16 weeks long distance Triathlon base phase


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

All plans by this Coach


16 Weeks

Typical Week

4 Bike, 3 Swim, 3 Run, 1 Strength, 1 Day Off

Longest Workout

1:30 hrs swim
5:00 hrs bike
2:00 hrs run

Plan Specs

triathlon ironman beginner intermediate advanced hr based pace based base period

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.

Still have questions about this plan?


Every training plan is built specifically to use within the TrainingPeaks desktop apps, iOS app, and Android app. During purchase you will be asked to login or create a free account to start your training.


This base training long 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

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.

Level 3 British Triathlon Coach
Training Bible Master Endurance Coach
Training Peaks Level 1 Coach
Level 3 Personal Trainer
TRX Instructor

This 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.


Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 13:04
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 13:04
Average Weekly Breakdown

Nick de Meyer

Sound Coaching

Nick has been a Level 3 British Triathlon Coach for 10 years, and has been a master endurance coach with Training Bible Coaching UK in that time. He is also a Training Peaks Level 1 Coach, and was formerly 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

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

Indoors-Isolated Leg Training

Isolated Leg Training on trainer. After warm-up, alternate 20-60 seconds with 1 leg--other on a chair. Get a total of 7-10 minutes of ILT on each leg in workout. Alternate legs as you feel like it. Comfortably high cadence. Focus on eliminating dead spot at top of stroke by pushing toes forward in shoes at top.

Sample Day 2

1/2 ironman swim develop pacing awareness 1km tt and 100m pacing

AIM: Develop Pacing Awareness Warm Up 300 FC 100 BC Main Set: Keep focussed – tough session 5 x 100m FC Pace Control 30 rest 85% effort 1000m TT FC 80-85% 60 rest • Odd lengths bilateral every 3 • Record Time 5 x 100m FC Pace Control 20 rest 85% effort • Keep 100m splits consistent • Keep to rest periods • Maintaining Stroke count • Record Total time for 100m splits and rest – minus 4:10 Cool Down Stroke drills per 100m (if time) 4x 25 FC Eyes closed swim – 10 secs gap. Practice tumble turns 3-4 times 100 BR

Sample Day 2

Check cadence

On soft surface. Heart rate zone 1 only. Check cadence several times (21 plus right foot strikes in 15 seconds).

Sample Day 3

Easy ride

Ride in 1-2 zone, mostly 1 zone. Flat course. Low effort--light on pedals. Comfortably high rpm.

Sample Day 3

AA, 3-4 sets

After warm up do 3-4 sets of AA. Cool down with 5-10 minutes of spinning in easy gear/resistance at high rpm. For details go to START (above), WORKOUT DESCRIPTIONS or TRAINING, PRINTABLE VIEW OF WORKOUTS or see Joe Friel's Training Bible book.

Sample Day 4

10x100 (10 RI) 2x 500 neg split

BT: WU 400m FC with BC every 4th length Then do 10 x 100 with 10 seconds rests. All-out effort. What was your total time for this set (or average 100 time)? 2x 500m neg split 30 rest cool down 300 mix of strokes

Sample Day 4

Base building

On soft but firm surface, heart rate in zone 1 only. Pretty form and quick cadence.

16 weeks long distance Triathlon base phase

$112.00 - Buy Now