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Training Tips




BCSD-Bike /Run training guide prepared by Jason Weisberg USA Triathlon Level1 and Youth Certified Coach.

The purpose of the Bike/Run (BR) event is to serve as an introductory and fun entry point into endurance/ and multisport activity. In addition to fueling the competitive fire it is also a fantastic foundation for leading a healthy active lifestyle.  When proper training with proper rest is combined, the maturation of the multisport athlete is boundless athletically and emotionally. 


training for the bike must begin first with the selection of the equipment first and foremost. The bike must be fitted appropriately and be in excellent working condition with no real visible signs of major damage i.e.: bent wheel or frame.  Cosmetics may be completely ignored as long as the bike may be pedaled, stopped, and ridden in comfort.  One thing that should be noted, aerobars should be avoided at all costs at this event and are in fact prohibited for use for all USA Triathlon (USAT) events. At this age kids need to focus on bike handling and not shaving time when cycling. A properly fitted helmet is equally important as the bike.  Most injuries that occur on bikes with kids occur when the bikes are stopped and they accidentally fall over at a standstill.

Bike skills to work on with the kids in vacant parking lots or parks with level clean surfaces.

  • Riding in a straight line
  • Figure eights both directions (controlled and smooth)
  • Coming to a full stop by a designated line or spot
  • Riding with one hand (alternating hands every minuet)

Once the above is achieved with proficiency and confidence the following skills are to be developed.

  • Running start from ground onto bike.
  • Dismounting from bike/parking bike/transition to run all within 5 minutes. (This is referred to as a “brick” workout.  More later.

Once basic skills are achieved you may begin to work on building the endurance required for the BCSD BR. The premise is very simple.  All the kids must be able to ride double the distance of the BR prior to the event.  All rides prior to event should be fun, safe, and should have a gradual buildup in duration that should peak in distance one week prior to race day. 

My advice to all parents is to start with a 10min. continuous ride as a baseline. Adjust based on your child’s riding level.  Ride 3 days a week and 5 min. to each ride so week one would look like:

RIDE1 - 10min

RIDE2 - 15min

RIDE3 - 20min

You get the idea.  As the kids progress they will be able to ride for an hour at minimum. 


Comfortable sneakers that are laced up required.  Barefoot running at this age is inappropriate.  At these ages and at the distance the BR requires most kids don’t have to do run specific training.  However there are some training tips that can be quite helpful for this event. 

Playing an active game of tag weekly.  Laughter aside the agility and multiple muscle employment during this activity is great for overall physical fitness.   Running endurance is tricky at this age because of all the development in musculature and bone growth.  It is for this reason that the kids should not be running for longer than 10min. in duration.  If you are compelled to encourage your child to run more you must stop running at 10min. and begin a cool down walk of 5min. and only after cool down walk of 5min. is complete may the child run an additional 10min. 


One a week and should be done in conjunction with your child’s longest ride of week. They should proceed to a 5 min run within 5 min of completing the ride.  This workout is designed to train the body to run off the bike.  When we ride are legs use specific muscles for pedaling and shuts down the muscles it doesn’t need for the pedaling.  The problem for running off the bike is that running uses some of the muscles that were turned off for the bike ride and they need to be fired up again.  The purpose of the “brick” workout is to train our legs to fire up the sleepy muscles faster. 


All stretching should occur AFTER not before activity.  Muscles get injured because they are cold and asked to do things that they are not ready for. All kids should hold all stretches for 20 seconds and should be steady not bouncy.  The stretches should be felt not painful.  If painful, back off.  There should be several goals for your child for this type of event: 

  • make it to the starting line confident and healthy
  • make it to the finish line healthy and in a sporting fashion
  • gain satisfaction having setting out to achieve a goal and accomplishing that goal
  • do it all over again next year or ask you to find other youth multisport events around the area


For specific questions or comments feel free to contact me at

Hopefully you'll enjoy the personal challenge of the BCSD Elementary Bike Run.

In the eyes of your family members and friends you are an inspiration and a winner!  Enjoy many days filled with fitness, fun, recreational and sports activities.