Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

‘Du’ you need a change?

Omagh Tri Club members taking part in the duathon at An Creagan.

We all need to change up our training routine from time to time. A couple of Sundays ago I changed up my training schedule and decided to do my very first duathlon.

This fantastic event was the first of a three-part series run by the Omagh Triathlon club and kindly sponsored by Signal Signs. Each event takes place at An Creagan Visitor Centre and is open to anyone who wants to give it ago.


A duathlon consists of a distance run followed by a cycle and finished with a run. In the event I did, it was a 5k run 10k mountain bike and 3.5k run and I loved every minute of it. I was a little bit wary at the beginning because the track we were meant to be running and cycling on was covered in snow and parts were very icy.

But once I got started and able to feel my hands again, I was taken aback by my surroundings. Here I was running on a track where every mountain and tree was covered in snow and the sun was shining in a clear blue sky. I just thought where else would you rather be on a Sunday morning.

This change was something that I really enjoyed and it was thanks to a text from Declan Campbell at Raw Performance asking if I fancied giving it a go. I could have very easily said ‘No’ but thankfully I didn’t. Not only was it a brilliant way to shake up my training but the buzz I got from competing in the event, the scenic views and meeting some wonderful people in the process meant it was a very worthwhile exercise.

Gary on the mountain bike stage of the recent duathlon in the snow.

Even being pre-warned and enduring the ‘brick’ feeling after my transition from bike to my final run was still worth it. For those of you like me who have never heard of the ‘brick’ – it’s simply how your legs feel after getting off the bike and starting to run again, but after a while it soon wears off and you have a new lease of life.

The reason I’m sharing this story with you is to highlight that changing up your training can seem daunting at the start but once you give it a go you may find it’s the best thing you could have done.

Looking to change up your training has so many benefits. If you keep doing the same workout you will hit a certain level and stop progressing, you will even see yourself falling backwards after a while. By changing up your program you bring in other movements, range of motions and muscles groups that you may have never used before. Soon you will notice even more progress.


Changing up your training and lifestyle can also have a positive effect on your mental health and well-being. If you are cooped up in a gym or class environment all the time, then maybe you need to add in a bit of outdoor training. This can be a simple walk up the Gortin Glens or compete in the next Omagh Tri Club duathlon on January 7, 2018. By taking yourself out of a closed gym space and into nature you are able to connect to yourself and your surroundings. It may even give you the peace and quiet your body and mind needed.

Finally, if you are changing your training routine give it time, you may not see any results either physical or mentally straight away but stick with it before you pack it in. Give yourself enough time to see results and if you feel after a while it’s not for you then you don’t have to go back to what you always did. Try something else and keep going until you find the thing that works for you.

If you would like to know more about change and other health, fitness and lifestyle topics then check out my podcast. You can find all the links on our Facebook page The Coaching Mindset Podcast.

Gary taking part in his first ever duathlon.

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