The goal is to shorten and streamline the transition between the bike and the run

By Kaye Lopez

As you get closer to your race, you need to put more emphasis on race-specific workouts. Combination workouts called brick sessions train the body to become more comfortable with transitioning from one leg to the next, especially from bike to run. If you started training early enough, you should be able to gradually increase the duration of your long brick sessions while practicing your pacing and nutrition strategy. Treat these sessions as your dress rehearsal before the main event and you’re on your way to a standing ovation at the finish line.

How to safely and effectively approach long brick sessions

1. Increase duration gradually or about 10 percent per week.

2. Increase duration one leg at a time. If you increase the duration of the ride, keep the run-off-the-bike duration short or the same as the previous week and vice-versa.

3. You can increase intensity but do it one leg at a time. If you want to push yourself during the ride, back off on the intensity of the run. If you want to test running hard on fatigued legs, keep the duration of the run short and focus on proper recovery after. This lowers your risk of getting sick on the weeks leading up to the race.

4. As much as possible, train on the actual race course or on terrain similar to it.

5. Schedule recon rides and runs to familiarize yourself with the route and plan your pacing and nutrition strategy.

6. If possible, divide the route into smaller parts, ideally into three sections. This makes it easier to prepare a pacing strategy to practice in training.

7. Use these brick sessions to try out all your gear and nutrition for the race at least once and adjust as needed.