How necessary are doubles?

Hey Y’all,

I’m starting a new job and trying to adjust my training goals accordingly. I’ve been doing Olympic and 70.3 distance tri’s for the last few years, and although I am planning on doing a few more this summer/fall, my time is definitely more limited than it once was. I can find the time to train at least once every day, and many weekend days I could pull off a double.

All of the plans have a lot of doubles built in, is it possible to be (moderately) competitive without a bunch of two a days? Not winning nationals by any means, but I’ve been close to and on a handful of local and regional podiums, and if I can still shoot for that, I’d be happy.

Thinking about either dropping my 70.3 plan to being Olympic focussed, or maybe just training as a pure cyclist for a while.

Any thoughts are appreciated!


You could do with a single double like below. It’s more important that you have a plan you can follow over many weeks and months than to have a plan that has an extra 1-2 sessions per week.

For example

Bike + brick run
Rest day

Swim + bike double

You don’t have a strength session like this but you could drop something if needed.

I don’t do tri anymore but I think its difficult to race long course or 1/2IM without them…there isn’t enough time. I would always do long bike/short run brick Saturday and long run Sunday for long course - and swim M/W/F morning before work and do a run plus 3 bike sessions in the evening so virtually every day was double…I don’t have the time now or the inclination now I’m over 50 so just TT 10,25,50m and run 5/10k…it is probably possible but you might need a multi week rota where you prioritise one aspect of your training whilst having the others in maintenance over say a 3 week cycle

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Think it depends a lot on your swim background. People I know who have done a lot of swimming in the past seem to be able to get away with minimal swimming and still be able to put in a very good swim time. If you can get away with swimming once a week, do a LV bike plan of 3 days/week, then run the rest of the time with maybe a few bricks, that’s a pretty solid plan.

yep - swim is all technique, if you swam as a kid you won’t lose it - only the fitness which you can get back - I didn’t so if I wanted to swim 1.5k in 22mins ish I needed to swim 3k 3x a week…needed a time machine to tell my 10 year old self to get to swim club :laughing:

If you’re already at that level then it’s more a case of maintenance, so it’s definitely more likely than if you are currently MOP or BOP.

What is it about doubles in particular? Is one hour in the morning, one hour in the evening harder to do than two hours in the morning?

I think the LV sprint or Olympic plans are 1 per day. 2 swim 2 bike 2 run. You could use that as a base and to get quality, and just add as much Z2 to the end as you want or alternate a long Sunday bike/run or brick.

Another option is going bike heavy, LV SSB into SusPB so 3 quality bike per week, just 1 swim and 2 runs.