Olympic Build-Peak-Race Period (Advanced) HR 12-13 hrs/wk.


Joe Friel

All plans by this Coach


12 Weeks

Typical Week

1 Strength, 4 Swim, 4 Run, 4 Bike

Longest Workout

1:00 hrs swim
2:30 hrs bike
1:30 hrs run

Plan Specs

triathlon olympic advanced masters hr based pace based tss based strength

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

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

Learn More about Structured Workouts.

This plan was designed by Joe Friel for the advanced triathlete whose goal is to be competitive in his or her age group in an A-priority, Olympic-distance (S-1500m/B-40k/R-10k) race in 12 weeks. Either under-age-50 or over-age-50 athletes can use this plan. It differs from the similarly titled "Olympic Build-Peak-Race Period (INTERMEDIATE) 6-10 hrs/wk" in that this advanced plan has more workouts and weekly training volume.

You must have a heart rate monitor for bike rides to use this plan (there is a similarly titled plan for power instead of HR-based bike workouts).

This plan is based on the principles found in Joe's Triathlete's Training Bible. Having the book handy will help with understanding the "hows" and "whys" of the workouts.

The plan was created using the TrainingPeaks "workout builder" feature which means that you can upload the workouts to a power meter, heart rate monitor, indoor trainer, app, etc so that you have the workout details easily accessible while doing the workouts. 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. (You don't have to upload the workouts to use this plan.)

The workouts use common triathlon terminology and are easy to follow (see examples below). The last week (race week) of the plan is designed for either a Saturday or a Sunday race (follow the daily instructions based on the day of your race). By the end of 12 weeks you will have excellent Olympic-distance race fitness.

Weekly volume in most weeks is around 12-13 hours including 3-5 swims, bikes, and runs each week plus strength maintenance once weekly and weekly combination bike-run workouts (bricks). There are rest and recovery breaks every third or fourth week. To start this plan you should be in at least your third year of racing having trained at 10 or more hours weekly in previous seasons and currently be capable of swimming 45 minutes, biking 2 hours, and running 1 hour. You also should have established general (base) fitness before starting. Start this plan 12 weeks prior to your race.

Workout intensities are based on heart rate for the bike workouts, heart rate or perceived exertion for the runs, and pace or perceived exertion for the swims. Your swim, bike, and run training zones (bike and run heart rate and swim 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.)

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).


Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 10:55
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 10:55
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.jfrielsblog.com.

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

Strength Maintenance (SM).

Strength Maintenance (SM).

Warm-up 5-10 minutes. Then do 2 sets of Strength Maintenance (SM) weight lifting. First set is light (12 reps with 15 rep max load). Second set is heavy (3-6 reps with 6 rep max load). Cool down 5-10 minutes spinning in easy gear/resistance at high rpm. This should be a very brief workout. For details turn to Chapter 13 in The Triathlete's Training Bible.

Sample Day 2

Ae1. Aerobic Intervals 1750.

Aerobic Intervals
Warm-up: 100 swim easy, 50 drill (your choice), 100 swim moderate, 50 drill, 100 swim build speed, 50 drill.
Mainset: For the first set decrease times with each work interval. All aerobic—easy breathing.
Set #1: 3 x 200 (10sec rest between 200s) moderate.
Rest 2 minutes.
Set #2: Swim 300 easy.
Set #3: 6 x 50 relaxed speed (15sec).
Cool down: 100 easy swim.
Total: 1750

Sample Day 2

ME1. Tempo Intervals 45min (4x6 min) HR.

BT: Tempo intervals. Warm up well. Then 3-4 x 6 minutes. Build to zone 3 heart rate. 2 minute recovery walk/jog between intervals. Relaxed form! Listen to breathing. (This is best outdoors but may be done on a treadmill).

Sample Day 3

MF1. Force Reps 1h (hill) RPE..

Force Reps.
BT: Warm-up about 15-20 minutes. Then go to a short but steep (6-8% grade) hill. An indoor trainer may also be used. Set it so that the rearwheel resistance is very high. At the bottom of the hill come to an almost complete stop. Select a high gear such as 53x16 or 50x14. Then climb the hill 3-5 times taking only 8-12 revolutions of the cranks (count one leg only). STAY IN THE SADDLE. Your cadence will be quite low and you will have to apply a lot of force to the pedals. Effort must be maximal on each reps to get the benefit. Recover after each by riding very easily for about 3 minutes before doing the next rep. Heart rate is not observed. Power is the perfect gauge of how hard you are driving the pedals. Cool down for the remainder of the scheduled time. (NOTE: This workout is both high reward and high risk. Do not do it if you have a tendency for knee soreness. Instead ride in heart rate zone 2 or power zone 3 for 20 minutes after the warm-up and before the cool down. Or if during the force reps workout you sense knee soreness, stop the hill reps and do a long cool down.)

Sample Day 3

AE1. Easy Run 45min HR.

Run in heart rate or pace zone 1 on a mostly flat, soft surface such as on a trail or in a park. VERY easy. Best done alone. If feeling very tired shorten this run or don't do it.

Sample Day 4

ME2. Long at T-Pace 1900.

You may substitute a similar masters swim session for this workout.

WU: 100 swim, 50 drill (your choice), 100 swim easy, 50 drill.
MS: 4 x (200 at T-pace/anaerobic threshold, 50 swim easy.
300 swim easy.
8 x 25 focused on your PDLC limiter (20-30sec rest between)
100 swim good form.

Sample Day 4

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.

Olympic Build-Peak-Race Period (Advanced) HR 12-13 hrs/wk.

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