Abbie Pearse’s preparation for the European Championships Duathlon


Later this week, Senior Physiotherapist & First Contact Practitioner Abbie Pearse will be competing at a pro level in the Bilboa duathlon. Preparing for any kind of sporting event is a challenge, but mixed discipline training is definitely up there with some of the trickiest.

Below, Abbie provides a short overview of how she has trained for the event, including some of her favourite exercises along with the rep and set ranges she has been working to. You can find more resources for running and cycling either in our Top 10 Exercises for Runners article, or in the Cycling section on our site.

On 18th September, I will be competing in the GB age group European championships Duathlon in Bilboa. While usually I would identify as a 90% runner 5% cyclist, over the last 6 months these ratios have had to even out! I have worked hard to prepare for the event which involves a 10k run, 40km bike and 5km run.

While training miles on the road, track and in the peaks for my running, I have had to squeeze in some work on the bike as well! I have been aware that this jump in training load has increased my risk of injury and therefore have, of course, included weight sessions in the gym to build strength and tolerance to my muscles, tendons and joints.

For my sports, my strength training has focused on the muscle groups I will be using most. I do range of exercises but my top 3 exercises would be:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Heel raises (with a bent leg and straight leg)

If doing these exercises with bodyweight only: I try to work about 3 sets of 20 reps – as this is when I can feel my legs becoming fatigued. If adding some resistance, such as holding dumbbells, my reps will be lowered to 3 sets of 10.

I have also been incorporating some core work as this is the foundation for the pelvis, hips, abdominals and back to all work in sync – especially when it comes to running. A simple circuit involving planks, side planks, glute bridges, dead bugs, superman – these exercises are to be performed with control and stability and are much more beneficial than 100 sit ups!

Between sessions and on rest days, I ensure I do some basic stretching and mobility work – often through going to a yoga class – as this can help relax my mind too! This training has given me new insights into the importance of injury prevention and stress on the body and mind when training for a high level sporting event which I hope will further inform my clinical practice with other athletes.

Abbie Pearse

Senior Physiotherapist & First Contact Practitioner

Originally from London, Abbie graduated in 2015 from Sheffield Hallam University with a First Class BSc (Hons) Degree in Physiotherapy. During this time, Abbie fell in love with Sheffield and running in the peak district and couldn't move away.

Abbie Pearse

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