What is a Long Course Weekend?

Offering three disciplines over three days, a Long Course Weekend is a multi-sport festival where athletes can choose their events. But why should you sign up for one? Read on for a breakdown of the benefits of this race format from Elise Metcalf...

What is a Long Course Weekend? Image credit: Tony Pham

Whether you’re an amateur triathlete or a budding pro, the Long Course Weekend is an enticing proposition. With competitions taking place around the world, this three-day event encompasses the sporting disciplines of swimming, running and cycling into an adrenaline-driven, endorphin-packed weekend.


What is the structure of a Long Course Weekend?

Athletes can select swimming, cycling and running events of varying distances, tailoring the course to their preferences and ability. There is the option to enter just one discipline, multiple disciplines or the entire Long Course Weekend.

For the swim, athletes can compete in either the 1.9km or 3.8km distance. The cycle features a 45km, 90km or 180km option, while the run consists of a 5km, 10km, half-marathon and marathon distances. For those looking for even more of a challenge, each event offers a Long Course and Half-Distance option. The former involves the longest distances for all three disciplines, while the Half-Distance provides athletes with the chance to take on half of this, otherwise known as middle-distance length disciplines.

Why should I do Long Course Weekend? 

The pick n’ mix approach to the weekend allows athletes to select races that reflect their ability and training. This makes it accessible to first timers and seasoned athletes alike. Whether you decide to try just one discipline to see how you get on, or throw yourself in the deep end with the Long Course option, it’s an event that caters for everyone. It can also be a great day out for the family, you don’t need to be a triathlete to get involved in these events as you can pick to do only one discipline – there’s something for everybody! 

Where can I race a Long Course Weekend?

The multisport festival originated in 2010 in Tenby, Wales and Long Course Weekend Wales now attracts tens of thousands of athletes each year from across the globe. Since then, the festival has expanded, with annual events now taking place in Holland, Belgium, Mallorca and Australia. While you might prefer to seek out an event that’s local to you, it’s also a good excuse to jump on a plane for a weekend getaway.

Tempted to sign up? Check out our training page for workout plans and race-day advice to start readying yourself for the start line.

Elise Metcalf is an amateur triathlete with an avid interest in exercise, nutrition and performance.


Image by Tony Pham, from Unsplash