Pickens County Y Race Team

12

Brick workouts (Read 242 times)

    Just curious about the folks on here that do triathlons.  Do you incorporate bricks, mainly bike/run, into your training?  How do you think it benefits you, etc?

     

    I talked with a friend who has a friend training for a 1/2 iron and the athlete is doing some seriously long brick workouts.  I haven't done a brick in over 3 years (unless you count racing) and personally think its benefits are outweighed by the negatives.  I use to do long brick workouts, then I dropped down to only doing a 10 minute run after a long bike, and now I very rarely even do that. 

     

    I do think bricks are good for someone new coming into triathlon.  It lets them see how it feels to run after a bike and figure out how to adapt to this.  I think its good for someone who needs a confidence boost that they can do a certain distance after a bike - especially when preparing for a longer course.

     

    My thoughts are that you are running on tired legs and, while its good to learn how to run on tired legs, you miss getting a quality workout.  If the brick run is a 4th run, then I'd say you would benefit far more by doing that 4th run as another seperate workout and making it a quality session.  Running on tired legs is an ideal way to bring on an injury as well.  The recovery time from a long brick can be a negative as well - it can make your next workout less effective.

     

    One thing that I began doing is a long run/short bike brick. I do think that a run/bike brick brings more fitness gains than the bike/run.  The bike at the end of a long run has the aerobic benefit of adding on to that long run (even doing something aerobic like the elliptical after a long run will bring added benefit to the long run without the beating of runnning) - but the run after a long bike does not do the same. 

     

    My thoughts.  Yours? 

    pschriver


      I pretty much agree. I still do a short run after long rides occasionally at cool down pace but would rather get in a good long ride on one day followed by a good run the next day and have plenty of time to recover. A long brick would make for an off day the following day just to recover..

        I do what Jamie tells me... no bricks.

          Im surprised that Jamie hasn't given you bricks to do.  Has he changed his thinking or is this something he worked out for you?

           

          I found this article by Endurance Nation.  I don't think I have read it before, but I swear it sounds just like what I said earlier.  None-the-less, its a pretty good article regarding bricks:

          http://www.endurancenation.us/blog/training/the-case-against-brick-workouts/

            I'm no expert by any means, and i know for a fact you could find experts who take both sides on this issue.  But I am a big fan of brick workouts. I think in any sport, the more you can replicate the "game day situations" the better you'll compete.  Granted, with any sport, in order to reduce the risk of injury, you have to train smart and within your limitations.  Therefore, I think the older you get and the longer the race, the less important running off the bike would be.  I think the shorter the race, the more important.  for instance I guarantee that running off the bike is a key element of olympic athletes.  Do you think the Brownlee brothers avoid bricks?  No way!  Let's take a look at the current Ironman World Champ:  Craig Alexander.  Here he lets us join his brick workout.... 112 mountainous bike ride followed by running mile repeats!  (cool video series)

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_fgGPBtm1Q

             

            p.s.  no i didn't hurt my foot doing bricks.  I only hurt myself when i'm doing easy workouts for some reason!!!!

             

            p.s.s.  the "don't run on tired legs" theory seems weak to me.  the best time to practice foul shots in basketball is at the end of practice when your arms are tired, etc  there are tons of similar training tactics in all sports.  if you can perform when your body is taxed, you can dominate when you're fresh.  (that's my theory)  when you get off your bike and run in a race, I would want that feeling to be familiar, not new.

              I think Jamie would love for me to be injury-free long enough to complete a brick workout... Unfortunately I stay at the top of the injured leaderboard. Maybe next year is my year. Then I'll brick like a... Brick Maker?!?

                I'm no expert by any means, and i know for a fact you could find experts who take both sides on this issue.  But I am a big fan of brick workouts. I think in any sport, the more you can replicate the "game day situations" the better you'll compete.  Granted, with any sport, in order to reduce the risk of injury, you have to train smart and within your limitations.  Therefore, I think the older you get and the longer the race, the less important running off the bike would be.  I think the shorter the race, the more important.  for instance I guarantee that running off the bike is a key element of olympic athletes.  Do you think the Brownlee brothers avoid bricks?  No way!  Let's take a look at the current Ironman World Champ:  Craig Alexander.  Here he lets us join his brick workout.... 112 mountainous bike ride followed by running mile repeats!  (cool video series)

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_fgGPBtm1Q

                 

                p.s.  no i didn't hurt my foot doing bricks.  I only hurt myself when i'm doing easy workouts for some reason!!!!

                 

                p.s.s.  the "don't run on tired legs" theory seems weak to me.  the best time to practice foul shots in basketball is at the end of practice when your arms are tired, etc  there are tons of similar training tactics in all sports.  if you can perform when your body is taxed, you can dominate when you're fresh.  (that's my theory)  when you get off your bike and run in a race, I would want that feeling to be familiar, not new.

                 

                Well, if you'll take electrolytes, you'll be so amazing you won't have to worry about bricks!

                  Eric, you're going to have to give me some proof....  I read Chris McCormack's book and he is a big believer in bricks, we know Craig Alexander is a big believer in bricks.  Lance Armstrong does bricks.  And they are probably the top 3 right now.  Which pros have completely eliminated bricks from their training?  

                  I'm not saying that bricks should replace running on fresh legs at all.  I think those quality run-only days are crucial.  But I don't think that bricks need to be eliminated completely.  I think bricks are often over-done.  But I think one good bike then run per week is beneficial.  and as far as rest is concerned, I think you should always follow an intense brick training day with a swim day or a rest day. 

                  I think a lot of people (especially runners) train too often.  I think less frequent/more intense, with a lot of variety is best.  but then again, I've never finished Ironman Louisville in just over 12 hours.  So maybe you're right.

                    Hang on...waiting on an email from Jordan Rapp to get his perspective - figured I'd go straight to one of the top pro's at the moment.  Will post his reply as soon as I hear back.

                     

                    In the meantime, there has been some evidence that bike/run bricks do not provide any benefit to elite level triathletes.  Plus, most of those guys fitness levels are such that it doesn't tax them like it does us AG'ers.  These guys are biking 300-400 miles a week and running 60-80 (sometimes more).

                     

                    McCormack does believe in bricks.  Lance injects them. 

                    I'll be back.

                      Heres a few emails I got back from a few pro's - Jordan Rapp, Thomas Gerlach (3rd at L'ville last week), and Brian Cagle. 

                       

                      Eric, Every pro does SOME running off the bike. There's some good evidence that

                      running off the bike is a neuromuscular "skill." I.e., basically, the skill is how fast your

                      body switches from cycling motor patterns
                      to running motor patterns. And that's something you need to develop, and the
                      only way to develop it is by practice. BUT, once you've actually developed that
                      skill, it takes very little practice to actually keep it going. I.e., it's like
                      playing the piano. Learning to play the piano is hard, but once you know how, it
                      takes much less effort to keep your skill level up. For AGers, there are other factors - like overall

                      time efficiency. But then there are other factors
                      too, like the fact that some age groupers are quite poor runners, and for them,
                      running with good technique is way more important than running off the bike.
                      There's certainly no benefit to "running on tired legs" as some people like to
                      say (though usually as a reason to do bricks).

                      Jordan 

                       

                      Hi Eric, I will often times go for a run following an easy bike, like biking to the pool for a swim and back, but I
                      never do a true brick like some of these coaches have their athletes doing. To me running is running and if I'm

                      going to go for a run it better be worthwhile, but then again I "race" more than the average joe so I always get

                      some bricks in there naturally.

                      T. Gerlach

                       

                      I think there is a big misconception in the age-group field that bike/run workouts
                      are for fitness, when rather, they are for skill. In other words, biking 6 hours
                      will get you the same measure (roughly) of fitness as a 5 hour bike/1 hour run
                      per say. However, if you are going to run off the bike it is more about learning
                      to pace yourself, keeping a good form, nutrition, how to go into the run, etc.
                      a skill.  I know of some pro's that always run off the bike even if for 5
                      minutes, and some that rarely do. I think it is very dependent on the athlete,
                      time of season, strengths/weaknesses, etc.

                      Cagle´╗┐

                        cool, thanks for sharing. 

                          Seriously Eric?  They returned your email??

                            Seriously Eric?  They returned your email??

                             

                            Well, yeah!!!  But the only reason they emailed me is because I screen my calls and don't answer their calls anymore.  I get tired of them calling me all the time looking for free advice.

                              I also sent out a few emails regarding brick workouts....here are the replies.  hope they help:

                               

                              Josh,

                              How's the family?  I miss hanging out with you.  As far as bricks, I think they are extremely important.  People who think they are not important probably spend too much time on the internet and not enough time training. How do you think I've stayed in such great shape?

                              Well, take care and call me ASAP!

                              Your friend,

                              Cindy Crawford

                               

                               

                              Hey Bro! what are you up to these days? Stop having kids so we can party in South Beach again like the good old days.  I use brick workouts about once per week.  Maybe it's a little safer to just do one discipline at a time, but if I wanted to be safe, I'd pick a sport like shuffleboard.  Triathletes are supposed to push the limits. 

                              take care,

                              Jean Claude Van Damme

                              (oh Steven Seagal is here....he says hey)

                               

                               

                              Josh,

                              I think brick workouts are dangerous and I highly discourage you from doing them. 

                              take care,

                              Roseanne Barr

                                Ha!!  Thats funny Josh! 

                                Sorry to insult you Eric.  But, that IS surprising and very cool!!!

                                12