Home Chat General Chat

Olympic distance training distances?


I have been reading the forum for a while after getting into Triathlon this year and have a question about training distance for olympic distance (i'm doing London) that I can't find an answer for....So far I have only been training at or below race distance and only doing one session a day. My longest run is 11k (in about 50 mins), longest bike 41K (1.5hrs) and longest non-stop swim of 1000m(20mins) (although I generally get through 2 - 2.5k during an hours swim session).

My question is this, should I be upping the distances to get myself used to working for around 2hrs 45 (target time) in each individual discipline, or working in more days with multiple sessions? What sort of distances should I be doing in each discipline?


Sam (Roberts - no relation to the illustrious Gary!)


  • Options
    graham33graham33 Posts: 265
    Hi Sam, There is a 12 week training plan in the May 220 Triathlon - that give a good idea of distances and how long to run/bike for. I'm planning on starting that tomorrow so I'm 'ready' fo rthe Plymouth OD!

    Good luck
  • Options
    PC_67PC_67 Posts: 196
    One session a day is just fine, but brick training is important as Conehead said.

    I think it's generally useful to be able to do 2 hours on the bike quite comfortably. You don't want 40k to be your limit as 10k can be a slog afterwards.

    I think doing longer distances than race distances is useful - not just for the physiological benefit, but for the psycholigcal benefit too.

    I like to think positive thoughts during a race. When I'm struggling a bit I like to draw on past experiences so I can say to myself "this isn't anything you haven't done before in training" or "call that a hill, pah, Gladstone Park is much tougher".

    So, if I'm just starting a 10k run, tired from the last two legs, I like to tell myself "it's only 6 miles - I've regularly run more in training". So, on that basis alone it's helpful to be comfortable enough running for 8 or 9 miles. Given the time you say it takes you to do 11k I'd say you'll have no trouble adding a 70 minute run, maybe once a week. One you acclimatise to that you can tell yourself as you start your run "it's only 50 more mins - a lot of which will be fun, sure I can do 70". Always visualise your finish in training and carry that thought or goal with you if you feel it tough out on the course.

    There's a big hill at the very start of each of the 3 run laps at Windsor. Rather than dreading this I tell myself to look forward to the downhill bit that follows and that because it's so early in each loop that one of the 3 hardest bits of the race is over before you've barely started, and that only a short bit into lap 2, two-thirds of the tough bit is already over. That kind of thing...

    My personal belief used to be that the swim is the only one where not doing the full 1500m regularly is the least important. You say you can do 1000m in 20 minutes. As long as this isn't really hard for you I personally think that on race day the extra 10~12 minutes you can just get through on perseverence - I mean it's only 10 more minutes and you'll be pumping anyway.

    Mind you I've become a bit more serious about it than in my first 2 seasons and now like to be able to swim longer by way of sets (my first such session starts this morning :( ). You say you do over 2k a session anyway so I think you'll be fine.

    The flipside of all this of course that in a race situation you'll keep going that bit longer just out of adrenaline, sense of occasion and personal pride / inner strength. That's why Tri is such a great sport - it allows us all to have our own targets for what we consider success.
  • Options
    SamRSamR Posts: 19
    Thanks for the advice...i've done a short run after one of my rides and i didn't find it too hard, i'm going to try a proper brick session later today (bike/run) and i'll see how it goes.
  • Options
    PC 67 That is a great post I've found it very helpful and I'll be thinking along those lines from now on in traning thank you.
  • Options
    clarkey30clarkey30 Posts: 270
    I personally think that the swim is the most important of the three to be comfortable at the distance for!

    For my first tri i swam 1600 metres consitantly to get used to the way it felt and to reasure myself i could do the distance! at the end of the day you canb get round the bike no matter how tired and the run, it just wont be a fast time but if you cant do the swim then your in trouble...

    Hope that didnt sound off putting!

    Its the first discipline, the one you will be most bervous about prior to which will be magnified by the adrenaline so if your confident you can complete the distance with ease it will settle you down!
Sign In or Register to comment.