Mickey Witte’s Favorite Brick Workout

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Michelina Witte is a new addition to Triathlon LAB’s racing team. An age group triathlete going into her third season, her race resume already boasts several podium finishes in the sport.

Below, Mickey shares with us one of her “all-time favorite” endurance bike-run brick workouts, developed by her coach, Marcelo Holcberg of Tri-2-One Coaching. He first assigned her the workout in preparation for her first half Ironman.

-Ride bike for 40 min. as: first 10 min. at an easy effort, then 30 min. at zone 3 (higher than moderate intensity).

Zone 3 is an aerobic training zone that refers to training that should be performed at 70-80% of one’s maximum heart rate. This zone increases one’s lactate threshold and one’s optimal aerobic capacity. The intensity is a bit higher than moderate. It should feel somewhat uncomfortable but something that can be maintained over a given period of time.

-Get off the bike and run at easy/moderate intensity for 30 min. in between zones 1 and 2.

Zone 1 (training at 50-60% of one’s maximum heart rate; very low intensity) promotes recovery after high intensity workouts. One should be able to hold a conversation.

Zone 2 (training at 60-70% of one’s maximum heart rate; moderate intensity) promotes endurance, as it increases the body’s ability to metabolize fat, increases capillary circulation, and increases the number of aerobic enzymes.

-Get back on the bike and ride for 30 min. as: first 10 min. easy effort, then 20 min. at hard intensity (between zones 3 and 4). Zone 3 was discussed above.

Zone 4 is training at one’s lactate threshold (80-90% of one’s maximum heart rate). This zone increases stroke volume (the blood volume ejected by one ventricle of the heart during a heartbeat), increases maximum aerobic capacity, and helps enable one to better buffer the lactate that builds up in the muscles during exercise.

-Get off the bike and run for 20 min. at high intensity (zone 3-4).

-Get back on the bike and ride 20 min. at high intensity (zone 4).

-Then finish the workout with a 10 min. run at very high intensity (zone 4-5).

Zone 5 (90-100% of your maximum heart rate) increases anaerobic capacity and one’s ability to buffer lactate build-up. These workouts are done at very high intensity and are very short in duration. There is complete rest between efforts. It is important to do these workout at this intensity properly.

Cool down as you usually would.

Mickey shares: “I love this work-out because it really helps me build the endurance I need for the long-haul and it teaches my muscles to go hard and long even when fatigued. I ended up finishing in 5hrs 26 min for my very first half Ironman- thanks, in no small part, to tough workouts like this endurance brick.”

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