Will morning runs make you smarter?

Happy Christmas Eve Duathletes!! In the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, don’t slack off too much on training. One great way to make sure you get it done is to get it done first thing. Morning runs, rides, or some combination leave you energized for the day ahead. And according to a recent study, running may make you more productive at work.

A University of Arizona study shows running stimulates part of the brain related to decision-making and planning. Much like playing a musical instrument, running helps improve memory and attention span. Read more here.

As I write this, I’m about an hour away from a long early morning bike ride. Unfortunately, the study didn’t analyze cycling, but if it did, and it posed similar benefits as running, I will return home able to recite the encyclopedia!

From your favorite Duathlon blog, have a very merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just a very happy week between now and January 1. You may hear from me in the interim. If not, and in the meantime, follow me on Twitter @gorunbikerun.

 

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How to master the duathlon transition

Want to shave 30 seconds off your duathlon time without training, and without spending a week’s wages on gear? Improve your transition.

Just like we train to run and ride faster, we should also train to transition faster. I know it’s boring. And people stare at you like a loon when you hop around in your driveway or in front of your apartment building. I’ve been there! But consistent practice on the simple art of putting on a bike helmet and switching from running to cycling shoes will save you precious seconds in your next race.

duathlon transition
My beautiful bike, the MAGIC BULLET, ready to go in transition.

USA Triathlon published a comprehensive article on how to master the fast duathlon transition. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I guide you to it here.

Note: one common tip is to keep your cycling shoes attached to your bike. When you finish your first run, slip off your shoes, run barefoot or sock-footed to the mount line, and mount the bike cyclocross style. I’ve watched elites do this. Do I do this? Heck no. I’m clumsy and scared of biting it on the pavement. In time, maybe I’ll get up my nerve to practice this trick, but for now, I practice changing my shoes very quickly.

duathlon transition
My shoes, not clipped into the MAGIC BULLET, but ready for me to get into them quickly.

For added edge, you could invest in Pyro Platform pedals. Pyro pedals resemble toe clips, but with a longer and stiffer base. Fans say they save loads of time in transition with little to no loss of power. I’ve seen everyone from professional sprint-distance athletes to top-ranking age groupers use them. They eliminate the flying-mount-crash risk, which may be worth the investment!

ITUbike
Suzanne Cordes, Pyro pedals user.

For an upgrade from running shoes with Lock Laces, Pierce Footwear introduced the first laceless, sockless, tongueless running shoe for duathlon and triathlon. Pierce Footwear claims you can get in and out of the shoe faster than traditional shoes with elastic laces. They retail for about $130—about the same as a pair of Hokas.

Do you have any speedy transition tips? Tell us in the comments below!

Happy running-riding-running…

It’s Raining, So What?

It’s cold outside. I’m sore from those lunges on Tuesday. I feel sluggish. Bah Humbug! Whatever has you feeling unmotivated today, Joe Stone has faced something worse.

It’s Raining, So What, a new documentary that irks the editor in me (Let me change that comma to an em dash! Let me please add a question mark!), follows Joe Stone on his quest to become the first wheelchair-using quadriplegic to complete an IRONMAN triathlon.

It’s Raining, So What is a story about overcoming adversity and achieving something amazing despite any perceived limitations.

Director Kevin May said about the making of the film: “We quickly realized we were sharing a universal message: Happiness and true life fulfillment is possible if we can break through our own perceived limitations through intentional thinking and positive actions.”

Watch the trailer here. And check out bonus interviews here.

“DU” something awesome today.