Duathlon is making its debut in the official programme of The World Games, and Jonathan Benjamin, bronze medallist from the African Duathlon championships, is heading to his first edition of the multi-sports Games. South African Benjamin is our athlete this week Building up to Birmingham!
Jonathan Benjamin (25) started his career with Triathlon; he started Duathlon only last year. “I have been an avid tri-athlete for some years now, with running and cycling as my favourite disciplines. So when I had the chance to race the national and continental championships in Duathlon, I jumped at the opportunity,” he says. “Duathlon felt like a natural fit for me, as I have loved running and cycling since I was little, and this is also why it is so special to me.”
When asked about his training, Benjamin tells: “Since Duathlon is an event that consists of a running leg followed by a cycling leg and finally another running leg, my training needs to incorporate both of these disciplines. I train these disciplines most days, with some days incorporating both, and in some sessions I take a run immediately after cycling, to simulate how one's body would feel in a race. My training also incorporates swimming and strength work, both 2-3 times a week. In general, I train around 3 hours a day.”
Jonathan Benjamin will soon be travelling to Birmingham, Alabama, for The World Games 2022.
“At The World Games I expect to be challenged, and also to learn more. Whilst all the sports there look amazing and I would love to watch them all, I would have to say Sport Climbing would be at the top of my list, if I had to pick one.”
If Benjamin needed to compete in another sport at the Games, he would choose Orienteering.
For the few weeks left before his competition in Birmingham, Jonathan Benjamin says he will keep his training consistent for now, and taper when coming into the race week. Duathlon races will be held on 16–17 July at the Railroad Park in Birmingham city.
Besides Duathlon, Benjamin really enjoys Triathlon, trail running and cycling. Apart from anything to do with sport, he is also a full-time Master's student in the Environmental Science field.
Jonathan Benjamin also got questions from social media:
What has been the biggest challenge in your career?
Fortunately, I haven't had too many challenges during my sporting career, however when I started running I underwent an operation on one ankle, and am starting to struggle with my other ankle.
Who are your idols in Duathlon?
I have looked up to the French du-athletes for sometime now, and I’m very excited that I'll be lining up next to Benjamin Choquert at The World Games.
Which do you like more, cycling or running?
As much as I love both, I would have to say running. The feeling and freedom of moving without anything (apart from a pair of shoes) is one of the most exciting sensations.
Which one is more challenging/difficult, Triathlon or Duathlon?
Personally I would say a Duathlon, however I am certain some will disagree. Unlike Triathlon, both of the disciplines in Duathlon have a strong focus almost solely on one's legs. I’m not saying that legs aren't important in swimming, but to a lesser degree as there are also other important factors to include.
How important is the bike for cycling, can it make the difference in competition?
In short, yes it can. However I'm personally not a fan of saying this, as it excludes many people from these sports due to the subsequent cost involved. That being said, racing on a MTB in a Duathlon or Triathlon (that takes place on the road) will get you from point A to point B, but not quickly.
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association, organised with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and over 100 countries will take part in The World Games.