How to Train as a Multi-Event Athlete

How Young Athletes Can Train for Multiple Events

Training as a “multi-eventer” can be fun and interesting for a young athlete. Practicing for a number of different events is also good for their long-term athletic development. Many coaches believe that such an approach will:

  1. Make a young athlete less susceptible to injury.
  2. Result in a higher degree of coordination.
  3. Result in an athlete who, as they get older, is capable of adjusting to more stressful training loads.

Concentrating on just one event while young (or “specialising”) may actually limit overall skill development compared to experiencing a wide range of skills and events.

Some young athletes may want to train as multi-event athletes with a view to competing in multi-event competitions in the future. If so, it is worth understanding that a multi-eventer can never train for an event as an event specialist can. Time limits and other factors may prevent a multi-eventer achieving technical perfection in any of the events. The athlete is aiming for a reliable technique that suits them in each event.

Should all young athletes train as multi-eventers? Have your say via the poll at the end of this post.

5 Tips for Training as a Multi-Eventer

1. Run, Jump, Throw

Young athletes should aim to do one run, one jump and one throw in every training session (20 minutes on each event is a good guide).

2. Speed

Plan to include some type speed work in every session. This may include starts, accelerations, maximum speed, agility, quickness, etc.

3. Technique

Choose 2-3 technical points that contribute most to the outcome of each event. Focus on and work hard at these.

4. Weaker Events

A young athlete’s weaker events should dominate their training attention. Never abandon an event; try all techniques.

5. Best Events

Never ignore a young athlete’s best events. Maintain and refine them.

NOTE: A young athlete may not be able to do all events in a week. There are usually events that an athlete likes best and wants to spend more time on. By all means, a young athlete should train for their favourites, but never at the expense of ignoring their weaker events in the hope that they will go away or come good in competition.

What are your tips for multi-event athletes?

Do you have any tips for training as a multi-eventer or coaching a young multi-event athlete? Let me know by leaving a reply/comment or by using the below contact details.

Have your say

Further reading


Why All Young Athletes Need a Multi-Event Base

What A Multi-Event Coaching Session Can Look Like

How Sport Specialization Can Actually Limit Athlete Potential

For Best Results When Should Young Athletes Specialise?

If this post helped you please take a moment to help others by sharing it on social media. If you want to learn more I encourage you to leave questions and comments or contact me directly.

Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes, and founder of the blog Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedin, or via email. Check out Coaching Young Athletes on YouTube, the Coaching Young Athletes podcast, and the Coaching Young Athletes E-Book Series.

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4 thoughts on “How to Train as a Multi-Event Athlete

  1. Ruth Hanssen says:

    Coaching a young athlete in multi event needs to be
    Train the skills by thinking outside the square.
    In our swimming training for tetrathalon we used to do cartwheels and pool gymnastics to increase strength not just swimming.
    Sprints are very important.
    Short and sweet – keep it fun
    Technique becomes vital


  2. Marino Rea Danilowicz says:

    Multi events training is the best but time restraints are problematic in a wide range of ages and abilities, i have a group of 18 from 10 to 15. We have just gone back outdoor training and do two training sessions a week, i’m experimenting with doing two types of training per session but its still difficult with assistant coaches and within an hour session.


    • I agree that multi-event training is difficult to program, particularly if you are only working with one-hour sessions. I conduct 75- minute sessions with 8-10 year olds and 90-minute sessions with older athletes. I think that one of the keys is accepting that you may only coach fragments of each event during a session. It is impossible to get through as much as you would if coaching a single event during a session. Darren


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