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Ironman Training: The big brick session

Bike/run sessions are essential to your training. They're even more important for your Ironman preparation.

— by Lauren Brandon

During an Ironman build, you want to do a big bike/run or “brick” session to help simulate race day. Depending on how many weeks your Ironman training is, you will do at least two to three big brick session days. Everyone is different in terms of how much training they can handle and what they want to focus on, but these big brick sessions are essential to add to your schedule. I like to do a long bike workout with a short run after (under an hour). But, you will see some people do a long run off of a long bike ride, this will depend on the training load you can handle and what your other training days look like.

Related: How to train for Kona

This is a session where you can also try out your nutrition for race day. Start out by eating the breakfast you intend on having race morning. During your long bike ride, make sure to have all of the liquid, gels, or other food that you would have during your Ironman bike. If you’re doing a shorter run off of the bike, then there will be no need to bring any calories with you. If you’re doing a longer run off of the bike, then you will want to bring some calories, such as a gel.

Ironman Brick Session

5-hour ride:

  • 45 minute warm up (include 2x 5-minute builds)
  • An hour at Ironman pace
  • 30 minutes easy
  • An hour at Ironman pace
  • 30 minutes easy
  • An hour at Ironman pace
  • 15 minutes easy

Run immediately off the bike (10K total):

  • 5K progressive (get faster each 1k)
  • 1K easy
  • 2K Ironman pace
  • 2K easy