WHAT IS A BRICK?
Bike/run Bricks are included in the beginner triathlon training program for one reason only – To help your legs acclimation from cycling legs to running legs by simulating the bike to run transition. A brick workout is a back-to-back workout to help simulate real racing.
The most popular brick is the bike/run brick, which as we stated above, is performed primarily for leg acclimation from your cycling legs to your running legs.
On the run portion of the brick, you will only need to run for about 10 to 20 minutes (20 minutes tops!). This will provide enough time for you to make the acclimation from your cycling legs to your running legs. And do not simply take off running hard! Begin walking for about 2 minutes, then start out with an easy jog. You may notice your heart rate is higher than your typical zone. That is why walking initially will help lower it providing active recovery. Try and keep your heart rate in your zone during the run.
If possible, perform your brick transition at your home. Why? So you have a safe place to store your bike when finished. If you travel to do your cycling make sure you lock your bike in your car before heading out on the run!
A stationary trainer is a great place to perform your brick workouts. It may be boring but you are assured your bike will be safe when you hop off and it allows you to bike and run in a familiar area. It will also allow you to focus solely on cycling speed work without worrying about automobile traffic.
Plan ahead. Have everything you will want for your race. Your shoes, perhaps a running singlet (shirt), a hat, and your nutritional drink or gel. Again, you want to simulate real race conditions as much as possible.
Practice your bike-to-run transition as if you were in a race. Take your time initially. Yes, speed in the transition area is important, but not right now. If you decide you want to stick with this sport, then you can worry about being competitive and focusing on time saving steps. For now, get used to bending over, slipping on your running shoes and heading out on the run.
Begin your run with a walking warm-up. Take a sip of your drink during this time. Ease into your run. Don't take off sprinting.
Play close attention to how you feel. Yes, the first time you head out, you will probably feel awful! You will not be used to the feeling of switching from cycling to running. But you will get used to it. On your first brick be patient but take note of things that stick out. Are your legs tired? Probably, but that will improve with practice. Are you cramping? Could be you didn't drink/eat enough on your bike ride or it could be what you ate! Are you dizzy? Probably due to nutrition/hydration related. Take note of how you feel. In most cases, how you feel on the run portion of the brick is directly related to your nutritional consumption on the bike. And it may not necessarily be how much you consumed but what you consumed.