Duathlon Training Plans & Training Tips

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Duathlon Off-Season Maintenance Plans

Our off-season plans are designed to maintain your well-earned fitness whilst recovering from your season of racing and triathlon training. Learn more below.

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How To Train For Duathlon Events

The best way to train for a duathlon is to make running and cycling a regular part of your lifestyle. You should aim to train twice per week for each discipline, or more. The duration of your runs and rides will depend on your current fitness level and the type of duathlon you’re training for.

Your training workouts should start off relatively short and build up gradually over a period of weeks and months, so that your body gradually adapts to the loads placed upon it. Include regular recovery days and easy weeks, so that it never feels like a drag. The more you enjoy it, the longer you’ll stick with it.

What Duathlon Event Should I Do?

If it’s your first ever duathlon, we recommend starting off with a sprint distance event. These typically involve a 5km run, a 15km cycle and a 2.5km run.

Specific Training Tips For Duathlons

Around 85% of your training should be done at an easy pace, where you can maintain a conversation. If that means you need to walk for a while during a run, that’s fine. Low intensity training boosts your fitness, and is kind on your body too, meaning you’re less likely to get injured.

The other 15% of your training can be done at higher intensities. This normally involves harder efforts with frequent rests, once you’ve done a good warm up. Our online training plans include speed sessions, easier aerobic workouts and regular recovery periods, so you improve consistently throughout. 

Aim to cycle at least twice per week if you want to consistently improve. It’s generally better to follow a pre-planned workout, rather than just riding along aimlessly. Your training should be a mix of longer steady rides, and shorter workouts with higher intensity efforts. As with all endurance training, it’s important to progress your workouts over time, with periodic recovery days and easier weeks.

You can either cycle outdoors in good weather, or indoors using a static trainer. Many indoor trainers enable you to use cycling software like Zwift, which makes it more fun. The workouts in our training plans can be exported to platforms such as Zwift, TrainerRoad and Garmin. However, it’s sensible to do at least some of your training outside on the bike you intend to use during your triathlon. This ensures you’re used to the feel and handling of your race-day bike.

As you get nearer race day, you should precede a few of your cycles with a run. Riding after a run feels harder than normal, so it’s good to practice it first.

Aim to run twice per week, or more if you’re experienced. No matter how experienced you are, be cautious about progressing your speed and distance, to avoid injury. Soft surfaces are generally better than hard ones for reducing injury rates.

If you’re a fit beginner, you could kick off your training by running two miles each time, increasing by one mile per month. Do most of your running at chatting pace, even if it means you include some walking. It’s also good to include some harder efforts, interspersed with plenty of easy stuff. For your harder days, you should follow pre-planned workouts, so you’re more likely to complete a quality session.

As you get nearer your target event, it’s a good idea to practice running straight after cycling. This helps you get used to the heavy-legs feeling and is also a time efficient way to train.

There are normally two 40-minute strength and conditioning sessions per week with our duathlon plans. These workouts can help balance your strength and flexibility, which leads to more efficient movement patterns and fewer injuries. We suggest you only do strength work in addition to at least two runs and two cycles per week. Rather than instead of them.

How Long Do I Need To Train For?

For a beginner who has some recent background in fitness or sport, give yourself 8 to 12 weeks to get fit and ready for a sprint duathlon. Whatever your level, entering a duathlon is a great way to kickstart your training, because it adds a sense of urgency to your preparation. The earlier you start training for your target event, the more time you can build up your fitness gradually. Fitness adaptations take weeks and months to occur, rather than days.

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Duathlon training plans with email coach support

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FEEDBACK FROM MY DUATHLON CLIENTS

I just finished the advanced 12 week duathlon plan and ended with 3rd overall, 1st in age group and a PB on my bike. Thank you so much for a great training plan. Everyone should be following them!
Patrick Keys - 22nd July 2018
Standard Duathlon
"British Age Group Champion and 3rd woman overall 🙂 A new 10km PB and bike split PB. And a new overall PB by six minutes, yay!!!"
Samantha Aplin - Oct 2014
Standard Duathlon
I just thought I'd let you know that using your schedule, I managed to qualify for the World Duathlon Champs in Canada in Aug. To say I was pleased would be an understatement!
Robert Wickham - May 2017
Sprint Duathlon

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Planning Your Off-Season

You can start our Off-Season (Fitness Maintenance) plans anytime you like.

They’re designed to help you maintain a good level of fitness when you’re not specifically targeting an event, such as, during the off-season, or anytime you’re taking a break from racing.

Planning For Your Event

For the best outcome, input the date for your “A” target race and the tool will default to a plan that will fill that gap nicely. If you want, you can then adjust the plan length to start it on a different day.

Note that you can still work in other, smaller races during your plan too!

Unlimited Athlete Price Rise - Dec 1st 2021

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, after 2 hugely successful years of our Unlimited Athlete subscription with over 1300 active members, we’ve decided to increase our prices for the first time on December 1st.

The feedback has been outstanding (rated 5.0 from 100’s of testimonials), and recently we’ve also added further personal coach time… For example, our coaches now check your personalised training zones are set up correctly, and also keep you accountable by getting in touch if you haven’t logged any training for 2 weeks.

So, to maintain this great customer service and to support our coaches, on Dec 1st we’re increasing both price options by $5 per month, or by $4 per month if you pay annually (but for all existing Unlimited Athletes, to give a fair warning, renewals will not increase in price until Feb 1st, 2022).

Lock-In Prices, Plus an Extra $20-Off!

For Black Friday, we are also giving a bonus $20 off any new annual subscription! Our annual prices are going up by $4 per month, or $48 per year. This means if you sign up this week with our bonus $20 off, you’ll be saving $68 compared to our future annual pricing.

Which comes down to as little as $3.55 per week for unlimited training plans and ongoing certified coach support. We can’t thank everyone enough for all your support!

The longer plans start easier and progress more gradually. This has a bearing on the difficulty level you choose. For example, a 12-week plan starts off at a higher level than a 36-week plan because with 12 weeks left there’s not as much opportunity to build up slowly.
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Duration
4-12 weeks
14-24 weeks
27+ weeks
Required fitness level
Higher
Moderate
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Training phases
2~4
5~7
8+
Fitness tests
1~2
3~4
5+
Our Standard and Masters plans are designed to get you ready for your target event, while our Off-Season plans allow you to recover from a tough season but still maintain your well-earned fitness.
STANDARD MASTERS OFF-SEASON
Approx. age
Under 40
Over 40
Any
Recovery weeks
Every 4 weeks
Every 3 weeks
N/A
Strength sessions
1-2 per week
2 per week
1-2 per week
Likely goal
Train for event
Train for event
Maintain fitness
This table provides a brief overview of which level might be right for you, to help you get the most out of your plan. You should also note your current fitness levels and how many times you have done this event before.
BEGINNER INTERMEDIATE ADVANCED
Experience
Little to none
1-3 years
3+ years
Time to train
Limited
Moderate
Ample
Likely goal
To finish
At least top half
Competitive
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