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Success with Stamina
Success with Stamina
A little blog about being a triathlon coach. Here you'll find a little diary about my activities as a coach, the performances of the people I work with and my thoughts and opinions on what makes athletes faster for longer.

Bringing Your Training Together. A Quick Guide For Novices.

AndyBby AndyBMay 11th 2017
Having prepared yourself in each of the individual disciplines of swim, bike and run it’s important to remember that triathlon is all three sports one after the other and this means you need to do a bit of training in that way before he race. Putting the different disciplines together one after the other is often known as brick training. With just under a month to go if you haven’t already now is the time to start putting this training into action, so what is the easiest way of doing this and what sessions can you do to replicate the event itself?

The swim-bike brick

This is possibly the harder of the two types of brick sessions to do mainly due to resources, however, going from a horizontal position to a vertical one and the subsequent shift in blood flow around the body this is important to get used to.

How should I do it?

You may be lucky enough to have access to a pool or open water where you can set up a turbo trainer and your bike near to the water or can get quickly out of the water and onto a stationary bike. If so, have the bike set up ready to go and after a short run from the water to the bike jump on and get pedaling. You’ll likely be dripping wet but that is part of the fun. If neither of these options are available you may need to leave your bike secure and close to the water you are using and make that change as quick as possible.

What should I do?

After a good warm up sets can be made up of short swim-bike repeats or a longer swim effort into a longer bike effort. For example:

Short swim-bike sets: 4 x (200m swim onto 5’ bike) followed by 5’ easy recovery.
Both swim and bike effort should be at or just above race pace effort

Long swim-bike brick: 800m swim into 30 minutes bike effort.
With this being closer to race distances with little recovery you may prefer to build into the swim effort and then push the first 10 minutes of the bike. If your training has been going well and you are confident of completing the whole race then you may want to do the both efforts at race pace.

What should I be aware of?

Going from horizontal in the swim to upright in the run to transition and the bike section requires your blood to be shunted around your body and importantly up to your head. You may feel light-headed when you stand up (particularly if the water is cold). Practicing this brick session a few times will help your body get better at this.

The bike-run brick

Possibly the easier of the two brick sessions to do; riding hard, jumping off, slipping your trainers on and heading off for a run will help make race day (a little) more comfortable. Doing at least one of these sessions will make your life a whole lot easier when it comes to race day.

How should I do it?

Set up a turbo-trainer and your running shoes; a bike and treadmill at a gym or even find a friend to look after your bike while you head of for a run.

What should I do?

As with the swim-bike sessions, after a good warm up sets can include short bike run repeats or a longer bike effort into a run.

For example:
Short bike-run repeats: 5 x (5 min bike into 3’ run followed by 5 minutes easy spin recovery). All efforts should be at or above race pace effort.

Longer bike to run: 30-45 minutes with the last 10-15 hard effort into 15-20min run with the first 10 minutes at race pace effort and the last 10 steady.

What should I be aware of?

Having pushed hard on the bike your leg muscles will not be expecting to stand up and may mean you get the well-documented ‘jelly-leg’ effect. Stepping off the bike may be a bit of a shock so when running try to keep your turn-over quick, stand up tall and gradually increase your stride length as you get into your running.
 
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