Training articles

How to know if you are ready for medium and long distance

Before venturing out to test the distance, we suggest some test-type trainings so that you can evaluate your preparation.

The jump to medium and long distance from Olympic triathlon is more frequent than we imagine.

Motivation to do "something bigger" sometimes outweighs awareness. Before venturing out without thinking about it, we propose some test-type trainings so that you can evaluate your preparation.

When we talk about medium distance triathlons, it is usually about 2 km of swimming, 80-90 km of cycling and 21 km of running.

If we compare it with the Olympic distance, we are practically talking about doubling the distance, except in the swimming segment.

Therefore, the fact having done several Olympic triathlons does not assure us that we are prepared to complete a mid-distance one.

How can I know if I am ready to complete a medium distance triathlon?

Bike-race transition training. We have 2 proposals:

Total number of kilometers by bike + 80% of the race. For example: 80Km bike + 16Km race

80% of the bike distance + entire race. For example: 65 Km bike + 21Km race

In both cases, it is advisable to look for routes with similarities to the competition, that is, a bike segment without unevenness can be of little reference if the competition has an accumulated unevenness of 800 meters.

Long Distance or Ironman Distance

The great leap into the long distance supposes doubling the previous distance, including the swimming segment. We emphasize this because it is well known to all that the weak point of many popular triathletes is swimming.

Therefore, when doing some test-type workouts that help us to evaluate our progress in training, it is very important that we include the swimming segment in open waters.

Long distance test workouts

Sea-bike transition:

Prepare your refreshment because the morning will be long: 4 km swim in open water (sea, swamp, etc.) + 120 km bike by uneven route similar to the competition.

Bike-race transition:

We can choose between 60 and 80% of the total distance of each segment or to do 10-15% more of one than the other. For example: 115 km bike + 20 km race.

When to do these workouts?

To begin with, we must bear in mind that we count on the athlete being able to cover the entirety of each segment separately.

In addition, he has the appropriate experience in the distance closest to which he wants to debut, that is, several Olympic triathlons for medium distance and several medium for long distance.

Starting from that base of experience and training, we can include this type of training in the specific preparation phase, when the training volumes are still quite high.

How do I rate my workouts?

We will use these trainings to assess the weakest part and thus be able to adjust the preparation for the competition. We leave you some examples:

I get out of the water with a very altered heart rate and a feeling of suffocation so it is difficult for me to catch up on the bike à You must train more swimming in open water with neoprene

When I start to run, my legs do not respond to me.Includes more bike-race transitions of less distance

The race starts well but from Km 10 the fatigue is very accentuated à Includes longer runs and some with a previous bike

As always, we recommend that your great challenges be accompanied by great professionals who guide you in planning your workouts.

Laura García Cervantes
Laura García Cervantes.
Dra. Science of Physical Activity and Sport

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