Brick Workout Bike & Run for Endurance Training

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 under Training | 6 Comments

Since I haven’t been able to log as many miles during my weekly long run or for the overall total miles for the week, I was thinking about other ways to get in a workout instead of running. About a year ago, I bought a bike on Craigslist to just to go cruising during the summer. However, that lasted only about a month or two and then it just sat in the garage for the rest of the year. So I was thinking of putting it back into use and bike a couple of miles after my regular run. I mentioned this on DailyMile and got some great feedback and advice and someone mentioned something about a Brick Workout. I have heard other runners talk about this before, but I never really understood what it was. I read that it’s a great way to cross train and help improve overall endurance. This would be a good way to ease myself into running a lot more miles and get some use out of my forgotten bicycle.

My old bike I used for the Brick workout..

My old bike I used for the Brick workout..

Initially, I planned to run Lake Miramar, which is 5 miles and then immediately right after the run grab my bike out of the car and do that same 5 mile loop on the car. From what I’ve briefly read about the Brick workout, you’re supposed to bike first then run. But considering it’s my first ever Brick workout, I don’t even think I would be able to finish the run after biking, since I heard it was so hard in the first place. But as I got closer and closer to bedtime the night before the run, I decided to bike to the lake as a warm-up, run the 5 miles, bike the same 5 miles and then bike home. Now that was the plan, here’s what really happened:

Warm-Up: 3.2 mile bike ride, 24:53, HR: 122 bpm, peak: 164 bpm, 255 calories
Run: 5 miles, 40:13 8:02 min/mile, HR: 173 bpm, peak: 189 bpm, 775 calories
Cool-Down: 3.2 mile bike ride, 22:09, HR: 117 bpm, peak: 138, 95 calories

Warm-up Bike Ride to the Lake

I wanted to make sure that I didn’t miss the workout this morning since I haven’t been getting as much sleep as I wanted this past week. I took my water bottle out of the fridge, grabbed the bike out of the balcony and headed downstairs. Right when I got to the bottom of the stairs, I checked to make sure there was enough air in the tires..completely flat! I guess that’s what happens when you don’t ride an older bike for a whole year. To make matters worse, I think the heat bent the part of the wheel where you add the air so it took me like 5 minutes just to add air to one of the tires. I finally took off for my warm-up bike. Even though it wasn’t really part of the workout, I wanted to see how long it would take and see what my heart rate was during the warm-up.

The distance from my place to the lake is about 3.2 miles and most of it is on a main street. I was able to ride on the sidewalk for most of the time, but there was a point where I had to cross the entrance to a freeway, and there was no pedestrian crosswalk! So as I was approaching that very point, I kept looking back to make sure there were no cars approaching. It wasn’t that bad; I just pedaled like crazy while crossing that freeway intersection. After I passed that point though, there was a bus waiting at a red light. This next part of the road had no sidewalk and the light had just turned green! I was literally racing against the bus to get to the sidewalk!! I was able to out pedal the bus, but I was wearing a sweater and had started breaking a sweat and the sun was breaking through the clouds. Immediately after that part of the road, I noticed a gradual uphill. I have driven to the lake numerous times and have never noticed said hill. Because this is an old bike, it is stuck on the middle gear, so I wasn’t able to change it to make it easier to pedal. It wasn’t too bad, but definitely not the heart rate or warm-up that I was hoping to have. I rode a little more and then made another turn and found another hill! This one was definitely a lot harder. At the end of this one, I was sweating as much as I usually do at the end of a run. There was one steeper hill at the very end of the ride, but it was fairly short and got through it easily. All of this was just my warm-up!

The Run

I heard that your legs feel very heavy when you try to run after biking, so I was sort of anticipating it, but would not understand how it feels until I actually started to run. I think they get the name because your legs feel like bricks or something to that nature. Either way, that intense warm-up killed me for the run. I just wanted to get it over with at that point. And during the run, I came to the conclusion that biking another 5 miles would be too much. Since it’s too dangerous to bike to the lake and the hills are too killer for a warm-up, I probably will just drive to the lake next time and actually bike the loop around the lake.

Cooldown Back Home

The bike home was actually pretty fun since I did all the hard work coming up. I was going down the hills so fast that I had to use the brakes a lot and I didn’t even get to pedal for most of the ride. It was a good way to just get the wind to blow in my face and cool down. I would have been home a lot faster than the time says, but there were a lot more cars on the road and I had to wait at every stop light to cross. On a higher note, I did burn over 1000 calories for the very first time (1125). I’m sure all other runners that run 10+ miles on a semi-daily basis do it very often, but not me! Hopefully, if I get the hang of these Brick workouts, I will be able to run more miles and get to that marathon mileage stage of my training.

6 Responses to “Brick Workout Bike & Run for Endurance Training”

  1. Melissa Galyon Says:

    This was fascinating! Thanks for posting… Great idea to improve endurance training 🙂

  2. lindsay Says:

    sounds like a good workout! i imagine after more bike practice it would feel less strenuous, just like running 2-3 miles is no big deal anymore. i think about doing bricks sometimes but the whole bike aspect is a little intimidating. 🙂

  3. diana Says:

    Brick workouts are crazy. My legs always feel so out of place for the first 1/2 to a mile. After logging some long distances on bike, I feel like my running is improving and stronger. Good luck with it all.

  4. X-country2 Says:

    Sounds like a great brick. I did my first real brick this weekend, and you’re right, the legs feel like lead!


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