Olympic Distance Triathlon: 12 week novice program

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Olympic Distance Triathlon: 12 week novice program


Steve Lumley

All plans by this Coach


12 Weeks

Typical Week

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

Longest Workout

0:45 hrs swim
3:00 hrs bike
1:20 hrs run

Plan Specs

triathlon olympic beginner

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Designed by Steve Lumley (BTF L3 coach, MSc) . This plan draws on Steve’s 25+ years of triathlon racing and coaching experience. Steve works on a daily basis with all levels of athlete from complete beginners to talented elite, youth, junior, and student athletes. He has coached national youth, junior, student, elite and age group medal winners.

As an added bonus, purchase of this program can include email access to Steve for any questions that you may have about this plan or your training. Subscribe here for ongoing support:

Please visit us on the web at www.stevelumleytriathlon.com or email Steve at: tricoach.lum@gmail.com

This plan is targeted at a novice triathlete, aiming to complete the Olympic distance for the first time. It assumes a good fitness background in swim, bike and run, possibly already having completed a sprint distance triathlon. They should ideally have 6-8 weeks of preparation training under their belt prior to commencing the structured programme. Training plan volume is between 4 and 7 hours per week, and is organised on a 3 week macro-cycle; every 3rd week is a recovery week. The weekly schedule typically includes 2 swim sessions, 2 bike sessions and 2 run sessions. One or two ‘strength’ / conditioning sessions each week are recommended in addition to the swim, bike and run sessions detailed.

“Safe to say I nailed it… Entirely down to following the training you set out. I can’t thank you enough, I would never have reached my best without your help.”

(Keith Sanders)


Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 05:29
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 05:29
Average Weekly Breakdown

Steve Lumley (MSc)

Steve Lumley Triathlon Coaching

'Ironman' / Long distance triathlon.

Elite, draft legal triathlon from developmental to elite levels

Please contact Steve for details and costs of various levels of individual coaching.

Sample Day 1

Continuous swim

5 minutes alternating with different strokes
while warming up.

main set: 20-minute steady swim. Swim without stopping. Count your strokes on the first 25 of each 100. Are they staying constant?

Warm down: 5 minutes very easy. Choice of strokes
Total: 30 minutes

Sample Day 2

Strides, 4-5, relax

40 minutes steady with 4-5 strides

Strides are 20 to 30s of fast relaxed running every 3/4 minutes. Maintain stride length rather than increase it, and work on as high cadence (stride rate) - cadence should be 90+ (ie right or left foot contacts the ground 90 times per minute.

Sample Day 3

Trainer or road--dominant leg

75 minutes steady ride with 15-20 mins of pedalling drill: 1 leg does 90% of the work until fatigue. Then the other takes over.

Sample Day 4

Aerobic ints

WU: 100 swim easy, 50 kick easy, 100 swim moderate, 50 kick moderate, 100 swim build speed, 50 kick build speed.

4 x 100 (15s rest). All at aerobic effort—easy breathing.

WD: 200 easy swim.

Total: 1050

Sample Day 5


50 mins steady run

Sample Day 6


2 hours steady ride

Sample Day 6


10 mins easy run straight after the bike

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