Reg­u­lar duathlon podium fin­isher and coach Rhian Roxburgh pro­vides es­sen­tial tips and ses­sions to com­plete this tough off-roader…

220 Triathlon Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Like any duathlon race, the start is fast! The first 3km of the 9km run is up­hill (around 200m el­e­va­tion gain) into the heart of Snow­do­nia Na­tional Park. Peo­ple are strung out pretty quickly. Dur­ing this early part of the race, it’s key to stick to your game plan and not get caught up in rac­ing to the front, this holds true in any duathlon but es­pe­cially here!

Dur­ing the run you will en­counter tech­ni­cal sec­tions, beau­ti­ful trails, along with some fell-run­ning sec­tions. Ex­pe­ri­enced fell run­ners will have no prob­lems and will find lots of time can be made up on those down­hill sec­tions.

The bike route is pre­dom­i­nantly on wide sweep­ing stone tracks, with some up­hill and then onto rolling ter­rain there­after. Out of tran­si­tion you go hard up­hill, then drop onto some rolling ter­rain and half way round you hit a sharp right turn into the woods (Tarw Du). This sin­gle track is lumpy, rocky and tech­ni­cal! The sin­gle track goes through the woods, over a drop which can eas­ily be jumped and is a lot of fun at speed. This is def­i­nitely the trick­i­est sec­tion of a re­ally fun route.

Es­sen­tially, the bike (28km) takes the same amount of time as an Olympic-dis­tance bike leg but is more in­tense due to the steep climbs, dif­fer­ent ter­rain and the heavy moun­tain bike so it will ex­haust you if you’re not ready for it. Make sure you fuel with gels or car­bo­hy­drates on the first lap of the bike, to en­sure that you’re strong for the sec­ond. Go­ing onto the sec­ond run is hard work if you’re not fully pre­pared for it. The fi­nal run is short (5.3km) with some lovely spiky trails and noth­ing too tech­ni­cal. This is where you should feel the ben­e­fit of hold­ing back in the first run.

The run leads you into the fin­ish, by the Coed Y Brenin vis­i­tor cen­tre, where cheers from friends and fam­ily wel­come you home.

Next month: Kielder Off Road Duathlon on 6 Jan­uary


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