INTERMEDIATE OLYMPIC Triathlon: 12-week plan (Power and pace based)

Author

Mikael Eriksson

All plans by this Coach

Length

12 Weeks

Typical Week

3 Bike, 1 Other, 2 Swim, 1 Day Off, 3 Run

Longest Workout

1:15 hrs swim
2:15 hrs bike
1:30 hrs run

Plan Specs

triathlon olympic intermediate power 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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Summary

Includes Structured Workouts

Structured Workouts automatically sync with compatible devices and guide you through workouts in real time.


Learn More about Structured Workouts.

Unique benefits of this plan (that few, if any, other plans have):
-Sessions ccategorised as A, B, and C sessions to help you decide which workout to skip if life gets in the way
-In addition to tips for the actual workouts, the plan contains tips on what your focus points should be on a weekly level, what the purpose of each week is, and tips on planning your race, how to stay healthy and injury-free, and more.
-Plenty of links and additional resources. Not sure how to sight in open water swimming? No problem, this plan links to the best instructional video on the topic, and the same goes for other topics like foam-rolling, etc.

This plan will help intermediate triathletes race their fastest Olympic distance triathlon ever in 12 weeks. The structured and specific progression of the workouts in the plan will see to that. If you typically finish between the top-20% and top-75% of your age-group this plan will suit you well.

The plan is simple and easy-to-follow. It is based on pace (for running) and power (for cycling). You don't need any prior knowledge about structured training endurance sports to be able to follow it. Everything is clearly explained in the plan.

There is on average 8 hours of training per week, over 6-8 workouts. The lightest week is 5 hours, and the hardest has 10 hours of training.

This plan is also available as versions based on bike heart rate instead of power and based on run power instead of pace to guide intensity. See https://www.trainingpeaks.com/coach/mikael-eriksson.

Stats

Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 08:00
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 08:00
Average Weekly Breakdown

Mikael Eriksson - Founder of Scientific Triathlon, Podcaster at That Triathlon Show

Scientific Triathlon

With all the athletes I coach, I have three goals:

-Improve the athlete's performance
-Increase the motivation and enjoyment the athlete gets from the sport
-Provide 100% personalized feedback, mentoring and support. Essentially, teach my athletes to be able to self-coach, should they so desire.

I have coached complete beginners to finish their first sprint and Olympic triathlons, and helped intermediate/advanced athletes qualify for World Championships and reach age group wins and podiums.

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

1:00:00
70.6TSS
20-minute Time Trial - Establish Training Zones (Power)

Do the test on an indoor trainer or outside with no interruptions for traffic and ideally as flat as possible. Wear a heart rate monitor.

Warm-up
10 minutes easy spinning
3 x (1 minute hard effort, 1 minute easy)
4 minutes easy
5 minutes moderately hard effort
5 minutes easy

20-minute Time Trial
Hit lap button on your watch and ride for 20 min as hard and fast as you can sustain. Don't go out too hard, but make sure that you've given it your 100% at the end of the test. After 20 min, hit the lap button again. Use manual lapping only on your watch (not automatic 1k laps or similar) so the entire time trial is in one single lap.

Cool-down
10 minutes very easy spin.

Sample Day 2

0:45:00
1300m
50TSS
CSS-test (Critical Swim Speed)

The CSS test involves two time trial swims - a 400m and a 200m. Before attempting these swims perform a thorough warmup that will get you ready for the time trial, but that won't make you too tired to perform the time trials optimally.

Warm-up
-300 very easy swim
-4 x 50 build / 20 sec

CSS-test
-Do the 400 m time trial
-Recover completely for 10-15 minutes with a fair bit of rest and a few laps of very easy swimming
-Do the 200 m time trial

Cool-down
-200m mixed strokes

Sample Day 4

0:45:00
59.6TSS
20 min Time Trial - Establish training zones (Pace and HR)

Use a flat course that you can repeat this test on at a later date. Wear your heart rate monitor and GPS-watch.

Warm-up (20 minutes total)
10 minutes easy jogging
3 x (30 seconds moderate to hard effort, 30 seconds walk)
2 minutes easy jog
5 more minutes of very easy jogging and 2-3 x 20-second strides (smooth accelerations to 90-95% of max speed, but stay relaxed)

20 min Time Trial
Hit lap button on your watch and run for 20 minutes as fast as you can. Be careful not to go off too fast. After 20 minutes, hit the lap button again. Use manual lapping only on your watch so the entire time trial is in one single lap.

Cool down
Jog-walk for 5 minutes.

Sample Day 5

1:15:00
3400m
80TSS
Swim Speed 15 x (25! + 25~)

Warm-up set
-200 m very easy swimming (focus on technique)
2 x (
-4 x (25 choice drill, 25 swim) / 10 sec
-2 x 100 alternating B3 and B5 every 25 m / 15 sec
-2 x (25 sprint, 25 very easy recovery) / 20 sec
)

Speed set
-5 x 50 meters as (25 m all out sprint, 25 very easy) / 20 sec rest
-150 very easy, tech-focused (pull buoy and snorkel optional)
-5 x 50 meters as (25 m all out sprint, 25 very easy) / 15 sec rest
-150 very easy, tech-focused (pull buoy and snorkel optional)
-5 x 50 meters as (25 m all out sprint, 25 very easy) / 10 sec rest
-150 very easy, tech-focused (pull buoy and snorkel optional)

Pull set
2 x (
-4 x 25 m w/ paddles and ankle strap / 15 sec rest
-4 x 100 m w/ paddles and pull buoy @ moderate to strong effort / 10 sec rest
)

MORE INFORMATION
Warm-up
The warm-up today is technique focused, with some sprints to get you ready for the speed set. Choose a drill (or 2 at most) based on your weaknesses from the list below.

B3 = breathe every three strokes
B5 = breathe every five strokes

Speed set
While it is important that you give a 100% effort in these sprints, don't forget about technique. Your aim is to swim these sprints as FAST as possible, not waste as much energy as possible just to feel your muscles burn.

Pull set
-Swim with ankle strap (and pull buoy only if you really need it) https://youtu.be/0prPd6gjQqc

DRILLS:
Kick
-Kicking face down (with or without snorkel, with or without kickboard) https://youtu.be/K4gXjneFXuI?t=209


Rhythm
-Catch-up: https://youtu.be/L2ZUMX0qQns

Body position
-Side kick https://youtu.be/3mBb2djmdv0
-6-1-6 https://youtu.be/3mBb2djmdv0
-6-3-6 https://youtu.be/HfXuRVVc_Ic

Stroke mechanics
-Scull #1 (front scull) https://youtu.be/f96EqH0mdc0
-Scull #2 (under shoulders scull) https://youtu.be/_2Fezx3ZnD0
-Single-arm https://youtu.be/MhD3S1mJPTM
-Doggy paddle https://youtu.be/PqwN2l_HWrc

Sample Day 6

1:30:00
70.8TSS
Long ride w/ tempo intervals - Power

40 min endurance riding in Z2

2 x (
15 min @ moderate intensity in Z3
10 min easy riding in Z2
)

Sample Day 7

1:15:00
95.9TSS
Endurance run (hills) - Pace/HR/RPE

Easy endurance run in Z2.

If possible, include as much running up and down hills as possible to further work on your muscular strength and endurance. The more elevation gain you can accumulate, the better!

On hills, use RPE and heart rate to ensure you stay in Z2 (low Z3 is also ok occasionally) rather than pace.

Sample Day 9

1:15:00
3200m
80TSS
CSS swim - 15 x 100

Warm-up:

-5 x 200 m / 30 sec recoveries as:
1. Change breathing every 25 m: right, left, bilateral (breath every 3)
2. With snorkel and pull buoy (optional): 2 x (25 m doggy paddle, 25 m front scull, 25 m doggy paddle, 25 m swim)
3. Change breathing every 25 m: right, left, bilateral (breath every 5)
2. With snorkel and pull buoy (optional): 2 x (25 m front scull, 25 m doggy paddle, 25 m front scull, 25 m swim)
5. Change breathing every 25 m: right, left, bilateral (breath every 7)

-4 x 50 m build / 20 sec rest

Main set
-15 x 100 m @ CSS-pace or faster (fastest sustainable pace) / 15 sec recovery

Pull set
-500 m @ steady effort w/ paddles, pull buoy, and snorkel (optional) focusing on stroke mechanics


MORE INFORMATION:
Warm up:
-Don't make yourself tired during the warm up by swimming it too hard. Save all hard strokes for the main set. In today's warm up we focus on breathing and on stroke mechanics through the doggy paddle and front scull drills. Be present and focused in the drills, and take them with you into the normal swim segments.

-“Builds” are gradual accelerations where you start an interval slowly, but then increase your pace throughout the interval and end it fast. You can split the build into four quarters: slow, moderate minus, moderate plus, fast.

Main set:
Keep a consistent pace, the fastest sustainable pace that you can hold. Likely, this is right around your CSS-pace, so don't start any harder than that, even though it will feel easy the first few reps.

Pull set:
Snorkel is recommended here, so you can really focus on stroke mechanics and improve your technique without having to worry about breathing.

DRILLS:
-Scull #1 (front scull) https://youtu.be/f96EqH0mdc0
-Doggy paddle https://youtu.be/PqwN2l_HWrc

INTERMEDIATE OLYMPIC Triathlon: 12-week plan (Power and pace based)

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