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12-weeks Triathlon Blue Ridge - Intermediate


Karen Buxton

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12 Weeks

Plan Description

This 12-week plan is for the intermediate triathlete who has completed at least one half iron distance event and is interested in improving their performance. Before starting this plan you are capable of swimming 3 times per week at 30 to 45 minutes per session, able to cycle comfortably for at least 2.5 hours and should be able to run for at least 75 minutes. You should have enough time to work out 45 to 90 minutes per day during the week and 2 to 4.5 hours per day on the weekends.

The workouts are prescribed using heart rate zones. It is best that you have a heart rate monitor for this plan and test and set your run and bike heart rate training zones before you begin the 12-week build. If you do not have a heart rate monitor or do not currently have your training zones set, you can use perceived exertion. Go to: to view a “Rate of Perceived Exertion Chart.”

If you are interested in testing and setting your zones, below are the tests that I suggest.

BIKE—Warm-up well and then ride a 30-minute time trial all out, race-effort. Use a flat, out and back course. 10-minutes into the time trial punch the lap button on your heart rate monitor. Average heart rate for last 20-minutes predicts Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR). Also record distance covered or average speed

RUN--Warm up well and then run a 30-minute time trial on flat course/track. Punch HR monitor 'lap' button 10-minutes into time trial. Average heart rate for last 20-minutes predicts Lactate threshold Heart Rate (LTHR). Also record distance covered or average speed.

Use the LTHR from each effort to set your training zones.

Training Zones using Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR)

Run zones:
Zone 1 -Less than 85% of LTHR

Zone 2 -85% to 89% of LTHR

Zone 3 -90% to 94% of LTHR

Zone 4 -95% to 99% of LTHR

Zone 5a -100% to 102% of LTHR

Zone 5b -103% to 106% of LTHR

Zone 5c -More than 106% of LTHR

Bike Zones:

Zone 1 -Less than 81% of LTHR

Zone 2 -81% to 89% of LTHR
Zone 3 -90% to 93% of LTHR

Zone 4 -94% to 99% of LTHR

Zone 5a -100% to 102% of LTHR

Zone 5b -103% to 106% of LTHR

Zone 5c -More than 106% of LTHR

SWIM—In week one of this plan, you will perform a swim test to determine your training pace (100 yard or meter time). Following the warm-up, swim 1000 yards/meters at a constant pace and good effort—as if racing. Record the time in your log and record your average pace per 100. This pace will be called your “T-pace.”
Check out this article for more information on setting training zones:

Hydration and nutrition are very important in the overall plan with longer distance training and racing. Please go to this article for more information:

Thank you for purchasing the plan—enjoy the training and good luck with your event. Please contact me at if you have any questions.

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Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Swim x3
02:04:00 01:00:00
Bike x3
04:06:00 04:00:00
Run x3
01:54:00 02:00:00
Strength x2
00:41:00 00:30:00
Day Off x1
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
02:04:00 01:00:00
04:06:00 04:00:00
01:54:00 02:00:00
00:41:00 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

Karen Buxton

I work with triathletes, duathletes, runners, swimmers and endurance cyclists from first-timers to elites.

One-on-one premium level-$350 per 4-week block +$200 start-up fee; Quarterly level- $500 per 12-week block +$200 start-up fee; Basic level-$225 per 12-week block +$175 start-up fee; pre-built plans (prices vary); hourly phone consultation & individual training sessions available. For more information email me at

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