MetaSport Duathlon 2015 - 4 key tips for great results
Every year we head down to the MetaSport Duathlon and without fail, from the leaders down to the first timers there are small mistakes being made. Here is a little overview on some of the 'easy wins'.
1. Know the course
Take the time tonight to have a good read over the course. With the help of online mapping services you can also take a virtual tour. It's surprising how often you hear about people crashing because of tight technical corners or simply going the wrong way (like the Pro's in the recent 70.3 in Dubai) Knowing where your going and what sections of the course are technical are a huge step to staying up-right and having a great day.
2. Practice your transitions
Yes I know we all love to go out and get that bike humming and the burn on, but relatively speaking how much time do you spend on practicing your transitions? For duathlon there are some specific ways you can speed things up, such as having two pairs of shoes, one for the first run, the second pair for the run off the bike. Also, can you put your cycle shoes on while riding. As most of us have stationary wind trainers it is simply not showing commitment to not have this nailed one race day.
3. Know the race rules.
This seems simple however it's shocking to see so many simple rules not being followed. Know that 2 days prior to any sanctioned race you must be wearing your helmet! Yes, correct even if you plan to do a warm up today, the helmet is mandatory. Other rules such as riding the bike before the mount/dismount line in transition and un-clipping the helmet prior to re-racking the bike. In local races these aspects are not enforced so hard by technical officials however it's simply bad habits. If you do race internationally at age group or elite level someday, breaking these rules is a heavy time penalty or disqualification.
4. Think about your race plan and execute to perfection.
One of the hardest things to watch as a coach is a competitor who cannot execute a sound race strategy or one that obviously has given it no thought. As a general rule (unless you have trained specifically otherwise), the first run should be conservative. Specifically through the first 1-2km you have to show control. Know your planned average, go out 5sec per km slower than this pace. If your feeling good at 2.5km you can slowly increase the pace. On the bike take your time to let your legs 'work into the ride'. Be careful not to get overly caught up about your heart rate or power output ovesprint distance. Rather feel your body, this is short. You have to push and hurt yourself! Before hitting transition think through where was my bike raked and what is my process. Finally in the second run you should ideally run as close to the same race pace as you did in the first run. This is a measure of your training and strength.
We hope these tips help you tomorrow. Enjoy the race.