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Going from Sprint to Olympic

Howdy Folks fairly new to the forum and I have to say the advice and posting is first class ........... my questions are around training up from Sprint to Olympic - I've done a few sprints and throughly enjoyed them but they always seem to be over too quickly even though I'm only just starting to beat the 1hr 30 mins mark .......

I suppose what I'd like to do is take my base fitness and move into the Olympic distance and then maybe next year attempt a Half IM for my 40th Birthday present to myself (yes I know some present).

My current training has increased (not consiously, it just has) - my typical swim training is 2000 - 3000 m (with some drills when I can be arsed) twice a week, my bike is one hard sprint session of 2 x 15km (work and back along the hard shoulder of the N7 - the Irish will know this road), 1 x 55km / 60km ride done for endurance and slowly building week on week, my aim is to get to 80 / 90 km. My running is well down as I have an injured sacroilliac and I'm finally having physio and manipulation for it but I'm doing one session per week with my Tri club which involves a nice warm up and then "hell" with intervals of 90 seconds on, 90 seconds off followed by a good warm down .............. I'm comfortable running 10km in the gym in around 50 mins when fully fit.

I feel like I could probably do one tomorrow - how different are they and based on my honest assesment will I survive and am I on my way to my ultimate of a half IM?????

Any advice taken and digested ............


  • garyrobertsgaryroberts Posts: 869
    will I survive

    you train on the N7 and ask us if you will survive a triathlon?????

    Seriously, i can't offer any advice regarding the step up as you have more experience than me! But its a question i too would be interested in having answered.


  • fatstufatstu Posts: 46
    I think you're pretty much there from what you are doing now, once the injury gets sorted out. Turn your bike home into a brick with a 5k run after you get there and I think you're good to go. I'll let you know about 1/2 IM after a June 7th when I do my first one but from my own experience of going from sprint up to Olympic I built it up to be a much bigger deal than it really was and put it off much longer than I needed to. I was one of the people taking the softly softly approach and I wish I had just taken everyone's advice and just entered a bigger race earlier to make me focus and get it done

    Let us know how it goes, the race reports on this forum at the moment are awesome...
  • pippip Posts: 170
    My advice to you would be to try a 40k bike followed by a 10k run brick session.I`m no personal trainer but i`ve been training hard for my 1st triathlon sprint for about 8 months.The above brick session will give you some idea of how hard an olympic distance is.Itried it a few weeks ago and did the distance in 2hours 10 mins and i can tell you it`s the hardest thing i`ve ever done in my sporting career and i didn`t even have a swim so i`m quite daunted by the whole shebang.I found a good mental attitude was most important because i could`ve given up on the run on numerous occasions but just kept going.I`m doing my 1st sprint on 31st May on then Olympic with open water swim on 20th Sept at Tatton Park.

    Just give it a whirll mate and good luck
  • Phil TPhil T Posts: 49
    Last season was my first in the sport and I planned only to do sprints and then OD this season. Like yourself though i thought I'd have a crack at the OD. I have to say I found it a big difference and harder than I thought. It didn't help the weather was gale force winds in all 3 events either but I suppose the location of our lovely island dangling into the Atlantic there is always a good chance of crappy weather.

    However, I'd say defo go for it. Looks like you're training enough. Mistakes I made on my first one was not toping up my energy levels with gels, drinks etc, going too hard on the bike leg. Still do the sprint events I'd say but get some OD expereince under the belt and then tune your training to suit that. Also I got involved with a local tri club and that really helped.

    All the best anyway...
  • pippip Posts: 170
    Yeah ditto PhilT make sure you get plenty fluids and electrlyte drink down your nec on your bike leg and also when you`re running,don`t want those cramps mate
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    The distances that you are currently doing will put you easily in reach of the OD. You'll need to swim like there's a bike ride to follow, then ride like there's a run to follow. What I mean is slow down a bit and pace yourself.

    For my first OD I was surprised at how I seemed to run out of energy in the second half of the run. Then, when I looked at my times I saw the reason: a negative split! The cause of this was some good old fashioned race-day excitement and the realisation at the 5km marker that "Woohoo, I'm going to DO this!!".

    fatstu is (IMHO) exactly right with the brick suggestion. I'd also partly agree with pip about giving a 40k/10k a go, but I wouldn't do it too often. Also, you might have a rubbish one which will just scare you more. There's nobody to cheer you on in a training session. Your base fitness will be coming from going over-distance on the bike and over-distance on the run (when you're healthy again), though not at the same time. Bricks are very handy for teaching you about pace, pain, and more pain.

    It's funny that I'm giving exactly the same advice to you to progress from sprint->OD that I need to be listening to in my sudden and irresponsible urge to go from OD->70.3...

    Look at the thread where I asked 'Should I do a 70.3?' and read some of the comments: Conehead's comment in particular... he's obviously found a good tri book and copied a section out of it, or perhaps simply fluked an inspirational response. I also got a flood of 'Go for it!' from many people, which I suspect is about to happen to you. Basically, regardless of actual distance, we're both doubling the distance of what we've done before - whatever happens it's going to give you a potty moment thinking about it.


    Oh, in case you missed my opinion: GO FOR IT!

  • FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    Right there with you on this one Johnstown, but without the sprint experience... yet.

    Aiming for sub 1hr 30 (trying not to compete with Gary, but would be ecstatic if I went under 1:15) in my 3 sprints this year and sub 3hrs for my OD in September then next year, you guessed it a half ironman/middle distance/70.3 or whatever you want to call it.

    Every so often I get huge doubts about whether I can really do this and how much of a tit I'm going to look when I collapse on the run, but what the hell... I've made a tit of myself before and got over it!

    We can do this right? Right? Oh god...
  • MowfMowf Posts: 272
    You are doing plenty mate - you'll be fine. The only thing is to get more running off the bike in, like everyone says. It all depends on how fast you want to go really. Right now it looks like you'll finish it 'comfortably'. If you want to go faster you'll need to do more running.
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    Sounds like you should be fine I would have thought. As Bopo said this is really a lower distance version of the thread about him doing a half IM. Go for it!
  • Many thanks for all the responses and encouragement ............. looks like a few sprints and the big one for me in August - The Caroline Kearney Memorial in Ireland ................
  • dcdc Posts: 10
    Dispite this only being my season in tri, I too am thinking of taking the step up from sprint to olympic towards the end of the summer.

    How much training in km terms do you reckon is required (for each disipline) to complete an OD in a decent time?

    Currently my fitness is ok, and is improving all the time, looking to complete my next sprint in under 1h15m (well fingers crossed!)
  • willtriwilltri Posts: 436
    Hi everyone,

    I'm also thinking of steping up - but i seem to remember reading that you should only increase your training/distance by a certain percentage over a certain amount of time?????

    Like 10% increase in running distance every month? so from 10 miles to 11 miles.

    Does anyone know the actual percentages/times?


  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    willtri wrote:

    Like 10% increase in running distance every month? so from 10 miles to 11 miles.

    I always believed it was a max of 10% a WEEK. Then in week 4 drop to 60% of the 3rd week's distance/time as a recovery week, then 5th week is at the levels of week 3, then you build by 10% agfain for another couple of weeks etc.


    week 1 10 miles

    week 2 11 miles

    week 3 12.1 miles

    week 4 7.25 miles

    week 5 12.1 miles

    week 6 13.3 miles

    week 7 14.6 miles

    week 8 8.8 miles



  • willtriwilltri Posts: 436
    10% a WEEK

    That sounds a lot better - would take for ages to get anywhere near an ironman [:D]


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