Our First Du

Hubs and I will be racing our very first duathlon this Saturday!

We entered the Sprint distance which entails:  
5K run | 20K bike | 2.5K run

While I have a rough idea of what kinds of paces/speeds I’d like to see, I don’t have any specific time goals. It’s my first one and I want to complete it for the experience, have fun and not die. I have no clue what it’s like to bike in a race or what transition will be like!

We’re pretty excited and a little nervous – no doubt the nerves will be present in full force come race morning! I’ve been glued to the race website learning the who/what/where/when/why’s of this event, reading the Beginner’s Guide and familiarizing myself with the rules. This is a whole lot more complicated than running! Then again, I probably thought my first race was pretty complicated at the time…

Tri/duathletes (or anyone else with $0.02 to offer) – throw me your best piece of advice. Something that is obvious to you may not be so obvious to this noob!

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30 thoughts on “Our First Du

  1. 1- Don't worry if your hair looks like that in the morning. You'll be wearing a helmet.2- Make sure you have your helmet at the race.3- SMILE SMILE SMILE4- Leave the helmet in transition when you head out for the 2nd run5- SMILE SMILE SMILE6- Don't bring the silver swim cap and goggles unless you plan on taking a picture and sending it to me for laughs.7- SMILE SMILE SMILE8- Have fun. You are prepared. Pass on the left and yell ON YOUR LEFT so they know you're coming.

  2. I'm so excited to hear all about it! I know you will have a blast.I have zero desire to ever do a triathlon, but really really want to do a duathlon someday.

  3. Good luck! I'm sure once you squash those nerves down you'll do just fine. You're certainly capable. Never done a du (but would love to when I get a road bike) so no advice … other than HAVE FUN and enjoy every moment. This is your base start, you have nothing to prove.

  4. 1 – Prepare a written checklist of all the stuff you'll need to bring with you. You don't want to realize that you forgot something critical when you get to the race site. Dus are a little easier than Tris on this front, but it's a good practice to get into. The less stuff you have to think about on race morning the better, and it's a lot easier to cross stuff of a written list than try to remember it all.2 – Get to the race site early, set up your rack and familiarize yourself with the layout of the transition zone. Between the chaos of people running in and out and the adrenaline in your system, it's easy to get disoriented as all those racks look pretty similar. Memorize some *fixed* landmarks (ie things like trees not trash cans or bikes) and know your way in and out before the start of the race.3 – If you've got a race number belt, bring it. On the bike you are crouched over so a bib pinned on your shirt will be uncomfortable. With the belts, you can turn it around to your back for the bike and back to the front for the run.4 – Do a detailed once over on your bikes and make sure that everything is working properly. Carefully inspect your tires for any damage, clean/re-oil your chain, check the brake pads, do a full gear sweep, etc. Bring a floor pump with you to the race and check the tire pressure as you rack the bike. The last thing you want is a mechanical taking you out of a great race.5 – There will be a pre-race briefing where a volunteer will go over the important rules. Sprint distance races typically have a lot of beginners, so they generally do a good job of giving you the information that you need. Pay special attention to the drafting distances and passing protocols, as they do take some getting used to.6 – As it's your first time out, I'd probably suggest taking your time and using it as a learning experience (easier said than done). Naturally, go all out in the run-bike-run bits, but do the transitions in a deliberate manner. The first time out lots of people try to rush it and end up being slower because they are fumbling around a lot 😉 Transition drills are the best way to handle that, but with less than two days to go there isn't much time for that. Eventually you'll be able to go through the motions without thinking about it, but the first time out it will likely be a bit clumsy.7 – One of the little rules than a lot of people get nicked for is the helmet one. Make sure that it is on and strapped up before you take the bike off the rack and don't unbuckle it until the bike is back on the rack. Also, make sure that the strap is tight (you should just barely be able to squeeze two fingers under your chin), as they'll stop you if they think it's too loose (and fumbling with adjustment straps when you're blood is running can be frustrating).

  5. I didn't know what to do with all the number stickers you get! One is for your helmet, one is for your bike. Put the one for your bike under your seat, facing out! The last Du I did, I put it on the horizontal bar and I got a bunch of little cuts on my legs from it! Not good :)Get there early and get acquainted with the course and where you will come in and out of transition. Go see where the mount/dismount line is for the bike. It can help :)Good luck and I cannot wait to here about it!!!

  6. Have fun! I loved my duathlon. I just wish we had more of them around me. I would do another for sure. Just sight someone to keep up with in the bike just like you would for running. I am so jealous and can't wait to read about it.

  7. Is this one of those sneaky races where you say you don't have a goal, but really you have a top secret speedy goal that you'll smash to smithereens? I'm on to you, Marlene!Have fun out there!

  8. When I did that DU series over the winter I had no clue what the hell I was suppose to do. I got to the transition area and my friend told me that maybe I should actually try to hurry just a tiny bit faster than I was. Hahah. That's my advice for you, hurry a little bit faster! :)Good luck girl!! And to hubs too!!! YAY!

  9. Hai Marlene, Your name comes popping up at several blogs I read too and I came over to take a look at your blog. I've read some of your posts and you've accomplished so much, very impressive. I like your blog so will return. For now I wish you a lot of fun at the duatlon and good luck.

  10. Jason/TMS covered tons.-don't litter…that is a penalty.-don't draft or cross the yellow line – again penalty-don't touch/move anyone else's 'stuff' in the transition area.You guys are SO going to rock it. HAVE A BLAST!

  11. You know that's my favorite pic!I think there's some loose rule of thumb about the pace drop from run one to run two in a du–something like 10%, fwiw. Just run a steady first run but save something for the rest. You're going to rock it!

  12. good luck!! definitely use this as a practice for transitions for the tris you have coming up. and pay attention to the bike "rules." at least in the races i've been in, they throw penalties around like crazy. i'm shocked i haven't gotten one yet, myself! but most importantly, have fun!!

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