The 8 Best Brick Triathlon Workouts

How to train more effectively using bike to run brick triathlon sessions…

​A brick triathlon workout is where you go from training in one discipline straight into another, typically bike to run.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll need all the help you can get when it comes to squeezing your triathlon training around a busy life. Hence I’m a big fan of triathlon brick training because:

a) It’s very time efficient.

Every individual swim, bike or run workout you do involves a certain amount of time-wasting, for example getting changed, showering, driving to a pool etc. Brick workouts allow you to group some of your sessions together and cut down on the time consuming logistics. In effect, you could fit seven days training into five days.

b) It prepares your body for the specific race-day requirements of a triathlon.

Bike to run brick workouts help you adapt to the feeling of running straight after cycling. After all, it’s not just about how fast you can run, but how fast you can run AFTER a swim and a bike.

Before you rush out and start brick triathlon training it’s important that you build up carefully. If you launch into daily brick sessions now, there’s a good chance you’ll end up over-tired or injured within a few weeks. The key is to progress them gradually, by no more than 10 percent per month.

How To Do A Brick Workout

​Below are some of the best brick workouts for each triathlon distance. These are designed for seasoned triathletes. If you’re new to the sport, start by halving these workouts and build up gradually from there.

The shorter speed sessions can be done on an indoor bike trainer, whereas the longer endurance workouts are best done outdoors. Just make sure you have everything ready beforehand (running shoes, drinks, towel, dry t-shirt if it’s cold) so that there are no delays once you’re underway.

I’ve given you general descriptions on the training intensities needed, but you can use perceived exertion, heart rate, power and pace. Or whichever you prefer.

Best 8 Triathlon Brick Workouts

​1. Sprint distance triathlon –  endurance brick workout:

Bike 60 to 90 minutes at steady chatting pace,
straight into run 20 minutes at a steady chatting pace.

2. Sprint distance triathlon – brick speed workout:

Bike 15 mins easy.
Bike 8 mins at target sprint triathlon race pace,
Run 4 mins at target sprint triathlon race pace,
Rest 3 mins.
Bike 7 mins at target sprint triathlon race pace,
Run 3 mins at target sprint triathlon race pace,
Rest 60 secs,
Bike 5 mins easy.

3. Olympic distance triathlon – endurance brick workout: 

Bike 90 minutes to 2 hours at steady chatting pace,
straight into run 30 minutes at steady chatting pace.

4. Olympic distance triathlon – brick speed workout:

Bike 1 hour (including 2 x 15mins at target race pace),
straight into run 20 minutes (as 10mins at target race pace, 10mins easy jog).

5. Half Ironman triathlon – endurance brick workout:

Bike 2 hours at steady chatting pace,
straight into run 1 hour at steady chatting pace.

6. Half Ironman triathlon – brick speed workout:

Bike 1 hour 10 (including 2 x 2o mins at target race pace) into run 20 minutes (15 mins at target race pace, 5mins easy jog).

7. Ironman distance triathlon – endurance brick workout:

Bike 3 hours at target Ironman race pace,
straight into run 1 hour at target Ironman race pace.

8. Ironman distance triathlon – speed brick workout:

Bike 1 hour (including 2 x 15mins at your approx 1-hour race pace),
straight into run 30 minutes (as 15 mins at your approx half-marathon race pace, 15 mins easy jog).

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Phil Mosley (Coach & Founder)
Phil Mosley (Coach & Founder)

Phil is a recognised expert in the field, having featured on many endurance sports publications. He founded MyProCoach in 2010 to sell premium training plans complete with email coach support for triathlons, duathlons, running & cycling.

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