Racing Duo in an endurance race may be one of the most fun and exciting racing categories. First, it is not as ‘suffery’ as solo racing! And second, racing with a team mate (and for a team) generates unparalleled amounts of motivation on course! With the right partner, you can keep each other fired up and motivated for the entire race. In a 24-hour race, that is a lot of good racing time!!
The fastest strategy for racing Duo is to alternate single laps, rather than double laps. Racing double laps or more only makes sense when one team member is significantly stronger than the other. Alternating single laps allows frequent rests, avoids digging as deep into muscle glycogen stores, and allows for frequent opportunities to replenish muscle glycogen. Keeping muscle glycogen stores topped up equals keeping up speed on the course.
When racing Duo in a 24-hour race it can be easy to forget that you will be pedaling for 12+ hours. This can tempt you into hammering out of the gate at cross country pace. Cross country pace is exactly where you want to pace a 6-12-hour Duo race, but a 24-hour race must be paced more conservatively. Start a 24-hour Duo race at an aerobic pace.
Warm up before your first lap on course. For all subsequent laps use the first few minutes on course to warm up to race pace.
Time between laps is busy and goes by fast. Have a plan for what you need to do and be efficient.
The very first thing you should do after your lap is look at your watch and set a time to return to the transition tent to wait for your next lap. Never, ever miss your teammate’s arrival! Wasted time in transition sucks big mojo out of your team!
The next job you have is to rehydrate and replenish your muscle glycogen with a snack or drink.
Other jobs that need to be taken care of before your next lap:
- Check over your bike. Lube your chain, check shifting and take care of any mechanicals.
- Set up your fuel for the next lap by filling your hydration pack or bottles.
- Set up lights, change and recharge batteries at night.
- Change clothes if needed.
If you have any time left before you need to be at the transition tent use it to rest. The more efficient you are with the above tasks, the more time you will have for resting. Sit or lie down and put your feet up. Only let yourself fall asleep if you have a reliable person to wake you up! A 5-10 minute cat-nap between laps can be refreshing.
Other Tips for Duo Racing
- Anything you can do to motivate your teammate will make both of you faster.
- Use a notepad and leave notes for your teammate to read between laps. Tell them how you are feeling and give them an estimated time for your next lap. Tell them they are doing great! Tell them a funny story about your lap. Tell them who you passed or who passed you. A little smack talk in the right places can stoke the team mojo!
- Keep a running tally of clock time and lap splits. A list of lap splits can be a great motivator! This also helps with planning who gets the last lap when the end is near.
- Leave the pit area clean and tidy so your teammate can use their off-course time efficiently.
- Don’t take your team mates batteries off the charger at night before they are fully charged!!
- Stoke the team mojo between laps with high fives and cheering!!
By Lynda Wallenfels Google+