Triathlon: Base Period (Winter, Off-Season) Training, Phase 2: 5.5 to 13 hrs/wk

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Triathlon: Base Period (Winter, Off-Season) Training, Phase 2: 5.5 to 13 hrs/wk


Gale Bernhardt

All plans by this Coach


8 Weeks

Typical Week

1 Strength, 3 Swim, 3 Run, 2 Bike

Longest Workout

1:15 hrs swim
3:00 hrs bike
1:45 hrs run

Plan Specs

triathlon advanced weightloss time goal hr based base period

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This 8-week plan is designed to immediately follow the plan titled “Triathlon Base Training: 5.5 to 12.0 hrs/wk.” This block of training includes more base training; but it is designed for the athlete that has already been training and has a very well established platform of base fitness. You can easily modify and move workouts to meet your personal training needs and I suggest you do, so that you can optimize the benefits. This process is not intended for beginning athletes.

Before beginning the plan, have a look at the plan preview. If you have not been following the plan titled “Triathlon Base Training: 5.5 to 12.0 hrs/wk,” you can still use this plan if the first week of training on the plan seems manageable to you. You must know your training intensities for cycling and running. Also, you need to know your T-pace for swimming. If you have questions about these terms, see the Supporting Documents you need to help you with this plan at this link.

The plan design includes the option of a 5k or 10k running race on Saturday of the fourth week of the plan. It also includes the option of doing a half-marathon at the end of the eighth week of training. If you don’t want to race an optional workout is suggested.

The first week of training begins at 9:30 hours and progresses to 12:30. Your longest run progresses to 1:45 and includes the lactate threshold training. Your long bike ride progresses to 3:00 and also includes lactate threshold training. The experienced athlete using this training plan needs to closely monitor fatigue. If the training plan offers more volume or intensity than you can reasonably manage, it is up to you to reduce the training so you can make solid gains.

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Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 09:45
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 09:45
Average Weekly Breakdown

Gale Bernhardt

Gale Bernhardt Consulting Inc.

I offer one-on-one, completely personalized coaching for athletes that want customized training.

For athletes that enjoy self-coaching, but need a bit of help, I offer phone consulting services.

You can find more information about these services on my website

Sample Day 1


Warm up cycling or running 10-30 minutes. Do the same exercises you have been doing in MS, but reduce the weight and do 3-4 sets x 8-15 reps. As always, aerobic warm-up and cool down.

Sample Day 2


The main set will be mostly aerobic work; however a good deal of form work is included at the beginning or the end of the workout. For this workout, speed is less important than good form. Some coaches refer to this as drill work. Neuromuscular training is important during the drill segment. (Can select a Workouts in a Binder card E(Form). )

Sample Day 2

Cruise Intervals - Z4-5a

These intervals improve lactate threshold speed, as the season and your fitness progress. On a mostly flat course or treadmill, complete the specified number of repeats for the time indicated on your plan, allowing heart rate to rise into Zone 4 to 5a over the course of the interval. After heart rate is in Zone 4 to 5a, try to hold it there until the end of the interval. Take recovery as indicated rest between work intervals. Advanced athletes can use pace instead of heart rate to guide the intervals. Run the intervals at an open10K pace, which is roughly 20 seconds faster per mile than 10K pace completed at the end of a triathlon.

Sample Day 3

PE - plyo

Warm up cycling or running 10-30 minutes. Complete the designated plyometric workout, then lift weights. Do the same exercises you have been doing in MS, but reduce the weight and do 3-4 sets x 8-15 reps, 3-4 sets. As always, aerobic warm-up and cool down.

Sample Day 4

Force - Speed

The main set includes paddles; however, the end of the workout includes very fast 25s or 50s without paddles and with an emphasis on high-speed arm turnover. Generally, there is ample rest between swim segments to allow full recovery. Neuromuscular training is more important than sustained high heart rates, during the speed segment. (Can select a Workouts in a Binder Force card and add a few fast 25's at the end if you have time. )

Sample Day 4

Easy Run

Run on a flat course - a soft surface would be best (grass, dirt or treadmill) - keeping heart rate in Zone 1.

Sample Day 5

Endurance - rolling

This level is used for aerobic maintenance and endurance training. Heart rate should stay primarily in Zones 1 to 2. How much time is spent in each zone depends on how you feel that day. The goal of an E2 ride is not to see how much time you can spend in Zone 2. Ride on a rolling course if possible, with grades up to 4 percent. For reference, most highway off-ramps are 4-percent grade. Riding in a slightly larger gear can simulate a gentle hill, if there are no hills where you live. Remain in the saddle on the hills. If you ride with a group, inner discipline is necessary to let the group go if they want to hammer.

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