Similar to the bike, the run distance also more than doubles. Your Olympic run was a 10K (6.2 miles) after swimming and cycling. Certainly not a breeze for the average triathlete. The thought of running more than double that distance at 13.1 miles, after swimming and riding a total of 57.2 miles, might seem only appealing to those that come from a running background.
Part of the appeal to racing a 70.3 event is that it isn't particularly easy. It is a challenge. It doesn't matter if you're aiming for your first 70.3 or gunning for a faster time, it's no cakewalk. Furthermore, unless you hang out in athletic circles, few of your friends and coworkers are willing to be persistent and patient enough to complete the necessary training.
You love a good challenge.
Your long runs leading up to your Olympic race were likely around an hour long. Depending on your running history and how much time you have to prepare for the event, your long training runs for the 70.3 runs will be between 90 and 120 minutes. For some of you, the run training time doubles, for others it won't and it doesn't have to in order to be successful.
Tip: I've found that by placing the two long weekly workouts in cycling and running only a day or two apart, overall race endurance is built. For example, if you expect your race to last for 6 to 7 hours, your longest weekend workouts might include an hour swim and a 4-hour ride on Saturday followed by a long run of 90 to 120 minutes on Sunday. In two days, total training time is between 80- and 100-percent of estimated race time.
The Big Picture
Heading into your Olympic race, weekly training hours were likely in the 6- to 8-hour range. Some of you might have been as high as 10 hours in a few of the training weeks. For your 70.3 race, your preparation can easily be between six and 11 weekly training hours. Some of you may train no more than 10 hours in your biggest week.
Tip: Aim for training efficiency. That is, make all of your workouts count and have purpose. Don't get swept up into the false thought process that he or she with the most training hours "wins."
The Bottom Line
To prepare for your first 70.3 race, you can keep you weekday training hours at nearly the same time commitment that you've invested in training for Olympic distance racing. By increasing weekend training hours slightly and by strategically placing particular workouts close together, you can be on the start line with a high level of confidence that you are ready to be successful.
Search for your next triathlon.