Last weekend, I got to cycle at THE Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park velodrome which was built especially for the London Olympics in 2012. I attended a Women’s Only session on Introduction to Duathlon.
It would be the first time I would learn all about how a duathlon works and get a proper chance to try out a BRICK session.
This was the agenda for the morning –
Bike, helmet and equipment check
Rules of duathlon racing
9:45am Bike handling skills:
Mounting and dismounting your bike
Effective changing gears
Developing efficient cycling
10:30am Efficient run technique
11:00am Transition set up and brick (run/bike/run) session
11:25am Review with Q&As
Here are some notes on what I took away from the session:
# No helmet, no ride. Kinda goes without saying, but the amount of people I see cycling on the road without a helmet is surprising. I think they must surely not value their lives!
I currently have a Bern helmet which I love, but its not as breathable or aerodynamic as it could be! I’ve got my eye on a lululemon x specialized collaboration helmet which is coming out in August so that’ll be my treat for completing all my training!
# No drafting allowed! Darn! I had just been told all about how much more efficient and easy your cycling is when sitting behind someone else only to find out I won’t be allowed to do it in my event! I also have to take over a a certain distance, in a certain time! If only these rules applied on the road every day especially to four wheeled vehicles! (Oh wait, they do, they just never take any notice!)
# Transition. When you return from your run, you do not touch your bike until you have your helmet on securely.
# Transition. There is a line, that MUST be crossed. You do not mount your bike before you cross the line to go for your ride. When you return, you dismount your bike before you cross the line.
# Transition. Having two pairs of shoes takes time. I now understand why I have been advised to get elastic laces for my shoes. I will definitely be looking into this.
# When taking a corner, the weight is on your outside leg which is straight. Sometimes this came naturally, other times it was awkward. I practice this now on my cycle commute.
# Use the easy gears for uphill, and the tougher gears for downhill.
# You can cycle much more efficiently with clip in shoes. It allows you to PULL as well as PUSH in your pedal strike. This uses your glutes and hamstrings which are some of the biggest and strongest muscles in your body!
# Running efficiently after cycling can be tough. We did some drills including high knees, butt kicks as well as isolating each leg to see which was strongest.
# Transition. Consider using a bright towel in your transition area to help you spot your bike / run shoes etc. Keep a snack / gels in your transition area to keep you fuelled for your event.
# Transition. Place your helmet by your front wheel with the clips open so it’s easier to put on. Helmet closet to you, and shoes behind.
# Practice running after cycling as much as possible even if it’s only for ten minutes. It will help your body get used to the feeling. I’m thinking that I could cycle home from work, drop my bike off, switch into my running shoes and clock up ten minutes of running. This will help me meet my July goal for BRICK sessions too and make the actual event on the day much more enjoyable!
After learning all of this, we had an opportunity to try a short BRICK session – run/bike/run. This was great experience. I realised I was pretty slow in the transition area, but then I wasn’t competing with anyone at all.
Any more tips for me?! Products I need to know about?!