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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 10-09-11, 10:00 PM   #1
dhender02
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Duathlon Kicked My Butt!!

I participated in my first ever duathlon (1.5m run, 14m bike, 3.2m run), basically a triathlon with the swim portion replaced with another run. I’ve been dreaming for years about completing a triathlon, but with me being a major couch potato I thought for sure it was just a pipe dream. Now that I have a “real” bike, I figured it's time for me to act, because a dream without action will always be a dream, right? So what I’ve only been riding for about 7 weeks after 30+ years of inactivity and not to mention that I HATE running!!! But I figured since I've been riding my bike somewhat consistently for the past few weeks, I should be able to complete this event without too much fanfare. WRONG!!!!! This was by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever attempted do, especially since my training program for this was VERY inadequate and I was nowhere near prepared for this event.

During the 1.5m run, my legs felt as though they were going to explode!! I started walking after about .25 miles, yep that wasn’t a typo, that’s point 2-5 miles into the race! With my legs tight as “all get out” and feeling like fire, I somehow manage to make it to the biking portion. I figured once I started biking I could rest my legs by coasting. What I soon learned, although I’ve been logging in the miles by “riding” my bike these past few weeks it did not prepare me for “racing”. I didn't see anyone coasting, other than me!! If I hear “on your left” one more time I’m going to vomit!

For the last run, I figured I would run a minute then walk a minute. That lasted all of 30 seconds. I ran 30 seconds then walk for 2-3 minutes. I kept this pattern up until I got to the finish line. I did finish, but I got my butt handed to me on a silver platter.
Since this really wasn’t a triathlon, I guess I still need to complete one to make my dream a reality. However, for me I can smell the roses much better by “riding” my bike versus “racing”. Outside of maybe completing a triathlon at some point in time, I’m going to stick with bike “rides”...
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Old 10-10-11, 02:23 AM   #2
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dude, you finished. YOU FINISHED. thats freaking great.
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Old 10-10-11, 02:30 AM   #3
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Good job, I would have did the same as you on the running part if not worse.
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Old 10-10-11, 04:04 AM   #4
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I'm a poor swimmer, so I too thought I'd give a Duathlon a shot earlier this year. In my case it was 5k run, 40k bike, 10k run. I prepared for it pretty diligently, but in the end I couldn't compete because I tweaked a hamstring a week or so before the event.

Nonetheless, the training was an eye-opener. I can ride fine. I got so I could run fine, the distances were no problem. I had no difficulty running and then riding. But the final leg, running after riding, was a different matter. Absolute murder - for the first few hundred metres off the bike one's legs are like jelly, it's weird and very tough. I talked to a bunch of triathletes about it and they all said the same, that running off the bike is the hardest thing to train for and get used to.

So, congrats for finishing, especially if you were underprepared. Tough event.
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Old 10-10-11, 06:22 AM   #5
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First of all, congratulations for completing the race!! That in itself is a great achievement, particularly as you did not prepare for it.

I have done 3 duathlons this year and in a peverse way, quite enjoy them As Chasm says, the last run after the bike is the toughest. Your legs don't understand what's required of them and feel like jelly or cramp up. To prepare for this you need to do brick training. Ride your bike hard for 6-10 miles then immediately run 2-3 miles. Do this a couple times a week and the race won't feel so bad

Again well done
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Old 10-10-11, 07:20 AM   #6
dhender02
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But the final leg, running after riding, was a different matter. Absolute murder - for the first few hundred metres off the bike one's legs are like jelly, it's weird and very tough. I talked to a bunch of triathletes about it and they all said the same, that running off the bike is the hardest thing to train for and get used to.
I've tried to explain to my family and friends how my legs felt after I tried to run after biking, "like jelly" is the perfect description...they were so wobbly!!!

Thx Cru!! The next time I will really train for the race. So that's what brick training is, ride hard and then immediately run for a couple of miles..... If I would have prepared as you suggested, it would have helped me tremendously!! Live and learn, right? For the immediate future I'll probably stick with bike rides, maybe next fall I will attempt to complete a triathlon again... Oh I forgot to mention, which race I competed, well participated, in - Cape Henlopen Triathlon & Duathlon in DE. I finished 3rd from the bottom in 2 hours and 17 minutes. Thanks everyone for the encouragement and words of wisdom..
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Old 10-10-11, 08:00 AM   #7
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The good news is, you finished! Feel good about that. It's more than a majority of American people will ever accomplish, from a fitness standpoint.

As you discovered there's a big difference between running and riding those distances, and racing those same distances. Now that you know, train up and go kick some butt next time!

BTW: I've found brick training doesn't make the bike to run transition easier. It just gets you used to what if feels like.
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Old 10-10-11, 08:34 AM   #8
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BTW: I've found brick training doesn't make the bike to run transition easier. It just gets you used to what if feels like.
I think I agree, but I'm still a big advocate of brick training. During prep for Triathalon #1 (2010), I heard about brick training but blew it off. I was going to be a horrible runner anyway, why put myself through it? So I trained bikes (my strong segment) and running (my weakest segment) on different days. On race day, I cramped up and had trouble walking let alone running. I walked most of the first mile (of a 5k) and then could barely run/walk the rest.

For this year's Tri, I did a lot of bricks to help condense my training. Between weather and yard work, it was hard for me to focus on all 3 events on separate nights. So I'd cut my bike route short and come home and run 1 to 1.5mi. The first few in the driveway were brutal. However, they did get easier and the transition on race day was worlds different. I still bonked at mile marker 1 (thanks to forgetting to eat breakfast, doh), making a crappy time for the run. But I still took 11 minutes off my 2010 time.
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Old 10-10-11, 11:25 AM   #9
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YOU FINISHED!!!!! Thats an accomplishment many don't make. So do a little more running to prep for the next one and great luck wishes your way!

I did a couple duathlons in the 90s when I was in much better shape... And would love to do one again. Especially since I'm not a strong swimmer. Never was.
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Old 10-10-11, 01:55 PM   #10
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As my sig says:

DFL > DNF > DNS.

You finished. Didn't even say you were last, that I could see. Grats!
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