Why I Du (or Why I Think Duathlons Are More Challenging Than Triathlons)

Let me start by saying that I consider myself to be a pure duathlete. I have never competed in a triathlon and to be honest I really don’t have a desire to do so. That is not to say that I never will compete in a triathlon sometime in the future but right now it’s not on my list of things to do. With that being said, you can probably guess that I am a bit bias towards duathlons, but that is because I believe duathlons are more challenging than triathlons.


Personally, I think that the duathlon is a fantastic sport and arguably harder than a triathlon. I say this after competing in numerous duathlons over the past two years. Now before you start sending messages saying that I am crazy and since I have never done a triathlon I can’t make a proper comparison, hear me out first. The main reason that I say that duathlons are harder than triathlons is because you start pounding your legs during the first run before getting on the bike and then you have to do it again. I am in no way saying the swim portion of the triathlon is easy. There is a certain level of skill that is required for swimming, especially in open water, but swimming, physically, is not as taxing on the legs and lower body as running. Swimming is generally considered an upper body activity that involves your shoulders, back, abs, triceps, and traps. You’re not tiring out your quads, hamstrings or glutes as you would do so running. Believe me when I say that first run can absolutely kill your legs for the bike ride and second run if you are not smart. This is why I think duathlons are harder and more physically challenging.

Do you DU? Do you TRI? Have you done both a duathlon and a triathlon? Which do you feel is more challenging? Let me hear your thoughts?