One of the key workouts to get in the bag when you’re training for a triathlon is the classic “brick”.
A brick session is simply training two disciplines one after the other, without rest. Usually this comes in the form of swim to bike or, perhaps most commonly, bike to run. While it’s possible to do this completely on the open road, sometimes that isn’t so simple, depending on the environment you have available. This is where a turbo trainer and treadmill can come in really handy – giving you the least amount of ‘faff’ between disciplines and really pushing those legs to get used to the change in motion.
For those of us fortunate enough to have this kind of setup, here are some ways to make that transition as smooth as possible to get the most bang for your… brick.
Pair your tech in advance
If you love data, it’s worthwhile getting your gadgets all hooked up and able to be used on each machine independently. So take the time before your workout to make sure your heart rate monitor, Kinni app, power/cadence sensors, etc. are open and connected via Bluetooth.
If you use Zwift you can also connect both devices to Kinni and switch between ride/run modes from the home screen. You can even load up your Kinni workout in advance for a more interesting brick session, allowing you to do intervals without manually controlling the treadmill! Just press “start” when you’re ready and let Kinni do the work!
Have enough hydration/fuel ready
I tend to drink a lot on the bike and a bit less on the run but, regardless, have water available for both machines. Having a pre-filled bottle ready to go in both the bike and treadmill bottle-holders in advance saves having to disrupt your run/ride to grab some much-needed water. Similarly, if you’re doing a longer session, having some gels or chews to hand is a must for an effective workout.
Set your transititon area
Going from bike to run is typically the quickest of transitions in a triathlon, but it’s still important to practice so you can try what works for you. If you’re going to use elastic laces, make sure they are loose enough to get on quickly. If you think you’ll use socks for your run but not for your ride, it helps to have them laid out on the correct side (left sock near your left shoe, right sock near your right shoe). Perhaps have them even folded down to allow your toes to slip in more quickly. This is the ideal opportunity in training to see what works for you ready for your race!
Invest in a good fan
We all know how hot and sweaty a workout can get… multiply that by 10 when you’re indoors and there’s no natural air flow. It really helps to have a fan available that you can easily rotate between bike and run stations. It may be sensible to have a sweat-wicking towel nearby anyway – there’s only so much sweat you’ll want to mop off the treadmill when you’re done!
Now you have the perfect set up for a good bike to run brick session, all that’s left to do is start! Taking away the stress of having to wheel your bike in and out or, even worse, find somewhere to lock it up and then having to remember keys or carry fuel and hydration with you allows you to focus on giving your all to the workout and even get some interval training in.
Having a NoblePro treadmill alongside my turbo trainer was a game changer for my triathlon training, from sprint to Ironman, and I hope it is for you too!