RaceThread.com: How to Effectively Prepare for a Duathlon

How to Effectively Prepare for a Duathlon

March 12th, 2017

by Michael Ryan


Duathlons are challenging and require extensive training for opening a fast run, biking hard and then running again for finishing the race. Like other similar endurance sports, the secret of success lies in preparing effectively for the big event. A duathlon is different from a triathlon, even though both are often thought of as being interchangeable.  Here are a few duathlon preparation tips:

Take Care of Your Body

In order to make sure your body performs at its best on the big day, you must take care of it before the race. Get sufficient sleep each night, provide your body with the nutrients that will help to hydrate and energize you. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water every day for supporting a good training regime. While training, be careful not to strain your muscles too hard otherwise, you may end up injuring a muscle. 



Practice Running

You can run anywhere you like, be it the block at home or in a park. Running around a nice 1km route makes for a good running session. Don’t start too hard and begin slowly for giving you more energy that’s required for a great finish. Avoid looking down at the ground as you run by keeping your head up at all times.

Wearing good running shoes will not restrict your movement and help you run faster. Tie them well but make sure your shoes are not too tight. Running with a friend helps you to practice for longer periods and is a great running technique. This is one of the most important duathlon preparation tips.


Preparing for a duathlon means you have to practice getting on and off your bike. Include this important component in your training sessions and start by doing this after you finish your running training. At first, you will be a little surprised how wobbly your legs feel. That’s why it is important to work on your leg muscles. Practice a workout that is designed to strengthen your glutes and legs.   


The change from running to cycling and from cycling to running is called the transition. You have to stay alert even during this short time period as when you are participating in a race, every second counts! While there may volunteers present to find you your bike, most races will not have volunteers assisting you. Practice enough to rely on nothing but your capabilities to win the race.



Like running and cycling, you can practice the transition part in a park. Run a few short laps in your before you stop to buckle up your helmet for a short cycling session. Take a break again to park your bike and take off your helmet and hang it to run for another short lap. However, don’t ignore this part, otherwise the duathlon preparation tips you follow will not deliver the results you are looking for.

Try a Brick Workout

A brick workout implies stacking two disciplines in one workout, one after the other, with minimal interruption. When you switch exercise modes, your body prepares effectively for meeting the harsh demands of different workouts. When your heart rate increases significantly, your body attempts to move the blood flow from the muscles of the first exercise to the requirements of the muscles of the next.

This is why brick workouts help you prepare for a duathlon by putting your muscles to use. Apart from these training techniques, you can use the following duathlon preparatuon tips:

Bike Training Ideas

You can practice cycling in a gym for strengthening your leg muscles. This offers a more focused bike training session, with rhythm. This means the force you are putting through the pedals takes up a smooth pace. While choosing this technique for your bicycle training session, a cadence of 80 is a good measure. You should aim to maintain this pace during the race. Lower cadence means you will need to deploy more power for pedaling.  



Running Training Ideas

  • Endurance: Don’t run too hard. A good running session comprises of a 1 or 2-mile reps with a 90-second recovery time. Do a minimum of 3 sets of light jogging sessions. Increase it further to six later in the training.
  • Speed: Go for 400m or 800m reps and keep switching between 10 and 15 sets. Make sure your recovery time is 2 minutes, as it will help you prevent muscle injury.

Final Thoughts

A good duathlon training session has to be accompanied by a balanced diet. Eat good and nutritious foods and consume plenty of fluids. Stay away from stress and calm your nerves by doing meditation or yoga to help you get prepared for the race day. More importantly, follow these duathlon preparation tips to closely to improve your chances of success. 

Keywords: duathlon preparation tips