Lunch hour

The Pete Plan blog

“Brick” session

Posted by thepeteplan on April 24, 2008

Have you ever wondered why triathletes call a session where you train on the bike, and then immediately go for a run, a “brick” session? Not quite the same format, but I decided tonight to do a 10k row then go straight out on the roads for a 10k run.


10k = 36:43.8 / 1:50.1 / 25

Steady 1:52’s to 7500m, then the last 5 x 500m splits were 1:50.6, 1:47.6, 1:45.5, 1:42.9, 1:37.2.

Quick change of clothes and glass of water than out on the road for a run time of 39:40. The first and last 10mins are on road, and the middle 20mins around a cross country course mostly on compacted, winding, trails.

This perhaps gave me an insight into why triathletes call this format of session a brick session, as my legs felt like bricks for the first 15mins. I thought I was running slowly to this point until I caught up with a group of 3 runners, and quickly passed them. I’ve run this route a few times before, and only once before broken 40mins. This is a good sign as I haven’t run in a few months, and have never run regularly at all.

Why the run? Well today was supposed to be an interval session, but work commitments meant I couldn’t get to the gym during the day, so training was left to the evening. I had a look on rowpro and joined the 10k with AndersB and SteveV, and decided to do a run afterwards. But why did I choose to run? I made a comment on a sporting discussion board at work that I thought I could run a sub 1hr45 half marathon just off the back of rowing training. Someone said “no you can’t, prove it”. Of course to go and run a half marathon with no running training at all at 87kg would be asking for an injury, or at least a week of walking funny. So instead I took up someone else’s challenge to try to run a HM closer to his HM running pb (1hr22) than he can get to my HM pb on the erg (just under 1hr15). Therefore I need to do a few training runs before attempting this, and at the same time to try to prove the point to the first challenger by going a good bit under 1hr45 with a little running training. The comment wasn’t purely ego driven, we were discussing the merits of cross training for a guy looking to run a HM under 2hrs, as he keeps getting injuries from running. My point was that I thought you could get fit enough to run a HM with other (low impact) training, and just run occasionally to get your legs used to the impact, without so much injury potential. Time will tell whether I was right…


Jamie asked a question on yesterday’s entry do I carry any fatigue from one session to the next, when rowing twice a day. It’s all relative, but yes, more so than normal. I did the second session yesterday as a 2k warm up and 1k on rowpro. “Just” a 3:09 for the 1k, but it certainly felt fatigued. I think that doing this high volume for just a couple of weeks at the beginning of this stage of training will benefit me in the later stages of the phase though.


5 Responses to ““Brick” session”

  1. Jamie Pfeffer said

    Here’s why I really like having Pete as a coach: “So instead I took up someone else’s challenge to try to run a HM closer to his HM running pb (1hr22) than he can get to my HM pb on the erg (just under 1hr15). Therefore I need to do a few training runs before attempting this . . . .” I work down the street from Central Park, in New York City. Twice a week, beginning in April, Nike organizes runs in the Park. The goal is to train for the New York Marathon and Half Marathon (the first Saturday and Sunday in November). From my window, I see scores of runners heading out during their seven-month training regime. And Pete, he’s going to beat 99% of them by running 1% as often.

    You’re off to a great start. You’re 10K (run) was really flying. I’m used to your rows being fast.

  2. thepeteplan said

    Jamie – I think this run route is closer to 9k than 10k, so not as fast as it sounds. New York half marathon in November huh, a few weeks after BIRC….

  3. alan said

    Hi Pete,

    I tried the first day of PP08-loved it, will do the 12k increasing rate row tonight.

    I used to run quite a bit(HM-pb was 82:35,10 miles in 54:30 at 30 years of age) and dabbled with triathlon. I think fit is fit whatever the denomination.

    One of the reasons I started erging late last year was my age and my weight mitigated against running(old bloke sitting around too much).

    I will follow your progress and as I have lost loads of weight and improved my erg times, you have motivated me to try a run-just to see what I can do now.

    If you seriously want to get near to 1:22 for HM you need 6 minute miles for 10k first, if you can get your weight below 80kg that will do it alone as your power/weight ratio will be on the money.

    All the best


    p.s. James Cracknell did the Great North Run HM in 1:20:31 and he weighs more than you !

  4. thepeteplan said

    Alan – I only need to get as close to 1h22 HM running as my colleague gets to 1h15 erging – ie I think a 1hr35 HM would be good enough.

  5. david mc said

    cross-training may help you finish a HM but i think you’re getting by on natural ability. i have a friend who ran a 3:30 marathon after NEVER having run before (he was hallucinating, but he finished); his identical twin brother was an elite marathoner, so he figured he must have the genes for it. he can now run in the 2:20s after yrs of training hard.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: