Am I the only person who feels like I don’t know what I’m doing?

NO! At sprint and short distance duathlons, a huge number of athletes are doing it for the first time and all of them are nervous about competing in their first duathlon.  Don’t worry – have fun!

What should I wear?

I would plan to run and bike in the same ourfit.    Special shorts are made that are ideal for both running (tri shorts that fit tight to the skin) and biking (lightly padded for comfort).  We recommend staying away from cotton because it absorbs sweat, dries slowly and chafes!  The main thing to remember is wear quick drying clothes and prepare for layers

What should I have in the transition area?

Your bike, of course!  You will want your running shoes and, if you have them, biking shoes. You’ll also need your bike helmet, your run number, water or sports drink bottle for your bike (install a bottle holder or bring a camelback), an energy bar or gel, and pants or a jacket in case it’s cool outside.  Bring a towel for comfort and it also works for a place to place your things on in the transition area.  You are not allowed to have outside help during the race, so make sure EVERYTHING you need to race is in the transition area before the race starts.  You will rack your bike based on your race number and will put your bike back in that same spot when you return for the run portion.  No one can take your spot – you will have your own rack position in the Transition Area.

How much time will I need to train for a duathlon?

The amount of time necessary to train for a duathlon is dependent on your goals.  The important question to ask is "do I just want to finish or do I want to be competitive?"  Previous experience and training in running and biking will also make a difference.  It is important to train your weakness, in an attempt to be proficient at run, bike, run, and transitions.

What should I eat or drink for the event?

Nutrition for duathlons will depend on the distance of your race.  For Sprint and Olympic distance races, a sports drink and gel or nutrition bar will suffice.  Be careful when eating or drinking on your bike.

Caloric needs vary based on your body weight and level of exertion.  Average need is 200 – 500 calories per hour.  Electrolyte replacement is important and consuming plenty of water is vital.  Experiment during your training workouts and find what works best for you.

 When should I pump up my tires for the last time before the race?

Tires can maintain their pressure for several weeks, however, it’s best to pump them as close to race day as possible.

 Are there courtesies to observe during the race?

The easiest rule to remember is Give Faster Competitors Enough Room To Pass You.  This applies to the bike and the run.  In most cases, passing will be on the left.  As a courtesy, shout "On your left" when biking or running past another competitor.  Keep your transition area clean.  Do not encroach into your neighbor’s space.  Last but not least, watch where you spit.

What if I have additional questions?

Email question to Julie Coulton at milesforsmilesduathlon@yahoo.com