A Jim of All Trades

Duathlon #2

with 3 comments

It’s taken me a week to write about it, but last weekend I completed a duathlon. I did the same one that I did and posted about last year, a local sprint distance duathlon. The distances were the same as last year: 1.5 mile run, then a 16 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run at the end. Also like last year there was a triathlon which attracts a lot more people. About 100 people did the triathlon, while just 25 did the duathlon.

I took training for it more seriously this time. Last year I tried to both power lift and train for the duathlon at the same time and, as would be expected, didn’t have great results. This time I scaled my lifting back and really focused on running and biking. Since the winter was extremely cold this year and lasted much longer than normal, I only began running and biking outside about three or four weeks before the event. So the majority of my training was on treadmills and exercise bikes.

I started in late December by running and/or biking for three days straight, then taking a day off, then doing another three days, and so on. After I built my endurance up a bit I started doing more days consecutively without a rest day. About two days a week I’d run in the morning then bike in the evening, or vice versa, and as the weeks passed I worked in sessions where I’d both run and bike back to back. All the while I worked on going for longer distances and trying to increase my speed. It wasn’t a structured program, I sort of just winged it, but it worked pretty well for me. I kept lifting in the gym three days a week, too, but I really scaled back my workouts and was only trying to maintain my muscular fitness. On the last week I only lifted very lightly Monday and Tuesday and followed a structured running/biking plan to taper down appropriately so I’d be fresh and ready to go on race day.

So, how’d I do?

My only goal was to do faster than I did last year. I’m pleased to say that I did a whole six minutes faster, which surprised me. I was pretty confident I’d be about a minute faster this time, but I ended up doing much better… six minutes was a big surprise! I also ended up “winning” my age group, which was another surprise.

2014 Duo Glass

Full disclosure: There were only four guys in my group, one of which was the overall winner. Since he won the whole race, his results were bumped out of the age group results and I was the next fastest, so “won.” I don’t know how prepared or serious about the race the other guys were. I finished eighth overall and was still a whole 16 (SIXTEEN!) minutes behind the overall winner, so I’m not any where close to being competitive, but it’s cool I got the glass. I’m most happy about doing so much better than I did last year.

I can see doing more of these in the future, though don’t know how seriously I’ll pursue it. I’m still using the same bike as before, an early 80’s ten speed that doesn’t fit me well, so I’d really like to upgrade before doing another, which should also help my speed. Even if I only end up doing this one once a year, it’s a fun thing to train for and do; the personal satisfaction of finishing and/or meeting your goal is the biggest thing about it. I highly recommend it.

Thanks for reading and happy running & biking!


Written by Jim

May 3, 2014 at 5:55 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Congratulations! You beat your PR by six minutes — very impressive. I bet next year you’ll be even faster (I mean, what kind of bike did the overall winner have?)!


    May 5, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    • Thanks Sophie! I know what you mean about the other bike… most of the top guys had new, or at least modern, triathlon specific bikes that weigh half as much as mine, are super aerodynamic, and everything else. A new bike would definitely help me close the gap, but the legs powering it still make the biggest difference… more training to do! Also, the winner averaged a minute per mile faster than me in the run at the end…


      May 5, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      • Pffff, well….. he’s probably one of those weirdos who always runs (long distances) and rarely lifts. He may be fast but you can probably deadlift twice what he can, hmm ;)


        May 6, 2014 at 11:35 am


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