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Are brick sessions really necessary?


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#1 BogFrog

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:12 PM

Looking for opinions on this one.  Most triathletes do bricks - specially sprint and standard distance triathletes.  I've been told by a tri coach that I really should be doing these once a week, and have been told by a running coach that there is no need as I don't have trouble getting into my stride off the bike.  Run coach says it is an "old school" train of thought that triathletes need to do bricks...

 

 If you run considerably longer in training that you need to for the distance that you are tri-running, is there a need for bricks?  You are already running on tired legs by the end of a long run..

 

What's the consensus on this one?



#2 Naut

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:16 PM

I reckon they are a bit overrated. I only ever did 1 or 2 before a race, mostly because I didn't have time to ride and run back to back. Also if my wife saw me get back from a run or a ride then I was home and heading back out would be a death sentence.

 

That said, transition is a skill and if you want to maximise performance then you should practice all the skills required.


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#3 zed

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:18 PM

A "Nice to have". Be good to get in one brick a week, even if it's a 10 min run off the bike, but not critical to your race performance. . IMHO.



#4 longshot

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:29 PM

Similar Naut, back from a 3-4 hour ride, just going for a quick run! Hmm.

 

I didn't do many, don't enjoy them, and more interested in HIM distance. Reckon need to (mostly) enjoy what you are doing for sustainability in the long term. Probably important at,  approaching or aiming for top level, but if only MOP reckon many other things to focus on first, including just getting stronger at the components.

 

Did some research about 7 years ago when I was training for IM-MEL (a 2/3 IM as we all know). Story seemed mixed then, probably as now.

 

But I reckon all top players would do them.



#5 MissJess

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 01:52 PM

I do them rarely (MOP to BOP).

 

They happen if I am doing a computrainer session and not doing parkrun (parkrun is an hour gap from the end of my bike session, so I doubt that counts as a brick) or sometimes after a cruisy ride on Sunday (we do a 10min run before coffee).

 

But if my start/finish is home, the couch seems so much more inviting.



#6 xblane

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 01:59 PM

...If you run considerably longer in training that you need to for the distance that you are tri-running, is there a need for bricks?

 

Based on that sentence I'd think your not doing long distances? 

I'd do one to ensure you're familiar with some of the sensations you get running off a bike and gain some confidence doing so. But if your good with both of those, as Naut says, just ensure you can nail your transition. 


Edited by xblane, 16 February 2017 - 02:00 PM.


#7 Ex-Hasbeen

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 02:13 PM

As above, practice transitions. Not fresh though. Practice them after you've done a very hard ride, and practice them over & over. 

 

eg:

Ride 40km hard

Jump off, run the bike the last 20m to your gear, put your shoes and anything else you do in T2, then run 100m.

Walk back to the bike, hop on, ride 2km hard, then repeat.

Do it a number of times.

 

You could also do the same at the pool for T1.



#8 minxman

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 02:19 PM

Take a look at anyone who does well, from pro to high level age grouper, i'll guarantee you they are all doing at least one big bike/run session a week.



#9 BogFrog

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 03:25 PM

Thanks for the input guys.  I’m racing standard distance tris but I normally run 50-60km a week when not injured (on the running bench atm).  My transitions are pretty fast in comparison to others, but my bike mount could do with some work alright.  I can only do one or two hard run sessions a week.  I don’t particularly enjoy bricks and as they are considered a hard session, I feel it takes away from doing a real quality run earlier/later in the week - i.e. adds muscle fatigue (as well as mental) for little gain.

 

I would be interested to hear what the coaches on here think if they are prepared to impart their wisdom…



#10 Paul Every

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:28 PM

Are they "necessary"? No. Nothing is really necessary for an age grouper.

 

Would your times improve by doing bricks as a consistent part of training? In all probability, yes.

 

I realise running mileage is often limited by how much one's body can handle (and it sounds like you may be around that threshold mileage at the moment) but, (I may get flamed for this), provided one has the time and capacity to absorb more miles, 50-60km/week is highly unlikely to get anyone running near their potential.

 

Regularly running 50 km/week including a long run and a brick is better than 50km with a long run alone.


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#11 bumcrackjack

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 07:05 PM

It is simple.

 

Triathlons are brick sessions, therefore do brick sessions. Beware of advice from MOP and BOP if you are FOP.


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#12 Mjainoz

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 07:21 PM

Take a look at anyone who does well, from pro to high level age grouper, i'll guarantee you they are all doing at least one big bike/run session a week.

not so sure about that for older dudes.

#13 stone

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 07:49 PM

IMO, they are the icing on the cake. Focus on frequency and volume of running first, fancy stuff like bricks later. I don't do traditional bricks, but do run regularly on heavy and fatigued legs, same thing.

#14 BogFrog

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 07:54 PM

... Would your times improve by doing bricks as a consistent part of training? In all probability, yes.
 
...
 
Regularly running 50 km/week including a long run and a brick is better than 50km with a long run alone.


But, why, and why? What's the logic? If the brick is a hard session, wouldn't I be sacrificing a decent run session for a brick? Ah, too many questions

#15 The Turtle

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 08:23 PM

But, why, and why? What's the logic? If the brick is a hard session, wouldn't I be sacrificing a decent run session for a brick? Ah, too many questions


Just channel your inner Cranky and start a new thread for each one. Sorted!
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#16 monkie

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 02:56 PM

I have found that my swim to bikes are more useful than my bike to runs.... However I am currently doing triple brick gym sessions at high intensity but that's mainly for the cardio with the added benefit of mastering wobbly legs thrown in.



#17 zed

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 03:44 PM

I have found that my swim to bikes are more useful than my bike to runs.... However I am currently doing triple brick gym sessions at high intensity but that's mainly for the cardio with the added benefit of mastering wobbly legs thrown in.

 

Interesting that everyone obsesses with the importance of doing bike/run bricks, but neglect to do swim/bike bricks which are, arguably just as important especially for the shorter distances.


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#18 Ex-Hasbeen

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 05:16 PM

When I was training for races, I rode to & from swim training, so I basically bricked it every day.



#19 Paul Every

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 06:39 PM

But, why, and why? What's the logic? If the brick is a hard session, wouldn't I be sacrificing a decent run session for a brick? Ah, too many questions

The logic? Specificity.

 

One of the best ways to improve at tri is by racing a lot, the ultimate specificity. Not many do that now days. Regular bricks are one way to overcome that.

 

Not sure why incorporating a brick session must entail "sacrificing" a decent run. Sacrificing implies you've lost something and gained nothing.


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#20 Kim jong-un

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 07:01 PM

I use bricks most weekends. But I've never run off the bike.


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#21 Ex-Hasbeen

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 08:20 PM

The logic? Specificity.

 

One of the best ways to improve at tri is by racing a lot, the ultimate specificity. Not many do that now days. Regular bricks are one way to overcome that.

 

Not sure why incorporating a brick session must entail "sacrificing" a decent run. Sacrificing implies you've lost something and gained nothing.

This makes so much sense.

 

Really, if you're racing OD, then the run part of the brick doesn't need to be more than 2 or 3 km. It's just to get used to going from riding to running.



#22 Greyman

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 09:19 PM

The logic? Specificity.
 
One of the best ways to improve at tri is by racing a lot, the ultimate specificity. Not many do that now days. Regular bricks are one way to overcome that.
 
Not sure why incorporating a brick session must entail "sacrificing" a decent run. Sacrificing implies you've lost something and gained nothing.


Agree. The sports scientists used to call it blood shunting. Getting the body used to changing from one sport to another efficiently.
Over the years I've certainly noticed the difference when I've done swim to bike bricks.

#23 AP

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 04:59 PM

 

 

 I've been told by a tri coach that I really should be doing these once a week, and have been told by a running coach that there is no need as I don't have trouble getting into my stride off the bike.  Run coach says it is an "old school" train of thought that triathletes need to do bricks...

 

Well here's another tri coach telling you to do them - if I was your coach I'd have you doing them every week - it's not three sports - it's one sport that involves swimming, cycling and then running  :shy:

 

That sport requires you to be racing from swim start to run finish - it's a race all the way - your "run coach" is reading too many books instead of gaining experience by coaching successful triathletes  :shock:


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#24 BogFrog

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 05:42 PM

But nobody has answered me why exactly. Just saying that I should be doing them. Specificity is the only answer thus far.

I understood bricks are to train you to run on tired legs and to train you to get into your stride well and early - if a triathlete is doing that well already, surely they would be best off focusing a session on something else where they need work. E.g. Speed work on fresh legs?

#25 Ex-Hasbeen

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 07:19 PM

BF,

 

In shorter races it's not to teach you to run on tired legs. It's to teach you to start running at full pace after using a different muscle set for the previous hour. 

 

If you're out there for "shits & giggles" then they probably aren't needed, but if you really are racing, then you have to get off the bike and start running at full pace. You can't do that after an hour of riding really hard if you haven't practiced it.


Edited by Ex-Hasbeen, 19 February 2017 - 07:19 PM.





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