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Triathlon and Duathlon Similarities

Female Duathlete Triathlon Sitting in Transition Area
credit: Cristina Mundaray Odreman/Kerrville Tri Festival

How Similar are Triathlons and Duathlons?

The only difference is that a triathlon starts off with a swim, whereas there is no swimming required in duathlons. Instead of a swim leg that kicks off a triathlon race, a short run leg is at the beginning of a duathlon event.

As a result, duathlon races can be a great way to get started in multisport races and offer a great path to triathlon success.

Duathlons are perfect beginner triathlete races if you don't like swimming or if you much prefer to run/bike.

Sprint Duathlon

Sprint Triathlon


1.5 miles

500 yards



10 miles

12 miles



3.1 miles

3.1 miles


Brick Session Key to Unlock Triathlons & Duathlons Success

Brick training consists of alternating bike and run sessions. Using a weekly brick training session for a triathlon or duathlon will help you improve your performance.

These types of training sessions will allow your body to become more efficient at performing in multisport events.

Brick sessions will simulate the first and second stages of a duathlon or triathlon, which will include cycling and running.

These workout sessions simulate the same race transitions and fatigue that occur after a tough bike ride and fast first run or long swim.

How to Do Your Frist Brick Workout

Brick workouts can be done on a spin bike followed up immediately by a quick run on a treadmill indoors, making winter training a joy because you don't have to worry about the weather, layers of clothing or additional equipment.

A brick training session should be tailored to the demands of the upcoming race. For example, if you're training for a sprint duathlon or triathlon, a great break session workout on a Saturday morning might be a 8 miles ride followed immediately by a 1 mile or 10 min run. It allows you to get practice on your transitions and area setp.

Duathlon/Triathlon Racing Tips

As you get a few Bricks ( bike/run workouts) under your belt, you can focus on building threshold pace, developing aerobic endurance, and improving strength and speed in transition. Brick sessions should be shorter and more intense the closer you get to race day.


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