Tri Tip Tuesday – The Brick

Hello friends! Welcome to round two of Tri Tip Tuesday! Today I’m linking up with Lisa from The Skinny on Health, so head over there for other awesome health and fitness tips today!

Today we will be discussing a specific workout that is unique and necessary to triathlon- The Brick.

This particular workout is aptly named for two reasons. The first being BRick = bike to run. The second is in reference to what your legs will feel like; a ton of bricks. Brick ia a term that is rooted in triathlon and all triathletes know what you’re talking about if you throw it out in conversation. 

It’s the name for back to back workouts of different disciplines, namely bike to run. But it can be used relatively interchangeably for other back to back disciplines workouts. Note that it is used to reference back to back discipline workouts within the same workout with little to no interruption in between. 

Yesterday I did a brick for my workout in the gym. I did 45 minutes on the spin bike then ran 2 miles immediately following my spin. It took me less than two minutes to wipe down my bike, switch from bike shoes to running shoes, and hop on the treadmill. 

Swim to bike and bike to run are the most common combination of disciplines for a brick workout because they simulate race day muscle use and transition.

The three disciplines of triathlon all use different muscle groups and the hardest shift for the body is the bike to run muscle use shift. By doing brick workouts you train your muscles to shift functionality quickly and efficiently. 

When you stop biking and start running the legs feel “strange” and heavy (this is why they call these workouts bricks!) and the heart rate goes up, as our body tries to switch the blood from flowing into the muscles used for biking to those used for running. This feeling is more pronounced at the start of the run and usually the legs get better as time passes – although probably never as fresh as those you have when you run without biking before it (I wonder why?! ). Brick workouts help shorten the time our legs take to start feeling more normal thus allowing us to run better and faster. It is not uncommon to experience cramps when starting to run after biking, especially if you are not used to it. As usual, listen to your body and slow down if you feel a cramp coming. A carbo gel and water will also help if you are experiencing cramps due to the decrease in muscle fuel.”     -Enrico Contolini,

If you’re not already doing brick workouts to train for triathlon, add them in! And if you have a coach who writes plans for you you’ll definitely see them often. 

So, you get your brick on and get serious about triathlon training. And brick workouts are also a great cross training exercise that single discipline athletes can incorporate into their cross training regime to gain some serious strength. Hear that runners, get your bike and swim on right before or after your run!

Don’t forget to hit up for all your gear, nutritional, and workout related needs. You can use coupon code TRIGC14 to get 15% off your purchase while you’re there. Go spoil yourself!

Have you done brick workouts before? What’s your take on them?
What would you like to know about triathlon that can be shared on Tri Tip Tuesday? Comment or email (my emails address is on the right with my social media buttons!) your suggestions and curiosity!

5 Replies to “Tri Tip Tuesday – The Brick”

  1. I’ve never done brick workouts before, but I am considering it now! It sounds like an awesome workout and a great way to change things up from getting boring and stale.

  2. Ooh I have to try this! Thanks so much for linking up, I love your blog!! I have been wanted to do a tri fora while now, but I’m a terrible swimmer. Working on swimming first, then I can start training!!

    Excited to see your tips next week! For the future, be sure to include a button to link back, you can find it on The Skinny on Health!


    1. I will definitely link back! I wrote this yesterday and just hit publish this morning. Found the link up a few hours later. I edited to include her link back =)

      Swimming is my weak spot too. But definitely work on it and try one. Triathlon is pretty much the best sport ever.

  3. Ahh, bricks!!!! I love them because it means that race season is right around the corner. I have my first true brick of this training season scheduled on Sat. 90 min + 4 mile run. Happy Hour on Friday though so I’m not sure how it’s going to pan out! Get after it, girl!

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