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Olympic Distance triathlon: 12 week Improvers program


Steve Lumley

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4.5 Rating (5)


12 Weeks

Plan Specs

triathlon olympic intermediate

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Plan Description

Designed for competitive age – group triathletes with limited time available, but looking to improve their Olympic Distance race performance. This plan draws on Steve’s 25+ years experience of coaching and racing all triathlon distances. 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 or email Steve at:

This plan is targeted at an ‘improver’ triathlete, aiming to improve their time over the Olympic distance triathlon. It assumes a good fitness background in swim, bike and run, (with a reasonably even ability in the three disciplines) already having completed an Olympic 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 5 and 8 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, 3 bike sessions and 3 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)


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
1:23 hrs 1:00 hrs
1:40 hrs 1:20 hrs
3:05 hrs 3:00 hrs
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
1:23 hrs 1:00 hrs
1:40 hrs 1:20 hrs
3:05 hrs 3:00 hrs
—— ——

Training Load By Week

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

WU: 10 minutes alternating slow-fast pacing. Include different strokes
while warming up.

MS: 30-minute steady swim. Swim without stopping. Count your strokes on the first 25 of each 100. Check they are staying constant?

CD: 5 minutes very easy. Choice of strokes

Total: 45 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 steady, 100 swim build speed, 50 kick build speed.

MS: For the first set decrease times with each interval. All steady —easy breathing.
4 x 100 (10s rest).
Rest 2 minutes.
Kick 300 steady.
6 x 25 relaxed speed (15s rest).

CD: 200 easy swim.
Total: 1500

Sample Day 5

Tempo intervals

'Tempo intervals'. On a flat road or turbo trainer. Warm up for 15-20 minutes. Then do 4-5 x 6 minutes at 'tempo' effort (2-3 minute easy riding as recovery). 'Tempo' is a 'comfortably hard' effort.

Sample Day 5


50 mins steady run

Sample Day 6


2 hours steady ride

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