Is Olympic-distance triathlon training really all that different from training for a sprint triathlon? You bet.
You can get away with a lack of training in a short race. That won't work when the distance is doubled.
The No. 1 rule when moving from a sprint to Olympic-distance triathlon is to give yourself enough training time.
"Leave yourself 12 to 16 weeks to adequately train," says Elizabeth Waterstraat, triathlete and founder of Multisport Mastery (multisportmastery.com).
You need to build the stamina to be out there for three to four hours and there aren't any shortcuts for that. Leaving more time than you would for a sprint helps you build endurance without risking injury.
Vary Your Training
"Include endurance work, tempo work and threshold work," Waterstraat says.
Olympic distance is nothing to sneeze at, and you need a good, progressive training plan, not a train-when-you-feel-like-it plan, if you want to actually enjoy race day.
Get Your Technique Right
You might be able to get away with inefficient form over a short distance, but over longer ones, it will burn you out. Find a coach to assess your swimming, biking and running form and help you become more efficient. The more efficient you are in each discipline, the more energy you'll have for the next one.