No Fluff, 12 Weeks, Upside Down Pyramid, Winter Plan: Int-Adv, 15 hrs/wk

Average Weekly Training Hours 14:30
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 14:30
Training Load By Week

No-Fluff Off-Season Plan

Author: Mike Ricci, USAT Triathlon Level 3 Coach
Length: 12 Weeks
Time: 122 hours (10 hrs/wk)

This program can be used to spice up your training at any point in the season; winter, spring, summer or fall. The basic premise of this program is to help you improve your VO2 max and threshold.
This program should be used for the following athletes ONLY:
*Three solid years of training – with at least 400 hours per season.
*NO injuries over the last training season.
*Come off a season where you have already raced an Olympic Distance triathlon and are looking to give your training a boost.
*Consistently run 20 miles or more per week, for at least 3 seasons.

Requirements:Swim: You should be able to swim at least 3 times per week for at least 1500 yards or more.
Bike: You should be able to bike at least 1 hour, 3 times per week.
Run: You should be able to handle 20 miles a week of running, without injuries.

Theory behind the plan:

This plan is based on a non-traditional training routine. The basic principle is that we are trying to get as fast as possible before we increase the volume. The common question is ‘If I focus on speed early in the preparation cycle, will endurance suffer?’ If I had my choice of coaching an athlete who has power and strength vs. an athlete who is ‘in-shape’ with a big aerobic base, I would rather coach the athlete with power and strength. It is significantly easier to get a powerful athlete 'in shape', than it is to make an 'in shape' athlete explosive. The first will take weeks the second may take years.


This plan has 3 workouts per week, per sport and 2 weight training sessions. The weekly hours are from 8-10.5 hours. This program can be used leading into any of the other D3 programs such as the 12 Wk. Oly Distance, 70.3 or 140.6 Distance races.

IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to use a weight training program to improve joint strength for injury prevention. The best days for this specific program are Wednesdays and Fridays where there is only one workout - the swim.

We’ll guide you every step of the way with a detailed plan and free complimentary access to our D3 Message Forum.

Our programs are designed for the age group triathlete who has a busy life with a full time job, a family and / or other responsibilities.

Our plans set YOU up for success! We have sold thousands of our plans internationally and many or our athletes are returning customers who keep coming back for more!

Years of coaching experience goes into the design of our plans! USA Triathlon Elite Coach Mike Ricci has designed these plans with his twenty years of coaching expertise. Mike has written the training plans for our Age Group World Teams seven times and coached of the University of Colorado Triathlon team to 4 consecutive National Titles. Mike’s passion is getting you to the finish line and having an enjoyable experience along the way. By race day we will have you ready when you toe the line!

Purchase of this plan includes our 'Training Terminology' and our 'How to use Intensity' documents. You’ll also have access to our online videos for run, swim, bike and transition drills. We leave no stone unturned in trying to get you to reach your goals!
During the training plan, there is testing every few weeks throughout the program to test your fitness level so you can re-adjust your HR Zones if you train with a HRM. If you don’t train with a HRM, that’s fine as the tests are still good training and you can measure improveme

Sample Day 1
Long Continuous Swim 3000 yds

WU: 400 swim/ 100 drill MS: 5x (400 at slower than T-pace, 100 drill, so 500 total) CD: Whirlpool 10'

Sample Day 2
Bike Intervals: 10x30/30

BT: Warm-up well and then do 10 x 30 seconds at 90% effort (9 on 1-10 RPE scale) with 30-second spin recoveries. Stop if speed drops by 1 mph (1.5 kph). Rolling starts, standing, big gear. Get to top end quickly. Cool down easily and stretch.

Sample Day 2
Treadmill Speed - 9x1'


WU: 8' easy warm up - then 4x20" fast - at a sustainable speed, but still this should be very quick
MS: 9x1' very fast - if your 5k pace is 8:00 for example, that would be 7.6 mph on the treadmill. This set would see you running FASTER than that. Get the treadmill up to the desired speed, run fast for the minute, then hop off onto the sides and slow it back down before you get back on. Run easy for 1 minute before you do your next rep. Do these in sets of 3, and try to get faster with each set of 3.
CD: 5-8' very easy.

*Grade on the treadmill is always 1% or better
40' workout

Sample Day 3
Speed: Speed - 60 min 2900 yd

WU: 600 (200 free, 200 kick, 200 pull). MS: 12x50 on 20" rest (each one gets faster) Then swim a 600, swimming the 2nd 300 faster then the first 300. Next is 6x50 kick on 15" rest. Then swim 2x300 on 30" rest. #1 is pace, #2 is as fast as you can. CD: 200.

Sample Day 3
Strength Train: 12-15 reps

WU: 5' your choice

MS: 3x 12-15 reps

Split Squat Lunge - 1 leg on bench, hold dumbell (DB)

Step Ups

Physio Ball (PB) Crunches (core 1)

PB reverse hypers (core 1)

Lat pull down

Seated Rows

V-Ups (core 1)

Superman 1:00 (core 1)


Side Lunge (step to the side)

Ab Roller (core 3, #3)

PB push up (core 1)

2x20 reps of stretch cordz if you have them?

CD: 5' your choice, then stretch and use foam roller

Core work is here:

Sample Day 4
Tabata Intervals

12' wu, then 5x10-20" at 90% effort. with 1' recovery. Increase the effort on each 10-20" effort.
Then the fun begins:
Pedal as hard as you can for 20", then recover for 10" - no more than 10" - do as many reps as you can - MAX of 8 reps! Note your wattage for each rep.
Do a nice easy 10' cool down.
Total time of 25-35'. Good luck!

Sample Day 4
Run Intervals: 10x30/30

BT: Warm-up well and then run 10 x 30 seconds at a pace about 20 seconds per mile faster than your 5k race pace per mile. Recover by jogging easily for 30 seconds after each. You should cover half of the fast rep distance during your jog (for example, run 150 in 30 seconds, jog 75 in 30 seconds). Stop when you can no longer maintain the targeted pace. This is best on a track or other measured course so that pace may be monitored.

Michael Ricci

The key to achieving your goal is having a plan! D3 Multisport founder and head coach Mike Ricci uses his collective 25+ years of coaching experience to help each individual athlete be successful - at any level. His passion for the sport and wisdom gained from coaching thousands of athletes all go into the design of his training plans. Let the D3 coaching team take the guesswork out of your training and guide you with pre-built training plans, customized plans, or 1-to-1 coaching.