On Sunday, August 28, over a thousand athletes participated in the Minneapolis Duathlon. This event, according to Team Ortho, is the largest duathlon in the country. Now, I’m not much of a competitor so participating in an event with so many people is a bit intimidating. I had visions of getting on my bike amongst a sea of spandex and quickly getting lost in the crowd. Thankfully, the Team Ortho staff members and volunteers have been through this before and the event was a carefully orchestrated blur of runners and bikers and I never felt crowded.
The Minneapolis Duathlon included a 3.1 mile run, 18 mile bike ride, and a 3.1 mile run which could be completed individually or as a 2 or 3 person relay, or you could just run the 5K. I chose to do the duathlon on my own. I was placed in Wave 3 to start the race and my goal was to finish (and have fun). Well, I wanted to finish and also not walk during the run portions of the event.
I’ve only competed in one other duathlon, the 2010 Bloomington Irongirl. For both the Irongirl and the Minneapolis Duathlon I loosely followed the 12 week training program for beginners from Coach Troy Jacobson at Lifetime Fitness (Link).
This was a great resource. If you are considering a duathlon (or a triathlon) I highly recommend that your training plan includes a few brick workouts. What’s a brick? The term brick refers to any training session that includes two disciplines during the same workout, one right after the other, just like the racing event. My training plan included several run/bike/run workouts. It’s useful to know how your body will respond after each transition so you can prepare for race day.
I really felt like I was at the largest duathlon because there were so many athletes in Wave 3. By the time I transitioned to my bike (2006 Scott Speedster) the crowd had spread out and it was easy to pick up speed on West River Parkway. During the ride I kept thinking ahead to the final run and my goal to keep running. I was successful! The Minneapolis Duathlon proved to be a great event. I enjoyed the race and finished in 2 hours and 16 minutes.
Thanks Robyn, and congratulations!