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12 weeks middle distance triathlon Base phase plan

Author

Nick de Meyer British Triathlon Federation level 3 Coach, Training Bible Master endurance coach

All plans by this Coach

Length

12 Weeks

Plan Description

This base training plan is written to prepare you for your middle distance triathlon

1.2 mile Swim | 56 mile Bike | 13.1 mile Run

This base training middle distance triathlon plan will provide you with the foundations of the aerobic training period, which is characterised by increasing volume, performed at relatively low intensities. This phase has a strong emphasis on general conditioning, and physical, mental and technical skills such as working on your swim technique, improving your cycling efficiency, or working on running cadence or technique

This middle distance triathlon base plan focuses on the base building phase of training

Reasons for base aerobic training over the winter months

We're going to be going over the physiological adaptations from training aerobically in zones 1 in this article:

Zone 1 Improvements:

Lung capacity and breathing frequency
Stroke volume of heart increases
Cardiac output increases
Heart size increases
Plasma volume expands
Blood flow distribution (shunting)
Heart rate decreases (average)
Inspiratory muscle oxygen cost reduced
Systolic blood pressure reduced
Capillary density increased
Fuel use (favours fat metabolism)
Mitochondrial size and number
Muscle fibre type shifts to type 1
Increase in muscle fibre cross sectional area. Plasma free fatty acid use increases as duration increases

Are you working on all of these areas in your base training period? If not then you could well do with a coach

What are the benefits of training in zone 2 to build your aerobic engine and base fitness?

Zone 2 heart rate power or pace is the intensity that builds aerobic endurance. Go higher than zone 2 and you start to develop anaerobic endurance systems . Go lower than this and you are not working hard enough to challenge the aerobic systems

By the end of the base period you should swim bike and run faster than you did at the start of the base period.

Mark Allen (6x hawaii world champs winner) used a hr as the upper limit of 155 bpm of his running intensity - that's his zone 2! When he first started he was running an 8:15 per mile pace (5:09/ km).

Within a year he was running 5:20 per min mile (3:20 per km) wow! at the same heart rate. He had become 35 per cent faster without working any harder.

This training plan is written to prepare you to finish your first Half distance triathlon race. The weekly volume per week starts at 8 hours and will gradually move up to 12-14. You should already be consistently training 8-10 hours per week before starting this plan and ideally you should have completed some Olympic distance races in the past season

This plan is based on an annual volume of 500 hours per year, which won't necessarily mean an average of 10 hours per week. It will build to 14+ with recovery weeks at around 8 hours per week.

While it’s definitely possible to finish a Half distance Triathlon with fewer hours per week or fewer days per week than what you see here, I wanted to present a plan which emphasizes consistent buildup of hours to make your race day more enjoyable and less of a day of Swim-Bike-Walk.
 
I realize that every athlete has specific strengths, weaknesses, available hours, and other restrictions. Hopefully, you can adjust this plan to fit you well enough.

This swim plan is designed by Nick de Meyer, Head coach for Speedy Swimming, (BTF level 3, STA level 2 swim teacher, Master endurance coach Training Bible UK) who specialise in teaching triathletes and swimmers. This plan encapsulates all of Nicks training, racing and coaching experience of many open water triathlons, long triathlon events, his swim skills and drills teaching methods and from completing the Dart 10km Swim in Devon.

How it Works

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Training Plan Sample Week

Stats

Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Bike x3
3:28 hrs 2:00 hrs
Run x3
2:25 hrs 1:45 hrs
Swim x3
3:00 hrs 1:15 hrs
Day Off x1
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
Bike
3:28 hrs 2:00 hrs
Run
2:25 hrs 1:45 hrs
Swim
3:00 hrs 1:15 hrs
Day Off
—— ——

Training Load By Week


This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • GPS

All supported devices

Nick de Meyer

Speedy Swimming

Nick has been a Level 3 British Triathlon Coach for 14 years, and has been a master endurance coach with Training Bible Coaching UK in that time. He is also a Training Peaks Level 2 Accredited Coach, and has worked as a Regional Development Coach for the South East region for British Triathlon.

Alongside his online coaching business, Nick also runs Speedy Swimming which specialise in 1-2-1 front crawl technique lessons, endless pool swim video analysis, swim clinics and group swim sessions


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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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