Bike + Run: Our First Triathlon Brick Workout!

Hello and happy Sunday, friends!

Matt and I have had a great weekend here in Chapel Hill. Yesterday, we did our first “brick” workout for triathlon training! A brick workout is just a bike workout followed immediately by a run. I’m not sure why it’s called brick, but I’m guessing it’s because that’s how your legs end up feeling ;)


To make the bike to run transition more like the actual triathlon will be, we set up a little transition area with all of our stuff ready to go — that way when we got back from the bike ride we could switch straight into running gear and head back out.

Here was my transition set up:


A new pair of shorts and a tank top, a running visor, running shoes/socks, sunscreen, and some fuel (we only ended up eating the stinger chews on the right).

Here was Matt’s transition area, lol:


Boys are funny ;)

During the actual triathlon, I won’t be changing shoes — I’ll just wear the same ones during the bike and run to keep things simple. But yesterday I wanted to wear my Merrell Pace Gloves because I heart them :) I’m not sure what I’m going to wear yet otherwise, though — we went to look at tri shorts yesterday and they are crazy expensive, so I’m debating.

Anyway! We were pumped and ready to rock. Our plan: an 11.5 mile bike ride, followed immediately by a 3 mile run.


My hardcore pose:


And then we were off! It was hot and sunny but beautiful out :)


Matt mapped out an 11.5 mile route from our house, and we were feeling good. By the time we hit 1 hour, we had covered 10.6 very hilly miles and were nearing the home stretch. Bring on the run, we said!

And then…


… Matt went over some gravel and his back tire popped. FAIL!


At least we were only like a mile away from home :) We ended up walking our bikes back the last mile, and ran into these adorable baby goats in someone’s backyard randomly along the way.


Are they not the cutest things ever?! Totally worth blowing out a tire to see, haha.


When we got back home, we decided that a minor bike snafu shouldn’t hold us back from finishing our brick workout. 3 mile run or bust! We quickly changed, ate some of the stinger gummy things for some fuel, pounded some more water, and we were on our way.


Not gonna lie — the run was HARD! Our legs felt a little heavy but not too crazy tired (I’m sure the random 1 mile walk helped stretch them out, haha) — but it was REALLY hot outside. By the time we ran it was already about 1 p.m. and heat is totally my running kryptonite, as we found out during my torturous first half marathon last year. I was impressed with how we did, though — we ran the 3 miles in 26:04 for an average pace of 8:41. Yay!


  • Mile 1: 8:37
  • Mile 2: 8:39
  • Mile 3: 8:47

Brick workout success! We are hoping to do another one next weekend minus blowing out a bike tire and having to walk home the last mile, haha. We also need to work on staying better hydrated next time — I’m not skilled enough to drink water and bike at the same time, so I think we might bring a CamelBak in the future. We both felt SO thirsty by the end of our run.

Once we were cleaned up, we took Matt’s bike to the shop, learned how to repair a tire, and bought a little repair kit to bring with us on the road from now on so next time we’ll be ready!

Have you ever done a brick workout? How did it go? Any tips?


  1. 1

    I have heard that the origin of the term “brick” is Bike-Run-ICK. But that could be folklore.

  2. 2

    I love those stinger fuel chews! I used them during my last half marathon, and the pomegranate flavor I had was amazing.

  3. 3

    Congrats on your first brick! and on learning to change your tube….practice that a few times and you’ll both be pros! just curious – what did you have in your saddle bags if you didn’t have tubes, tire levers, etc.?

  4. 5

    I love new running gear! I’d rather shop for running clothes than high heels!

  5. 6

    Way to go, Anne & Matt!

    Your training for this triathlon sounds fun, I’m
    jealous ;-)

    Keep up the great training, let’s run the next time we’re both in DC!

  6. 7

    Biking is sooo fun!!! I kinda think I need to buy a road bike now……..

  7. 8

    When I did the bike trip with my students we had lots of flat tires ! I learned how to repair a tire as well – a good trick to know :)

  8. 9

    Great brick workout :)

  9. 10

    That just looks… incredibly hardcore. I’m impressed (as I’m sure the baby goats were, too!)

  10. 12

    Congrats on your first brick! Those are awesome distances for it being your first! I have heard that they are called bricks because of how your legs feel and it definitely holds true to the name :)

    If you have a Camelbak, that’s great to use for a tri since you can keep it on through the bike and run leg. Otherwise, learning how to drink on the bike is seriously beneficial – and even though it sounds dumb, it’s certainly something you have to learn and practice. When I just switched to my new bike (where I had my water bottle holders in different places than before due to a different frame), I practiced grabbing my bottle out of the holder and putting it back riding on my bike on my trainer. After I mastered that, on all of my rides, brick or not, I took long straight stretches of road to practice eating and drinking. Once you have a feel for how you can best grab your bottle, you can practice the easiest way to drink from it – I don’t tip my head at all, I just tip the bottle up and to the side so you still have full vision in front of you.

    I hope that helps a little! I usually don’t like fueling in motion but I had to master it when I started doing tris. I found it way more difficult than it should be!

    • 13

      Thanks for the tips! I’m definitely going to give my CamelBak a try next time instead – but as for fuel, I will need to learn how to eat it on the bike so practice makes perfect, I hope! :)

  11. 14

    I love your pose with your bike Anne. No matter how old the boys get, they never get over putting their clothes in a pile like Matt’s. I read your tweet that you went horseback riding. My 11 year old grand daughter in North Georgia has been riding since she was 5, and roping too. It’s a fun thing to do. Have fun.

  12. 15

    Ditto to Renie about boys and congrats to both of you on your first Brick. I guess first comes a bike tire and then a car tire.

  13. 16

    You guys are fierce!!! Great job on the brick. It must be so nice to have your best friend to train with for this. :)

  14. 18

    I did a swim+run brick last summer for an aquathlon. Your legs are much more fatigued back to back! I just went on a fun bike ride in Colorado this weekend for like the second time ever. I have a bike fear! It was so fun, but big city riding isn’t going to happen for us in Houston. Enjoying your bike stories more now!

  15. 19

    Definitely bring your camelbak! I LOVE it when I’m biking because I don’t have to reach for anything :)

  16. 20

    rock on girl! my man and i just started training for a half ironman we are doing this september, but no bricks yet.

    i’ve heard that bricks are in fact named after the way your legs feel, and perhaps also because it is one type of exercise stacked on top of another, like a brick. (??)

  17. 23

    baby goats? soooo cute! and nice job on the workout! bricks are so hard. it never ceases to amaze me how hard a light run can feel after pedaling. they are totally necessary and it’ll improve over time.

  18. 24

    I have to go from bottle holder to handlebars and then to mouth with my bottle —- I can’t go from bottle holder to mouth in one move, or I’ll wipe out!

  19. 26

    Great job on the brick workout.

    Some tips. Put tire changing gear in your saddle bag and get a cycling jersey. They have pockets in the back and you can put your phone, keys, etc in a ziploc bag and into the jersey so you are prepared for the inevitable flat tire.

    Secondly, learn to drink on the bike b/c while having a Camelbak is a good idea you will quickly get hot carrying that extra weight on your back. Practice on a spin bike at first for reaching down or behind you, but it will help especially with spraying yourself with the water if it is that hot out.

    Thirdly, it will get easier. Your legs will feel heavy for the first 0.5 miles and then it clicks that you are no longer cycling but now running and that is when the legs will start to kick in.

    • 27

      Thanks for the tips, Jason! I do have a cycling jersey and have been keeping my camera in there. And we got tire changing gear for Matt to store in his saddle bag (mine is super tiny) so hopefully we should be good to go next time!

  20. 28
    Jen Robinson says

    Cute running outfit :P
    I’m impressed with your workout! I spent my Saturday eating sushi :)

  21. 29

    what a bummer about the flat but congrats on your first brick!

    I always put my bike into a super low gear as I come into transition to spin my legs out and get them ready to run. it helps!

  22. 31

    Your “hard-core” pose is perfect. ha Congrats on an awesome work-out. My advice is: it gets easier :)

  23. 32

    Bricks are so hard!Bu once you are finished you feel awesome haha. i bought my tri shorts online so they were a little bit cheapier

  24. 33

    Try rei for the tri shorts – their outlet is having a sale now. I got a set of danskin tri clothes there and they’ve been great. I agree with you about the camelbak (have used that for several tri’s now) and it makes it very easy to hydrate well on the ride (so I usually ditch it for the run). You might also consider taping your gus or whatever fuel you use to your bike so you can reach it easily during your ride…which might also let you avoid wearing a cycling shirt in your sprint distance race.

  25. 34

    Triathlons are so hardcore! I think that is definitely going on my list of things to accomplish.


  1. […] an official awesome tri outfit? Why, yes! Remember how in the post about me and Matt’s very first brick workout I mentioned that I tried on tri shorts but they were way out of my price range? Well, I arrived […]

  2. […] Bike + Run: Our First Triathlon Brick Workout! […]

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.