Training Tips -- Brick Workouts
This is where we put it all together. Once you have mastered each of the individual sports, you need to work on doing them one after another. As you get closer to race day, you should incorporate brick workouts into your training schedule. A brick workout pairs two of the triathlon sports into back-to-back workouts with no rest in between. This teaches your body how adjust to the change in activities and prepares your for the effort required in this type of event.
Brick workouts also help develop transition skills, including the ability to run smoothly after a hard ride. These workouts are perfect dress rehearsals, and they boost your confidence on race day. You can use these workouts to test the clothing you plan to wear on race day.
Plan your brick workouts carefully to maximize the effects. You need a safe place to set out your equipment and road conditions that are similar to the race course. A good schedule for practicing the swim-to-bike transition is to warm up for five to ten minutes, swim continuously for 15 minutes, head for the transition, then get on your bike for a medium to high intensity ride for 15 minutes. Some bike courses are fairly flat, and others feature long, rolling hills, so plan for your race by doing your brick workout on similar terrain.
The bike-to-run transition is considerably harder. The term "brick" actually refers to how your legs feel when you get off the bike and start your run. Ride for at least 20 to 30 minutes, make a quick change, then take off running. You will probably feel your legs protest - just start slowly and take small steps. With practice this does get easier. You should cover at least a mile to give your legs the chance to loosen up and adapt.
This is also the time to start preparing mentally: picture yourself crossing the finish line and getting your medal. Make sure your family and friends are going to be there to cheer you on during the race. Take good care of yourself and get lots of extra rest and water. You are almost there!
Written by Marion Burch Cimbala and Heather O'Keeffe Gardner to help women prepare for the Danskin Women's Triathlon