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Couch to Olympic Training Made Easy + Coaching Videos


Wendy Mader

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16 Weeks

Plan Specs

triathlon ironman beginner hr based pace based

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Plan Description


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For only $99/mo you can add me as your personal “Accountability Coach”. As your Accountability Coach, I will connect your Training Peaks account with mine so I can provide daily/weekly feedback within your training plan’s calendar and training log. I will check up on your progress throughout the week, answer any questions you have and offer suggestions while you navigate through the program. As your Accountability Coach, you’ll never be alone.--

You're going to love this 16-week Olympic distance training plan from Ironman Certified Coach and 9x Kona finisher, Wendy Mader! In addition to 16 week's worth of swimming, biking, running and strength training workouts, we also included 3 INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS, one before each phase of training. That's right! You'll be able to see and hear coach Wendy explaining how each training block is organized and structured. This Olympic Distance Program goes beyond numbers on a spreadsheet. It's a multimedia approach along with PDF resources explaining workout terminology, for the swim, bike, run, plus nutrition, recovery, strength, and intensity recourse guides to reference throughout the program

This 16-week plan starts with 2 days in the pool, 2 days on the bike, 2 days running and 2 days of strength training and builds up to 3 swim, 3 bikes, and 3 runs, over time reducing strength to 1 day per week.

Monday is the scheduled rest day and the longer workouts are on the weekend. Duration ranges from 3- 9 hours per week Intensity is set to rate of perceived effort, RPE, heart rate, power or pace. Generally most beginners best train with RPE.

This plan is recommended for athletes who currently are able to swim 500 meters/yards, bike 30 minutes and run 2 miles and want to build up to a successful Olympic Distance Triathlon event.

I used the concept of periodization. Each month, you will progressively build duration and intensity over 3 weeks followed by a lower volume, recovery week.

This is a time-based program with suggestions on key workouts to focus on distance.

At the end of 8 weeks, you should be comfortable running at 10k event
At the end of 16 weeks, you should be comfortable completing Sprint Distance Triathlon
At the end of 16 weeks, you should be comfortable finishing an Olympic Distance Triathlon.

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Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
1:36 hrs 1:15 hrs
2:34 hrs 2:15 hrs
1:28 hrs 1:00 hrs
—— ——
0:30 hrs 0:30 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
1:36 hrs 1:15 hrs
2:34 hrs 2:15 hrs
1:28 hrs 1:00 hrs
—— ——
0:30 hrs 0:30 hrs

Training Load By Week

wendy mader

Ironman Certified Coach (9x Kona Finisher): Swimming, biking, running coaching plans for beginners and advanced athletes. One on One coaching available at

Sample Day 1


Goal today is to get in the pool as assess your swimming fitness. Breathing, body balance, rotation plus the 3 main phases of the stroke.

If you are new to swimming and need more guidance check out our how to swim faster in 30 day program with 42 instructional videos. Email to receive 25% off.

If you are an experience or advanced swimmer, aim for 1500-2000.

Sample Day 2


Run 20 minutes RPE 1-4,

During your run focus on cadence, 85-90 one foot strikes a minutes

Sample Day 3

Cadence Drills

Skills and drills are best done indoors

WU: 5 minutes RPE 1-3,
5x 30 sec spin ups (easy gear, high cadence) with 30 sec easy between sets
5 min spin 80-90 rpms, RPE 4-5,
5 x 30 sec spin ups (easy gear, high cadence) with 30 sec easy between sets
5'minute spin 80-90 rpms
CD: 5 minutes 80-90 rpms RPE 1-3

Sample Day 4

Swim Golf

Experienced athletes can swim more, inexperienced athletes can swim less.

View more: information

WU: 400 loosen up
MS: wear a pull buoy.
1. Swim 50 count strokes and add to your time, that is your golf score. Example, 50 strokes in 50 seconds = 100.
2. Then swim 50 with as many strokes as your can, add to your time. Try to add at least 10 strokes per length.
3. Then swim 50 with the least amount of strokes focusing on pulling from behind, past your hip, and add to your time.
Record your normal stroke count, FASTest stroke count, and stroke count when you are trying to take less strokes
10X50s best average stroke count and pace, with the goal of extending your stroke from behind, not out in front.

Sample Day 5


Run 30 minutes RPE 1-5, focus on forward lean and foot strike. Add 4X 10" accelerations the last 10' of your run

Sample Day 6


Options include indoors/outdoors, group or solo.

Spin 45 m inutes in small chain ride focus on pedal stroke and maintain 85-95 rpms. RPE 1-4,

Sample Day 8

Swim (Technique)

WU: 200 swim as 25 breath right side/25 breath left side only
4X 50 as 25 thumb-slide drill / 25 swim RI 10”
4x 50 as 25 fist drill / 25 swim RI 10”
4X 50 as 25 catch up drill / 25 swim RI 10”
Swim 6x100 relaxed zone 1-2 RI 10-20"
CD: 100 easy

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