With the duathlon season in full swing, we have a look at what duathlons are and how they can help prepare you for the triathlon season ahead.


A duathlon is simply a three leg race, consisting of a run, a cycle and a final run.  Triathletes find this format ideal in the colder months when open water swimming is not readily possible.  Whilst there are many variations of distance the most popular are:

  • 2 mile run, 10 mile bike and a 2 mile run
  • 5 km run, 20 km bike and a 2.5 km run
  • 10km run, 40km bike and a 5km run



As with any race, preparation and training are key, and competitors new to the sport should ideally be looking at a 12 week training programme.  Mix the training between run and bike sessions, with a number of “brick” sessions included to allow your muscles to adapt to the change from the bike to the run.  Brick sessions are also a good way to help practice your transitions.



  • Bike – Duathlons and Triathlons are open to every level of competitor, which makes the sports so unique and appealing.  Feel free to race with anything from a hybrid to a TT bike.  Just make sure you have undertaken a thorough inspection of your bike prior to the race.
  • Gear –
    • Running shoes – One tip is to use elastic laces in your shoes to enable a faster transition.
    • Helmet – Must be worn at all times on the bike.  You are not allowed to touch your bike prior to putting your helmet on, and you must rack your bike first before taking it off again.
    • Clothing – Tri suits are ideal for duathlons, however, many people race in cycling or running clothing.  Wear what you feel comfortable in, but preferably clothing should be tight fitting.
    • Nutrition – Duathlons are endurance events, so you will need to ensure you have enough carbohydrates and water to get you through.  Water bottles on your bike and/or in transition are a good way to take on liquid, with energy gels on your race belt and good way to get carbs.
    • Accessories – Something worth considering for races are change mats or brightly coloured towels to set in front of your bike at transition.  This can be used to set your shoes on, but also, they are a good marker to help spot your bike rack position when coming through transition.  Race belts for your number are also a good idea, as they often have gel loops with easy access during the race.
    • Emergencies! – A good tip is to bring along spares on race day in case of emergency, eg tubes, puncture repair kit, etc and bring along a pump!



Athlos Triathlon are delighted to be able to support NI Duathlon in their current series of races.  Why not check out their races on  The next race is on 3rd April 2016 at Bishopscourt Race Circuit.  This is a 2 mile, 10 mile, 2 mile race on a fast, flat and closed race circuit.