Build your training consistency and fitness ready for spring speedwork with this six-week plan…

Build Your Fitness In 2015 Triathlon Training Plan

Winter can leave you in a tricky no-man’s-land when it comes to training. You might be sick to death of endless ‘base’ miles in the cold, but it’s too early to really get stuck into your pre-season speedwork. On the other hand, you might have started the off-season full of good intentions to build your base and not done too much at all.

This six-week plan is not aimed at any specific race distance, but rather to give someone with a reasonable level of fitness already a more consistent, solid foundation on which to build his or her spring training. If you are looking to race a fast Ironman this year, or to reach your age-group podium at shorter events, this one probably isn’t for you; it’s more for the people who know they’re not quite ready to start serious speedwork, who aren’t sure how long they should be riding and running for now, and who may not even have decided what distance they’re racing in 2015 yet.

The real aim here is to complete as many of the sessions on the plan as possible. For that reason we’ve tried to keep overall volume fairly low – around eight or nine hours each week, tops – and the sessions are deliberately simple. For example, we’ve used time rather than distance, even in the pool, so that slower athletes don’t become disheartened after half an hour just completing a swim warm-up. During the long run sessions, you’re asked to do fartlek intervals: use changes in the landscape to inspire bursts of speed (for example, running up steps or short inclines hard). Hopefully this approach means you won’t become overwhelmed with your training and give up early on, and you’ll find it fun – you’ll become fitter without even noticing the effort.

This training plan gradually increases in volume (mainly at weekends) and we also add in more speedwork as the weeks go on, so you’ll be ready to train harder in spring. Remember, consistency is key so if that means training on a turbo or treadmill when the weather’s bad, so be it. For simplicity’s sake the swims are given as main set only; you should incorporate a warm-up and warm-down too. You should also check out the Key and Training Zones sections left, so you know what the abbreviations mean.


Goal – Build base fitness and training consistency for anything from sprint to middle distance.

Timescale – 6 weeks.

Start point – Cycle 60mins, Run 30mins, Swim 20mins.

Level – Beginner to intermediate.

6 Week Plan – Training Zones Guide

Z1 Recovery 55-70 <2 1-6hrs Easy
Z2 Endurance 70-75 2-3 1-3hrs Steady
Z3 Tempo 75-80 3-4 50-90mins Comfortable
Z4 Threshold 80-88 4-6 10-60mins Uncomfortable
Z5 Vo2 max 89-100 >7 12-30mins Hard to very hard


WU Warm up, MAIN Main set, WD Warm down, FC Front crawl, PULL Front crawl with a pull-buoy float between your thighs, KICK Kick with a float held out in front, Z1 Training Zone 1, Z2 Training Zone 2 Z3 Training Zone 3, Z4 Training Zone 4, Z5 Training Zone 5, DRILL Your preference of swim technique drill, BUILD Do each rep slightly faster than the previous.

Download the Build Your Fitness In 2015 Triathlon Training Plan.