Duathlon training – aced!

Training for London Duathlon or fancy a challenging new gym session? Here’s an indoor workout from Gymbox Very Personal Trainer Dan Aldridge to get you run-bike-run ready.

London Duathlon is on the horizon, taking place on 15 September in Richmond Park it’s a tough old test of running, cycling and then – you guessed it – running again. The classic challenge is 10km run, 44km cycle, 5km run – there are also sprint, super sprint, ultra and relay challenges available.  As we’ve got a whole lot of races coming up in the next few months we’ve entered the relay along with our mate, Gymbox’s social media guru Lulu Le Vay.


The Dream Team: Charlotte – run, Lulu – bike, Emma – run

The Dream Team: Charlotte – run, Lulu – bike, Emma – run

To get us race ready, Gymbox VPT Dan has put together this gym-based workout. It’ll build strength, work on your endurance and cardio and get you used to running on knackered, wobbly, jelly legs. Yup, we’ll be needing that.

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 08.14.02

If you haven’t got time to complete all sections you could always split them up and do them on different days, but for the full training-on-tired-legs experience try to do them all together at least once or twice before race day. Just don’t expect to walk too easily the day after that’s all!


Dan’s Duathlon workout

1. Bike intervals (total time, 25 mins)

This element of the session will help you develop cycling speed and build strength in your legs so you can power up the hills on race day. Interval training is the best way to improve aerobic capacity in a short period of time.

  • Warm up with an easy cycle for five minutes.
  •  Stand up out of the seat to stimulate a hill – 60 secs
  • Sit down and lower the resistance to stimulate a flat – 6o secs
  •  Perform 5 sets
  • Sprint – 40 secs
  • Slow recovery- 20 secs
  • Perform 10 sets


2. Strength (approx 30 minutes)

A. Giant set – leg (a giant set is 4-6 exercises performed sequentially with no rest)

This Giant set will improve muscular endurance and increase strength in the movements that you’ll need to perform at your best when running and cycling. Perform each exercise one after the other with no rest. After one circuit take 2 mins rest and then repeat until you have completed four sets.

  • A1- Dumbbell neutral stance squat – 12 reps x 4 sets

Neutral squat

Neutral squats (feet shoulder width apart) will develop the power you can push into the ground when running, meaning you can run and cycle faster. Make the squats tougher by holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by your side.


  • A2- Prone hamstring curls – 8 reps x 4

hamstring curl

Set the machine to a heavy weight as hamstrings respond best to heavy loads. Strong and powerful hamstrings will help your ability to pull the pedal upwards faster and improve knee stabilty when running.


  • A3- Jump squats- 15 reps x 4 sets

jump squat

Jumping improves muscular endurance in the legs and will help develop the power you need for that sprint finish!


  • A4- Back extension – 20 reps x 4 sets

back extension

Complete these reps using the back extension machine or the GHD. This will strengthen the glutes and help to losen the hip flexors. Hip extension plays a big part in both cycling and running as this is one of the key movements of both.


B Tri set – core (a tri set is three exercises performed sequentially with no rest)

Similar to the giant set but this involves core strength and some upper body strength needed when cycling. The more stable you are, the more you can control the bike when cycling, the more efficient your energy expenditure will be. Perform all 3 exercises one after the other with no rest. Take 1 min rest and repeat until you have completed four sets.

  •  B1- Russian step ups with barbell – 20 reps x 4 sets

Russian step up 1Russian step up 2

Stepping up on a box or bench, with a barbell over your shoulders, drive the opposite knee upwards from the hip. Perform 10 on each leg. This will strengthen your glutes, stabilise the leg and help generate power when driving the leg forward in running and cycling. If you don’t want to use a barbell, holding a dumbbell in each hand is an easier but still effective option.


  • B2- Barbell rollout- 10 reps x 4 sets

barbell roll out

Knees on the floor place your hands on a barbell (or ab wheel if your gym has one) and slowly roll your body forwards as far as you can with your knee, hip and shoulders in a straight line. Keeping abs and glutes tight. No bend in the lower back!This will develop the position you need to be strong in when riding.


  • B3-  Full Plank- 60 secs, 80secs, 100 secs, 120 secs ( add on 20 secs each set)


A great workout for the core. Keep your core tight and back straight.



3. Running intervals (around 10 minutes)


You should be feeling tired now – just like you will after your initial cycle and run in the duathlon. These treadmill intervals will help you work on speed and get you used to running on weary jelly legs.

  •  Sprint for 40 secs
  • Slow jog for 40 secs
  •  Perform 8 x sets.


4. Cool down and stretch out paying particular attention to your quads, calves, hamstrings and glutes.


Interested in joining us in London Duathlon? Enter here 

Dan Aldridge is a Very Personal Trainer at Gymbox Covent Garden. To find out more about Gymbox visit www.gymbox.com

Model Lorna Mann

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