Spin and run brick

Feb. 22, 2014

Since today was still icy and cold in the morning, my friend and co-rookie of the year Greg and I chose to do a spin-run brick at the Heart of the Valley YMCA in Kimberly, WI instead of running outside with the Pacesetters. We did a 1.5 hour spin class starting at 7am, followed immediately by a 30 minute run around the track. We would have preferred the treadmills, but apparently ever other runner in the Appleton area also decided to run inside, so we were left with the track.

If you’ve never heard of a “brick” workout, the traditional definition is to do a run right after a bike workout, though they can also refer to any two back-to-back workouts in any order. (Clickhere to read more from Beginner Triathlete and here to learn more from USA Triathlon.) If you’ve never done a triathlon, it’s difficult to describe how hard this transition can be! So, it’s a good idea to practice this, and many training plans call for a short brick runs – my training plan calls them “transition runs” – after biking.

The spin area at this YMCA is an open area on the second floor, with a running track around it:

Spin AreaPrior to Spin

Since there’s no room with walls and a door to lock up the bikes in, they literally lock the pedals with a chain, and pass the key around before a class…interesting:

Bikes Locked Up

If you wear clipless cycling shoes to spin (you can see mine in the photo above), and you’re forgetful in the early morning like me, it’s a good idea to ask someone to remind you to bring your running shoes with you ;)

Fuzzy Shoe

Dissenting Opinions:

I should note that not everyone believes brick workouts are necessary. Endurance Nation, a training group I really like, does not advocate them. Mostly they think it’s not a skill that needs to be practiced, or that can be really “improved” beyond getting used the feeling a bit, so they think they’re sort of a waste of time. I dunno. I like doing bricks, and they’re sorta “classic” triathlon workouts, so I do them.

Why are they called “bricks”?

I couldn’t come up with a standard definition, but the three most common are:

1) You’re stacking two workouts on top of each other like “bricks” making a wall.

2) When you start to run, your legs feel like bricks after biking.

3). Similarly: Bike + Run = ICK! Ick is how your legs feel!

I like number 3, but I’ll let you decide what definition you like :)


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