunami] [ In reply to ]
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That's pretty close to what I had in mind. Some surrogate of a 25 mile bike followed by a 3 to 5 mile run.
Edit: the focal component being minimal time in between the two disciplines.
Last edited by: domingjm: Jun 13, 18 19:30
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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I do them both ways. run 4, swim 1600, run 4 and bike 25 followed by 2 - 4 mile run. One each week.

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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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I do a run off the bike (5 miles) 3x a week. I run (10 miles) out of the pool once or twice a week. Not for training, but for lack of time.

Instagram | floathammerholdon
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [cloy] [ In reply to ]
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I think bricks are convenient and help with frequency.
I don’t think they are a tremendously valuable “key workouts.”

That said, a couple of times a year I will do: a 30 minute bike followed by a 18 mile run (Ironman) , or a 100 mile bike followed by a 4 mile run (Ironman), or 2 hr bike followed by an 8 mile tempo run (70.3).
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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Doing them to get used to the feeling of running when your legs are fatigued is a bad idea. You just run slow with bad form, in most cases. Running after a bike is still running and your race run-speed will be determined by your run fitness and your bike pacing. Now, if you are doing the Olympics and need to crank out a low 5 min mile right out of the blocks then you might do a bit of transition practice, but that means you only need to run about 5 minutes after riding. Even then, in the midst of training it may not be that helpful, again because your legs are tired.
Stringing together runs and rides is a good way to maximize available training time, but do your run first and then ride.
Chad
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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Conventional wisdom says to do it one or twice a week after a bike session preferably within half an hour...I usually do my bike then change and then go run within that half hour window ...other times I just go in my tri suit to get used to running in that ....I usually do minimum once per week but I have heard of some athletes doing it 3-4 times per week. I would interested to hear what the pros on ST think.

"see the world as it is not as you want it to be"
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [cdw] [ In reply to ]
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cdw wrote:
Doing them to get used to the feeling of running when your legs are fatigued is a bad idea. You just run slow with bad form, in most cases. Running after a bike is still running and your race run-speed will be determined by your run fitness and your bike pacing. Now, if you are doing the Olympics and need to crank out a low 5 min mile right out of the blocks then you might do a bit of transition practice, but that means you only need to run about 5 minutes after riding. Even then, in the midst of training it may not be that helpful, again because your legs are tired.
Stringing together runs and rides is a good way to maximize available training time, but do your run first and then ride.
Chad

I think this idea is picking up momentum, especially in the longer events. I think Endurance Nation has completely eliminated bricks from their half and full plans. Is there some benefit--probably, but the risk of injury rises significantly. Most of what they write says that poor run performance is typically a lack of fitness OR poor pacing/nutrition on the bike.

Human Person
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [Velocibuddha] [ In reply to ]
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Velocibuddha wrote:
I think bricks are convenient and help with frequency.
I don’t think they are a tremendously valuable “key workouts.”

That said, a couple of times a year I will do: a 30 minute bike followed by a 18 mile run (Ironman) , or a 100 mile bike followed by a 4 mile run (Ironman), or 2 hr bike followed by an 8 mile tempo run (70.3).

I disagree with the lack of value. I'm focused on 70.3 right now and I can tell you that 2 hours @ 83% FTP (Polar Bear on TR) followed directly by 7 miles at goal pace helped me tremendously. I did it once during a final build (3 weeks out) and had tons of confidence knowing exactly what I could push on the bike and come off fresh.

Instagram | floathammerholdon
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [cloy] [ In reply to ]
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My 70.3 training plan had several tempo brick sessions. Something like 60-90 minutes on the bike (with intervals) + 60 minute run (with intervals). Turned out to be some of my favorite workouts.
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [trismitty] [ In reply to ]
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trismitty wrote:
cdw wrote:
Doing them to get used to the feeling of running when your legs are fatigued is a bad idea. You just run slow with bad form, in most cases. Running after a bike is still running and your race run-speed will be determined by your run fitness and your bike pacing. Now, if you are doing the Olympics and need to crank out a low 5 min mile right out of the blocks then you might do a bit of transition practice, but that means you only need to run about 5 minutes after riding. Even then, in the midst of training it may not be that helpful, again because your legs are tired.
Stringing together runs and rides is a good way to maximize available training time, but do your run first and then ride.
Chad


I think this idea is picking up momentum, especially in the longer events. I think Endurance Nation has completely eliminated bricks from their half and full plans. Is there some benefit--probably, but the risk of injury rises significantly. Most of what they write says that poor run performance is typically a lack of fitness OR poor pacing/nutrition on the bike.

From a FMOP perspective, I agree. I do almost zero bricks, training for 9th Ironman now and run has steadily improved, and expect sub 4 next time out. I will throw in a few in the course of a 10 week plan but not not to the frequency I see most triathletes doing. My 2 cents if your experienced there's minimal value to bricks, running long Sunday after a hard bike Saturday is sufficient.
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [cloy] [ In reply to ]
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cloy wrote:
Velocibuddha wrote:
I think bricks are convenient and help with frequency.
I don’t think they are a tremendously valuable “key workouts.”

That said, a couple of times a year I will do: a 30 minute bike followed by a 18 mile run (Ironman) , or a 100 mile bike followed by a 4 mile run (Ironman), or 2 hr bike followed by an 8 mile tempo run (70.3).


I disagree with the lack of value. I'm focused on 70.3 right now and I can tell you that 2 hours @ 83% FTP (Polar Bear on TR) followed directly by 7 miles at goal pace helped me tremendously. I did it once during a final build (3 weeks out) and had tons of confidence knowing exactly what I could push on the bike and come off fresh.

Score me for limited value apart from training efficiency. It's all personal and there is no right answer, but for me, the value of brick workouts decline each year I'm in the sport as my legs already know the deal. I'm not looking for familiarization with what it feels like; I'm not looking for confidence that I can do it; I'm not looking for a practice run; etc. So yeah, I agree with Velocibuddha that they aren't that valuable as a "key workout." I still do them occasionally but it's not a big deal if I don't get it in.
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
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I do them at least once a week during base, and twice a week during build and peak.
For me, they are never junk miles, there's always a very specific and important purpose in doing each brick. I don't do them to get used to the feel of heavy legs after a ride (I'm already past that), but to get aerobically fit (base), to get my body used to run a fast running pace on very fatigued legs (build) and to tune-in my running race pace after a particularly nasty ride (peak).

After some time doing bricks, I've come to love and respect them as a very effective and flexible kind of training session. I'd hate to let a build period pass without doing a few brick intervals.
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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Everyday.

I swim like a brick
I run like I am carrying bricks
and I cycle as if my legs were heavy as bricks
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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If do them nearly every day. I run then I ride. I have to train at both events and don't have to take two showers, but it really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you think that doing a combo workout in training has some value on race day then I would disagree. The correct run and cycling training, along with correct pacing on the bike is the key to a successful run in multi-sport. No about of bike-run workouts will make up for lack of fitness. Plus, I hate running when my legs are fried, so I don't do it.
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [TizzleDK] [ In reply to ]
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[quote]Conventional wisdom says to do it one or twice a week after a bike session preferably within half an hour[/quote]

Conventional wisdom needs to STFU

For beginners probably more valuable to do them a few times vs experienced triathletes. Some of my athletes first run off the bike have been in IM's and that didn't stop them from running sub 2:50 in an IM or posting some of their fastest ever tri run splits.

Running off the bike is a low level skill that once learned rarely needs to be refreshed.
Running fast in a triathlon is a fitness component. It's hard to have too much run fitness.

In fact IDK if there has ever been a triathlete that has said "I'm too fit for the run right now, I should probably detrain a bit". OTOH the # of triathletes that say "if only I had run faster I'd have done better" is enormous. That second group lacks run fitness.

The higher your run fitness the more likely you are to have a decent run when you screw up your bike pacing.

Most of those spouting conventional wisdom struggle with the delineation between the skill (running off the bike) and fitness component (more run fitness usually = faster run times).

Brian Stover
Accelerate3 Coaching
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [desert dude] [ In reply to ]
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I am surprised to hear you say that. I know you coach a lot of fast guys so obviously what you do works.

I understand that what works for one person not for another, but I pretty much only run after bike sessions, 4 times a week. I usually have the fastest run in my AG, and have finished first or second in my last few IM's. Seems like most people can run off the bike in the race ok for the first half, and then they fall apart. The session that I think has let me even or neg split IM runs, is Saturday long ride with a 30-50min t run, then Sunday do another ride with some efforts and then the long run. Feels like the long run is starting on mile 10. Similarly, off the bike I am already warmed up and right our of the driveway doing quality. I only run 30-45 miles a week and want them all to count.

I should add that in open running races I can't do sh!t anymore. When Istarted in IM 10 years ago and did not train this way I was still quick over 10k, but now 95% of miles are off the bike and Z2, I got nada in open running.
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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Couple of considerations.
If you are time crunched, brick's are an efficient way to get both disciplines in if you are limited.
For more mature athletes I program in a sizable brick after long rides to work on endurance without the miles of running pounding. They have a shorter long run the next day.
I also do bricks just to mix it up. Maybe 1 to 2 a week. No one says you HAVE to do them, but it generally leads to a feeling of confidence to know what you will feel like after the bike during training.

Ryan
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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i do them frequently, but only for the sake of time.

when im at work (i work offshore) ill typically hop on the bike for either thirty min or an hour depending on what my run is that day, then go right to the treadmill after changing out of my bike shorts and catch my run.

when im home bike or run being first is dictated by when i drag my lazy butt out of bed and how hot it is outside. if im up early enough i may go jog first to get my run in while its cool before the bike (reverse brick?), or if i wake up too late ill bike in the garage on the trainer then go to the gym and get on the treadmill which isnt a brick at all as it takes me a bit to get my crap together to get to the gym.

2018 Schedule: Texas Half Ironman April 8 // Tri Cap Tex, May 28 // Cypress, TX Sprint July 29 // Kemah, TX Olympic October 21
Last edited by: damon.lebeouf: Aug 13, 18 11:44
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [DBF] [ In reply to ]
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DBF wrote:
I am surprised to hear you say that. I know you coach a lot of fast guys so obviously what you do works.

I understand that what works for one person not for another, but I pretty much only run after bike sessions, 4 times a week. I usually have the fastest run in my AG, and have finished first or second in my last few IM's. Seems like most people can run off the bike in the race ok for the first half, and then they fall apart. The session that I think has let me even or neg split IM runs, is Saturday long ride with a 30-50min t run, then Sunday do another ride with some efforts and then the long run. Feels like the long run is starting on mile 10. Similarly, off the bike I am already warmed up and right our of the driveway doing quality. I only run 30-45 miles a week and want them all to count.

I should add that in open running races I can't do sh!t anymore. When Istarted in IM 10 years ago and did not train this way I was still quick over 10k, but now 95% of miles are off the bike and Z2, I got nada in open running.

The bolded part is the key to your success. Not because you are running off the bike. Do that same volume as stand-alone runs (not off the bike) and I would bet your results would not be any different. 95% of triathletes are not running as consistently as you do. These folks would be better focusing on general run fitness rather than obsessing on doing bricks.

IMO, ROTB in training is only for 2 reasons:
- testing ability to run x:xx pace off xxx watts
- testing bike nutrition

get comfortable being uncomfortable
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [DBF] [ In reply to ]
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Several things in your post:

Quote:
Seems like most people can run off the bike in the race ok for the first half, and then they fall apart

That's potentially a multifactorial problem. 1. They lack some run fitness and that is exacerbated by the fact that the swim took more out of them and/or they over biked. Other contributing factors could be nutrition and environmental conditions. Obviously the less fit you are & the heavier you are the greater the impact heat & humidity will have on you. Mainly though it's a lack of run training.


Quote:
I only run 30-45 miles a week and want them all to count.
at 35mpw you are running more than most triathletes. Again see the lack of run fitness in the point above. The question I have for you is could you be even faster if you changed your training a bit?

Quote:
the driveway doing quality. I only run 30-45 miles a week and want them all to count. ......I should add that in open running races I can't do sh!t anymore....... did not train this way I was still quick over 10k, but now 95% of miles are off the bike and Z2

Couple of things. Typically the faster you are for open races the faster you're going to run in a tri if you execute properly. Maybe changing your training a bit may be in order. The one contradiction I see is in your right out the driveway doing quality and then stating that 95% of miles are Z2. Anyway this is where posts get fuzzy bc you mean A and I read B. The other thing is it's almost always worth doing some self examination of your training to see if you're moving too far one way or the other

PS: I also coach a lot of fast girls, not just fast guys!

Brian Stover
Accelerate3 Coaching
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Last edited by: desert dude: Aug 13, 18 12:01
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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I think I've done two bricks all year. Both were medium-bike (1h)/short-run (20m) bricks. IIRC, those two were simply for schedule convenience---or maybe it was because I slept in but felt guilty later in the day. I focus on Oly distance, also.

I did several bricks last year (maybe every couple weeks), but didn't find them of noticeable value. Plus, I felt like the fatigue from the bike was just increasing my risk of injury on the run---which is already high enough, thank you. I follow the BarryP (3/2/1) running plan.

I also hate running on tired legs; its just such a slog. I've been working to find the right balance of training fatigue, recovery, bike intensity, and the combined effect on the swim this year. I've screwed it up several times (even without bricks). Running 6 days a week, already makes that a challenge. Bricking the run only seems to make that worse---the combined fatigue of the brick seems to be higher than that of both individual sessions. That just makes for more downstream effects to be managed. In other words, with the brick I gotta worry about the impact on the swim I'm doing tomorrow morning.

Better to have a few hours of recovery between the bike and run and do both more rested. EG, if I do 2x20 bike in the morning, and a short run after work...Swimming tomorrow is no big deal. But, if I brick those two things...I'm fried the next morning, and my swim is shit. That has been my experience UNLESS I really back off on the 2x20 to sub-85% IF...but, then what's the value in that? Note that the 2x20 is just one example. The same holds true for a long easier ride of similar TSS. For me, any ride over 125 TSS bricked with a run is asking for trouble tomorrow, and maybe the day after, also.

So, I try to take the approach of doing every workout well (ie, with the right intensity and duration, and the needed recovery), rather than compromising everything.
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [desert dude] [ In reply to ]
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After reading your reply I started to think why I went to all bricks, and the actual reason is I am too lazy to run after I shower. Not kidding, that is the real reason. If I am going to have two sessions in a day they got to be back to back or I won't do it. I consider z2 quality if it is right at the HR at teh top of the zone. I love to run down to the track and test my speed at 140HR, even though the temperature is a way bigger factor than how hard the bike session was. Usually do that and some strides or hill sprints.

Ladies! Did not mean to slight he ladies!
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Re: How often do you do brick sessions? [domingjm] [ In reply to ]
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I run after just about every ride. I like to run after riding.

Sometimes I ride for 45-60 min before a run just to warm up.
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