• Triathlon: Olympic Distance Triathlon Race Plan, Intermediate: 5.75 to 10.5 hrs/wk, 9-week plan

    Gale Bernhardt

  • $58.45 $64.95

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Triathlon: Olympic Distance Triathlon Race Plan, Intermediate: 5.75 to 10.5 hrs/wk

Author: Gale Bernhardt


9 weeks - $64.95 (There is a 10% discount when ordering from Gale Bernhardt’s website.)
Total Hours: 77


This 9-week training plan is for experienced triathletes looking to race an Olympic distance event under three hours - or improve their current time. To improve your speed we’ll use a combination of heart rate monitoring, pace (speed) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE). You can find more information on intensity levels behind the Supporting Documents link. You will also get a downloadable file of these supporting documents after purchase.


I’ve also included a few power-based workouts for those of you that have access to power meters on your bike. (No, a power meter is not a “must” to use this plan.) 

To get the most out of this training plan, you need to know or estimate your open 10k run time (run time not at the end of a triathlon.) To get your open 10k run time, use a recent result from a running event. To estimate your open 10k pace from a triathlon event, subtract 10 to 20 seconds per mile. (Your open 10k time is typically faster than a triathlon 10k time.) If you have a power meter for your bicycle, know your average power output for an all-out 30-minute time trial (CP30).

You can view sample workouts below. They will appear in electronic format after you load them you’re your account. Your training hours remain steady at 10:30 for all working weeks and recovery weeks are at 5:45. Improved speed is achieved by specific quality workouts, strategically planned. Part of the strategy is recovery within a week and recovery weeks.


Q & A

Q – I see “Workouts in a Binder” mentioned on the swimming instructions preview, do I need to purchase that product to successfully complete the program?

A – Swimming is a bugger for several reasons. One is that some people prefer swimming with a masters group and do not want specific workouts for the swim portion of the plan. They want guidelines for what kind of intensity to hold during the masters workout. Others prefer suggested workouts, but they want to modify any suggestion to meet personal needs. (Because people with a swimming background can complete significantly more yards during a particular one-hour swim workout than a beginning swimmer can.)

Additionally, I don’t want athletes paying for something they don’t need.

For the reasons stated above, I did not bundle a purchase of “Workouts in a Binder for Triathletes” with individual training plans; but left that product as an optional purchase, available at in my online store and many major book and triathlon retailers. This product has totally waterproof workout pages designed with two levels for each workout. Those levels can also be modified to meet the needs of shorter workouts. This design was conceived to eliminate the frustration associated with printing workouts onto paper, putting them in a baggie, only to get mid-way through the set and find water leaked into the bag and destroyed the workout. 

Q – What if I don’t like the plan once I’ve seen it?

A – Because discounted plans are offered through this site and a coding system, no refunds are allowed. If you are worried about wanting or needing a refund, you can forego the discount and purchase the plan directly from the TrainingPeaks website. Refunds for training plans are offered for a limited time after purchase. You can find this training plan on that site by following this link.

Q – What do I get with a training plan?


A – After purchase, you will receive an email with instructions on how to download and access your training plan. Your plan will be available in your own private online training log account. You will enjoy the following benefits and more:

  • Daily e-mails with your next workout keep you on track
  • Create your own routes or search the library of routes for tracking your workouts
  • Map, graph and share workouts with your friends by e-mail, Facebook and view in Google Maps or Google Earth
  • Upload workouts from one of more than 80 training devices (Garmin, Suunto, Timex, Polar, more) or easily record your workouts manually
  • Track your fitness and gain confidence
  • Complete nutrition tracking to monitor your diet
  • Get support and answers on a message board specific to your plan and access to more message board



Sample workouts:

Workout #1 : Strength

Planned Time: 1:00:00
Warm up cycling or running 10-30 minutes. For each of the designated exercises, complete 1 set of 20 reps at a light weight, increase the weight and do 1-2 sets x 12 reps, increase the weight and do 1-2 sets x 6-8 reps. For the remaining exercises, complete 2-3 sets of 12 - 15 reps. Decrease the sets and weight in heavy racing periods.

Workout #2 : Bike

Planned Time: 0:45:00
This workout helps work the dead spot out of pedal stroke. After a warm-up, with light resistance on an indoor trainer, do 100 percent of the work with one leg while the other leg is or resting on a stool. The bottom of the stroke is similar to the motion of scraping mud off the bottom of your shoe. The top of the stroke can be improved by driving toes forward. In all positions, keep the toes relaxed. Do not allow them to curl-up and clinch the bottom of your shoe. (This can be done outdoors by relaxing one leg while the other leg does most of the work.) After doing a work segment with each leg (start with 20-60 seconds per leg), spin easy with both legs for 1-3 minutes and then go back to single legwork. Begin with a cumulative time of 3 to 5 minutes on each leg and build time, as you become stronger.

Workout #3 : Swim

Planned Time: 1:00:00
The main set will be mostly aerobic work; however a good deal of form work is included at the beginning or the end of the workout. For this workout, speed is less important than good form. Some coaches refer to this as drill work. Neuromuscular training is important during the drill segment. (Can select a Workouts in a Binder card E(Form). )

Workout #4 : Run

Planned Time: 1:00:00
BT: After a good warm-up in Zones 1-2, include a few fast accelerations with ample rest. Then proceed to the track workout described.

Workout #5 : Bike

Planned Time: 0:45:00
This level is used for aerobic maintenance and endurance training. Heart rate should stay primarily in Zones 1 to 2. How much time is spent in each zone depends on how you feel that day. The goal of an E2 ride is not to see how much time you can spend in Zone 2. Ride on a rolling course if possible, with grades up to 4 percent. For reference, most highway off-ramps are 4-percent grade. Riding in a slightly larger gear can simulate a gentle hill, if there are no hills where you live. Remain in the saddle on the hills. If you ride with a group, inner discipline is necessary to let the group go if they want to hammer.

Workout #6 : Run

Planned Time: 0:30:00
Run on a flat course, a soft surface would be best (grass, dirt or a treadmill) keeping heart rate in Zone 1.

Workout #7 : Swim

Planned Time: 1:00:00
BT: This workout utilizes your T1-pace for the main set. The main set is some combination of distances lasting 20 to 40 minutes, with a good portion of the set at T1-pace or slightly (two to five seconds) faster. Swim segments might be 50 to 200 yards or meters long and depending on the length of each swim, rest intervals are five to 20 seconds long. The goal is to sustain T1-pace, or slightly faster. These workouts are often referred to as lactate threshold or anaerobic threshold workouts and it is important to be well rested heading into a muscular-endurance session. Swim with masters or select Workouts in a Binder (M) card.

Workout #8 : Bike

Planned Time: 3:00:00
BT: These intervals work on lactate threshold speed, as the season and your fitness progress. On a mostly flat course or indoor trainer, complete the designated intervals, allowing heart rate to rise into Zones 4 to 5a over the course of the interval. After heart rate is in the 4 to 5a zone, try to hold it there until the end of the interval. Rest for the time specified.

Workout #9 : Run

Planned Time: 0:30:00
Run on a flat course, a soft surface would be best (grass, dirt or a treadmill) keeping heart rate in Zone 1.