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$4000 bike - two bit legs
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A week from Sunday, I'm doing my first duathlon. Sprint distance: 5k run, 20k ride, 5k run. Any input?? Any hints what to do, not to do, to expect??

I haven't really been doing any specific training for this at all. A friend and I decided yesterday to give it a shot as a team. He's an avid runner (marathoner) who rides a bike occasionally. I'm an avid rider who runs a couple times per week 3-5 miles at a time. Either way....I'm looking for input. Do I try a run/ride combo this weekend or just go for it next weekend?? My fitness is pretty good for this time of the year. Easter weekend is not a good time to do a lot of working out.

Last October, I did my first tri (6mile canoe, 5.5 mile run, 20 mile ride) The run killed me since I had just restarted running a couple weeks before. At least now I have about 120 miles running year to date. I can run a five mile flat to rolling route in about 37 minutes. I must admit I'm scared to death of that second 5k run............

Do I use my light, road bike or my heavier second bike that has an aero bar setup?? I'm leaning toward the aero bars....
 

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Opus was just napping
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I would recommend at least one brick before you actually do the event...for many the transition from bike to run is...well interesting.
 

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$4000 bike - two bit legs
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"brick"

thatsmybush said:
I would recommend at least one brick before you actually do the event...for many the transition from bike to run is...well interesting.
Whatsa brick??

In my only tri, my transition from canoe to run was...well interesting. I lost a lot (I mean a lot) of time. I had to change shoes and had to use...hmmm...the facilities in a bad way. If I had only know the route, I could have used the cornfield a mile down the road. Instead, I stood in line for over 5 minutes. Stupid. I'll be smarter this time around.
 

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Ti me up
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Definitely do a couple of bricks. That's the bike/run transition. Legend says it stands for "bike, run - ick" but that may be an urban legend.

If you're running regularly, you're probably in good shape, but many people find they experience cramping going from bike to run until they condition their muscles to it.
 

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Opus was just napping
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Some adventure racers I knew labeled bricks as any 2 events back to back, tricks any 3 events and SICKS 4 or more back to back...many of those folks were obsessive
D!#$KS...


The main thing will be to make the legs to do what you want. When you were confined in your boat you went from static to movement probably from an unfamilliar or cramped position and it took a while to get the blood going...the bike is felt by most as an abrupt shift, one where your legs ask? "What the hell do you want me to do now?"
 

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$4000 bike - two bit legs
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks guys

Now finding time to do one over the holiday weekend will be quite a trick. I'm planning on a 50 mile ride today. Would I be stupid to follow the long ride with a short (say..2 mile) run?? I know that's overkill on the ride side. This is a planned ride with some friends so I really can't back out of it or shorten the ride.

My neighbors already think I'm nuts...running when it's 15 degrees out, riding for 5 or 6 hours at a time, running in the morning, running in the afternoon, running after dark....

I tried a "brick" last week by accident. I started a ride, got 5 miles out, had a minor mechanical so I decided to bag the ride. When I got home, I went out on a 3 mile run. You are right, the transition of muscle groups sucked, but I hit a rhythm and started to feel OK. The end of the run hurt like h*ll though.....would it be uncool, nerdy, and really bad to use my MP3 player with good running tunes on the second 5k of the duathlon???
 

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PaulCL said:
The end of the run hurt like h*ll though.....would it be uncool, nerdy, and really bad to use my MP3 player with good running tunes on the second 5k of the duathlon???
If it's a USAT event (they cover duathlon, too), they prohibit use of MP3 players.

TMB, in what sport (other, than, perhaps warfare) would you need to chain transitions for four events together? Is there something back-to-back-to-back out there beyond triathlon? Things like decathlon and modern pentathlon usually separate the events.
 

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Don't see how running a couple after your bike could hurt. You really just want to see how your body will react to the change of movement.

Most events don't allow mp3s, but like the military it is more of a don't ask don't tell sort of situation. I can't run up the stairs without music in my ears so (but seldom feel the need while riding)...if you find there is a policy against it...find out what the penalty is (most races put a small time penalty if you are caught rather than disqualification)...I normally just keep it under my jersey and pop an earbud out after I get out to the run course and away from the transition...then retuck just before I get back.
 

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633 said:
If it's a USAT event (they cover duathlon, too), they prohibit use of MP3 players.

TMB, in what sport (other, than, perhaps warfare) would you need to chain transitions for four events together? Is there something back-to-back-to-back out there beyond triathlon? Things like decathlon and modern pentathlon usually separate the events.
Adventure racers are crazy people. (They make the obsessiveness found in trigeeks seem like only minor compulsions) When I lived in the mountains I knew a couple that would find a center area around a wilderness area. The would run the ropes course, rapel, kayak, run, orienteer, bike, etc.
 

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Misplaced priorities?
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Just practice that transition from bike to run a few times, & you'll be fine. It worked for me in my last duathlon where I ran the EXACT SAME TIME for both run portions. You seem like a pretty competitive guy, so I don't think you should bother with an MP3 player. The whole race day atmosphere & consequent adrenaline rush should be enough to keep you from cracking on the 2nd 5k. Hopefully, you'll be in a position to pass a guy or two on the 2nd 5k because that really helps, too.
 

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Still waiting......
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bike to run

definitely practice the bike to run transition a couple times. you don't need to run far, just enough to get the feeling for it. the best description i've heard of running after a bike leg is that it feels like someone tied a piano to you for the first 1/4 to 1/2 mile. once you get thru the first part, your legs will settle in.

elastic shoe laces are a good idea as well. trying to tie shoes when your hands are shaking after getting off the bike can be tough.

good luck, have fun, let us know how it goes.
 

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I did a duathlon last year and had a blast. It was a 5k/17 mile/5k if I remember correctly. Toughest 90 minutes I've ever done. No bike race or TT has been as difficult as that. Balls out for the entire time. Definitely go with aerobars. Practice the bike to run transition. It's fairly easy to slip on bike shoes, but there's some time hit when you have to tie those running shoes on. If you have trouble with stomach cramps, be careful not to drink too much on the bike portion. The second run will hurt. I'm a lousy runner (around 6:50/mile pace) and was back of the pack on the first run. If you're a strong cyclist, you can pass many of those runners on the bike leg and hold them off on the second run.
 

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$4000 bike - two bit legs
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Did a brick this AM, dumb thing to do

I know why they call it a brick....'cause my legs feel like bricks. I did a casual 20 mile ride in strong winds, followed immediately by a 2 mile run....or more aptly put: a hobble. I had no energy. Then it dawned on me: dumbie...you're over doing it. Tuesday night, I ran 4 miles, First thing Wednesday morning, I rode 20 miles, Thursday afternoon I rode a hard 45 miles, then I tried to do a brick Friday morning?? What was I thinking? I had no legs. I was dead before I started. All that working out in one 2 1/2 day period?? No wonder my legs are dead. Thank goodness for our hottub on the back deck. After my stupid little brick attempt this AM, I sat in the hottub for 20 minutes after my stretching.

Time to hang up the cleats & shoes until Monday. Have a nice Easter everyone. Thanks for the input, it will really help. I'll let you all know how I did. O

Old dead legs Paul out and off to lunch.
 

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PaulCL said:
I know why they call it a brick....'cause my legs feel like bricks.

Time to hang up the cleats & shoes until Monday. Have a nice Easter everyone. Thanks for the input, it will really help. I'll let you all know how I did. O

Old dead legs Paul out and off to lunch.
That's what I was going to add: "bricks" are what your legs (especially calves) feel like on the second run.

I'd say you probably want to back way off on the training this week, taking mainly easy recovery rides and maybe a very easy jog. But you might want to practice transitions (both ways) several times. Figure out how to lay your shoes and equipment out, what order to do things in, etc. When I did my first du several years ago, the chip-timed splits showed me that my awkward transitions cost me 2 minutes or more compared to the smooth guys. Remember that you'll be doing this with fatigue, oxygen debt and adrenaline. Have fun.
 

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Good luck and have fun!

I hate to run and I'm horrible at it, so I'd never consider a du. I've done a couple tri's. I do well on the swim, tear it up on the bike, and then watch everyone pass me on the run. :rolleyes: I do it more for fun and the sense of accomplishment than anything else.
 

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$4000 bike - two bit legs
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Slow runner here

lets_ride said:
I hate to run and I'm horrible at it, so I'd never consider a du. I've done a couple tri's. I do well on the swim, tear it up on the bike, and then watch everyone pass me on the run. :rolleyes: I do it more for fun and the sense of accomplishment than anything else.
I'm with you...it's all for fun and exercise.

In HS & College, I was a sprinter & quarter miler (OK...400 meters). This long distance stuff kills my fast twitch body. On a five mile run, a good day is averaging 7:15/mile...an average day is just under 8mi/mile. In other words, I'm not in it to win. The tri I did last year went like your tri....I did OK on the canoe, sucked wind on the run, then passed over 100 people on the bike. All for fun .....
 

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Misplaced priorities?
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godot said:
definitely practice the bike to run transition a couple times. you don't need to run far, just enough to get the feeling for it. the best description i've heard of running after a bike leg is that it feels like someone tied a piano to you for the first 1/4 to 1/2 mile. once you get thru the first part, your legs will settle in.

elastic shoe laces are a good idea as well. trying to tie shoes when your hands are shaking after getting off the bike can be tough.

good luck, have fun, let us know how it goes.
It does feel like someone strapped a piano to you during the 2nd run, but when you check your watch, you'd be surprised how fast you're moving.

Here are a few additional ideas for you that might save you a few seconds or more:

Get there plenty early, so you can be sure to get a good spot to rack your bike. Why, you ask? Just think of the same reasons nobody wants the middle seat in the back of a car or on an airplane.

If you have any toe clips & straps lying around, you might want to use them instead of having to worry about changing shoes 2x. Since the bike portion of your race is rather short, it's possible that you would lose more time from changing shoes & risking slow transitions than what you would gain from using cycling shoes. I didn't have the luxury of cycling shoes the last time I did a duathlon, so I was able to do each of my transitions in under 1 minute.

Also, for my last duathlon, the line where I was allowed to mount my bike was at the base of a very short but steep bump (not long enough to be a hill), so I just ran my bike up the bump before mounting it. Several people were mounting at the base of the bump but couldn't get rolling fast enough to clip into their pedals.

Additionally, when you get into the last mile or so of the bike portion, spin a lower gear to help loosen up the legs a bit.

Lastly, it might be worth taking a few seconds to stretch your quads before you begin that second run.

Best of luck to you.
 

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Run1stBike2nd said:
It does feel like someone strapped a piano to you during the 2nd run, but when you check your watch, you'd be surprised how fast you're moving.

Here are a few additional ideas for you that might save you a few seconds or more:

Get there plenty early, so you can be sure to get a good spot to rack your bike. Why, you ask? Just think of the same reasons nobody wants the middle seat in the back of a car or on an airplane.

If you have any toe clips & straps lying around, you might want to use them instead of having to worry about changing shoes 2x. Since the bike portion of your race is rather short, it's possible that you would lose more time from changing shoes & risking slow transitions than what you would gain from using cycling shoes. I didn't have the luxury of cycling shoes the last time I did a duathlon, so I was able to do each of my transitions in under 1 minute.

Also, for my last duathlon, the line where I was allowed to mount my bike was at the base of a very short but steep bump (not long enough to be a hill), so I just ran my bike up the bump before mounting it. Several people were mounting at the base of the bump but couldn't get rolling fast enough to clip into their pedals.

Additionally, when you get into the last mile or so of the bike portion, spin a lower gear to help loosen up the legs a bit.

Lastly, it might be worth taking a few seconds to stretch your quads before you begin that second run.

Best of luck to you.
Don't know if there are any events left that let you rack your bike first come first serve? All the events I have done have an entrance on one end and an exit on the opposite end. That means that everyone is either closer to one side or farther from the other. Stiff penalties for anyone that wants to "park" in a spot that isn't numbered with their competition number.
 

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thatsmybush said:
Don't know if there are any events left that let you rack your bike first come first serve? All the events I have done have an entrance on one end and an exit on the opposite end. That means that everyone is either closer to one side or farther from the other. Stiff penalties for anyone that wants to "park" in a spot that isn't numbered with their competition number.
The transition zone set up at my last duathlon had several long rows of racks w/ 1 end up of each row up against a fence, and the other end next to the main drag leading to the exit of the transition zone. The racks were assigned by age group only, so your place on the rack was 1st come, 1st served. Thus, if you were the 1st person to show up, you'd be well served to find the rack corresponding to your age group and place your bike at the end next to the main drag. You wouldn't want to be at the other end of the rack due to the extra chaos you would encounter as you run your bike to and from the main drag. If spots on the rack are assigned by race number, then it's a moot point. I was 1 of the later ones to arrive & ended up with a spot in the middle of my group's rack. Another odd thing about that race was that the end you exited for the bike part was the same end where you re-entered after the bike part. Unfortunately for me, my rack was at the other end of the zone, so I had a bit further to run my bike before I could mount and after I dismounted than did many of my fellow competitors. Not a big deal, but I'm always looking for extra ways to shave a few seconds off my time. :D
 

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Was this a sanctioned USAT or D event? Although I concentrate on Tri...don't know if I would every participate in something that allowed for disadvantages based on arrival in the parking lot times...

This is the rule from the USAT about bike designation...

7.2 Placement of Equipment.

All participants shall place equipment only in the properly designated and individually assigned bicycle corral and shall at all times keep their equipment confined to such properly designated areas. Any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty.
 
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