NEW- Olympic Build-Peak-Race Period (Intermediate) Power 6-10hrs/wk

Average Weekly Training Hours 08:35
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 08:35
Training Load By Week

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 detailed and easy-to-follow training plan may be used by an athlete in any age group.

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 hours range from 6 to 10 hours per week. In a typical week you will do 3 swims, 3 bikes and 3 runs. There 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. If you haven't been lifting weights prior to starting this plan then don't start now.

To gauge intensity on the bike this plan requires that you have a power meter. There is a similarly titled plan for athletes who don't have a power meter but do have 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

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 (You don't have to upload the workouts to use this plan.)

If when making the purchase of this plan you include your email address when prompted you will receive further follow-up information directly from Joe Friel. Your feedback on this plan is also requested.

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 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.

Sample Day 5
AE1. Recovery Spin 1h power..

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

Sample Day 6
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.

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 16 books on training including the best-selling Training Bible series. He is currently not accepting coaching clients.