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Joe Friel

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12 Weeks

Typical Week

1 Day Off, 3 Swim, 4 Run, 3 Bike

Longest Workout

1:05 hrs swim
2:00 hrs bike
1:30 hrs run

Plan Specs

triathlon olympic intermediate masters 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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Learn More about Structured Workouts.

This 12-week plan is specially designed for the intermediate triathlete, regardless of age, who has been training for triathlon for 2 years or more and has a goal to improve his/her age group performance at an A-priority race, perhaps with a new personal best time. There should be an Olympic-distance (S-1500m/B-40k/R-10k) triathlon scheduled for the 12th week of this plan (either Saturday or Sunday--the plan allows for either).

This plan differs from the similarly titled "Olympic Build-Peak-Race Period (Advanced) HR 12-13 hrs/wk" in that the advanced plan has more workouts and a much greater weekly training volume.

This plan is based on the training principles and methods in Joe's book, The Triathlete's Training Bible. Having the book handy will help with understanding the "how's" and "why's" of the workouts. 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).

To gauge intensity on the bike this plan requires that you have a heart rate monitor. There is a similarly titled plan for athletes who have a power meter along with a heart rate monitor that can be used on the bike. All of your training zones for swim, bike, and run should be established before starting this plan. (For detailed description of how to set your zones for heart rate, power or pace go to http://www.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2009/11/quick-guide-to-setting-zones.html.)

To start this plan you should be capable of swimming 45 minutes, running up to an hour, and biking for up to 90 minutes. The weekly volume ranges from 6 to 10 hours per week. In a typical week you will do 3 swims, 3 bikes and 3 runs. There are also "bricks" (combination bike-run workouts) scheduled throughout to prepare you for the race. Self-testing is included to help gauge progress toward a high age group placing.

It does NOT include a weightlifting program, but suggestions are made for what to do and when to lift if you intend to continue a strength program started in your preceding Base period plan. (This will add about 30 minutes to most weeks.) If you haven't been lifting weights prior to starting this plan then don't start now.

The plan was created using the TrainingPeaks "workout builder" feature which means that you can upload the workouts to certain heart rate monitors, indoor trainers, apps, 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.)

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: 08:33
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 08:33
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

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 1

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 2

ME3. Cruise Intervals 1h (3x5min).

Cruise Intervals.
BT: Cruise Intervals. Warm-up about 20 minutes. Then do 3 x 5 minute intervals on a flat to rolling course in HR zone 4. Recover for 90 seconds after each. Aero position on each interval. Smooth pedaling. Then cool down.

Sample Day 3

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 3

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 4

AE1. Recovery Spin 1h HR.

Very easy recovery spin on a mostly flat course (or on indoor trainer) in small chain ring. Heart rate in zone 1. Light on the pedals. Comfortably high rpm focusing on pedaling skills.

Sample Day 5

ME1. Long, Variably Paced 2300.

Long, Variably Paced.
You may substitute a similar masters swim session for this workout.

WU: 4 x 100 done as 25 easy swim, 25 R. arm, 25 easy swim, 25 L. arm,
MS: 1500 continuous swim alternating T-time (threshold effort) 50s with easy-pace 50s.
12 x 25 with focus on form (20-30sec rest between)
100 swim good form.

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