Base - Olympic Tri MV
6 weeks duration
Last updated on Monday, November 26, 2018
The mid-volume version of the Olympic Triathlon Base plan has triathletes swimming three times each week for up to 6000m, on the bike three times each week for about 3.5 hours total (including a few brick workouts), and running up to 3 hours each week.
This happy-medium plan is aimed at reasonably experienced Olympic-distance triathletes, or even very experienced sprint distance triathletes, ready to move up to the international distance. This plan is designed to help athletes develop a firm base of fitness in all 3 disciplines, in preparation for potential top-10 age group placings, on no more than 8 hours per week.
Note: Double-day workouts can be done in any order and separated by as little or as much time as you choose, as long as you can keep the quality of both workouts high.
Shasta (Workout - MRC)
Antelope (Workout - MRC)
Total Workouts: 2
Tuesday FTP Assessment Get a solid estimate of your current fitness via the Ramp Test. You have the option of using the 8-minute FTP Test or the 20 Minute FTP Test if you prefer, just see to it that you reassess using the same workout each time.
Wednesday Swim Base Intervals (1600m) Warm-Up 300m Easy, RPE4; 8x25m CU Drills w/ 10s rest between drills; 6x100m Easy-Moderate, RPE6 w/ 5s rest between intervals; 8x25m K Drills w/ 15s rest between drills; Cool-Down 300m easy, RPE.
Wednesday Base Run 40min at Easy-Moderate pace, RPE6. Feel free to insert 1 minute of walking whenever necessary as you try to run more continuously from week to week and emphasize quality over quantity at this early point in your running. Try to run for at least 10 minutes between walking breaks if possible.
Thursday Shasta Time to build some capacity! In particular, strength. By drilling it for a short 20 seconds at a time, your muscles will receive a loud-and-clear request for more - more muscle, more work, more power. This is true, on-the-bike strength work that will not only lift your ability to power the pedals for short durations but also much, much longer ones.
Friday Swim Speed + Sprint Intervals (1800m) Warm-Up 300m Easy, RPE4; 8x25m F drills w/ 10s rest between drills; 6x100m of 25m Easy, RPE4/25m Hard, RPE8, 10s rest between intervals; 4x50m Sprints, All-Out, RPE10 w/ 20s rest between sprints; 8x25m K drills w/15s rest between drills; Cool-Down 300m easy, RPE4.
Friday Base Run + Uphill Strides Run 40min Easy-Moderate, RPE6 and then conclude your run with two 20-second controlled sprints, RPE10, preferably uphill w/ 40 seconds of recovery between them. Keep the grade gentle enough that you can generate a bit of speed and maintain fluid form, even up a hill.
Saturday Antelope 50 total minutes of endurance work comprise your weekend ride as you face fairly long intervals, and quite a few of them. Fortunately, the recovery between each interval is pretty generous in the interest of keeping the steady, endurance-building watts comin’ for each of the 5 intervals.
Sunday Continuous Base Swim (1600m) Warm-Up 300m Easy, RPE4; 1000m Easy-Moderate, RPE6; Cool-Down 300m easy, RPE4.
Sunday Base Run 45min at Easy-Moderate pace, RPE6. Again, walk briefly when necessary if it means the difference between running well and sacrificing form while running efficiency suffers. Quick walking breaks of a single minute can often keep the form high while costing very little in terms of aerobic fitness improvements.
Monitor (Workout - MRC)
Shasta (Workout - MRC)
Phoenix (Workout - MRC)
Total Workouts: 3
This one’s pretty straightforward as it trims the Sweet Spot duration to 6 minutes at a time this week while dropping the recoveries to a scant 2 minutes. If you find yourself underchallenged by these intervals and you’re recovering well between bike workouts, consider adding 2-3% to your FTP during the latter 3 or 4 intervals in order to determine if your FTP could use a little adjustment.
Swim Base Intervals (1700m)
Warm-Up 300m Easy, RPE4; 8x25m F&T Drills w/ 10s rest between drills; 7x100m Easy-Moderate, RPE6 w/ 5s rest between intervals; 8x25m SK Drills w/ 15s rest between drills; Cool-Down 300m easy, RPE4.
40min at Easy-Moderate pace, RPE6. Keep the 1-minute walk-breaks if necessary but try to grow your continuous running stretches. For example, if you ran for 8 minutes before walking for a minute last week, try to run for 9 or 10 minutes before walking this week.
In what will be a standard strength workout for a couple more weeks, try to improve on last week’s workout quality by dialing in your highest, repeatable 20-second power such that you bury yourself each time yet maintain pretty even power from the first interval to the last. If you feel like you can raise the challenge without setting back your training, feel free to substitute Berryessa for this workout.
Swim Speed + Sprint Intervals (1900m)
Warm-Up 300m Easy, RPE4; 8x25m CU drills w/ 10s rest between drills; 6x100m of 25m Easy, RPE4/25m Hard, RPE8, 10s rest between intervals; 6x50m Sprints, All-Out, RPE10 w/ 20s rest between sprints; 8x25m SK drills w/15s rest between drills; Cool-Down 300m easy, RPE4.
Base Run + Uphill Strides
Run 40min Easy-Moderate, RPE6 and then conclude your run with 4x20-second controlled sprints, RPE10, preferably uphill w/ 40 seconds of recovery between them. Keep that manageable grade that allows a bit of speed and a reasonably long stride, not too choppy.
Brick Workout (Phoenix + 10min Transition Run)
In line with the steady-state nature of an Olympic triathlon’s bike leg, you’ll warm up and then settle into your aero position and work steadily for 75 minutes on the bike - rising when necessary but staying aero as much as possible. Then, dismount and transition quickly into your running gear, hoofing it at an Easy-Moderate pace, RPE6 for only 10 minutes of heavy-leg running experience. Try not to let that initial lack of coordination discourage you, it will pass before you know it.
Continuous Base Swim (1800m)
Warm-Up 300m Easy, RPE4; 1200m Easy-Moderate, RPE6; Cool-Down 300m easy, RPE4.
50min at Easy-Moderate pace, RPE6, still walking briefly when necessary in order to retain your form and efficiency - think of running well rather than simply running continuously with deteriorating technique.
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