Pac­ing is key at this flat run/ hilly bike duathlon. Reg­u­lar racer Mike Hughes has the info and ses­sions

220 Triathlon Magazine - - START -

The first 5k run is a nice flat one and hugs the coast­line of the pic­turesque Mumbles Bay. As with any race it’s easy to get car­ried away with the ex­cite­ment of the event, so it’s im­por­tant to stick to your planned pace and save your legs for the bike and last run leg of the duathlon. See ses­sions 1 and 2 to help you prep for this sec­tion.

The bike sec­tion is stun­ning, and af­ter leav­ing T1 it’s only a brief spell on the flats of the beach front be­fore you hit the first grad­ual hill of this un­du­lat­ing course. It has a num­ber of tough but rel­a­tively short climbs, the main ones be­ing at two, five, eight, 10 and 15.5 miles. The to­tal course climb is 414m with the long­est climb be­ing ap­prox. 1.5 miles long. The road sur­face is mainly smooth with some ex­posed windy ar­eas, and there’s some good stretches of road where you can get down on the tri-bars – from mile 17 on­wards the course is a fast down­hill into T2. See ses­sions 3 and 4 to help you nail the bike course and T2.

This event is early on in the sea­son so the weather can be un­pre­dictable; it pays to check the weather be­fore the event as you may need to put a jacket on. Your body will warm up on the first run, but it can be cold on some of the bike des­cents.

As with any event, when­ever pos­si­ble, I’d rec­om­mend car­ry­ing out a recce of the course by ei­ther driv­ing or rid­ing it, so you know where you’re go­ing and are men­tally pre­pared for the tough­est parts.

The fi­nal 5k run is a re­peat of the now fa­mil­iar first run. Don’t start out too hard as it takes a while for your legs to make the tran­si­tion from cy­cling to run­ning. This is where your brick-ses­sion train­ing comes into its own – fo­cus on your form and get into your rhythm, keep run­ning and main­tain your race-pace strat­egy and you’ll soon be cross­ing the in­fa­mous red car­pet fin­ish line. Next month: Chal­lenge Gran Ca­naria on 27 April


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