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Xterra Triathlon pre competition phase 6 weeks


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

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6 Weeks

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Plan Description

You should have build a solid base level of fitness and progressed through a build phase of training prior to starting this plan.

This Pre Competition phase of training plan has been prepared to help you work more on the specifics of your goal A race. This time is an opportunity to do some local “training races” to become used to the race paced efforts. During this phase of training, the focus will move away from developing muscular strength to increasing muscular endurance, strength and power, it will include less important races, lactate tolerance more, interval sessions and an opportunity to practice race tactics, such as open water swimming, transitions and brick sessions

The plan itself will develop your lactate system, or race pace, and build on the aerobic base fitness you have developed. It is the anareobic or speed work that you need to go faster, which will feel hard to start with in week 1, getting easier as the weeks go by ass you adapt and build your anaerobic system

The plan will follow a 4 week cycle of easy, medium, hard and recovery weeks based on hourly volume, and will provide you with an increase in VO2 max, an improvement in lactate buffering and removal, plus an improved resistance to fatigue from interval sessions.

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
2:43 hrs 1:05 hrs
1:54 hrs 2:00 hrs
1:02 hrs 1:00 hrs
1:18 hrs 1:40 hrs
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:43 hrs 1:05 hrs
1:54 hrs 2:00 hrs
1:02 hrs 1:00 hrs
1:18 hrs 1:40 hrs
—— ——

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • GPS

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

Cruise intervals, hill, off road, CP12 Copy

BT: Hill Cruise Intervals. Off road, climb a steep 3-5 minute hill 4-6 times at power zone 5 about 20 minutes of climbing total. 60+ rpm.

Sample Day 2

Pace Control

Warm Up

200 FC
100 BC
100 single arm

Main Set : 80% effort

400 FC Bilateral every 5 - recovery 30 secs
2x 200m Pull + Paddles + t shirts (10 secs between 200’s), recovery 30 secs after both
4x 100 FC Pace control on T pace - 1 min recovery – to stretch
8x 50m Dolphin kick out underwater/ fly back all with fins – 20 recovery
16x 25m FC (alternate stroke count -2/ power push/ glide and touch thigh/ catch up) 10 rest

Cool Down: 60% effort

100 FC super slow
100 BC

Sample Day 2

LT pace, 3M

BT: Tempo. Long warm-up. Then run 3 miles continuous at 10k pace + 10-20 seconds/mile on a flat course. Relax. Listen to breathing.

Sample Day 3

Anaerobic Capacity Intervals

Good warm up working up through the zones with less time in each zone as you draw towards zone 5-5 Main session Zone 6 Intervals 2 sets of 4 x 1 min On 1 min OFF, Full Gas > zone 5 watts; 5 min in b/w sets

Sample Day 4

Race-Specific Swim Skills

Starting off without pushing off the wall mirrors the start of an open-water race while taking off after doing a somersault in the water challenges orientation in the water and thus prepares the athlete for the frenzy of starting off in a group in a triathlon race.” “The main set also plays with varying the pace, which simulates a race in which the athlete probably has to swim the first 100 yards very hard to find some open space or the slipstream of a another competitor, as well as learning to switch from constant natural pace to a short sprint when passing slower swimmers in the race.” Warm-up 400 yards easy 6×50 drills as 25 yards drill (e.g. right/ left arm only, fingertip drag), 25 yards free Main Set – 3×50 water start (no pushing off the wall) as 25 yards increasing speed, 25 yards easy – 3×50 somersault start as 15 yards max effort, 35 yards easy – 8-10×100 fartlek swim (vary your pace within each 100 from very hard pace to your base pace to easy recovery pace) – 4×100 slipstream swim with partner, base pace (swim right behind your partner and at some point within those 100 yards pass your partner with a short sprint; take turns) Cool-down 400 easy

Sample Day 4

Stationary track intervals

BT: Set up your bike on a trainer at a track or other site with a measured, out-and-back or circular course. Warm-up on the bike for 15 minutes elevating heart rate to the 3 zone. Transition to a 400-meter run at 10k pace. Transition back to the bike for a 5-minute ride, as follows: Spin easily for 2 minutes to recover and then build heart rate to the 4-5a zone and hold this for 3 minutes. Transition to an 800-meter run at 5k race pace. Repeat this pattern of 5 minutes on the bike followed by an 800-meter run 3 more times. After the last one cool down on the bike by spinning easily for 10 minutes. This workout will take approximately 1 hour.

Sample Day 6

No zone 3 or above.

Heart rate zone 1-2 on gently rolling course. NO zone 3. Walk hills, if necessary, to hold heart rate down.

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