What the heck is a BRICK?!
When I first started the sport of triathlon, it took me a while to learn all the lingo and funny names people would use for certain things. When I heard someone call a workout a "brick" for the first time, well, I just thought that was the goofiest name ever. I was like "What the heck is a BRICK". Then I got laughed at.
In the Triathlon world, a 'brick' usually refers to a bike workout, immediately followed by a run. It could also refer to a swim immediately followed by a bike. Despite the goofy name, brick workouts are super duper important in triathlon because this is a sport that involves performing multiple sports in a row (swim,bike,run)
If you are brand new to triathlon, or haven't been in the game for a while, a smart decision would be to NOT jump right into brick workouts. A better idea would be to spend some weeks working on your aerobic fitness base. Eventually as you get fitter, a brick can be thrown in to the mix.
Bricks do not always need to be hard. The point of a brick workout is getting your body used to the transition, so that on race day its not the first time you have ever encountered this feeling.
So, after a few months of solid base training, you might be ready to throw in a brick workout. A brick can be as simple as riding for 45 minutes, then hopping off, putting on your running shoes, jogging around the block for 10 minutes.
Once you start including bricks to your workouts, as a coach, I usually recommend my athletes do a brick about once every other week. Of course the progression will get more and more challenging.
As bike-run bricks are the most common brick workouts. I also recommend doing at least one or two swim-bike workouts before your race. Swim-bike bricks can be a little more difficult logistically because it may require you to bring your bike to the pool and jump out of the pool and run right to the bike.
As you get more an more used to doing brick workouts, a new way to progress may be a double brick. An example of a brick for a sprint triathlon might include something like a 5 mile bike, followed by a 1 mile run, then another 5 mile bike, and one more 1 mile run.
The possibilities are endless.
Happy Bricking - har har har :-)
Paul L Duncan Jr.