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Duathlon Transition Training, Tips & Rules – UPDATED 2021

Whether your a seasoned duathlete or beginner, practicing your duathlon transition can help take your results to a new level. It can often help you improve your position out of transition, and gain back valuable time. Whether you are doing a drafting or non-drafting event, our training, tips and tricks can help you speed it up.

Duathlon Transition – A Complete Guide

A lightning fast duathlon transition is the key to unlocking your best results. Your transition needs to smooth, quick, and intuitive so that it doesn’t interrupt your flow in the race. In doing so, you can see your times progress, and increase your position heading out of the transition.

Since there are only two transition points in a duathlon, they are much faster than triathlon transitions. The first transition is the run to bike. This involves removing your running shoes, putting on your helmet, and removing your bike from the rack. The second transition is from the bike to run. This involves racking your bike first, removing your helmet, and putting on your running shoes. Because the second transition takes more time, it’s often the slowest of the two.

A fast duathlon transition doesn’t come easy though, it requires practice each week and speed work. Just like running intervals you need to track the time it takes to complete each transition, and work hard to improve the times.

Repetition and rehearsal of your transition will help you to build proficiency and speed. In this article we provide you with some of the best tips to help you improve your transition quickly.

Duathlon Transition Tips

Duathlon Transition Tips

Without proper training and planning, your transition can often be slow and chaotic. By being well-prepared for events like the London duathlon, you can shave seconds, if not minutes off each transition and your overall time. So, no matter what fitness level you are at, following the right duathlon transition tips can help you master it quickly.

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Below are some duathlon transition tips to help you get started:

Less is Better: Keep transition simple by keeping stuff to a minimum. Spread them apart, so you can distinguish your shoes and helmet easier.

Slow Down Entry and Exit: As you head into transition or exit it, slow down your pace and gather your breath. Research has shown that heart rate can increase rapidly during the transition. With a high heart rate, you are more likely to make mistakes.

Know the Transition: Before each event make sure you allow adequate time to check out the transition. Study the entry and exit of the transition and make sure you can pinpoint where your area is. You can do this by laying down a coloured towel or keeping an eye on landmarks.

Setup Correct Gear: Make sure you set your gears on your bike to the right ratio. Starting heavy gear will slow down the rate of getting up speed when you get on the bike. So make sure the gear you are in allows you to increase speed rapidly.

Keep Shoes Clipped In: By keeping your cycling shoes clipped into the pedals you can save valuable seconds in getting going on the bike. Leaving your shoes on the ground can often cause mishaps and putting them on require a longer time to run out of transition. This is also safer as you remove the risk of slipping over. Use a rubber band or tape to keep the shoes in a horizontal position. You can do this by hooking the band to a quick-release skewer or tape from the toe of the shoe to the frame.

Storing Nutrition: Keep all your gels for cycling located on the bike, this prevents time trying to stuff them in pockets. For the run, try using a fuel belt, this allows you to run out of transition while clipping it around your waist. Alternatively, you can put them inside a hat. When you pick up the hat you can then distribute 1 gel into each hand when you leave transition.

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Duathlon Transition Training

Duathlon Transition Training

Practicing your duathlon transition training each week can help you to slice seconds off your times. By focusing on each part of the transition you can dial in a routine that can stick with you on race day.

Run To Bike Transition

Start by practicing the run to bike transition first. Set up an area where you can rack your bike. Make sure this area can give you a safe 50-meter distance to run to and from the bike. Place down a towel on the ground and hook your helmet to the handlebars.

From the start of the 50-meter line, run to the bike and pick your helmet off the ground or from the bike. Then while you put on your helmet use your left toe to hold down the right heel of your shoe. Then pull the foot from the shoe and repeat with the other foot (with the shoe already removed). Once you have done this pick your bike from the rack and start running to the end of the 50-meter mark.

Remember you must put on the helmet before you touch your bike, otherwise, you may find yourself with a penalty.

Bike To Run Transition

For the bike to run transition position your running shoes on the towel and clip your cycling shoes into your pedals. Then use a rubber band or tape to keep the shoes in a horizontal position. Cycle for 1 minute before reaching the 50-meter line. During this 1 minute bend down from the bike and remove each foot from the cycling shoes while riding. Then place each foot on top of the shoes so you can keep pedaling.

Once you get to the 50-meter mark, slow down and swing one leg over the frame of the bike. Then jump off while your still moving but remember to slow down during this step.

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Once you get the towel, rack your bike and slide each foot into your running shoes. Then use your thumb and index finger to pull up the heel. Then unclip your helmet, hang it on the bike, and start running out of transition.

Remember to always remove your helmet last so you don’t violate any helmet rules by mistake.

Duathlon Transition Rules – What You Should Know?

Just like triathlon, there certain duathlon transition rules you must adhere to.

First, there is no cycling allowed in transition, and you must not mount or dismount your bike until you have reached the transition line. This is often marked with a line and there will be marshals on either side watching you.

In the transition area, you must put on your helmet before touching your bike. The rules mean you are required to keep your helmet clipped up whilst on and off the bike. This is required until the bike is finally racked in transition.

Off-Road Duathlon Transition – How Does It Work?

An off-road duathlon transition is not entirely different from a standard road one, you only replace your road bike with a mountain bike. Then both your cycling shoes and running shoes are changed to something more suitable for the course.

Usually, off-road transitions are located on gravel or dirt areas. So it’s important to place a towel on the ground next to your bike. This helps to protect your feet when putting on or removing your shoes.

Just like your road bike, make sure you set your shifter to an easier gear. Off-road duathlon events often start with a climb out of transition. So be prepared, as it will help you to get up to speed after the transition.


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