This twelve-week olympic plan ranges in volume from 8 to 10.5 hours and is written for triathletes with at least one to two years of experience who want to train for improved performance on race day. This plan assumes that the athlete has already built a solid base, and is ready to do significant speed and tempo work. It is preferable that the athlete has built up to bike rides of 2.5 hours, a long run of 1.5 hours, and a total weekly volume of 9 - 11 hours.
The plan prescribes 3 swims, 3 bikes, and 3 runs per week. Some of the bikes and runs are combined into "bricks" (to practice transitioning to running immediately after biking). Workouts prescribe both time and suggested distances. In most cases, pay more attention to getting in the prescribed time. However, for the long bikes/runs, try to get in a minimum of the prescribed distance.
Monday is the rest day and there is a rest week every third week.
The workout intensities are prescribed using both RPE (perceived rate of exertion) and heart rate training zones.
This is a periodized plan which assumes the athlete has already performed a base building block (with an emphasis on building volume, endurance, basic speed skills, and force skills). It progresses from a muscular endurance block (emphasis on Threshold work), to an anaerobic endurance block (emphasis on VO2 max work, Lactate tolerance reps), and finally to a race-specific block (very race-specific workouts). The race-taper is two weeks, with a gradual reduction in volume as well as duration of intensity work. Race week has a good balance of rest and smaller doses of intensity to keep you feeling fast and sharp.
Warm up: 300 swim, 150 pull, 150 kick
Drills: 4 x (25 drill/25 swim) Choose from: fingertip drag, fists, Right arm only, Left arm only
8 x 25 very hard, 25 sec. RI
5 x 200 pull (odds no paddles, evens paddles)
1 x 400 moderate
Cool down: 2 x 100 easy
Bike on a rolling course at a comfortable pace. Stay in zones 1 - 2.
Run in zones 1-2 for 15 minutes
2 x 10 second hill sprints (100% effort) up a steep, 8% grade hill. Recover completely between reps.
zones 1-2 for remainder of time
These hill repeats will be performed at a higher intensity than the previous hill workout. Warm up and gradually build to a moderate pace (zones 2 - 3) for 15 min. Find a hill with 4% grade and perform 4x6 min. reps at a hard (but sustainable) pace (building into zones 4 - 5a). Recover down the hill. Remainder of time in zones 1 - 2. Flaming Geyser Hill from Green Valley Road is a great hill for this work out.
2500 yards including
3x500 at a moderate pace (zone 3), 1 min. RI. This is close to the distance you will swim on race day, broken into three segments.
Ride 2.5 hours. Bike at a comfortable pace (zone 2) on rolling terrain. Take the pace up to moderate-hard for 2 x 15 min. within the ride (zones 3-4), 5 min. RI between intervals. Then immediately transition to an easy 20 min. run.
Run mostly in zones 1-3, to continue to build that aerobic support. Last 10 minutes hard (zone 4).