Be at your best for an Olympic-distance triathlon, with Phil Mosley’s six-week training plan

Best Olympic Distance Training PlanIn the last six weeks before a race it’s important to make each workout race-specific in some way, rather than just churning out the miles. The goal is to become well and truly accustomed to the demands of your triathlon.

So this six-week Olympic-distance training plan isn’t stuffed full of pointless workouts – each one is designed to build your race-day fitness.

It’s also not something you should launch into without first building up your fitness gradually. The plan assumes you’ve already been training for triathlons throughout the winter or at least since early spring, so you can cope with the workload.

In order to do well at an Olympic-distance triathlon you’ll need to do the following things well:

  • Swim 1500m in open water (sea, river, lake or canal) with people all around you.
  • Transition quickly into a hard 40km cycle time-trial.
  • After a second transition you’ll then need to run a strong 10km despite the accumulative fatigue from the swim and bike.

It’s important to remember that it’s more than three disciplines – it’s one big race. Which is why I have set various sessions that replicate the intensity, distance and conditions you’ll face on race day. Anything else you can do to replicate race-day conditions is worthwhile at this stage.

These kind of race-specific workouts are very demanding, so there are some easier sessions too, and these also have a race-specific element to them.

Aside from the training, you should practise your transitions and make sure you get used to open-water swimming – preferably in a group of people, in conditions similar to those you’ll face when you race. Don’t leave it to the last minute. Open-water swimming can be pretty scary if you’ve not practised.

For simplicity’s sake the pool swims are given as Main Set only. In addition you should incorporate a warm up of around 500m and a warm down of 400m. This should include front crawl, drills, backstroke and kicking. Although we have provided you with swim sets to follow, attending a coached group is nearly always more effective than doing your swimming alone.

Lastly, please check out the Key and Training Zones sections below, so you know what the abbreviations mean and what intensities to train at.

Is this triathlon training plan for you?

Goal: Your fastest Olympic-distance triathlon
Timescale: Six weeks
Start Point: Swim 1500m / Bike 40km / Run 10km
Level: Intermediate

Training Zones Guide

Zone Description Heart Rate (% max) RPE 1-10 Accumulated Intensity
Z1 Recovery 55-70 less than 2 1-6 hours Easy
Z2 Endurance 70-75 2-3 1-3 hours Steady
Z3 Tempo 75-80 3-4 50-90 mins Comfortable
Z4 Threshold 80-88 4-6 10-60 mins Uncomfortable
Z5 VO2 Max 80-88 more than 7 12-30 mins 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, SECS seconds, 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, BACK Backstroke, BREAST Breaststroke

Download Race Your Fastest Olympic-Distance Triathlon Training Plan