Monday, November 26, 2012

ASTC Duathlon: Happy and Humbled



Elites passing by.

Telling the fireman to turn off the hose.

Singing the Pia Cayetano election jingle as she passed by.

@lingerboy and I had been chatting about these different topics while running for several kilometers now. It was a typical weekend run that we have most of the time. We run and chat at 7:30/km for about 10-12k, then we grab a bottle of choco milk at the Greenhills weekend market as our reward for the day.

But last Sunday we were (still) chatting but at 6:20-6:30/km tempo pace and we weren't in Greenhills.

We were at Subic for the ASTC Duathlon Championships. My baptism of fire into the sport of duathlon.

RUN1 - 10km

The crowd was small compared to the regular weekend run races in BGC or MOA. About 90% of the age group participants were in lean, race-ready shape so when the starting gun blew for the Standard age group men category, it was no surprise to find @lingerboy and I just before the back of the pack.

Take note that we were at 6:20-6:30/km pace based on my Garmin. That would be my normal pace for a 21k race but I couldn't fathom why we're at the tail end. Probably, duathletes could be on a whole different training regimen compared to runners?

Although I'm a faster runner compared to @lingerboy, I decided to stick with his pace since there's still a 40km bike and a 5k run up ahead. The pace that we were at was manageable but still race-worthy since I won't know how my condition will be at the end of the 2nd transition.

Hammergel taken at km4. Water all the way.

We finished the first run in 1:04 (Garmin) and headed onto the transition area.

BIKE - 40km (38km)

After just a month of bike training, this is where the real race started for me. I felt a cramp on my left calf as I passed the Subic Yacht Club (1-2km mark). Low in electrolytes, I told myself. So I snacked on a second Hammergel, an energy bar, and gulped on Gatorade and water. After about 15 minutes, the cramp subsided.

The bike leg was going to be 2 loops around a mostly flat course. There was one small grade but long climb about 5 minutes from the U-turn. The challenge of it all was to try to push the pace at 27kmh but still leaving enough energy for the final 5k run.

Keeping up the pace was tough as I only had one 40km stint at Aseana last month. Further, it was somewhat discouraging that although I was pushing the pace, I was being passed left and right by tri and aero-bar equipped bikes. Of course, the type of bike is only 10% of the equation I believe since the duathletes themselves were the true source of power that I heard whizzing by me. This included @lingerboy who left me in the dust as early as after the 1st loop's U-turn.

Still, after 38km, I managed a decent 1:26 (Garmin).

RUN2 - 5km

I saw @lingerboy leaving the transition area as I entered it to leave my bike. He was ahead by probably 5mins so it was gonna be a lot of chasing to do. I racked my bike and helmet, laced back my racing flats, and headed out to the run course.

It was about close to 9am when I started run2 so the sun was up but not that hot. I've practiced bike-run brick workouts during my training so my body knew what to expect in terms of adjusting from bike to run gait. I started my run and after a few meters I checked on my Garmin for pace: 6:20/km.

Not bad, I thought. The good of it all was that I felt good heading out for the run after the bike. I wasn't fatigued, feeling flat, bonked, or anything of the sort. It's probably due to those numerous times I watched videos of @CrowieAlexander beating his competitors at Ironman Kona during the run leg with his enviable running form. ;-)

Yes, for those last 5kms, I felt like Crowie.

I would douse my body with water as I passed by the water stations to get cool and saw myself getting closer to @lingerboy. In the process, I managed to overtake most of the duathletes who have succumbed to the heat. I overtook probably around 10 at most.

I finished run2 at an amazing 32mins (Garmin). @lingerboy finished about less than a minute before me so it was good to see that I've managed to get close from a previous 5min lead.

TOTAL RACE TIME (Garmin) = 3:02.

PR, of course. ;-)


As I write this post I have to say that I've been hooked into duathlons so much that I'm eager to race another one. However, since it's almost at the end of 2012 then most likely the next duathlon would be months away which I presume to be that of the Powerade Duathlon series.

Still, I feel both happy and humbled about my 1st duathlon experience. Happy that I've managed to finish this new sport with no injuries and with a somewhat good performance, especially on the run. Humbled that I learned the hard way that there's much to improve on my biking skills.


  1. Congrats bro! Now you know everyone sprints like there's no tomorrow during duathlon starts. Time to hit the track. :-)

    1. Exactly it Jan! I'm hopeful to have a better performance on my next Dua. Thanks!

  2. Hey, congrats on your first duathlon. No small feat since duathlons are normally tougher than triathlon.

    1. Thanks Rico! DUAs are harder than TRIs? Really? Di ba parang mas mahirap yung TRI coz of the long swim?

      I guess takot kase ako lumangoy sa dagat which is why I find TRIs very daunting. Pang kiddie pool lang ako eh. Hehe.