1 – Establish Your Base for Triathlon (4 workouts/discipline/week)

Average Weekly Training Hours 10:22
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 10:22
Training Load By Week

Triathletes, customize your training with four step-by-step training plan modules:

1 – Establish Your Base

2 – Develop Your Base

3 – Build Upon Your Base

4 – Peak for Your Race

This 4-week training plan (“1 – Establish Your Base”) is the first training block in a 4-module series. Together, the four modules provide you with the key training blocks and workouts to progress through your season from base training to racing.

Use this 4-week training block at the beginning of your season to establish your base. Once you’ve completed this training block, you can either repeat it or advance to the next module in the series.

Suggested distances/durations for each workout are provided along with guidelines for modifying key interval workouts; allowing you to adjust up or down according to your personal starting point, rate of progression, and the race distance you are training for.

This 4-week training block uses a 3-up/1-down periodization schedule. You can change it to a 2-up/1-down schedule by simply deleting the third week.

This plan comes with functional strength workouts, running drills, and suggestions for dynamic warmups and post-workout stretching to supplement your swim, bike, run training.

Together, all four modules in the series provide you with the basic training blocks you need to implement the approach detailed in The Triathlete's Training Guide by coach Adam Hodges.

To get the most out of this plan, use it along with the information in the book and the resources found on the Alp Fitness website (alpfitness.com). Train smart!

Sample Day 1
Swim (Easy with Drills)

This is an easy swim—it is designed to aid recovery, add to your training volume and loosen you up for the key workouts of the week.

Incorporate some drills into your swim; stay focused on form. See the swimming drills at https://www.alpfitness.com/tag/swimming-drills/.

Training effects are gained between key workouts when your body recovers and rebuilds. The purpose of this workout is to facilitate that rebuilding process by helping your body recover from prior training. If you need to shorten this workout or take the day off completely, do so. Listen to your body.

Sample Day 2
Swim (Fartlek 25s & Drills)

Warm up: 500 easy

20 x 25 alternating between a fast "feel good speed" 25 (i.e. go as fast as you can without breaking form) and an easy 25 any stroke. You can go as slow as you need on the easy 25s, but aim to keep moving throughout the set.

*If you are in a 50-meter pool, note the halfway point for your 25s.

For the rest of your workout, do some easy swimming and drills that target areas you need to improve. See the swimming drills at https://www.alpfitness.com/tag/swimming-drills/.

Warm down: 100 easy

Sample Day 2
Bike (Endurance with Jumps)

This ride is designed to build your aerobic system and add to your training base. Bike primarily in Zone 2 for the bulk of the ride. Focus on keeping cadence at 90 or above.

After you're warmed up, do 4-6 jumps. These are 10-second maximum effort sprints with a high cadence (not high gear). Ease into the sprint, hold it for up to 10 seconds, then wind it back down. Alternate in and out of saddle. Don’t worry about HR during these.

Do 2-3 minutes of easy biking between jumps.

Sample Day 2
Strength (Shoulders/Back)

Perform one set of each exercise, moving from one to the next in a circuit. As you advance, repeat the circuit. Add weight/resistance or reps as needed to perform each exercise to fatigue. Always perform exercises with perfect form.
For descriptions and demos of these exercises, see:
1. Behind neck cord pull apart -- 8-12 reps
2. External rotation -- 8-12 reps
3. Hitchhiker -- 8-12 reps
4. Stretch cord row -- 8-12 reps
5. Water bottle raise -- 8-12 reps
6. Pushup "plus" rounded finish -- 8-12 reps
7. Ball on wall -- 1-2 min per shoulder
8. Chest stretch -- 30 seconds per side
For exercises that have variations, choose one of the variations. For exercises that have progressions (e.g. pushup "plus"), begin with the initial progression and advance when you are ready.
This is about making your muscles "smarter" (as well as stronger).
What are "smarter" muscles?
Read http://www.alpfitness.com/make-your-muscles-smarter/

Sample Day 3
Bike (Endurance)

This bike workout is designed to build your aerobic system and add to your training base. Bike primarily in Zone 2 for the bulk of the ride. Focus on keeping cadence at 90 or above.

Sample Day 3
Run (Endurance)

This run is designed to build your aerobic system and add to your training base. Run primarily in Zone 2 for the bulk of the run.

Focus on keeping a high cadence to develop good neuromuscular patterns and running form.

Sample Day 3
Swim (Aerobic Base 100s)

Warm up: 400 free, 200 non-free and/or kick, 200 drill.

Swim 10-20 x 100 free in Zone 2 (i.e. T-pace plus 10 seconds) with 15 seconds rest interval (set a send-off time based on swimming pace zones). Focus on a steady pace.

Warm down: 200 easy backstroke.

Note: Choose number of 100s based on your send-off time so that you can finish the set in about 30 minutes. For example, if you swim the 100s in 1:15 your send-off time would be 1:30; this would allow you to do 20 x 100s in 30 minutes. Or, if you swim the 100s in 1:45 your send-off time would be 2:00; this would allow you to do 15 x 100s in 30 minutes. The entire workout should take about an hour, including warmup, main set, and warmdown.

Adam Hodges
Alp Fitness

With credentials from USA Triathlon and the American College of Sports Medicine, All-American triathlete and XTERRA SoCal Trail Series champion, Adam Hodges, PhD, provides training plans and educational resources to help you achieve success in triathlons, running and life. His coaching vision is based on the belief that the ultimate reward of training is the continual process of self-discovery and personal growth that arises out of athletic challenges. Learn more at alpfitness.com.