01 Mar THE DUATHLON – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW!
By Guy Crawford & Kate Bevilaqua
The race format for the MetaSprint Series Duathlon is Run-Bike-Run. Beginning your race with a solid hard run rather than a swim can have a significant effect on your bike and second run. Therefor you will notice a difference between competing for a Triathlon and competing in a Duathlon. But they are both just as fun and challenging!
Remember to check all your gear the day before.
Race morning is always more stressful when you forget your shoes or a piece of your equipment. So avoiding any unnecessary stress is always the best policy.
Make sure your bike is in good working order. A lot of people tend to neglect their bikes and run into problems on race morning. Making sure you have a mechanical check and/or service of your bike leading into the event will give you confidence in your equipment and go a long way in relieving some of that race morning stress. Don’t forget to pump up your tires before you leave home!
I mentally go through the race in my head as I’m packing my gear and as I go through my race (see below) I put the gear into my transition bag.
Start with the first run:
- The clothes I’m going to wear
- Shoes and socks to run in
- Watch / Garmin or Heart Rate Monitor if you want to track/record your result
- Sunglasses to run in
- Race belt (if using one) – attach your Race Number in advance
- Nutrition – if I need to carry any on the run
When I get to my bike:
- Cycling shoes if I’m changing them
- Hydration/electrolytes (bottles are on the bike and ready)
Off the bike/second run:
- All the gear I used for the first run (Should be there waiting for me)
- Plus an extra drink, so I can keep hydrating for the second run
- Know where the venue is and where to park
- Rack your bike and know how to get to it. Walk though transition so you know how to get in and out. Remember things look different when there are less or more bikes around, so pick a land mark
- Bring a bright towel to mark your spot/bike in transition.
Pace: It’s very important to pace Duathlons correctly. There is no point in smashing the first run, only to end up walking the second run because you’ve spent all your pennies. Start the race at a strong but “sustainable effort” You will benefit from a more conservative start.
Bike Pace: Remember a constant effort is always better than riding really hard, then really easy. Constant speed on the bike will enable you to run better than having your heart rate spike up and down. When you spike your heart rate you “burn a match” and after you’ve spiked your heart rate 5 or 6 times there are no more matches left to burn. This is when you start to slow down! Keeping the effort constant/steady will ensure you hit the 2nd run feeling like Mo Farah at the Olympics.
Nerves: It’s ok to be Nervous. It’s normal and it means you’re excited and ready to race. Ensure you keep sipping on an electrolyte drink during the morning pre-race. Sometimes the nerves get the better of us and we forget to do the simple things. Like drinking and hydrating.
Final Notes: Make sure you have fun, stay in the moment and enjoy yourselves!!