Hey everyone! I wasreally excited when Leah asked me to write a guest post for her blog while sheis off gallivanting around Europe. Although, next time take me with you, Leah!
My name is Jamie, and I blog at FromCouch to Ironwoman where I write about my (and my husband’s) journey withthis swimming, biking and running thing called triathlons. Although, at the time of writing this post,my husband and I have yet to finish a triathlon since our first sprint tri ison June 3, 2012. We’re very excited! (since then, Jamie and Mike have dominated their first tri – they finished in 1:46:09 and 1:40:25 respectively!!)
Leah asked me to write a guest post about duathlons becauseshe is contemplating getting into the multi-sport world and doesn’t think sheswims that well (although I’m sure she would do just fine!)
Since we didn’t want our triathlon to be our firstmulti-sport event, my husband, Mike, and I signed up to do a Formula 1 Duathlonin May. If you are interested you canread the entire race recap, here.
It was TOUGH, but so much fun!
Do you want to get into multi-sport events, but don’t liketo (or don’t think you can) swim? Aduathlon is probably for you! Are youunsure what a duathlon entails? Read onfor more information!
All you need to get started is a bike, helmet, runningclothes and shoes. Everything elsebeyond that is just extra.
Since Mike and I are training for a triathlon, we asked forroad bikes for Christmas. However, ifyou don’t want to buy a new bike and have a mountain bike that is perfectlyacceptable for a duathlon! In fact, manyof the individuals doing the sprint duathlon at our race had mountainbikes.
If you have ever been on a bike for an extended amount oftime, you are probably aware that regular shorts aren’t appropriate orcomfortable! We have tri tops and shortsand I wore my shorts during the duathlon for some extra padding.
You will also need to either become a USAT (USA Triathlon)member or purchase a one-day pass for approximately $12 in order to participatein most duathlons.
Our training consisted of swimming, biking and running butif you were only going to train for a duathlon you could skip the swimming, ofcourse! Leading up to our duathlon (andtriathlon) our biking distance increased weekly as did our runningdistance. We also included brickworkouts where we biked 5 miles and then immediately after ran 3 miles. Your legs feel like BRICKS, hence the name,but it helps you get used to transitioning between each sport.
There are plenty of training plans available online thatwould help you get ready for your first duathlon!
My husband and I were a little nervous the day of the racebecause it was our first multi-sport event, but everything went smoothly. Our race was longer than the sprint duathlonwith a 2 mile run, 10 mile bike, 1 mile run, 10 mile bike, 2 mile run but thesprint duathlon (that most beginners did) was only a 2 mile run, 10 mile bike,1 mile run.
You will get multiple bibs/numbers for a multi-sport event;we had a number that you put on the front of your helmet, a number for our bikeand a running bib. Make sure you haveall of your numbers in the appropriate place before the race starts!
Arrive early to get a good spot in the transition area, ifit isn’t assigned, and to get your area set up.We had our bikes, helmets, water bottles, energy gels and bright coloredtowels to help us find our area easily.You should practice getting to your area from each entrance/exit so thatyou don’t waste time during the transitions.
Transitions are an art, they take time to master and I’mglad we used the duathlon to practice before our triathlon. Make sure you have everything staged in a waythat doesn’t cause you to waste time during the transition; however, somepeople take their time and catch their breath which is fine too!
Two major rules for duathlons (and triathlons) are that youcannot draft on the bike, you must be at least 3 bike lengths behind other ridersunless you are passing someone, and you cannot use a device that has headphones. This wasn’t a problem for us since we trainwithout music, but for some people it might be a big change.
Most importantly, have FUN! Most of us aren’t out there towin these races and my husband and I were in the back of the pack for ourduathlon but it was still an amazing day.
Now get out there and do a “du”!
Thanks so much Jamie! You’ve made a duathlon look like a totally achievable goal – I’ll definitely be adding one to my “race bucket list” for the future. Congratulations again on your great finish!