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PTO World #2 shares how he’s preparing for the demands of triathlon’s biggest season yet

Magnus Ditlev takes us through his plans for the season.

Staff Reporter
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Following one of best years of his career in 2023, Danish triathlon star Magnus Ditlev is not resting on his laurels ahead of the upcoming triathlon season.

The PTO World #2, who last year finished third at the IRONMAN World Championship and secured back-to-back Challenge Roth wins has even bigger ambitions for 2024.

In an interview with TRI247, Ditlev talked us through his winter training and what he’s been working on over the past ten weeks.

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The road back to full volume

Having finished his season at IRONMAN Florida, where he crossed the line in fifth, Ditlev said that he took more down time than he normally does before regrouping ahead of a busy 2024.

Neumann Blummenfelt Ditlev PTO European Open men podium Ibiza 2023 photo credit: PTO
[Photo credit: PTO]

“So I took a little bit of a longer break than I usually did after last season. We didn’t know the exact T100 schedule, but we knew that it would be a massive season coming up.

“I think taking a little bit of a longer break ahead of this season was good for me. I had been racing some big races last season, so it was a much needed break before I started training up again in December.”

Now back into the full swing of things, Ditlev admitted that returning to training after a break is never easy, but that he’s happy to report that the work is slowly starting to come together.

“The first few weeks are always rough, but since then it has been actually going super well and the past nine or ten weeks now have been really consistent training.

“During this time, the focus has been on improving the swimming and the run and then just more on maintaining the level on the bike. I think it has been working really well and I’m looking forward to see how it pans out in the first T100 race.”

Focusing on the fundamentals

In a change from previous seasons, Ditlev and his team have really emphasised the base building phase so far in 2024, with the Dane stressing the importance of not peaking too early in the year.

magnus-ditlev-kona-2022-bike
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images for IRONMAN

“I think if there is anything that I have been doing differently, it’s that I’ve been doing a bit more base work. Because it’s going to be such a long season, it’s important not to peak for Miami for instance, because then if you do that then it ends up being a really long year to maintain that top level.

“We’ve been a bit more careful with introducing very high intensity as we try to build throughout this season, as it’s going to be something no one in triathlon has really tried before with so many high caliber races.”

To prepare for those top level competitions, Ditlev revealed that he has been working closely with some new swim coaches to close the gap to his competitors in the water.

“The approach we have taken is to step back a little bit on the high intensity stuff and then focus on some good solid endurance work. We have been working really closely with a few top level swim coaches that have had huge success with Olympic swimmers.

“That has helped a lot, with the focus of the swim on the technique and really focusing on form and having video feedback very often to see how I look. Generally with the swim it’s more about overall development for me, so it’s more general technique work instead of focusing on the exact sessions.”

Volume over intensity on the run

With his focus on the swim and the bike workouts all about maintaining power, Ditlev said that his run sessions have been planned to prepare specifically for the long year ahead.

Magnus Ditlev at the men's IRONMAN World Championships.
[Photo Credit – Donald Miralle for IRONMAN]

During this base building period, the Dane has been running as much as 140km per week in training, with volume taking precedence over intensity and a lot of that work done at Zone 2.

“This season the run has been more of like zone two stuff with generally really high mileage throughout the past ten weeks.

“It has not been anything like crazy in terms of fast sessions, but it has just been about getting in the more general endurance work.”

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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