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A 21 week, MIDDLE DISTANCE TRI training plan (HR), INTERMEDIATE (for all-round ability)

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A 21 week, MIDDLE DISTANCE TRI training plan (HR), INTERMEDIATE (for all-round ability)


Peter Wilby

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21 Weeks

Plan Description


This is a 21 week, MIDDLE DISTANCE TRIATHLON training plan (1900m swim, 90km bike, 21km run). The plan includes swim training (open water is included in the final 8 weeks); bike training indoors and outside (all bike sessions are accompanied with workout files to upload to your trainer or device); run training (with specific focus on injury prevention and longevity); and finally, strength (accompanied with follow along videos - for further video demonstration contact me to provide for free

Swim training requires a metronome but this is not essential. The bike and run sessions require a heart rate monitor. And for the strength sessions you need access to a gym or your own bar and weights.


This training plan would suit an INTERMEDIATE athlete with a fairly even skill level across the three triathlon disciplines. Most people have strengths and weaknesses but as long as you are capable to start this plan, you are capable to finish it.

If you currently swim around 2km two to three times per week, ride three or four times weekly with one ride for over one hour at a time, and if you can happily run for 30 minutes at a easy pace, without pain or to stop, then this is the TRIATHLON plan for you.


You need a solid base of fitness before starting. It would be ideal to have already completed an off season plan or be following the ROLLING plan before starting. This plan is designed to get you race ready by supplementing specific MIDDLE DISTANCE TRI training with high intensity training (MAX) and race pace (THRESHOLD) training to maximise performance.

The timetable remains the same going through this entire 21 week plan but but the duration of some of the sessions increases. Each week has three swims, four rides, three runs and two strength and mobility sessions.


This plan has been set out with three simple categories of session:

EASY - anything that is mainly no higher than Z2 heart rate

THRESHOLD - anything with the focus being mostly higher than Z2 but mostly lower than FTHR

MAX - any session with the main focus above FTHR

The categories clearly set things out. However, an EASY four hour bike ride is still tough. A 45 minute MAX bike might not be as much stress. Each title covers a broad array of training. For example MAX could be focused on neuromuscular adaptations in Z7 as well as anaerobic capacity in Z6 and VO2max in Z5, all very different. THRESHOLD could be around FTHR and Z4 but also quite long steady sessions in Z3. EASY will mainly be Z1 or Z2 but there might be bursts included, taking the muscles and power output right through the intensity range.


You will work off a four week training block (three weeks building fitness / one week easier). The preseason phase (P3) is 8 weeks. The competition phase (P4) is 13 weeks. The longest swim is 2.9km although the swims are mostly around 2km. The longest bike is four hours. The longest run is 90 minutes, EASY.

We would love to hear about your dreams, your progress and your highs and lows with this plan. Don't be a stranger. By COMMITING to this plan you WILL be confident to EXCEL at your MIDDLE DISTANCE TRI.

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Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Bike x4
05:55:00 04:25:00
Swim x3
6,459m 2,950m
Run x3
02:10:00 02:10:00
Strength x2
00:54:00 00:30:00
Day Off x1
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
05:55:00 04:25:00
6,459m 2,950m
02:10:00 02:10:00
00:54:00 00:30:00
Day Off
—— ——

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • GPS

All supported devices

Pete Wilby



My name is Pete Wilby. I am triathlon and open water swimming coach based by the sea in Teignmouth, Devon, UK. I coach triathletes and open water swimmers from beginner, right through to World Championship level.

My mission is to coach with a holistic perspective that helps people to excel. To summarise my philosophy, I have designed the LENS acronym (Life, Endurance training, Nutrition and Strength). This is how I - and I hope you will too - will view training and coaching.

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This plan is protected by our Refund Policy and may, with the author's approval, be exchanged for a plan of equal value from the same author.

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