What is a Duathlon?
Duathlon is an endurance sport comprising a 3-stage (Run-Bike-Run) event. Unlike a triathlon, a duathlon replaces swimming with a second run. Duathlons are conducted with the below distances in the format of Run/Bike/Run :
Sprint Distance: 5km/20km/2.5km
Standard Distance: 10km/40km/5km
Middle Distance: 10km/60km/10km
Long Distance: 10km/150km/30km
Rules and Regulations
There are a few basic duathlon rules you should take note of. Keep in mind that they are different from the ones in a regular marathon.
- Keep your helmet strapped on
Strap on your helmet when you’re with a bike, even when you’re walking alongside the bike and not riding.
- Walking in the zone of transition
Walk your bike in or out of the transition area before you proceed to your next run. You are not allowed to ride the bike in or out of transition.
- Keep your clothes on
The weather may get pretty hot and humid but keep in mind that nudity is illegal in Malaysia, let alone duathlons.
- Know where to ride
Be aware of which side of the road you should be riding and let others know when making a turn. In Malaysia, cyclists usually ride on the left side.
- Turn off the tunes
We all love our music but believe it or not, keeping earphones plugged in is prohibited in Duathlons.
- Avoid drafting
Drafting means cycling too close to the participant in front. This can reduce the energy required to cycle, and it is against the rules in duathlons.
Duathlon Training Plans
Start by training for a sprint duathlon (5km/20km/2.5km) or a standard distance duathlon (10km/40km/5km) for a total of 4 weeks.
Do runs and riding sessions separately. e.g.; run for 30 minutes on a Monday followed by a 40 minutes ride on Tuesday. Alternate between running and cycling but increase the distance and duration every day according to your abilities. Remember to include a combined session (Run-Bike-Run) within the week for your body to adapt to the transition, followed by a rest day to recover.
To train for an endurance run, do 3 sets of a 1.5km run followed by a 90 seconds recovery. As for speed training, run for a minimum of 400m and do at least 10 sets of the run, followed by a 2 minutes recovery session.
Know your map when it comes to effective training for cycling cadence. Duathlons are known to have unpaved, rough, and hilly routes. Low cadence training (< 80 rpm) will help you conquer tough courses through your race.
For endurance training in the gym, ride for 4 minutes, and gradually increase the resistance every minute at 60rpm for a hill climb. Repeat this exercise 10 times and take a few minutes to recover.
Combine both running and cycling into 1 session for your body to get used to the transitions. Do a 1 KM run, then a 10 minutes cycle, and back to a 1KM run followed by a 2-3 minutes of recovery with a light jog or spin. Repeat this for 4-8 sets. Progressively increase the distance and duration to your liking and abilities.
What To Avoid
Avoid cramming up your schedule, where you’ll need to do more than your scheduled training, to prevent feeling fatigue and injuries.
Never skip rest days. You need to have at least a full rest day once a week to heal and restore your muscles.
Remember not to start your race too hard. The goal is to finish the entire race. Getting yourself worked up at the beginning of the race might leave you too exhausted to finish the race.
Where To Look For Duathlons
If you’re looking for events like these, multiple social media groups promote duathlons. M Duathlon Virtual 01 is an event perfect for beginners to taste the excitement of an actual race! Comes in two exciting formats, complete the 3 disciplines with its preset route or choose your place, pace, and time in the comfort of your own home.
Checkpoint Spot, your one-stop race solutions provider.