Duathlon Training plans


The problem with the triathlon plan approach is that it assumes a target of a multisport event (duathlon, tri, etc.) which is not the same as improving simultaneously in cycling (like a 100m Gravel Ride) and running (marathon). This isn’t bad, but isn’t ideal, either.

In my case, I’m in my late 40s and my primary interest is in trail and mountain ultra running, but I love gravel riding and don’t want to give that up. Training indoors on the bike doubles as low impact cross-training for my running goals. Keeps me feeling relatively fresh for a run workout the day after, which consecutive running days does not.

I’d also love to see some articles, resources, etc. On making gains in running and cycling, but not necessarily in a multi sport context.


If running is you primary focus and cycling is secondary then do a running training plan and low impact endurance rides on the bike, like you said. Some of the base plans would probably work quite well for this depending on how much time over and above your running you have.

I can’t remember the podcast but chad touched on this as a high level of fitness in one discipline will naturally help in the other as both rely on your aerobic system.


Ballparking the Mosley plan I’m following, he basically uses 60/40 bike/run time duration split all the way through the 40 week’r I’m just starting. I’m on the advanced 10/40/5 plan.

I’ve heard of the of the 5:1 bike/run ratio as well but frankly it seems unrealistic if you think about it. You’re going to want to run at least 2 hours a week even for a sprint du, so that would put you at a MINIMUM 12 hours per week following that ratio. That’s a lot of training for a sprint…

I think this How much training volume does it take to maintain ~3w/kg? is good or the spirnt/olympic plans on TR. I would probably throw in a long ride though as suggested in the post at least every other week. Then add in a long run (at least 30-50% longer of your target distance assuming your not doing anything longer than a standard du), an interval session, and a tempo session a week and you’d be good. Find a reassessment you like and do it every 6 weeks or so along with the ramp test.

Just adjust the TSS ramp and periodization to suit your event. Also throw in a brick at least every other week. I’d say over half the weeks on this plan have at least 1 brick workout a week (but they’re generally short 10-20 mins).

For me, the calculators on Mosley’s website to use as zones in TP are a little optimistic for me on the run (based on threshold run pace from a race). I don’t have the run fitness either vs bike. My Zone 2 run pace is predominantly Zone 4 HR. I think I’m going to prioritize HR over pace on the long runs, and pace over HR on any other session. Power > all generally on the bike unless again your Zone 2 is way off consistently.


60/40 sounds like it would be more realistic for sure. I think I’m going to try and aim for 6-7 workouts a week. 1 hard bike session and 2 longer z1/2 efforts. 2 hard (but short) run sessions and a long run and the extra will be a short easy run.

I’m 35 with 3wkg right now that I’d love to see inch closer to 4 (I’m only 75kg) but I also want to run a 1:30 half marathon. (1:40 right now).

Too ambitious? I hope not.


That doesn’t sound too ambitious. I am 75kg and aiming for 4w/kg this season in order to break the hour on a 40k TT. Currently 3.51w/kg following 6 weeks of Olympic Duathlon base high volume.

Good luck and let me know how you get on.


I’m in the same boat. I’ve been looking at duathlon and tri plans just because it seems like that’s all that’s available, but I actually plan on doing a marathon this spring, a 10 or 15 mile trail/mountain race in the summer and maybe a half or two in between, but I also have several MTB XC races, gravel races, a cool race called Best of Both which is 60 miles road followed by 23 MTB, and (later) cyclocross races planned for the coming year.

It’d be nice to have some sort of plan available that caters to running and cycling that’s not intended to be done back-to-back.

At this point, I’m thinking I’ll just do low or mid volume TR plans (3-4 rides/week) and incorporate Zwift’s half marathon plan (3 runs/week). Zwift is especially appealing to me since I have a Stryd footpod and running on Zwift is still free :wink:

I’d be interested in hearing other ideas though if anyone’s got 'em!

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I followed a Hal Higdon 5k plan when I was in a run speed building phase. Crushed my goal of sub 20min 5k but I had to stop biking (even easy efforts) because I was getting too beat up. This caused my bike fitness to plummet. So I focused on bike for a bit but lost some run fitness. Sigh


I would like something similar. I run and cycle just not combined as an event, so do not need brick workouts.


I am starting the olympic build as well and I am having a hard time deciding whether to do the mid volume or high volume. I did do the high volume base programs, but did feel at times it to be a little to much. Which volume are you doing or do you have any suggestions/recommendations?


I completed the high volume base plan and found the cycling fine but did struggle with some of the running as I am a much stronger cyclist. My season has now changed though so have flicked over to SSB Mid volume as I am now doing the London Ride 100 in August :grinning::mountain_biking_man:‍♂


I think you’ve exemplified why I like to train for both running and cycling: I want to be fit enough in both sports that I can focus temporarily on one (or both) whenever it seems right if the opportunity to participate in a fun event presents itself.


Completely agree. I am still keeping my running legs ticking over but not pushing any of the hill / speed workouts or trying to increase distance. I will prob do a couple of duathlons this summer for a bit of fun.


Good luck with the London 100! I finally setup my racing season…
30k running race…
75k gravel race.
Oly tri.
160km gravel ride.

Currently doing SSBMV with ~1.5 hrs of low intensity running per week. This level of work is def sustainable. The only thing that gets hard to manage is the time commitment. It would be easier if I bought a treadmill at home.

After a one week break I’ll going to SSBLV with ~3.5hrs of varied running. Most of it will be z1 with some vo2max intervals sprinkled in to work on efficiency and leg speed. The recovery will take me straight into my first race.

The early season 30k will let me know how realistic my end goal of a sub 3:30 marathon time is. :crossed_fingers:


Just found this thread as signed up for some short Sprint type duathalons (2 mile run - 10mile bike - 2 mile run).

Focussed on cycling for last 4 years or so with mainly TT and bit Cyclocross but thought these looked like fun.

Never done any running at all for 15 odd years (And never much before that!) So thought I’d go and test running legs. I went and did what seemed v gentle pace and did 10k in 52 mins as first run then 2 days later thought I’d push pace more and did 5k in 21 mins exactly. It was hard but not flat out.

Are these times any good or miles off pace (I have no idea about running!).

My main focus still wants to be on bike and I usually train on TR 4 rides a week (basically LV plans plus one extra).

Thinking of just doing 3 rides per week (so exactly LV plans) on TR and then 2 runs a week (one longer say 10-12k for hour and one shorter harder say 5k).

Does that sound reasonable for running? Will my bike suffer I wonder? Also feel running is a danger to me at the start as have good fitness from bike so can run fairly decent (I think) BUT muscles not used to running and fear will push myself into injury and sore/tweaked muscles!


I’m trying to figure out how to do run ride plans myself. I’m am starting Short Power Build in 2 weeks and don’t know what to do?


I’m not qualified but I’ll tell you what I do. On hard bike days during the week I do an easy 4-6 mile run in the morning. Off bike days I do 8-10 miles with at least one intensity run per week. If legs are feeling trashed I’ll just run easy. Something I find useful is to do some strides one day each week. I switch up my intensity run between hill reps, tempo and speedwork, depending on what I feel like. I get about 30-40 mow running this way. Might be a bit much but I really enjoy running.

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For Sprint (or standard) duathalons do people generally just do the triathlon plans and just ignore the swim workouts…or do low volume cycling plans (e.g. sweetspot base, general/sustained build/specialty (likely 40k TT)) and then do (say) 3 runs a week in addition.

Or are those two options similar enough not to make much difference! Just started to sign up for some duathalons for 1st time and most are short run (3-5km), about 10 mile bike then another short run.


I’d advocate following the appropriate triathlon plan and dropping the swim workouts – that way you’ll be doing your run and bikes at the right intensity. I imagine lots of vO2 work!

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I follow a regular bike plan, since that is my primary focus. Mid Vol for my needs.

I copied all of the run info from one of the TR plans (did it so long ago that I don’t remember which one I borrowed from).

In that case, the Base and Build are all Endurance work. VO2 work is only in the Specialty phase.

I end up with 2 bricks per week, after my Tue and Thu harder workouts. And I do a solo long run on Sun eve (well after my ride).

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This is what I have done in the past. I even did it leading up to Long Distance Du Worlds (Powerman Zofingen) last year. It was SSB, Sustained Power, and then the Century plan since it was equivalent to an Iron distance event. For shorter du’s, I’d do the 40kTT plan.

That said, next time around I’m thinking I may follow the equivalent tri plan and delete the swims from the calendar. I did the low volume cycling plans with the added 3 runs a week so I’d probably do the mid-volume tri plans.

Basically, I think it comes down to how comfortable you are designing your own run program around the bike workouts.