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Olympic Triathlon Base phase


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

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12 Weeks

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Plan Description

This base training Olympic 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

You might be a beginning triathlete or maybe you have a couple of races under your belt from previous seasons. In either case you are fit and are NOT a beginning athlete.

Before beginning Week 1 of the plan you are capable of riding a bike 30 to 60 minutes two days a week and completing a long ride around two hours on a third day.

You can swim 100 yards (or meters) nonstop and swimming for 30 minutes a couple of times per week is easy. You can run two days per week, one 30-minute run and a longer run of 45 minutes.

Weekly training hours range from 5:15 to a maximum between 8:15 and 11:00. There is some flexibility built into the plan to accommodate individual differences.

For example there is no time posted for the swim workouts. Obviously there can be big differences in swimming abilities between people with a competitive swim background and those just getting into swimming.

Some of the run and bike workouts also have ranges built into the workouts.


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:57 hrs 2:30 hrs
1:49 hrs 1:10 hrs
2:34 hrs 1:00 hrs
0:42 hrs 0:45 hrs
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:57 hrs 2:30 hrs
1:49 hrs 1:10 hrs
2:34 hrs 1:00 hrs
0:42 hrs 0:45 hrs
—— ——

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

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

Strides, 6-8, count steps.

Strides. Warm up . On grass run 6-8x30 left-foot steps. Goal = 19-20 seconds. On the recoveries skip 60 times (30 skips each leg alternating). Include walking in recoveries. Perfect form! Zone 1cool down.

Sample Day 2

1000m tt bilateral

200 FC as (50 Full/ 50 Catch up / 50 pull/ 50 fists)
Repeat 5 times
10 secs rest between each
1000m FC @ 75% - odd 100’s bilateral
Please record times at end
Over-emphasize bodyroll and stroke length
2x 150m as 50 BC/ 50 BC single arm/ 50 BC pull – 20 rest
If time left then do tumble turns practice
BC single arm is like catch-up, but arms going from hips 1 at a time
100 BC kick easy
100 BR

Sample Day 3

Trainer or road--Spin-ups

Spin-ups. Slowly spin-up to max rpm over 30 seconds. When you begin to bounce, back off and then hold it for several seconds. Recover completely and repeat several times. Stay RELAXED!

Sample Day 3

MS, 3-4 sets

BT: Warm up 5-10 minutes. Then 3-4 sets of MS. Cool down 5-10 minutes 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

Zone 1-2, check cadence

Heart rate in zones 1-2 on a gently rolling course. Check cadence: count left foot strikes 15 seconds. Goal is 22 or higher.

Sample Day 4


WU: 6 x 50 increasing pace slightly each 25.
MS: All are at T-pace:
100 (10”), 200 (15”), 300 (15”), 400 (30”), 400 (30”), 300 (15”), 200 (15”), 100.
CD: 300 easy with emphasis on form.

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