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Joe Friel

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12 Weeks

Typical Week

2 Strength, 4 Run, 3 Bike, 3 Swim

Longest Workout

1:15 hrs swim
5:00 hrs bike
2:00 hrs run

Plan Specs

triathlon ironman advanced hr based pace based tss based

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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Includes Structured Workouts

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This 12-week long-distance triathlon (S-4k/B-180k, R-42.2k) Base period training plan was designed by Joe Friel using the principles described in his books--The Triathlete's Training Bible and Going Long (co-author Gordo Byrn).

This plan is easy to read and to follow and will prepare you to start Joe's Long-Distance Tri Build-Peak-Race periods training plan. It is best to start this plan 24 weeks before your race if you intend to follow it with one of his Build-Peak-Race plans as they last 12 weeks. Another option is to start it 28-32 weeks before your race and repeat the last 4 weeks of this plan once or twice to more fully establish your Base fitness.

To start this plan you should already be capable of swimming 1 hour, biking 2 hours and running 1.5 hours. The emphasis in the first several weeks of this plan is on running. In the latter half the emphasis shifts toward the bike. Each week there are 3-4 swims, 2-5 rides, 4-5 runs and 1-2 strength workouts. Weekly volume steadily increases from 15 to 20 hours. The exceptions are in rest and recovery weeks every fourth week when training is greatly reduced for 4-5 days culminating with self-testing. These R&R weeks will shed fatigue allowing for adaptation and improved performance.

For gauging intensity on the bike you must have a power meter. For the run a heart rate monitor is needed. Swim intensities are based on pace per 100 and perceived exertion. Your swim, bike, and run training zones (heart rate, power, and pace) should be set before starting the plan. (For a detailed description of how to set your zones go to http://www.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2009/11/quick-guide-to-setting-zones.html.)

The plan was created using the TrainingPeaks "Workout Builder" format. That means the workouts may be uploaded to a device (power meter, heart rate monitor, indoor trainer, etc) or app to help you follow it precisely. For more information on compatible devices and apps and how to export the workouts from this plan to them go to http://help.trainingpeaks.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000325647-Structured-Workout-Export. (It's not necessary to upload the workouts in order to use this plan.)

When purchasing this plan if you check the box to share your email address with Joe Friel when prompted you will receive two follow-up emails from him with more information about your plan and you will also be able to contact him should you run into a problem. Your email address won't be used for anything else. Also, after your event please provide feedback on how this plan worked out for you.

NOTE: If in the first two (2) weeks after buying this plan you decide it isn’t the right one for you, contact Joe Friel (jfriel@trainingbible.com) and he will help you make the right choice and a swap - at no cost to you (assuming they are the same price) or a full refund.

Thanks again for your interest in my training plans. I hope your training and racing go very well this season.


Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 12:57
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 12:57
Average Weekly Breakdown

Joe Friel

Joe Friel Coaching

An endurance coach since 1980, Joe Friel has worked with triathletes, cyclists, and runners around the globe. He trains coaches and assists various national federations and national Olympic team staff. He also consults with professional athletes and sports-related businesses. Coach Friel occasionally offers personal camps and seminars for clubs and teams. He has authored 17 books on training including the best-selling Training Bible series. For more info, go to his blog at www.joefrielsblog.com.

Sample Day 1

Anatomical Adaptation (AA).

Anatomical Adaptation (AA).

Strength: After warm up on a stationary bike, treadmill, or other do 3-4 sets of Anatomical Adaptation (AA) phase. Cool down with 5-10 minutes of spinning on a stationary bike in easy gear/resistance at high rpm. For details turn to Chapter 13 in The Triathlete's Training Bible.

Sample Day 2

AE1. Continuous swim 60min.

(You may substitute a masters swim workout.) WU: 20 minutes alternating slow-fast pacing. Play with different strokes while warming up.
MS: 30-minute steady swim. Swim without stopping.
CD: 10 minutes very easy. Choice of strokes or floating on your back, drills, and/or easy swimming.
Total: 70 minutes

Sample Day 2

SS1. 5 Basic Strides 45min RPE.

(This is best outdoors but may be done on a treadmill). Warm up for about 20 minutes. Then run 5x20 seconds fast on a soft, gentle downhill (such as on grass in a park or other soft surface). Run at approximately 400m race pace (RPE 9, or about pace zone 5b)--not quite all-out speed. Focus on run technique as discussed and shown in the drawings in Chapter 12 of The Triathlete’s Training Bible 4th edition. Hold back a little on each 20-second stride. You’re working on technique—not speed. Stay relaxed on each stride. Walk (yes, "walk") back to start point for each recovery. Run easily to cool down to complete the planned workout duration.

Sample Day 3

SS2. Isolated Leg Training 1h RPE..

Isolated Leg Training (ILT) on indoor trainer. After warm-up alternate 20-60 seconds with 1 leg/foot only--the other on a chair. Get a total of 7-10 minutes of ILT on each leg in this 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. Since you're training the nervous system, heart rate and power are not important here. Effort should remain low (about 4-5 on 0-10 RPE scale.

Sample Day 3

AE2. Base building 1hour HR.

Run easily on a soft but firm surface, heart rate or pace in zone 1 only. Pretty form and quick cadence. (This is best outdoors but may be done on a treadmill).

Sample Day 4

AE2. Aerobic Intervals 2550.

Aerobic Intervals.

You may substitute a similar masters swim session for this workout.
WU: 100 swim easy, 50 drill (your choice), 100 swim moderate, 50 drill, 100 swim build speed, 50 drill.
MS: For the first set decrease times with each work interval. All aerobic—easy breathing.
4 x 300 (10sec) moderate.
Rest 2 minutes.
Swim 300 easy.
6 x 50 relaxed speed (15sec).
CD: 200-300 easy swim.
Total: 2450-2550

Sample Day 4

AE2. Base building 45min HR.

Run easily on a soft but firm surface, heart rate or pace in zone 1 only. Pretty form and quick cadence. (This is best outdoors but may be done on a treadmill).

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