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Free COVID-19 training plan: Bike, Run, and S&C for triathletes. 17 hours per week.


Mikael Eriksson, Founder & Head Coach @ Scientific Triathlon, host of That Triathlon Show podcast

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8 Weeks

Plan Specs

triathlon advanced power based pace based tss based strength base period

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Plan Description

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This 8-week plan is designed for triathletes with no swim access due to COVID-19. The plan is designed to be more than just maintenance - we want to double down on running and cycling and improve those two disciplines. The Strength & Conditioning work in the plan will facilitate such improvements, but will also be helpful once you get back into the pool again.

While we are working to improve your capacity on the bike and run, the plan is designed so as not to push you to the absolute limit (which could potentially cause immuno-supression). Rather, you will be holding a consistent workload week to week, where the individual days vary from lower to higher training load, but on a weekly basis training load is fairly constant and should feel sustainable. In other words, the plan is what we might call "modern base training". The emphasis is on aerobic endurance, but no aspect of fitness gets left behind, and there will be some work done on each of the important elements of fitness, including strength endurance, neuromuscular efficiency, aerobic capacity (VO2max), and fractional utilisation of VO2max (e.g. tempo/threshold).

The plan is based around a 5-zone system (Recovery, Endurance, Tempo, Threshold, VO2max), so you can use it with any devices (Heart Rate, Pace and/or Power) as long as you establish your 5 training zones for that particular measure of intensity. The structured workouts in the plan are written based on power (cycling) and pace (running). use this calculator to establish your training zones:

The plan is perfect for those training around 17 hours per week but can be used by anyone training between 15-20 hours per week. If you're training less than 17 hours, feel free to drop a session, especially in the early weeks, to not make to big a jump in training volume. If you're training more than 17 hours, feel free to extend some sessions (with easy endurance) or even add some sessions (again, easy endurance) to reach your typical training volume.


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:30 hrs 0:45 hrs
5:00 hrs 1:45 hrs
9:30 hrs 3:30 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:30 hrs 0:45 hrs
5:00 hrs 1:45 hrs
9:30 hrs 3:30 hrs

Training Load By Week

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.

Sample Day 1

Easy run

Very easy run in Z1 or low end of Z2. Don't let heart rate exceed Z2 at any point. For pace/power, take the midpoint of Z2 as your cap. Going faster will not make the run any better/more beneficial, so hold yourself back!

Session-RPE for the workout should be 1-3/10.

The purpose of the run is simply to collect some running volume with an absolute minimal impact on tissue (muscle, tendon and bone) and on the central nervous system.

Sample Day 1

Strength & Conditioning #1 (Home-based)

Do 2-3 sets per exercise. If you don't have any weights for exercises that require weights, get creative and use e.g. filled water bottles, or even carry a heavy (packed) bag in exercises like Farmer's Carry.

-Body saw 10 reps (on slippery floor with socks)

-Russian twists 15-20 reps

Anti-lateral flexion:
-Farmers carry (use e.g. heavy bag as weight) 45 sec per side

Posterior chain:
-Super dogs 10 reps per side

Multi-joint exercises:
-(Kettlebell or other lightly weighted, if possible) Split squat 10 reps per side
-(Lightly weighted) Kettlebell single-leg deadlift

Then into some plyometrics (best to do this outdoors to have space). Do 2-3 rounds of the routine below, depending on time available. 10-20 seconds rest between exercises, 60-120 seconds rest between rounds.

Bounding - 2 x 10
Pogo - 1 x 20
Rocket Jump - 2 x 5
Ankle Bounding - 1 x 20
Scissor Jumps - 2 x 5
Fast skipping, ending in a stride - 20 skips, 10-sec stride

Bounding - Bound forward using maximal muscle power to maximize height and more importantly, minimize ground contact time.

Pogo - Hopping vertically with locked, straight knees, using calves for rebounding off the ground

Rocket jump - Jumping vertically using knee flexion/extension to rebound from the ground. Like jumping to touch the rim of a basketball hoop.

Ankle bounding - Bound forward with your knees mostly locked (it's not actually possible to do this with them fully locked), using your ankles and calves to generate most of your vertical and horizontal motion.

Scissor Jump - beginning in a full lunge, leap into the air and swap leg position, moving from a left-leg-forward lunge to a right-leg-forward lunge. Immediately rebound off the ground to swap leg positions again, continuously.

Fast skipping - Skip forward, focusing on extremely rapid leg movements and very minimal ground contact time.

Sample Day 2

Endurance/Neuromuscular #1

Endurance ride in Z2.

With 25 minutes left of the ride, start a 20-minute segment of continuously riding at 100+ rpm (can be done sitting up).

Session-RPE for the ride should be 3-4

Sample Day 2

Stretch Cords (Dryland Swim Training)

2 or 3 rounds of the following routine See video instructions here: Rest as needed between exercises and sets.

-Double arm catch isolation 20 reps
-Single arm catch isolation 30 reps per arm
-Double arm elbow extensions 20 reps
-Double arm full pull-throughs 20 reps
-Single arm full pull-throughs 20 reps
-Swimming action 2 x 60 strokes (last 20 FAST!)

Sample Day 3

Easy ride

Very easy ride in Z1 or low end of Z2. Don't let heart rate exceed Z2 at any point. For power, take the midpoint of Z2 as your cap. Going harder will not make the ride any better/more beneficial, so hold yourself back! Session-RPE for the workout should be 1-3/10. The purpose of the ride is simply to collect more aerobic cycling volume with an absolute minimal impact on tissue (muscle, tendon and bone) and on the central nervous system.

Sample Day 3

Endurance/Neuromuscular (Strides)

Endurance run in Z2 (keep both pace/power AND heart rate in Z2). Include 8 x 15-sec fast strides focused on form, cadence, and relaxed speed after at least 15 minutes of running. At least 1 minute of easy jogging between strides.

Session-RPE for the run should be 2-4


Strides are accelerations to ~95% of max speed with great running form. Work on great posture, high cadence, and a strong but relaxed leg and arm drive. Jog at a very easy pace between strides so you can do each with great form.

RELAX when running strides. Don't let your hands, face or arms tense up. You should NOT mistake strides for all out sprints. Some mantras to help you get strides right: "Fast but relaxed", "No strain", "Easy speed"

Sample Day 4

Strength Endurance

-15 easy Z2
Main set - note cadence prescriptions! You can do this workout sitting up if you find that it's difficult to pedal smoothly at low rpm:s when in the aerobars.
5 x (
-10' @ 60-65% FTP, choice rpm
-20' @ 70-75% FTP, 50-60 rpm (important!!!)

-15 easy, low Z2


-Session-RPE for the workout should be 3-4/10

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