Saturday, 11 April 2020

The Stay At Home Ultra Duathlon (Day 1)

I'm pleased to report that day one of the The Stay At Home Ultra Duathlon ended successfully but with a few valuable lessons learned. The venue for the event was my driveway with a basic L shaped route mapped out down the side and front of the house for the running segments. The cycling would take place right in the middle of the driveway.

The aim of day 1 was to run 1 mile, cycle 10 miles then finish up with a final run of 1 mile. 

The event got underway at 12:50 with the first running segment. Conditions were decent with nice warm sunshine making for a very pleasant day.

The first thing I notice while running was that I didn't seem to be making much progress when looking on my Apple Watch at the distance covered statistic. That first "mile" took 00:24:03. What a load of rubbish I thought. The reality is that I placed far too much confidence in the GPS tracking capability on my Apple Watch. I suspect my Garmin may have been a little better as it requests the position data more frequently. I suspect that I actually ran at least twice the required distance today! That's a huge lesson learned. If I don't establish a more accurate way of measuring the miles I've done then I will fail at this challenge. I'm working on a few things tonight which should see better results tomorrow.

The cycling leg got underway at 13:14 after a short transition to change my shoes. It was arguably worse than the first run.

I got on my bike and chose a virtual route on the Zwift app. For some reason (and it seemed like a good idea at the time) I chose a route around Yorkshire! That's the Yorkshire with all of the hills. 

When I started to pedal, I noticed almost immediately that it was taking a lot of effort in a low gear to build up any speed. One look at the gradient on the screen, which I could just make out in the sun, explained that one.

I finished the 1000ft of climbing over 10 miles in 00:59:22. That wasn't too much of a disaster today. If I chose that course on day nine where I need to cycle 120 miles, I'd be in serious trouble. I really don't fancy 12 hours on a bike! On my drive. Not getting very far. 

It took a few laps to get going on the final running segment. I actually felt like I was running quicker than before. The passing neighbours who waved as they went past for their daily exercise really helped too. What also helped was the smell of next door's BBQ!

The final "one mile" run was done in 00:23:11. If that was a mile then I'll show my backside in Fenwick's window.

As you can see from the image below, the first run (top left) was a bit of a nonsense in terms of GPS as was the 3rd run (bottom right). The elevation profile (bottom left) tells a story of my stupidity! I'll be picking a much flatter route for tomorrow 20 mile cycling segment.

So that's day one over. As you can see from the plan below, tomorrow requires 2 x 2 mile runs with a 20 mile cycle in the middle. I suspect it will be a similar day to today in terms of time. Having a more accurate way of measuring mileage will help. It won't be GPS based!

Thank you to those kind folk who made a donation today in aid of St. Benedict's Hospice. If you'd like to do the same then please visit  

After you've done that please enjoy this short clip which I think captures the spirit of day one of this crazy challenge.