Is It Possible: XC MTB, Long Course (70.3) and CX all in same season?

Has anyone successfully balanced a super blended season including multisport? My conundrum is I really love riding and racing bikes (XC MTB and CX), but still kind of want to also do some long course Tri’s.

I took a lot of years off from racing and the riding volume dropped, but jumped back in a few years back. Last year I ventured into Triathlon, my Ironman was canceled like many others and my training focused on long course up until a couple months before the event date when the cancelation was official. I did 4 Oly’s, that still managed to go off and came close to a 2:35:00 finish my last one. They all went off between Spring and late Summer, which conflicts/overlaps with XC.

I 100% pivoted to CX end of August and man was that a brutal transition. I only started to get the CX legs primed come the end of the season in November and even podiumed my last race. But the training intensity for the Tri bike and run is so not adequate for CX, unless I just settled to do Sprints🤷🏼‍♂️

This season I have abandoned Triathlon and am focused on XC to CX because of the parallels and thinking the time is better spent with a more narrow training and discipline focus.

Is it totally unrealistic to think there is a way to have a decent season racing XC (including a marathon race or two), Long Course Tri and finish with CX August through December, but not have almost a full season go by before I feel I can hang at the required intensity?

Or is that just to disparate of a training focus to accomplish and I’ll end up with Pisa poor seasons all around because the long course screws up the flow and transition that works at least with XC to CX?


It’s possible sure. Just meter your expectations in the Tri stuff. It won’t be as successful or feel as good. But you’d have enough fitness to get through 90km of TT from your XC/CX training.

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I do this every year! Sort of…

I do a couple XTERRA tri’s, and a 70.3. My tri season ends in August, then I start on CX for September - December. CX is BRUTAL in a very different way from triathlon, but I love it.

Disclaimer, I’m not very good at any of the disciplines. I just have a ton of fun.


It would help if you could give some dates for the events you want to do….

But all the bike stuff is obviously complimentary from a fitness POV…the question will be how successfully you can blend in the swim and run training when you need to.

@Power13 no dates for this season with Tri, likely would try and schedule for May/June if I try to give them all ago in 2023. That would be so I could transition for summer XC MTB and utilize the endurance for marathon XC. The bigger issue I see is the transition to CX. My experience last year was the bike fitness for Tri does not relate to CX, because never in training for a long course was my plan calling for my workouts that correspond to training for a Crit and a TT. Preparing to trudge along for 3-6hrs at 75-80% FTP did not help me at 100% sprinkled with 125% every other minute for 45mins.

But that volume gives you a use base for CX season….if you start to add in some VO2 work in August and start to dial in some CX-specific work, I think you’ll be surprised at how you can perform

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I would suggest doing one VO2max workout on the bike every week when in Tri season/training. You can still do your long, slow rides. That one VO2max session will help keep you sharp for XC MTB and for CX down the road.

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Just a pet peeve of mine, but they aren’t “long, slow rides”….they are long, steady, rides.

Otherwise, I agree…adding in a VO2 session the entire season is also a great option!


I did Wildflower long course on Saturday (the very last Wildflower :sob:). My first time running or swimming in two years. Finished AG 14/111. Following day I raced an XC event and finished on the Pro podium (local event) two minutes off the winner.

All my training was XC focused, but I feel I did just fine on the 70.3 course.

I do have a lot of base though. I did 1100 hours that year (21 hours a week average).

I am sure I did CX later in the year. But I really don’t like CX and haven’t done any (with no plans to) since my bike was stolen a couple years ago. I am sure you could do fine at it, but it isn’t my sport.

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In early 2019 I did an XC MTB, Half Marathon, and 4-hour marathon XC race in 3 weeks at the start of the season. The fitness gains through “base and build” in TR terminology are very complimentary when you are doing bike and run training. Sure you’ll lose a little bit of the “specialization”, but unless you are competing at a VERY high level you will be better off if trying all three through the year keeps you focused and training at a high level.

If you are training XC MTB that should help you balance the long races and CX. It is a discipline that can stress both the long endurance and short power depending on the course. The main thing to watch out for is overload with goal events being too close together, it can be tempting to block them too closely since they are “different disciplines”.