Baw Baw Extreme training plan


Have you contemplated the challenge of doing an off-road Multisport race, but the thought of giving up all your free time for training holds you back? Or perhaps, you’re an experienced triathlete, having completed many different triathlon races but lack off-road skills?

We have designed a simple training plan for people who don’t have much spare time, but want to complete the Baw Baw Extreme course without illness or injury. It’s not suited to beginner endurance athletes, but more for beginner Multisport athletes. 

The training covers a 9 week period with the ultimate goal of completing your first Baw Baw Extreme race in about 15 hours. The most demanding week encompasses about 12 hours of training, while other weeks are less. 

Can you do it? 

Before beginning this plan, you should be capable of running continuously for one hour, at a pace of 6-7 minute per kilometre and riding for 20-30 km on any bike.

We are aware most people have a long list of commitments, so weekday training is kept fairly light. However, weekends are open for longer training hours. Take at least one day off from training each week to rest your body and keep you healthy and in good spirits.


Plan description 

General idea

Training for a race like Baw Baw Extreme requires preparation. You’ll need a plan that maps out what sport to do each day, for how long and what type of workout to do based on your other commitments and training opportunities you have. 

Before starting to plan your training, make a short assessment of your previous training/racing journey and look at where your strengths and weaknesses are. Whether you are a solid off-road type or an endurance junkie with limited off-road experience, should tell you where you should focus the bulk of your training - building off-road skills or improving your speed and endurance.


Keep it simple 

The main difference between training for triathlons and training for off-road multisport is that, while both of them are highly demanding from an endurance perspective, the off-road adds elements of terrain. Put in simple words, during Ironman training you teach your body to work effectively in aerobic mode, while for a multisport race like Baw Baw, you will have some aerobic sections, but with the additional elements of terrain and mountain bike riding, you will also need to incorporate some tempo and strength sessions into your routine. 

Everyone has different work/life schedules, therefore it is important to look after yourself, making sure you get enough rest and recover well. 

We suggest the following schedule for most of the training weeks:



















During the 9 weeks, we gradually build volume over the first 5 weeks, then drop volume for 2 weeks and increase speed and then taper on the final week prior the race day. 


Tuesday session: tempo intervals:

During the first 5 weeks we suggest the following sessions: 

Warm up - 10-15 minutes easy. Then 30-120 seconds hard efforts, followed by 60-120 seconds active recovery (light jog, spin). Main session is 20-40 minutes. The goal is to start from 30 seconds hard efforts in the first week with the main session being 20 minutes and build up 120 seconds hard efforts by the 5th week and the main session being 40 minutes. 

Cool down - 20-30 minutes. Following up with light stretching will speed up recovery. 

In the 6th and 7th weeks we suggest continuous hard efforts with roughly 85-90% intensity, instead of intervals. The goal is to keep up the pace for 30-60 minutes. 

For the last week we suggest going back to the shorter intervals and do just a few of them. 


Wednesday strength session (can be done on Friday):

Depending on your commitments, you can either jump on to circuit training with a cross-fit crew, preferably designed having mountain biking, running and paddling in mind, or you can do a jumps session, short hill repeats with push ups/burpees in between. Warm-up - cool down ride/runs followed by stretching is highly beneficial. 

Do low intensity in the first 2 to 3 weeks, take a rest in between sets, then build up intensity. Replaced by an aerobic session in the 2nd to last week before the race and no strength sessions on the last week prior the race. 


Thursday aerobic sessions:

Generally saying, it’s the continuous exercise for the given period of time, performed with low/moderate intensity. If you have got heart rate monitor, this is your 55-80% intensity. If you do not have a monitor, you’re aiming for an intensity where you can talk comfortably - if you can’t talk, you’re going too hard. 

We suggest to aim for 60-90 minute sessions during the week. 


Longer weekend sessions:

These are your fitness-building sessions; it is best is to aim for 2-4 hour sessions on hilly terrain, with the aim to cover as much elevation gain as possible. Walking uphill is fine, as in Baw Baw Extreme you will be walking for a substantial part of the last run. The intensity is low-moderate. Practise your nutrition plan and get used to eating/ drinking while you’re moving and carrying the required gear for the race. 

If you’re a solid technical mountain bike rider, you might benefit more from road riding on hills, rather than on mountain bike trails. However if skill is your weakness then, mix it up with terrain and technical sections and build your endurance along with skills. 



Training for a race like Baw Baw Extreme can be an extremely rewarding and life-changing journey. However, it requires a strong commitment and some sacrifices. Ultimately, we want you to be successful and satisfied with the work you have done.

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