Ride faster in just six weeks triathlon training plan

Use coach Phil Mosley’s bike-focused training plan to up your lactate threshold and ride harder.

This triathlon training plan is aimed at making you a faster cyclist in six weeks. There are three rides per week, three runs and two swims. Every third week is an active recovery period, which breaks the routine of training and allows your body to recover and improve. I’ve used a similar plan with the athletes I coach and improvements of 10% are not uncommon.

Each bike session in a week has a specific aim, so it’s important that you execute them properly. The Tuesday sessions are aimed at maintaining or boosting your VO2max – the volume of oxygen you can consume while exercising at your maximum capacity. The Thursday sessions involve riding in a big gear at low cadence, to improve your functional leg strength. The Saturday bike sessions are perhaps the most important. They are designed to boost your lactate threshold, which is a key determinant of how hard you can ride over all triathlon race distances. You can read more about this on page seven of Training Zone.

The hard bits during the Saturday workouts should be done at 88-94% of your one-hour steady state race pace. This doesn’t feel too hard for the first few minutes, but the fatigue soon kicks in. After six weeks of doing these sessions your power output should improve for a given heart rate. You may even find that you’re able to maintain a higher heart rate during the bike section of a triathlon.

As well as the cycling, there are several runs and swims to do. They are aimed at maintaining your current level. It’s can be hard to constantly improve all three disciplines at once, so focussing on one discipline while maintaining the others is often the way to go. There are also optional stretching sessions and a core stability workout to do each week. These will help you stay strong and avoid injury.

Each workout uses Training Zones to help you train at the right intensity. There is also a Key to help you understand abbreviations. Listen to your body and if you feel excessively fatigued or sore, take two days off completely and then reassess before you resume training.

Is this ride faster plan for you? 

Goal: Super sprint, sprint and standard-distance triathlons

Timescale: 6 weeks

Start point: Swim: 1km, cycle 75 minutes, run 40 minutes

Level: Intermediate to advanced

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 Z3Training Zone 3, Z4 Training Zone 4, Z5 Training Zone 5, DRILL Your preference of swim technique drill, BACK Backstroke, BREAST Breaststroke, BUILD Gradually increase your pace.

Download Ride faster in just six weeks triathlon training plan.

Photo Oleschwander/Shutterstock