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Incorporating Brick Training for the Ironman

John R Nofsinger

John R. Nofsinger, the current Seward Endowed Chair in Finance at the University of Alaska Anchorage, is also a published author of several books and articles examining psychology and finance. Aside from his professional endeavors, John R. Nofsinger enjoys running and has recently begun participating in Ironman competitions.

The Ironman is an extreme triathlon competition that involves a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a full marathon. Completing an Ironman requires intense and focused training. Since the different disciplines are completed in succession, a key component of training involves learning how to transition from one sport to another.

Valuable minutes can be lost in any triathlon if athletes don’t practice the transitions. It’s not just clothing changes that slow down an athlete. Jumping on a bike after a long swim can be hard on athletes’ legs, causing them delays as they adjust to the new movement. Brick training involves combining two or three triathlon sports into a single workout, and helps athletes train their bodies to adapt to two sports, one after the other. Muscle memory results from repeating the transition multiple times over the course of a training regimen.
Athletes should start with the bike-to-run transition. Twice a week they can spend an hour on a bike, quickly change clothes and then embark on a 10-15 minute run. They can also transition from swimming to biking by completing a 400 meter swim and then pushing hard on a bike for 15 minutes.

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