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Reasons to Do the Du

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With the 2012 season approaching quickly, now’s the time to think about adding some events to test your fitness prior to your goal race. Why not try a duathlon?

The USA Triathlon 2012 Duathlon National Championship is in Tucson/Oro Valley, Ariz., on April 28. Here you can see how your triathlon training is progressing while competing against the best duathletes in the country in either the standard-distance (5k run, 35k bike, 5k run) or sprint-distance (2.5k run, 17.5k bike, 2.5k run) event.

There are no qualification standards for this event, so this is your opportunity to introduce a friend, family member or training partner to multisport. View event details and registration information at: www.usatriathlon.org/duathlonnationals

Still not sure if you’re ready to try a duathlon? Here are more reasons to Do the Du, excerpted from Ordinary Mortals®: Talking Triathlon with Steve Jonas.

Do the Du if:
• You’re thinking about getting started in multisport racing but don’t want to train in three sports
• You’re looking for a shorter event that is not as demanding as a sprint triathlon but is still a challenge
• You’re weak in or not thrilled with swimming
• You’re desirous of doing a multisport event that is logistically simpler than a triathlon
• You’re most comfortable on the bike and perfectly happy to do the bulk of training on it
• Any combination of the above

Duathlon is easier for most people to contemplate and do than triathlon. The format also appeals to race directors; duathlons are obviously significantly easier and cheaper to set up and manage than triathlons.

The proliferation of duathlons (as well as sprint-distance triathlons) has made it much easier for first-timers to get into the sport and for recreational, relatively light training multisport athletes to stay in it. So encourage friends or family members to think about “doin’ the du.” They will likely be glad they did.

Dr. Steve Jonas is in his 29th season of multisport racing and is the author of “Triathloning for Ordinary Mortals®” (2nd ed., 2006), and “101 Ideas and Insights for Triathletes and Duathletes” (Coaches Choice). He is a professor of preventive medicine at Stony Brook University (N.Y.). His website is www.ordinarymortals.net.

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