London Duathlon is the world’s largest duathlon. Held in the breath-taking surroundings of Richmond Park, the run-bike-run event offers people of all abilities the chance to race while on closed roads – ideal for beginners looking to take their first step into the world of multi-sport. This year the race will take place on Sunday 15 September.
Contrary to popular belief, expensive kit is not required for a duathlon and there is no swimming element, it is just a simple run-bike-run event with a transition stage between disciplines. The distances of each activity vary according to the challenge, with some requiring only minimal training.
To help novice duathletes on their way, London Duathlon together with race partner and duathlon/triathlon training expert, Dermott Hayes from RG Active, have pulled together some top tips to overcome first time jitters:
- Do your homework – ensure you spend some time researching the event. Look at the transport and parking for race day, building in plenty of time to get the race and not be rushing at the last minute. Try to speak to athletes that have completed the race previously and get their feedback.
- Get the basics – the basic equipment is essential. You will need a bike, a bike helmet, a pair of running shoes and some sports clothing to take part in. Spend some time making sure that your equipment is in good working order and get your bike serviced to prevent any unwanted mechanical issues. If your running shoes are more than one year old and you have used them regularly – it is time for a new pair. Good working equipment can often prevent injuries.
- Build using BRICK’s – What is a BRICK session? Basically a training session where you complete both running and cycling elements at least once back-to-back to give you that real race simulation session. A BRICK session can take any form, it could be a very long bike followed by a short run, or short bike followed by a long run, it could be a run/bike/run session, or even a multiple BRICK where you swap sports up to five or six times. There is no right and wrong.
- Train Transitions – the transition phase between cycling and running is the area that causes most anxiety for beginners. To help with this, spend time thinking through what ‘your’ method will be for transition – think about bike set up, the need to change footwear (if you wish) and how to lay this out for a smooth change over. Practice this time and time again.
- Get outdoors – Your race is outside, on roads and will most likely include hills, therefore it is important to train in this environment on a regular basis. Cycling outdoors is very different to training on an indoor bike; the hills, the road surface, the wind and the heat can all play a big part in how you ride your bike, it also means you are training on the same equipment that you will be racing on. Indoor training is helpful, and on certain training sessions where you really want to control the environment it is more advantageous, but nothing beats being outdoors.
- Be an early bird – on the race day it is important to get to the event early, this gives you an opportunity to register, set up your transition area and watch how the race operates without the stress of feeling rushed.
I have been offered a place by Limelight Sports (event owner) and am so excited to announce that I will be taking part in the Super Sprint distance! This consists of 5k run/11k cycle/5k run which definitely sounds achievable for someone who has never participated in a duathlon before, and hasn’t cycled regularly for several years! (I used to cycle to Uni on a really old heavy bike which has slightly dodgy gears…)
|The Trek Lexa SL – so pretty…|
Hopefully I can get it sorted in the next week or so, so I can actually get in some practice before the race!
I’m really looking forward to building my cycling confidence and will hopefully be attending a BRICK session with RG Active next month to work on reducing the “jelly legs” effect from transitioning from cycling to running!
Watch this space for lots of exciting posts!
NB: Photos courtesy of London Duathlon. My entry is covered by London Duathlon but as always all opinions are my own and I am not being paid to blog about the event.