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Xterra Triathlon Build phase 11 weeks


Nick de Meyer British Triathlon Federation level 3 Coach, Training Bible Master endurance coach

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11 Weeks

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Plan Description

This build phase training plan is prepared to provide you with improved strength of your major muscle groups used in triathlon, it will involve more force and muscular endurance sessions, and is a time for eliminating muscle imbalances. This will follow a 4 week cycle of easy, medium, hard and recovery weeks based on hourly volume, with a progresssive reliance on carbohydrate as a fuel, moving into zone 3 tempo workouts during the course of the plan

You might be a beginning triathlete or maybe you have a couple of races under your belt from previous seasons. In either case you are fit and are NOT a beginning athlete. Before beginning Week 1 of the plan you are capable of riding a bike 30 to 60 minutes two days a week and completing a long ride around two hours on a third day. You can swim 100 yards (or meters) nonstop and swimming for 30 minutes a couple of times per week is easy. You can run two days per week, one 30-minute run and a longer run of 45 minutes.

Weekly training hours range from 5:15 to a maximum between 8:15 and 11:00. There is some flexibility built into the plan to accommodate individual differences. For example there is no time posted for the swim workouts. Obviously there can be big differences in swimming abilities between people with a competitive swim background and those just getting into swimming. Some of the run and bike workouts also have ranges built into the workouts.


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:21 hrs 1:20 hrs
2:50 hrs 2:30 hrs
1:45 hrs 1:19 hrs
0:58 hrs 2:30 hrs
—— ——
0:16 hrs 0:30 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:21 hrs 1:20 hrs
2:50 hrs 2:30 hrs
1:45 hrs 1:19 hrs
0:58 hrs 2:30 hrs
—— ——
0:16 hrs 0:30 hrs

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • Heart Rate Monitor

All supported devices

Nick de Meyer

Speedy Swimming

Nick has been a Level 3 British Triathlon Coach for 14 years, and has been a master endurance coach with Training Bible Coaching UK in that time. He is also a Training Peaks Level 2 Accredited Coach, and has worked as a Regional Development Coach for the South East region for British Triathlon.

Alongside his online coaching business, Nick also runs Speedy Swimming which specialise in 1-2-1 front crawl technique lessons, endless pool swim video analysis, swim clinics and group swim sessions

Sample Day 1

AE ints, long, TT, hill/hwind

BT: On a 2% hill or into a headwind, do 4-5 x 3 minutes to the heart rate 5b zone (3-minute recoveries) on your time trial set-up. 90-105 rpm. Smooth pedaling. Long, easy cool down.

Sample Day 2


WU: 100 swim, 100 kick, 100 swim, 100 kick.

MS: Pyramid intervals: Choose a pace for the 300 interval that is below your T-pace. Then maintain that pace for the “step-up” portion of the set. For the “step-down” portion try to make each interval faster than the previous so that the last interval is the fastest of the entire set. But never faster than T-pace. Recoveries are seconds in parentheses.

50 (15”) 100 (20”) 200 (30”) 300 (30”) 200 (30”) 100 (30”) 50.

CD: Easy stroking for 10 minutes varying strokes.

Total: 1900

Sample Day 2

Tri T1 & T2 practice

Transitions. Practice swim to bike and bike to run. Review stall set-up, wetsuit off, helmet on, shoe changes, etc. Focus on rehearsing the transition you have the most trouble with.

Sample Day 3

Hills, heart rate zones 1-4.

BT: Heart rate in zone 1-4 on hilly course. A few seconds with heart rate in zone 5 is OK. Don''t force heart rate up--allow it to rise with hills.

Sample Day 4


Warm Up
200 FC
100 BC
4 x 25m holding breath underwater as far as SAFELY possible. Try not to skim surface

Main Set: Improving Lung Capacity

10x 200m (40 recovery) as:

1st 200m Hypoxy Breathing every 3,5,7,9 on lengths 2,4,6,8
2nd 200m (30 recovery)
Drills (200m each) in between Hypoxic swims

1.Zips and Drag fingers
2.O – Ring
3.Catch up
4.Spearing on entry phase
5.Breathe alternate / weaker side

Cool Down
4x 25m sculling
100 BC

Sample Day 4


BT: Criss-cross threshold. Flat course. Warm-up and then ride 20 minutes in heart rate 4-5a zones. Criss-cross from low 4 to high 5a zone every 1-2 minutes. 85-100 rpm.

Sample Day 6

Mod-easy pyramid

WU: 4 x 100 swim done as 25s each of kick, R arm only, L arm only, swim.

MS: The even intervals are done at 5 seconds slower than 100 T-pace. The others are relaxed swims with good technique. Recoveries are in seconds within parentheses.

50 (15”) 100 (30”) 200 (40”) 300 (60”) 200 (40”) 100 (30”) 50.

CD: Easy combination of kicks and strokes for 10 minutes.

Total: 1900

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