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Archive for February 11th, 2008

Even novice triathletes know about the phenomena of brick training. These are back-to-back activities (usually cycling followed by running) that often wreak havoc on the legs.

What does “Brick” stand for? I’ve had this question posed to me on several occasions…and I’m a novice. Truth be told, it doesn’t stand for anything in particular. Some think its origin come from “B”ike and “R”un. Others say the term “brick” only accurately reflects what your legs feel like when you jump off the bike and start running. Still others say the term comes from New Zealand triathlete Mike Brick who perhaps coined the term when he started doing the regimen.

No matter.

What does count is that triathletes test themselves on their ability to move from one aspect of the event to the next – preferably before they’re actually standing in the water waiting for the horn.

When I did my first triathlon in 2007, I’d only completed one “brick” workout. A light, easy bike ride followed by a 2.5 mile run. It was a sweltering hot, humid afternoon. Even so, I didn’t really notice my legs churning any differently. In the actual event, however, after swimming and riding, the onset of the run nearly crushed my hopes of finishing. It was all I could do to plant my feet in any form of running stride for the first half of the run. Finally, just as I neared the half-way mark, my quads seemed to loosen and my stride lengthened to something resembling normal. The last quarter mile seemed like a breeze compared to the first three miles.

So train yourself, my friends. Add brick workouts into your training plan and work yourself up to a point where you’re comfortable getting off the bike and entering your stride with relative speed and ease. The payoff will be faster transitions and fewer head games that you have to compensate for as you complete your race.

-end-

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