I have raced duathlons for the past two years. I had been hearing about triathlons for awhile but didn't think I would ever do one due to a fear of the water. One of my friends said that many of the Florida triathlons have a duathlon option; which is a run-bike-run event instead of the swim-bike-run that takes palce during a triathlon.
I had been cycling for a few years, with a couple of century (100 mile) bike rides under my belt and thought I could start adding some run workouts into my training routine so that I could start participating in a few duathlons. I went to Multirace.com and found out about the duathlons taking place in the Miami/Dade, Broward and Palm Beach county areas of south Florida.
Miami Man Duathlon
I participated in two half Ironman distance duathlons at Miami Man during the past two years. That was a 1 mile run - 56 mile bike - 13.1 mile run duathlon. In 2009 it took me 6:50:59 to complete the race and in 2010 I improved my time to 6:01:36. That was a difference of 49 minutes and 23 seconds, a HUGE improvment for just one years time.
I certainly wasn't fast at the two half Ironman distance duathlons, but I never thought I would even be able to compete in an event like that. It got me thinking about doing a full Ironman. I did a lot of searching on the Internet but couldn't find any Ironman distance duathlons. So the only way I was going to complete my Ironman dream was to suck it up, get over my fear of swimming and start going in the pool and ocean to begin training for an Ironman distance triathlon. An Ironman distance triathlon is a 2.4 mile swim - 112 mile bike - 26.2 mile run event. I've also never run a full marathon yet, I've done 8-9 half marathons, which are 13.1 miles, but have yet to experience the 26.2 miles of a full marathon.
More Options for Triathletes
Another reason why I decided to start participating in triathlons, many of the larger Florida triathlons don't have a duathlon option. Events like St. Anthony's, FAU, Nautica South Beach, Escape to Miami and Miami Nice can only be done as a triathlon.
Train with Team in Training
My husband and I have been active with the Palm Beach chapter of Team in Training for the past 6 years. Team in Training is the main fundraising program for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We have completed 5 century bike rides with Team in Training, and this year decided to sign up to do a triathlon with them.
We originally picked the FAU Wellness triathlon, it was a local event, a sprint distance and had a smaller fundraising minimum. But after competing in one sprint distance triathlon my husband and I both got the triathlon bug and decided to switch from FAU to the St. Anthony's triathlon. St. A's is an Olympic distance event which is an almost 1 mile swim - 25 mile bike - 6.2 mile run event. I don't have a problem with the bike and run distances, but the 1.5 kilometer swim seems a bit intimidating right now. But I only had 1 month swim training before doing my first sprint distance event and got through it okay, so hopefully I'll be fully trained by May 1, the date of the St. Anthony's triathlon.
Additional Triathlon Articles
Here are links to some of the other articles I've written on my decision to start racing triathlons.
- Bike Diva's Ironman Triathlon Plan
- Bike Diva's First Swim
- Bike Diva's Second Swim Practice
- Try a Triathlon with Team in Training
- Bike Diva's Triathlon Training Observations
- Bike Diva Tries Wetsuit
- Bike Diva to Race Ironman Lake Placid
- Race Report - Club Med Triathlon #1
- Photos of Club Med Triathlon #1
Lynn Smythe AKA the Bike Diva