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Workout Wednesday: Improve your run with a swim-bike brick

Credit: Janos Schmidt / ITU Media : 2014 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Edmonton
Credit: Janos Schmidt / ITU Media : Joanna Brown at the 2014 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Edmonton
When Joanna Brown places well in a race, it’s usually because she’s clocked one of the fastest run splits of the day. The 24-year-old has lots of running experience under her belt thanks to her time on the University of Guelph’s cross-country team, but she says the key to setting yourself up for a strong final leg in triathlon isn’t just about run fitness.
“The faster and more efficient you are at getting out of the water and on to the bike and in a pack, the more energy you can save to have your best run,” she says.
For this week’s Workout Wednesday, Brown shares one of her favourite swim-bike brick workouts. “This is a brick that we do in the summer when we are trying to fine tune our racing skills,” she says.
While swim-bike bricks aren’t always logically as possible for the average triathlete, they’re worth doing whenever you get the chance. If you can’t set one up on your own because of rules at your local pool, try getting involved with a triathlon club with greater access to facilities.

The workout:

  • 10 minutes on the bike followed by 10 minutes swimming
  • Swim 200 broken as 100/50/50 ALL OUT with 1 minute rest in between the 100, the 50 and then the last 50.
  • After your last all-out 50, go straight into 10 x 100 on a hard pace time
  • Then get out of the water and do 5 minutes hard on the bike followed by 5 minutes at tempo and then 5 minutes steady. Imagine going hard on the bike as soon as you get on to catch up to the pack, then settling in
Repeat swim and bike!