Sub-1hr session: Reverse brick

We help you prepare for autumn duathlons by going from bike to run with heavy legs in this drill for beginners


Running onto the bike is the ideal way to get used to the duathlon bike leg with slightly heavy legs. Joe Beer provides a 60min beginner session for the run-to-bike.


This is a nice weekend, morning session and is probably best done from home on the turbo if riding a fairly high pace. Outside is too risky due to traffic and road conditions.

For this workout you’ll need: snack 1-2hrs beforehand; race shoes (bike and run); bike and race helmet; and calf/quad guards if used on race day.

The session


5min easy run; 5min easy-moderate bike; 3min progressive-effort run up to around 80% HRmax.

Main session

20min run on race-type terrain in race shoes. Transition into 20min fast bike (Zone 1 – <80% HRmax).


5mins relaxed effort run.

Main benefits

Performance benefits

This teaches you how to pace the first duathlon run in training rather than on race day. The heavy-leg feeling from running does go once you start cycling, but you have to experience it to help gauge your efforts.

Mental benefits

Racing requires focussing on your effort, and not on your screaming muscles that up until now have only ever gone from bike to run.

Mentally, reverse bricks teach you that a controlled first run will help both your bike and second run splits.

Physiological benefits

Firstly, by breaking up and gradually increasing the effort for the core part of the session, it makes it easier on the sport-specific muscles.

Secondly, running at or just below threshold simulates race-day sensation – you get a feel for the muscular exertion level so that it becomes second nature in the first part of a duathlon.

Thirdly, keeping the bike effort aerobic balances out the session’s aerobic-anaerobic ratio and loosens the legs while still providing a decent level of bike fitness stimulation.

Adapt for Powerman

Increase the run up to 30-40mins, and the bike into a 30min hilly ride, but try to stay close to 80%HRmax.

(Images: Jonny Gawler)


For lots more advice head to our Training section