Sample Class: Bricks for Breakfast

by Tatiana Kolovou, MBA on Oct 12, 2009

Sample Class

Help participants refine their triathlon transition times.

Cycling classes are famous for inspiring participants to try their first 5K run or sprint triathlon race. “Bricks for Breakfast” is offered at Monroe County YMCA in Bloomington, Indiana, where avid outdoor cyclists seek refuge in the winter months, and fitness enthusiasts prepare for their first triathlon competition.

An integral part of triathlon training is transition simulation—swim to bike or bike to run. A class that can combine cycling and running not only provides a formula for these necessary transition drills but is also an effective cross-training workout.

Class Details: Bricks for Breakfast

FORMAT: indoor cycling workout, followed by a quick transition to an outdoor running workout.

TOTAL TIME: 90 minutes

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: indoor cycles; a cordless mike (a portable system makes coaching runners of different abilities much easier). This class can also be implemented indoors if you can reserve space on a running track or have enough treadmills. Whatever the running space is, keep in mind that the runners need to stay in a defined space (track or perimeter of a soccer field) so they can hear your coaching cues.

MUSIC: Cycling music for the ride portion is essential (all songs available on iTunes under “Schwinn Cycling Master Trainer—Tatiana Kolovou Bricks 4 Breakfast”). Music for the running portion is not necessary as long as runners can clearly hear all cues.


Zone 1: warm-up/cool-down; RPE 1–5; HRR 55%–65%

Zone 2: aerobic; RPE 5–6; HRR 65%–75%

Zone 3: aerobic/anaerobic; RPE 6–8; HRR 75%–85%

Zone 4: breathless/submax; RPE 9; HRR 85%–90%

RPE = rating of perceived exertion; HRR = heart rate reserve Source: The Nautilus Institute


  • In the last 10–15 minutes of the ride, as participants approach the running transition, coach them to keep their legs at a high cadence (in the range of 90 revolutions per minute, or rpm).
  • Encourage participants to set up a mock transition to switch from cycling shoes into their running shoes, drink some electrolytes and put on a hat or visor.
  • Promote use of the Lock Laces elastic lacing system (or equivalent) on running shoes. These laces make the T2 (the official name of the ride- to-run transition) a lot smoother. In the Bricks to Breakfast class, all participants receive a pair of quick-release laces as a bonus for signing up.
  • Start the run at a quick leg turnover and at a medium intensity to help the body adapt from the bike cadence to the running leg turnover.

Cycling Segment (~55 minutes)

See chart below.

Running Segment (~27 minutes)

Allow 5 minutes for the transition from cycling to running. The running segment breaks down as follows:

  • 8–10 minutes: tempo run (medium intensity, low zone 3). Try to keep up quick leg turnover to mimic bike cadence at end of ride).
  • 5 minutes: stride counts. Focus on consistent stride rate (88–92 strides per minute accommodates shorter strides at faster rate). Work on stabilizing breathing (low to medium intensity, zone 2).
  • 5 minutes: tempo run; 5 x 1:00 repeats (20 seconds at low intensity, zone 1; 0:20 seconds at medium intensity, zone 2 or low zone 3; 20 seconds at high intensity, zone 4).

Both runners and walkers can do these repeats. If you happen to coach walkers on this set, describe the first 20 seconds as a leisurely walk; the second 20 seconds as a pace that participants would keep if they were going to an appointment and running late; and the last 20 seconds as the fastest power walk they can sustain. Spend the final 5–8 minutes on a thorough and much deserved cool-down.

Set total Artist, Riding RPM set Timing notes Time Song Title Technique Description Ratio (all songs available on Triple Link: 3 rolling hill iTunes under “Schwinn sets—flats in zones 2–3 Cycling Master Trainer— leading to hills in high Tatiana Kolovou Bricks zone 3. 4 Breakfast”) 1. 5:48 Santana & Matthews, seated flat 85–90 steady zone 1 5:48 “Love of My Life” steady zone 2 2. 4:03 Coldplay, “Viva la Vida” combo flat 70–85 intervals, 4 x 0:30, zones 2 & 3 zone 2 4 x 0:30, zone 3 3. 3:45 Rusted Root, “Drum Trip” seated flat 80 steady zone 2 3:45 5:02 Rusted Root, “Ecstasy” combo hill 80 intervals, zones 1 & 3 5 x 1:00 4:30 Stevie Nicks, “Stand Back” combo hill 70 steady zone 2 4:30 4:13 Despina Vandi, “Gia” standing hill 66 steady zone 3 4:13 (Ralphi’s mix) 4. 2:58 KT Tunstall, “Hold On” seated flat 90 steady zone 2 2:58 3:32 Blondie, “Call Me” combo hill 72 steady zone 3 3:32 5:39 Safri Duo, “A-Gusta” standing hill 56 high zone 3 5 x 1:00 5. 3:52 ZZ Top, “La Grange” seated flat 92 steady zone 2 3:52 3:47 Cher, “Strong Enough” combo hill 65 steady zone 3 3:47 3:49 Lisa Gerrard, “Now We standing hill 0:00–1:23 Are Free” (from Gladiator) 72 intervals, 1:23–1:50 zones 2 & 3 1:50–2:47 2:47–3:49 6. 4:24 Melissa Etheridge, seated flat 90 steady zone 2 “I Run for Life”

  • Find push point.

  • Set cadence.

  • Explain intensity zones and introduce Triple Link (big picture for ride’s rolling hill format).

  • Do 4 x 1:00 repeats: 0 :30 at baseline resistance and cadence, followed by 0:30 at baseline resistance and 10–15 rpm faster cadence.

Introduce Triple Link:

  • Push flat before hill; push again at top of hill.

  • Do 5 x 1:00 sets of draft, pass, lead.

  • Hang back (0:20).

  • Push to front; pass with higher resistance (0:20).

  • Push cadence and stay at front (0:20).

Introduce Triple Link:

  • Stay steady leading into hill; push top of hill.

  • For last 5 minutes, keep driving up resistance every minute as you climb hill.

Introduce Triple Link:

  • Stay steady on flat; push gear into hill; final goal at top of the hill.

Lower the intensity and maintain high cadence in preparation for T2 transition.

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 6, Issue 10

© 2009 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Tatiana Kolovou, MBA

Tatiana Kolovou, MBA IDEA Author/Presenter

Tatiana Kolovou, MBA, is on the faculty of the top-ranked Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She is the owner of Team Performance, a professional development company, and has over 20 yea...

1 Comment

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  • Kelly Harrington

    Hi Tatiana, I like your cycling ride. What did you use to create your chart which outlines your music and workout? Is it a program or just a Word document? Thanks! Kelly
    Commented May 18, 2012

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