New to Triathlon – week 3 – Building bricks and the fourth discipline…

A great way to add some intensity and get your body used to racing more than one discipline in an event is a brick session.
A brick can be any two disciplines cemented together. The least intense is adding a swim to either a bike or run. From a getting-ready-to-race perspective, a swim first, followed by a run or bike is the session most similar to a race. However, a kinder way to introduce these types of sessions is to do a run or ride and then get a swim in without too long a break in between. In this instance the swim will act as a steady recovery. As you go into the spring you can do a swim followed immediately by a speedy run. Neither discipline needs to be very long. A good place to do this is at the Royston leisure centre and do it in your race day gear, so that you get used to swimming and running in your kit. You can pre-warn the receptionist at the centre what you’ll be doing and they’ll let you back in for shower and changing after your run. A good run to do after your pool swim is loops around the cycle/walking path on the Twigden’s estate next to the pool.
To increase your training intensity a good option is to do a bike with a run immediately afterwards. Not only is this quite a hard training session but it’s also a really good way to get used to the jelly legs you experience on race day when going from the bike to the run. The good news is that the more you do these bricks and races the less you feel like you have jelly legs. Again, you don’t have to do big distances, a 10-15k ride with a 2-3k run is enough and you can also do mini bricks as repeats. For instance, pick a bike loop that’s just 1-2k and a run loop of 500m or so which you can do from your home as your ‘transition’ base. I do this in the spring and set up transition in my garden and do repeats of the bike and run in Royston. I spend about an hour doing these short repeats and honing my transition and multi-discipline skills.
As a club we always offer our members a transition training session at the start of the season. It’s a fun group session and really does help you learn about transition or to improve your existing skills. Transition is known as ‘the 4th discipline’ in triathlon and it’s really helpful to practice this element before the day of your event. It’s equally important to know how to set-up your transition area and all the entry and exit points for on the day. You’ll feel more in control and calm on the day if you go in with an understanding of what to expect and what to do when you get to your event.

Comments are closed.