Lunchtime Duathlon

There are a loads of statistics about at the moment on how Triathlon is the UK’s fastest growing sport, increasing by over 10% per year and so on, but most people are not aware of some of the other multi-sports on offer around the country. A few examples are:

  • Aquathlon – Just the swim & run (there is a great one of these in Penzance I hope to do one day)
  • Quadtrathlon – A triathlon with something extra thrown in, like climbing or kayaking
  • Biathlon – Ok this is skiing and shooting so a bit different, but you get the picture

By far the easiest of these to do though is a Duathlon: typically a Run, Cycle then another Run. Not only can you do it fairly easily all year round, but it is easy enough to do on your own as a training session (a bit like a brick session) or even as part of the Chile Challenge should you so wish.


I am fortunate enough with my job that I work from home every so often, and have already covered in a blog earlier this year other inventions such as my indoor triathlon and ‘Cycle2Work’ (using an indoor turbo trainer in the lounge). But having reluctantly ‘agreed’ to put the turbo in the shed earlier this season I have now invented another equally exciting session, which I call the Lunchtime Duathlon.

This involves a 2.5 km run to the gym from my house, a 20 km ride on the spin bike, and the 2.5 km return leg home. Having tested this out the other day, the runs take 15 minutes each (for me) and the bike 30, so all in it is almost exactly 60 minutes  a perfect 1 hour session! In an ideal world you have a sunny winter’s day, dry and warm enough for the outside run leg, but not too hot that you regret the indoor element.


Now it might sound strange that I am cutting out the swim leg here, as I have always said this is my favourite part of a triathlon, but there is some logic here. Swimming adds a lot of time to any session, something vital when on the clock. For starts there is the changing: whilst it is possible to whip a wetsuit off in under 30 seconds, just try putting one on in that time! And if you are indoors, then the problem would be the other way around – just imagine the look of horror on the other members’ faces if you crashed into the changing room like some sort of human tsunami and threw on your bike kit before flying out the other side…

The other question you may have is why would you do the bike session indoors? Again, plenty of reasons here, which I could spend a whole new blog covering. Yes, of course I prefer training and competing outside, certainly when running, but it is not always best on the bike. For starters I do not live in the best (read safest) area for riding, and even when I am out on the bike the roads near my house are not the most exciting. More importantly, you cannot realistically ride at a consistently fast pace outside around here. Yes, you might get more unpredictability of hills, wind, whatever, but inevitably you will have to slow down for corners, to brake, to dodge other traffic and so on.

Indoors, you can set a resistance and just go all out for the full session with intervals, hills, flats, whatever floats your boat. In this case I can set a 20 km distance and just go for it, making sure I get the maximum speed and distance out of a fairly short time. So realistically this way makes much more sense to get value for money in a short time. And let’s face it, when you are at a point in your life when you are trying to squeeze as many miles into your lunch break to get further on something like the Chile Challenge, you need a Lunchtime Duathlon in your life.


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