Standard Duathlon Training Plans

5 Stars from 16 duathlete reviews

The Best Way To Train For A Standard Duathlon (10/40/5km)

A standard distance duathlon usually involves a 10-km run, a 40-km bike and a 5-km run, although these distances can vary slightly. In the US this format is sometimes called an Olympic distance duathlon. The best way to train for a duathlon is by making regular cycling and running a part of your lifestyle. It’s also a good idea to include some strength training, if you have the additional time. 

Top Training Tips For A Standard Duathlon

If you’re aiming to do a standard distance duathlon, it’s sensible to do a sprint distance duathlon as part of your buildup. A sprint duathlon is half the distance and will teach you a lot about what to expect on race day.

The biggest challenge of duathlon training is trying to fit it all in, on top of everything else in your life. To improve at both disciplines simultaneously, you need to train two or three times per week for each one. The workouts would be 20 minutes to 2 hours in duration. The best way to train for a duathlon is to carefully plan your training before you even start. Either by devising your own training plan or buying an expertly designed one.

Aim to cycle two or three times per week, or more if you’re experienced. One of your weekly rides should be focused on endurance, where you gradually build up to riding 2 hours in training. This will give you enough fitness for a standard duathlon, with a little to spare.

Another weekly ride should be more focused on speed, where you ride for an hour, including easy and harder efforts. For example, 4 x 10 minutes at just below your approximate 1-hour race pace, with two-minute recoveries (plus warm up and warm down).  You should progress these rides over time, so your body keeps adapting to new stimulus.

You can either cycle outdoors in good weather, or indoors using a static bike or indoor trainer. Many indoor trainers enable you to link to interactive cycling software like Zwift. This means you can ride with real people in a virtual environment – 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 duathlon. This ensures you’re used to the feel and handling of your race-day bike.

Aim to run two or three times per week, or more if you’re experienced. Be sensible about building up your speed and distances, to avoid injury. Your two key sessions each week should be an endurance run and a speed run. For example, your endurance run could start off at 20-30 minutes, and progress gradually to 60-70 minutes over a period of several months (depending on your fitness and target event). These runs should be done at chatting pace.

Whereas your weekly speed session should involve a warm up, a warm down and some harder efforts sandwiched in between – such as 4 x 2 minutes hard with 90-second recoveries. You should vary and progress these speed sessions each week, so that your body keeps adapting to new stimulus.

In the last six weeks of your training, include some runs straight after cycling. And a few cycles straight after a run. This will get you used to the “heavy legs” feeling you’ll experience on race day, when you switch from run to bike, and bike to run.

There are normally two 40-minute strength and conditioning sessions per week with our standard duathlon plans. Not everyone can fit them in around their busy lives, on top of their running and cycling, but it’s advantageous if you can. These workouts improve your strength and flexibility, which leads to more efficient movement patterns and fewer injuries.

Using A Standard Duathlon (10/40/5km) Training Plan

Online training plans are for athletes who don’t feel the need for a personal coach, but who still want the structure and planning of an expertly-written training program. Research has shown that you are twice as likely to reach your goals if you train with a structured plan. 

For a beginner who has some recent background in fitness or sport, it will take 16 to 20 weeks to get fit and ready for a standard duathlon. The sooner you start, the more time you will have to build up your fitness gradually. Fitness adaptations will take weeks and months to occur, rather than days.


About Phil Mosley

5 Stars from 193 reviews

As an athlete and parent, I know how challenging it can be to train effectively for endurance events. Being a certified coach with over 20 years’ experience, the biggest challenge is balancing my client’s training with their lifestyle…

And that’s why I started MyProCoach™ – to offer the world’s most comprehensive range of online training plans, all designed to help you enjoy the same success that my athletes and I have, while still making sure you have quality time for your family, friends and career (read 100+ detailed reviews here). You can also hear from me in a series of 6 short explainer videos below:

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Why Use Our Training Plans?


Smart, flexible training for any level

Research-backed plans for any experience-level that fit around your lifestyle. From leading endurance coach Phil Mosley.

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We use TrainingPeaks for personalised training zones, trackable progress and more - on any major training device.

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On top of full help-centre & FAQ support (with videos), our coaches will quickly reply to any questions you have via email!

Our Standard Duathlon Plans (6-40 Weeks)​


We use TrainingPeaks to deliver your plan – the world’s most popular endurance coaching platform. Free to use, TrainingPeaks is an online calendar that lets you record, track and analyze your training sessions. 

It has a host of great features allowing you to get as in-depth as you like, including the ability to export your workouts to your training devices (Garmin, TrainerRoad etc) and follow them in real time. 

TrainingPeaks enables us to set you in-depth training plans in a way that other formats cannot. Phil Mosley is a Certified Coach and one of the best-selling coaches on the platform.

We want to provide an affordable and effective training solution, including email coach support for any questions you may have.

Our Certified coaching team are on hand to answer any questions during the first use of your plan, plus a bonus 3 months after its completion. During checkout, please also share your email so I can send you a series of 5 helpful emails to get you started.

As you can understand, some limits apply, like personalisation or analysis of your training, but for anything else relevant to your plan, we would love to help. You also have full access to our online help centre, with videos and articles to help you train effectively.

We have a huge range of plans that enables you to select one that best meets your goals, schedule and ability. If you’re not sure where to start, read on below for a quick overview.

Length of Plan
For the best outcome, count back from your “A” target race date and simply choose a plan to fill that gap (you can still work in other, smaller races during your plan). Note that longer plans start easier and progress more gradually than shorter plans. The body responds best to constant, gradual progression with regular recovery periods, and that’s exactly what our plans are designed to give you!

Level of Plan
Choosing the correct level will help you get the most out of your plan. Generally, if you’ve never done this event before or currently train up to a few times per week, you might consider a Beginner plan. Alternatively, if you’ve done this event many times before or currently train 5+ times a week, you might consider an Advanced plan.

But don’t worry too much – we also let you swap the level for free within 14 days of purchase, if you find it too easy/hard!

Visit the MyProCoach Help Center for further guidance and to contact our Certified coaching team.

Certainly! Our training plans allow you to easily swap a few days around each week to suit your availability. Or you can swap out a session, to attend a similar group workout instead. That’s fine. If you opt for Training Peaks Premium (from $9.92 per month) you can even drag & drop your workouts onto different days. We give a few recommendations on how to best do this in our help centre.

And you can also train for multiple events! Our training plans guide you up to your target “A” race, but it’s also good to include some “B or C” races along the way. Our help centre goes through the exact steps you should take to enable you to get full benefit, without detracting from your key focus.

Over 40? Compare these with our Masters (40+) 10/40/5km Duathlon plans ▸


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For seasoned duathletes
4:30-8 hrs per week, across 6-9 workouts
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6-11 hrs per week, across 6-10 workouts
  • Premium, flexible plan
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Join Over 10,000 Successful Athletes


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
British Duathlon Champion
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
I used your 8 week standard duathlon training program and found it immensely helpful. Thanks to your training program and the countless answers to my questions I was able to qualify for my first Worlds! I cannot thank you guys enough for everything you did for me in the past 8 weeks, no way would I have been able to get into shape to race against the best if it wasn't for your guidance. ​
Patrick Keys - April 2018

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