First Olympic Triathlon: Do I Have Enough Time to Train?

author : TeamMPI
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I just did a sprint triathlon and want to sign up for my first olympic in six weeks. Is this enough time to train?

Member Question

I was hoping to get some tips in training for my first Oly. My first triathlon was a sprint distance. It was a 520 yard swim, 12 mile bike, 5k run. My times were 17:34, 46:33, and 28:30 respectively. The swim was tough but I've scheduled a swim lesson with video this week.  As far as the bike goes, I did this race on a borrowed hybrid bike averaging a little over 15mph. I've since upgraded to a used triathlon bike and have been averaging 18 mph. 

My plan is to sign up for an Olympic triathlon in six weeks. I was debating doubling my distance in such a short amount of time but feel that with the proper swim training I can complete the race. 

I've created a six week training course on BT and it starts on Sunday. This week i'll continue to put in my miles on the run and bike along with getting started with a better swim technique. 

Any tips for training on short notice? My fitness level is such that a 30 mile bike ride and 6 mile runs are no issues on their own. I've never bricked such a long work out though. I did finish the sprint tri strong without having to walk.

Answer from Mark Sortino
Team MPI Coach

The best advice I can give is don't "double-up to catch-up". I'd rather you swim, bike and run more frequently than to just increase your volume with less training sessions. Try and get in the pool at least three times a week. If you have time, work up to swimming 1500 meters straight to gauge your fitness.

Additionally, getting time on your new tri bike is essential. If you haven't gotten a professional bike fit, I would recommend it. Either way, you should strive to become comfortable on the new bike so that you can ride the 40K mostly in the aero bars. Ideally, riding four times a week for as little as 30min and a max three hours is plenty.

For the run, strive to have at least one brick a week that's 20-30min long. Your long run will be fine at 1:15 depending on your fitness. I would recommend four runs a week. With all of these I would recommend some speed change sessions in the form of intervals or tempo sessions. But most importantly, get time swimming, biking and running and build your aerobic engine. We do that by going EASY when we're supposed to!

Coach Mark Sortino is a USA Triathlon Level II Coach and Head Coach for Team USA Paratriathlon in 2012 and 2013. Mark is also co-founder and owner of Team MPI (Multisport Performance Institute) that provides a diverse spectrum of services uniquely structured for both novice and experienced multisport athletes. For more information, check out


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date: August 13, 2014


MPI services include coaching, single & multi-day tri camps, clinics, swim video analysis, tri swim programs, bike fitting & more!


MPI services include coaching, single & multi-day tri camps, clinics, swim video analysis, tri swim programs, bike fitting & more!

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