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Triathlon Base Program--12-week, novice swimmer focus


12-week Triathlon Base Program--novice swimmer focus

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12 Weeks

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Plan Description

This base plan is designed for the novice triathlete who wants to focus on improving swim technique and endurance, while maintaining a solid bike and run base. To begin this plan, you should be able to swim 20-30 minutes, cycle 90 minutes and run 45 minutes.There are 3-4 swim, 2-3 bike and 2-3 run workouts scheduled each week. There are also strength and core workouts scheduled and at least one complete day off from training each week. The first week’s total training volume is 6 hours & 45 minutes and the plan slowly builds to the maximum volume of 11 hours & 20 minutes in week eleven.

The plan follows a 3-weeks “on,” 1-week “off” pattern of work weeks & rest week. Following the first rest week (#4), second rest week (#8) and during week #12 there are time trial effort workouts scheduled to evaluate your fitness levels and with the data, you can set your heart rate zones, power zones and swim pace. If you do not train with a heart rate monitor and or power meter, you can still follow the plan using “Rate of Perceived Exertion” chart (see below for a link).

Supporting documents:
RPE Chart:
Swim drills:

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Swim x4
2:14 hrs 1:00 hrs
Strength x4
1:23 hrs 0:30 hrs
Bike x3
2:57 hrs 2:00 hrs
Run x3
1:43 hrs 1:15 hrs
Day Off x1
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:14 hrs 1:00 hrs
1:23 hrs 0:30 hrs
2:57 hrs 2:00 hrs
1:43 hrs 1:15 hrs
Day Off
—— ——

Training Load By Week

Karen Buxton

I work with triathletes, duathletes, runners, swimmers and endurance cyclists from first-timers to elites.

One-on-one premium level-$350 per 4-week block +$200 start-up fee; Quarterly level- $500 per 12-week block +$200 start-up fee; Basic level-$225 per 12-week block +$175 start-up fee; pre-built plans (prices vary); hourly phone consultation & individual training sessions available. For more information email me at

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