INTERMEDIATE SPRINT Triathlon: 12-week plan (Power based, bike and run)

Author

Mikael Eriksson

All plans by this Coach

Length

12 Weeks

Typical Week

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

Longest Workout

1:15 hrs swim
2:00 hrs bike
1:30 hrs run

Plan Specs

triathlon sprint intermediate power 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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Summary

Unique benefits of this plan (that few, if any, other plans have):
-Sessions ccategorised as A, B, and C sessions to help you decide which workout to skip if life gets in the way
-In addition to tips for the actual workouts, the plan contains tips on what your focus points should be on a weekly level, what the purpose of each week is, and tips on planning your race, how to stay healthy and injury-free, and more.
-Plenty of links and additional resources. Not sure how to sight in open water swimming? No problem, this plan links to the best instructional video on the topic, and the same goes for other topics like foam-rolling, etc.

This plan will help intermediate triathletes race their fastest sprint distance triathlon ever in 12 weeks. The structured and specific progression of the workouts in the plan will see to that. If you typically finish between the top-20% and top-75% of your age-group this plan will suit you well.

The plan is simple and easy-to-follow. It is based on power both for running and cycling. You don't need any prior knowledge about structured training endurance sports to be able to follow it. Everything is clearly explained in the plan.

There is on average 7 hours of training per week, over 6 workouts. The lightest week is 4 hours, and the hardest has 9 hours of training.

This plan is also available as versions based on bike heart rate instead of power and based on run pace instead of power to guide intensity. See https://www.trainingpeaks.com/coach/mikael-eriksson.

Stats

Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 06:47
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 06:47
Average Weekly Breakdown

Mikael Eriksson - Founder of Scientific Triathlon, Podcaster at That Triathlon Show

Scientific Triathlon

With all the athletes I coach, I have three goals:

-Improve the athlete's performance
-Increase the motivation and enjoyment the athlete gets from the sport
-Provide 100% personalized feedback, mentoring and support. Essentially, teach my athletes to be able to self-coach, should they so desire.

I have coached complete beginners to finish their first sprint and Olympic triathlons, and helped intermediate/advanced athletes qualify for World Championships and reach age group wins and podiums.

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

1:00:00
70.6TSS
20-minute Time Trial - Establish Training Zones (Power, heart rate)

Do the test on an indoor trainer or outside with no interruptions for traffic and ideally as flat as possible. Wear a heart rate monitor.

Warm-up
10 minutes easy spinning
3 x (1 minute hard effort, 1 minute easy)
4 minutes easy
5 minutes moderately hard effort
5 minutes easy

20-minute Time Trial
Hit lap button on your watch and ride for 20 min as hard and fast as you can sustain. Don't go out too hard, but make sure that you've given it your 100% at the end of the test. After 20 min, hit the lap button again. Use manual lapping only on your watch (not automatic 1k laps or similar) so the entire time trial is in one single lap.

Cool-down
10 minutes very easy spin.

Sample Day 2

0:45:00
1300m
50TSS
CSS-test (Critical Swim Speed)

The CSS test involves two time trial swims - a 400m and a 200m. Before attempting these swims perform a thorough warmup that will get you ready for the time trial, but that won't make you too tired to perform the time trials optimally.

Warm-up
-300 very easy swim
-4 x 50 build / 20 sec

CSS-test
-Do the 400 m time trial
-Recover completely for 10-15 minutes with a fair bit of rest and a few laps of very easy swimming
-Do the 200 m time trial

Cool-down
-200m mixed strokes

Sample Day 4

0:45:00
59.6TSS
20 min Time Trial - Establish training zones (Power, pace and HR)

Use a flat course that you can repeat this test on at a later date. Wear your, power meter, heart rate monitor and GPS-watch.

Warm-up (20 minutes total)
10 minutes easy jogging
3 x (30 seconds moderate to hard effort, 30 seconds walk)
2 minutes easy jog
5 more minutes of very easy jogging and 2-3 x 20-second strides (smooth accelerations to 90-95% of max speed, but stay relaxed)

20 min Time Trial
Hit lap button on your watch and run for 20 minutes as fast as you can. Be careful not to go off too fast. After 20 minutes, hit the lap button again. Use manual lapping only on your watch so the entire time trial is in one single lap.

Cool down
Jog-walk for 5 minutes.

Sample Day 5

1:15:00
3000m
80TSS
Foundational/Technical Swim

Note: do this workout based on time rather than distance. The suggested distance is what a typical intermediate triathlete might be expected to cover in the workout duration, but it's suggestive only, and the exact distance is not the priority here.

Warm-up set - 20 min
-2 x 5 minutes very easy swimming / 30 sec recovery
-5 minutes with fins, alternating 50 swim and 50 kick (on your stomach, arms outstretched in front in streamline position)
-4 minutes build (gradual progression of pace from easy through moderate to moderate plus or hard minus)

Technique set - 20 min
Pick 2 or 3 drills that target your weaknesses from the list below.
-Repeat (25 m Drill 1, 25 m normal swim) for 5 min / 10-15 sec rest between intervals
-Repeat (25 m Drill 2, 25 m normal swim) for 5 min / 10-15 sec rest between intervals
-Repeat (25 m Drill 3 (or drill 1), 25 m normal swim) for 5 min / 10-15 sec rest between intervals
-Repeat (25 m drill 1 or drill 2, 25 m normal swim) for 5 min / 10-15 sec rest between intervals

Endurance set - 30 min
-4 x 7 min @ RPE = 5 / 30 sec rest between intervals (or think CSS+6 per 100 m pace)

*Pick a specific distance that you can cover for the time duration. For example, for 5-min intervals it might be 200 m, 250 m, 275 m, 300 m or something else. But pick one distance and repeat it for the prescribed number of intervals.

Cool-down - 5 min
-5 min very easy mixed stokes

MORE INFORMATION:

Warm-up
Focus on one or at most 2 aspects of your technique / swimming form throughout the warm-up (the warm-up is an additional technique set). Presence and focus will pay dividends! Choose the 1 or 2 aspects that are your biggest weaknesses (e.g. breathing, body position, rhythm)


Technique set
For each drill, know what the purpose of it is and what you want to achieve (e.g. practise better breathing, body position, etc). When you swim back in the "normal swim" segments, try to implement the technique you trained in the drill in your normal stroke.


Endurance set
Pace well! Swim at an easy, comfortable, and constant pace. Don't go out too hard and fade. It's good if you have energy left to go faster towards the end.

DRILLS:
(In many of the drills, it may be appropriate to use tools like fins and snorkel if you have them)

All-purpose drills
-Swim with fins

Rhythm
-Catch-up: https://youtu.be/L2ZUMX0qQns

Posture, core stability, body tautness
-Vertical kicking https://youtu.be/cMF-CQKeFyo
-Kicking on stomach (with or without snorkel, with or without kickboard) https://youtu.be/K4gXjneFXuI?t=209
-Torpedo kicking https://youtu.be/zYfPuj2ui3o
-Swim with band (ankle strap), pull buoy and snorkel https://youtu.be/0prPd6gjQqc


Body position
-Side kick https://youtu.be/3mBb2djmdv0
-6-1-6 https://youtu.be/3mBb2djmdv0
-6-3-6 https://youtu.be/HfXuRVVc_Ic

Stroke mechanics
-Scull #1 (front scull) https://youtu.be/f96EqH0mdc0
-Scull #2 (under shoulders scull) https://youtu.be/_2Fezx3ZnD0
-Single-arm https://youtu.be/MhD3S1mJPTM
-Doggy paddle https://youtu.be/PqwN2l_HWrc

Breathing
-As you swim, repeat the phrase “Breath, bubble, breathe, bubble to yourself”. Say “breathe” as you rotate to take a breath and “bubble” as you turn your face back into the water and you should be starting to exhale. Literally say “bubble” out loud in the water as you’re exhaling - this will make you blow out air into the water as you should.

Sample Day 6

1:00:00
42.3TSS
Endurance ride

Easy endurance ride in Z2.

Sample Day 7

0:45:00
48TSS
Endurance run

Easy endurance run in Z2.

Sample Day 9

1:15:00
3000m
80TSS
Foundational/Technical Swim

Note: do this workout based on time rather than distance. The suggested distance is what a typical intermediate triathlete might be expected to cover in the workout duration, but it's suggestive only, and the exact distance is not the priority here.


Warm-up set - 20 min
-4 minutes very easy swimming
-6 minutes as (8 x 30" vertical kicking / 15" rest)
-10 minutes as 6 x (25 m kicking on stomach (snorkel recommended), 25 m swim) on 1'30"

Technique set - 20 min
Pick 2 or 3 drills that target your weaknesses from the list below.
-Repeat (25 m Drill 1, 25 m normal swim) for 5 min / 10-15 sec rest between intervals
-Repeat (25 m Drill 2, 25 m normal swim) for 5 min / 10-15 sec rest between intervals
-Repeat (25 m Drill 3 (or drill 1), 25 m normal swim) for 5 min / 10-15 sec rest between intervals
-Repeat (25 m drill 1 or drill 2, 25 m normal swim) for 5 min / 10-15 sec rest between intervals

Endurance set - 30 min
-3 x 9 min @ RPE = 5 / 30 sec rest between intervals (or think CSS+8 per 100 m pace)

*Pick a specific distance that you can cover for the time duration. For example, for 5-min intervals it might be 200 m, 250 m, 275 m, 300 m or something else. But pick one distance and repeat it for the prescribed number of intervals.

Cool-down - 5 min
-5 min very easy mixed stokes

MORE INFORMATION:

Warm-up
Today the warm-up really is an additional technique set. The purpose of both the vertical kicking and the kick on stomach is to work on your body tautness and posture. Get that core active!


Technique set
For each drill, know what the purpose of it is and what you want to achieve (e.g. practise better breathing, body position, etc). When you swim back in the "normal swim" segments, try to implement the technique you trained in the drill in your normal stroke.


Endurance set
Pace well! Swim at an easy, comfortable, and constant pace. Don't go out too hard and fade. It's good if you have energy left to go faster towards the end.

DRILLS:
(In many of the drills, it may be appropriate to use tools like fins and snorkel if you have them)

All-purpose drills
-Swim with fins

Rhythm
-Catch-up: https://youtu.be/L2ZUMX0qQns

Posture, core stability, body tautness
-Vertical kicking https://youtu.be/cMF-CQKeFyo
-Kicking on stomach (with or without snorkel, with or without kickboard) https://youtu.be/K4gXjneFXuI?t=209
-Torpedo kicking https://youtu.be/zYfPuj2ui3o
-Swim with band (ankle strap), pull buoy and snorkel https://youtu.be/0prPd6gjQqc


Body position
-Side kick https://youtu.be/3mBb2djmdv0
-6-1-6 https://youtu.be/3mBb2djmdv0
-6-3-6 https://youtu.be/HfXuRVVc_Ic

Stroke mechanics
-Scull #1 (front scull) https://youtu.be/f96EqH0mdc0
-Scull #2 (under shoulders scull) https://youtu.be/_2Fezx3ZnD0
-Single-arm https://youtu.be/MhD3S1mJPTM
-Doggy paddle https://youtu.be/PqwN2l_HWrc

Breathing
-As you swim, repeat the phrase “Breath, bubble, breathe, bubble to yourself”. Say “breathe” as you rotate to take a breath and “bubble” as you turn your face back into the water and you should be starting to exhale. Literally say “bubble” out loud in the water as you’re exhaling - this will make you blow out air into the water as you should.

INTERMEDIATE SPRINT Triathlon: 12-week plan (Power based, bike and run)

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