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Duathlon Season - training tips for beginners


Posted by Cags R under Duathlon on 18 January 2013 at 12:00 AM

For those who have never heard of duathlon, it is a mixed discipline event which goes run, cycle, run. Although many think of duathlon as a training tool for a triathlon, the sport is becoming ever more popular in its own right.

So, what can you expect from a duathlon?

They come in many different Duathlon distances for you to try out and, as with most developing sports, duathlon appeals to all fitness levels, from grass roots fitness to elite athletes.

Cycling stage of duathlon

Which duathlon is right for you?

As a beginner, this will depend on your current level of fitness and where you want your fitness to progress to. If you currently include running and cycling into your routine, whether it's as a commuter or as part of an exercise program, look at what distances you're covering  in your average week.

Duathlon race start line

If you are comfortably running the combined distance of the 2 runs and cycling more than the cycle distance in a week, then consider that as a good foundation for you to aim for in the race (e.g. if you run 10km in a week and cycle over 20km in a week then you are in good stead to train for a Sprint duathlon).

If you currently are not including any running or cycling training into your fitness routine, you may wish to start off with a Super sprint duathlon which is half the length of a sprint duathlon and will get you accustomed to the transitions and adjustment between the different stages of the duathlon. You'll need to put in the leg work and get running and cycling to really make the most out of the Super sprint duathlon distance!

If you are currently training for a marathon, then your fitness level should be up for a Standard distance duathlon - 10km run, 40km cycle, 10km run. 

Tips for how to train for duathlon

The key to success in any event is the right training. For duathlon, there are some simple ways that you can prepare yourself for race day success:

  • Get confident at each distance in each discipline - may seem obvious but if you have trained to the point of comfortably running or cycling the individual distances, you will find your duathlon race day more enjoyable

  • Bricks Sessions - training back-to-back between disciplines is vital for race day success in duathlon. The different muscles used in running and cycling mean that your legs can feel like lead when you get off the bike and start to run that final distance; prepare yourself  for this and check out great advice in Kaye D's very useful duathlon bricks session  Guide.

Tips for race day

Check out this great guide on Top Tips for Duathlon race day - once you're at the start line, it's all about attitude and sticking to your race plan!