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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Doing a very short (1.5 m run, 4.5m bike, 1.5m run) off-road Du at Ski-Bowl, Mt. Hood in a couple of weeks. Started running barely a month ago, never raced an mtb, tech. skills pretty bad. But what the heck!

For my first race, I just want to finish in one piece, no major bodily breakdowns. I guess the seasoned runners/bikers will pretty much 'sprint' all the legs of the race, I'll probably take my hrm and 'tt' each part. Any tips? Don't think I need a camelback for such a short bike leg. Rode some of the course the other day and at my level there are some tricky sections if taken at top speed, just don't want to kiss any trees...

I'm a road/track bike racer so I have the fitness, not that you need much for this short of a race. Any suggestions, like time savers in the transitions, etc.? Thanks!
 

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hrcon said:
Doing a very short (1.5 m run, 4.5m bike, 1.5m run) off-road Du at Ski-Bowl, Mt. Hood in a couple of weeks. Started running barely a month ago, never raced an mtb, tech. skills pretty bad. But what the heck!

For my first race, I just want to finish in one piece, no major bodily breakdowns. I guess the seasoned runners/bikers will pretty much 'sprint' all the legs of the race, I'll probably take my hrm and 'tt' each part. Any tips? Don't think I need a camelback for such a short bike leg. Rode some of the course the other day and at my level there are some tricky sections if taken at top speed, just don't want to kiss any trees...

I'm a road/track bike racer so I have the fitness, not that you need much for this short of a race. Any suggestions, like time savers in the transitions, etc.? Thanks!
I mtb and trail run, haven't done a duathlon (yet), but a good friend has done them several times, and he found the transitions are a factor, like you said. On his most recent one he decided to use clips/toestraps with his runners to save time changing shoes. Because I mtb with platform pedals, I'd be planning to wear my trail running shoes, so I could just jump on and off the bike without any shoe changes. If you are used to SPD/clipless pedals, you might consider running in your mtb shoes if they aren't very stiff, but if they are stiff you probably want to change shoes (maybe try running a mile or so on a trail to test them). Some running shops carry elastic laces that "tri" folks use so they can slip their running shoes on and off. Running rough rooty/rocky trails is a bit risky, so remember to keep your eyes down on the trail in those sections to reduce the chance of a fall/twisted ankle. I find when following someone closely they block my view of the trail, so I either pass them or drop back a bit.

If it's hot, I would carry a camelbak for the whole race (just cinch it up well so it doesn't bounce around when you run), if not, just carry a bottle on the bike and drink when you can.

Like you said, keep enough control on the bike so you're not worrying about the trees too much, don't "redline" too hard on the climbs (on the last run go for it though), and have fun.
 

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If it's like the ones I've done, I'd recommend killing yourself on the first run to get a decent position on the bike. Otherwise, you'll end up stuck behind strong runners who have no mtb skills and no understanding of the word "track" when you're trying to work around them.

I did my first one a few years ago - 3 mile run, ~12 mile bike, 3 mile run. My plan was to take it easy on the first run, make up a lot of time on the bike stage, and finish strong. Big mistake. I couldn't go anywhere near race-pace on the bike leg because I was stuck behind so many other folks. I would have been much better off to run really hard on the first leg, recover on the bike and finish strong.

For time savers, do the first run with your helmet and gloves on. If chaning shoes, use speed laces and mtb shoes with velcro straps. Skip the camelbak and have a water bottle on the bike and a saddle bag with all your flat repair stuff. Pratice changing shoes quickly...

Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Going to be hard to go all out on the first run

But I'll try. Ran a little last year in anticipation of 'cross which never came to be. Started running again about a month or so ago, only up to about 3 or 4 miles now, with hills. Haven't done any speedwork on the run, just trying to build a base. With event being less than 2 weeks from now, it's probably too late to try and do any running speed work, right?

Did a practise session on the course last night, bike leg then run leg. Ran a few miles at lunch also. Bike leg has some very technical (for me) sections that will be quite interesting if there are alot of riders on the course to contend with. It does have about a 1 mile, almost middle ring climb that I plan to go all out on. After that, the last part, it goes to a 1 mile descent with at least 20 switchbacks. I was on the brakes the whole freakin' time, so I better do good on the climb up to it! This last part is going to be 'endo city', no doubt about it.

The run after the bike wasn't a true test since I changed clothes, took a short break, way more time in transition than during the race. It was still hard! First time I ran after biking. Trying to find my running legs in the first 1/3 mile was the hard part, esp. since it starts out with a fairly hard climb. After that I settled in, cruised home. This event is going to be a whole new world of pain I've yet to explore, and I've done long road races, crit races, and track races. Common sense says to wait until I've had more running experience so I could actually 'race', but I've never had that before when it comes to racing, why start now!

Thanks for the replies.
 

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Technikal, you're right, I didn't think about the traffic!

Hrcon, like he says, since you have a road/track racing background, you could probably push the first run fairly hard onto the bike without completely blowing up. I hear the last run of a duathlon is quite rough, but your fitness should pull you through.

Training - two weeks is not enough to change your fitness much (as I'm sure you know) but you might do a couple of hilly trail runs for technique and rhythm. Obviously don't run hard within a day or two of the race, but an easy run of the race course the day before would be a good plan if possible. Same goes for the bike course, you might scope out some good passing spots etc.

I just read your comments on the bike course, so I'd say if you can, do some technical riding (with a good mtb'er if possible) before the race and you might save a lot of time on that switchback section near the end of the bike.
 

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I did a 3 mile ride 10 mile ride 3 mile race last summer. I spent all summer riding and was in great riding shape but was a terrible runner (despite over 20 years of running including a couple of marathons - I hadn't run for over 3 months). A month before the race I biked in maintenance mode and focused on running (about 2/3 my usual riding distance and 3-4 runs of 2-4 miles per week). Two weeks before the race I did a 10 mile trail run. One week before the race I simulated the race (ran-rode-ran same distance as race) including the transitions (manned by my wife at the parking lot with bike and drinks).

When race day came I knew what pain and suffering to expect and I exceeded my expectations.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Twisted

I'm in a little different boat than you: I haven't run for 20 years. I just started a little over a month ago. Will just try and get through the event. Haven't even practised/thought much about the transitions. I might get speed laces to help, but being such a slow runner it probably will not make much difference. The plan is to almost blow up on the bike leg where I could, will have to walk several sections.

Should be a great experience. Already thinking about a road duathlon in a month: 30 mile bike, 6 mile run, for 'fun'!

Thanks again.
 
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