How to train for a duathlon for beginners

If you are thinking of trying out a duathlon in 2019 we have put together some great tips for beginners. It can be hard moving from just running or bike events to combining both one after the other. Splitting your training up and slowly joining the disciplines together is a good way to get started

Running training

The sprints in a duathlon are normally not too big - many tend to top out about 10KM for the first leg, and most will halve the distance for the second leg after the cycle section. If you’re new to running, try smaller distances to begin with to build yourself up - 1KM, 2.5KM, 5KM etc. Start off small, and then move on when you are comfortable and confident you can complete that distance.

Despite the smaller sections of running, a duathlon is all about endurance - so there is no harm is being able to last longer than the challenge you’re doing. You should also get an idea of the terrain you’ll be running on, or even try and run the circuit beforehand if the event provider has a map of the run available. This will help you to learn about any uphill sections, and the type of ground you’ll have to make it across.


Bike training

Similar to above, it can help to know the type of cycling challenge you’ll be facing and start preparing for it. If you’ve already got your bike, get out on it and start riding. Cycling is easy to get into, but as the distances get longer or roads get steeper, you’ll find the challenge getting hard and harder.

If you don’t have a bike, or find it tricky to cycle locally, then try and looking for some spinning bikes at the gym - these allow you to adjust the seat and handlebars fully, unlike standard exercise bikes. Comfort is going to be important, as the biking sections can typically be 20-50KM, and you don’t want chafing or worse pain to ruin your time.

It’s important for you to get your bike - be it an indoor spinning one or a proper bike - adjusted to your height, stature, and your preferred riding position. You should make sure you can reach the handles easily, that you’re knees are above your feet, and the seat should be about hip height. Play around until everything is comfortable, and you’ll find your rides much more enjoyable.


Practice transitioning

So you’ve nailed down the running, and the biking - the last thing to do is make sure you can get between one and the other as fast and as safe as possible. You’ll want to make sure you can easily swap trainers, secure your helmet and jump on the bike in as quick a time as you can, and then dismount and swap back to your running shoes at the other end.