In recent years, duathlons have become increasingly popular as a way to test yourself against others in a multi-sport race. Duathlons comprise a running leg, a biking leg, and a second biking leg, making them a sort of swim-free triathlon – indeed, the ITU (International Triathlon Union) governs duathlons internationally.
Why have duathlons become so popular? Because they fit several needs. For athletes, they are a good alternative to a triathlon for those who can’t swim, or at least swim poorly. In addition, they can be run year round, when outdoor swimming is not possible, and they are also a good option for places where there is no water available for a triathlon.
Training for a duathlon imposes its own unique demands – by sandwiching the bike leg between two running legs, you need to be able to not only run after biking, which triathletes are familiar with, but also bike after running, a different skill.
Good training therefore requires you to balance out your biking and running, and fit runs in both before and after bike rides in order to prepare for the conditions you will encounter in a race. It’s a great way to get fit and enjoy racing year round.