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How Do You Prepare For A Duathlon?

Updated: May 10, 2023

Tips and Advice for Newbies to Duathlon

If you don't enjoy swimming, a duathlon can be a good start to multi-discipline racing. However, this does not make it an easy option or vastly easier than a sprint triathlon.

4 Tips and Advice for Newbies to Prepare for a Duathlon


Don't overlook the value of brick-style sessions. It's critical that you understand what it's like to run on tired legs, and all types of brick sessions are essential for a successful race.

It is critical to use these sessions to learn what pace will allow you to bike strong. Start by slowing down your normal run race pace by 10-20 seconds per mile and see how that feels – if you can bike hard and then run again, you're close to the right pace. If you're having trouble, keep experimenting with your starting run pace to find your best approach for the first run. If you can execute a strong second run at a pace that is as close to the first as possible, you will most likely achieve all of your race goals!


Improve your transition technique. It's all about changing your footwear and helmet quickly if you are using bike specific shoes. Even indoor sessions should include changing from bike shoes to running shoes.


Many duathlons are ruined by going out too fast on the first run, causing the remaining bike and run to be a disaster. Make use of the brick sessions to develop a strong first-run pace.


If the course requires climbing, train on hills during your longer training sessions. Make hills your ally! Spend time training on your aerobars or handle bar drops for a flatter course.

Female Duathlete Brick Session Workout

Duathlon’s Secret To Success?

Performing Brick Workouts. You can start improving your triathlon and duathlon performance by adjusting your training strategy slightly. In most cases, this entails incorporating brick training into your workout routine. Change your training strategy to improve your performance in triathlon and duathlon. Usually, this means adding brick training to your workout program.

When preparing for a duathlon or triathlon, a beginner should become familiar with Bricks or Brick Training as soon as possible.

A "brick" is an interval training session that combines two sports. A duathlon combines a bike ride and a run. Brick training is precisely that. Running with heavy legs.

As a beginner in the world of multisport endurance sports, you should become acquainted with Bricks or Brick Training as soon as possible when training for a duathlon or triathlon.

Duathlete’s Biggest Race Day Challenge?

Pacing. The most common error is failing to properly pace the first run. Most duathlete beginners feel strong going into the first run and are encouraged by their garmin times, only to have their legs tire on the bike.

Triathletes are often taught to limit the use of our legs during a swim, but in a duathlon race, there's no way around it, so brick sessions are easily the most important session of the week.

Key Brick Workouts For Preparing For a Duathlon Race

Here are three effective Brick workouts we share with our Tri Club members to help them prepare for upcoming Austin duathlon races:

Bike Focus Brick (3-5 weeks out)- Time 1:15 hr

Alternate 3 x 10 minute "hard" rides with 5 minute "easy" rides for an hour. And then go for a 15-minute run... five minutes easy, five minutes moderate, and five minutes hard.

Focus Brick (approx 2-3 weeks away)- Time 1:30 hr

30-60 minutes of cycling at a relaxed pace. And then 30 minutes of running... 5 easy, 20 intermediate, and 5 hard.

Race Practice Brick ( approx 1-2 weeks away) - Time 1:00 hr

Run-Bike-Run for 5 minutes each, with a 5-minute pause between each 'duathlon.' Set up your Transition Area first (check out this helpful video). Do your first R/B/R slowly, focusing on efficient transitions. After your 5-minute rest, perform another R/B/R (5 minutes each) at a little faster tempo, aiming for smooth transitions. Let your body get acclimated to transitioning while out of breath, and learning how and when your legs will adjust on the second run... they will feel literally like bricks!


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