Structured plans for various experience levels (beginner to advanced) and goal events (sprint to IRONMAN) or training objectives.
Completely risk-free: 100% money-back guarantee available!
Choose Your Plan!
Beginner Sprint Distance
Intermediate Sprint Distance
Advanced Sprint Distance
Not yet available
Beginner Olympic Distance
Intermediate Olympic Distance
Advanced Olympic Distance
Beginner Half Distance (70.3)
Intermediate Half Distance (70.3)
Advanced Half Distance (70.3)
Beginner Full Distance (IRONMAN)
Intermediate Full Distance (IRONMAN)
Advanced Full Distance (IRONMAN)
Why Choose Our Plans?
Our training plans have helped more than 1500 athletes achieve and exceed their goals, and the feedback we get is outstanding. The average customer feedback score is 9.47 out of 10 (February 2020).
We offer a satisfaction guarantee on the plans sold through our website (note: does not apply on plans sold through Training Peaks). If you are not 100% happy with your plan, just contact us and you'll get a complete refund.
EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SUPPORT
If you have any issues, something is unclear, or you have general questions about the plan, contact our customer support to get your questions answered and issues resolved in a timely manner.
Many online plans (free plans in particular) are little more than "workout generators". In contrast, our plans are meticulously planned out by assessing the event demands, performing a gap analysis, and then using expertise in both the art and the science of coaching to plan a structured training path from here and now to your goal event.
INFORMATION BEYOND JUST WORKOUTS
A training plan is only as good as its execution. And many plans are lacking in information on how to properly execute the plan. We put a great emphasis on making sure that you have all the information needed (and more) to execute the plan as intended. For example, information on how to set your training zones, practising race nutrition and hydration, how to execute specific drills and exercises etc.
FOR TIME-CRUNCHED ATHLETES
Our Beginner and Intermediate plans are designed specifically with time-crunched athletes in mind. This means that we have put an even greater than normal focus on finding the 'minimal effective dose'. That's not to say that more training volume wouldn't be beneficial - it probably would (and intermediate athletes with time available could consider adding more easy aerobic training). It simply means that we only use as much training time as is needed to meet the event demands and where we find a sweet spot of return on training investment, no more.
The best training help in terms of value for money
I used the Advanced Half Distance plan and I clearly got significantly faster:
Outlaw X 2020: 4h47m with swim shortened to 800m
Outlaw X 2021 (with plan): 4h50m with full-length 1900m swim
This plan is the best training help in terms of value for money.
Qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships - YAY YAY YAY!
I used the Advanced Half Distance training plan and achieved lots of improvements in all three disciplines and qualification for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships! My training got more consistent and more varied compared to what I was doing before, and the Youtube videos answered any additional questions I had and gave me great guidance.
Kept me organised and focused!
Your plan kept me very organized and focused through the 12 weeks. It was a good fit for my level. Not too easy, with too short training distances like so many other training plans I looked at, but not so daunting as some of the 12-15 hrs/week plans.
I have another race coming up, so I plan to restart the plan next week to prep for it. I would highly recommend it, 9 out of 10.
Went 11:33 in my first Ironman and felt strong throughout the race!
The Beginner Full Distance plan helped me go 11:33 in my first Ironman on a tough course at IM Canada. The plan was easy to follow and structured but still flexible. The advice in the videos helped me move workouts as needed to account for family/work commitments. My training became much more consistent and I didn't have to think much about it. I just trusted in the plan and executed each week. The training was very doable, and the "big days" helped me prepare for and feel confident on race day.
Always a clear purpose
The Intermediate Sprint plan has helped me stay consistent and avoid doing random of training - it's nice to always have a clear purpose. Plus, it saves me time from having to plan my training myself. I just needed to stick to the plan, have faith that it would improve my fitness, and it did!
I would definitely recommend this plan. Everything is explained very well and Mikael is available and willing to help when required.
I won the M40-44 AG in Ironman 70.3 Wisconsin
I used the Advanced Half Distance plan because I wanted to achieve my best performance short of having a coach. Before using this plan I was using TrainerRoad triathlon plans, but the Advanced Half Distance plan was more complete and well thought out. The detail and clear purpose of every workout was very helpful, and the weekly videos were informative.
Definite improvements from good structure and focus
Having a plan (Intermediate Olympic) to follow and keep me on track towards my goal race with an appropriate structure and progression was very beneficial for me. I really liked how the plan helped me set my individual training zones, and also the detailed explanations and intended purpose of each workout.
I got consistent with my training and trained with purpose
I got structure to my training program and more variety in my training. This allowed me to stay consistent and train with purpose. I highly recommend signing up so you can train to train with structure and purpose towards your goals.
Absolutely love it - it works like a charm!
I've been using the Advanced Half Distance plan and managed to both qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships and get third in my AG in Escape from Alcatraz! Previously my training, even with coaches, has been either too agressive or too conservative. This plan is very well balanced, it's wasy to understand and apply, and I like that there are strength workouts included.
1 hour 11 minutes for my first sprint triathlon!
My training was haphazard before starting to use the Beginner Sprint distance plan. I didn't know what to focus on or how to structure my week, although I almost did not buy the plan since I was arrogantly thinking I should know better and should know how to structure training myself. With the plan, I found I was much more consistent and had much more structure, and ended up doing 1 hour 11 minutes total time for my first sprint triathlon, beating my target time of 1 hour 15 minutes.
"I improved my FTP on the bike with less effort"
If you want to get better, the Advanced Half Distance plan is a great choice! The distribution of training load is amazing - I can do everything in the plan and still have plenty of energy.
Huge difference and crystal clear improvements!
I started the Advanced Half Distance plan to prepare for my first 70.3 My goal was sub-5 hours, and I did 4:46! Before using this plan I was training with a random free plan I found on the internet. The difference was huge. The Advanced Half Distance plan had the right balance between intensity and easy work. Another thing that I liked a lot is the clear guidance on how to alter the plan if needed. That's very helpful for us self-coached, time-starved athletes.
I felt every minute of training was taking my fitness up!
I bought the Intermediate Sprint plan in order to improve my race times, and to be able to run at my true capacity in races. These goals were both achieved. I used to collapse on the run when doing it after cycling and swimming, but this plan opened new possibilities and helped me reach paces I didn't think I could reach. The plan also helped me improve my swim, and it gave me the confidence that by following this plan I will reach peak performance at the right time. The periodisation, detailed workout descriptions, and efficiency of the sessions and the plan where all great highlights. I felt my fitness improving every day, and the plan wasn't too hard so it allowed me to really do the training every day and get into a rhythm. Go buy it, it's worth it.
Great price-to-performance ratio
The Advanced Full Distance plan is well structured, high quality, varied, and a great price-to-performance ratio. Training according to this plan was fun, and I finished my Ironman without problems or difficulties, and had a fast recovery.
National Champion in my age-group and 7th overall
I loved the structure of the plan, the detailed sessions, and the great taper. It helped me become national champion in my age group and seventh overall at the Irish nationals. To anybody considering purchasing this plan: you won't regret it.
"I highly recommend your training plans!"
I love planning my training and coming up with different workouts but I also want to make sure I'm on the right path when building for my next race. The Advanced Full Distance plan helped give my training structure and keep me accountable. The plan is easy to follow and adaptable, and I like the inclusion of strength and conditioning workouts and mobility.
From just exercising to training with thought and precision
I used the Beginner Olympic plan to give me guidance to train for the Olympic distance. I wanted a structure that would push me and use my time well.
The plan was great! I benefited a lot from the structure of having a plan. The way the workouts progress each week is great. I was just exercising before I started using the training plan and once I began to use the plan, I was training with thought and precision.
15 s/km faster 5k time, 15 s/100m faster swim, and my best sprint triathlon time - 1:07!
I think there's no better way to improve than having a well-balanced plan. This training plan gave more structure to my training and introduced me to new types of workouts. And the results were fantastic! I got a 15 s/km faster 5k time, 15 s/100m faster swim, and my best sprint triathlon time - 1:07! Ten out of ten!
I had a wonderful Ironman experience thanks in large part to you plan!
I used the Advanced Full Distance plan to train for and complete my first Iron distance triathlon. The plan gave me a more focused progression to my training. I could feel myself getting stronger each week but I never felt like it was too much. To those considering this plan, go for it! It's a very well laid out plan.
Has all the ingredients
Without a plan the outcome of your training can be anything. This plan has all the ingredients (swim, bike, run, strength and mobility) needed to get to the race fit and without getting injured, and it has good information about the training and all the specific workouts. You just buy the plan, read what you have to do and start training. Easy! I found the training quite easy to absorb, and I'm 47, so it's not too hard for the average person. I achieved a 10:05 full distance after following the plan.
Made my training much more efficient!
With this training plan, my training changed to be more systematic. Each session has a clear target for what you're trying to achieve - not just "going for a run".
I haven't previously trained using training zones, and this made the training much more efficient. I've improved my run pace nicely (and it was my strongest discipline before) and really improved my cycling.
Finally, having this plan makes it harder to skip workouts, so it helps you stay consistent. If you're considering purchasing it, just go for it! It helps immensely.
Approachable and easy-to-follow plan that will get you race-ready!
I am new to triathlon training this year, and when I signed up for my first Olympic distance triathlon, I knew that I would need to follow a training plan to prepare for the race. Finding a solid, science-backed training plan seemed to be a sensible approach to training for this race. It helped me to hold myself accountable and took the guesswork out of me trying to figure everything out on my own how. After following the training plan for 8 weeks I was race-ready!
I found the Beginner Olympic program to be an approachable, easy-to-follow training plan that is appropriate for athletes who are new to triathlon training. If you stick to this plan, you should have no problem completing an Olympic distance triathlon.
Definitely go for it - great buy!
I used the Advanced Olympic Distance plan and really liked it. I found that it gave me consistency without having a coach by holding me accountable. I would definitely recommend going for this plan. The length of the plan, the progression, all the detailed instructions - great buy.
A night and day difference and a 50-minute PB
Going from my own Excel spreadsheet training plan to the Advanced Full Distance plan was a night and day difference. There is a logical approach to training with a rounded approach, doing doubles, running on tired legs, building the endurance. It's all been an incredible improvement, and I managed to set a 50-minute PB in Ironman Arizona!
Significant time improvements in races, and swim went from mediocre to good!
Before getting started with Mikael's training plans, my training was all at the same pace and I didn't see any progress. I also found it difficult to stay motivated. But with his help, my program transformed and I really started progressing. My Olympic distance times improved significantly, and my swim went from mediocre to good. I highly recommend making this investment. It will transform your training and triathlon progress.
Improved my 70.3 time by 30 minutes and got on the podium!
The Beginner Half Distance plan was very well thought out and thorough. It included simple yet effective build and specific phases and was very easy to follow and understand. There were also great explanations and links that answered any questions regarding the workouts, as well as a great weekly video that explained each week of training. Compared to my 70.3 race last year I improved my time by 30 minutes and got a place on the podium (3rd). I recommend this plan, it will keep you consistent and yield dramatic improvements!
I went from being stuck around 210 lbs for the longest time in my life to dropping down to 200 lbs after completing the 8-week Beginner Olympic Distance plan. My blood pressure improved and I feel amazing!
Before I started this plan I found some online 8-week program geared towards getting you ready for a triathlon. The problem that I found out was the fast free online plans are too generic. There is not enough direction on the pace you need to be pushing yourself.
Since starting this program I am injury-free and pain-free and feel like this plan is a personal plan based on my own pace/heart rate. There is no guess-work. You know what you have to do and the only thing you have to do is stay disciplined.
I have only good things to say about the plan so it gets a big old 5 stars out of 5 from me.
Money well spent for good help to structure training
I purchased the Advanced Full Distance plan to get new inspiration and guidelines for my training. I am already quite structured in my training, but I found it helpful to use the periodisation as a framework for my training, and got some great specific sessions for cycling and running that helped me go into my Ironman feeling really strong.
Guaranteed structure and development without having to spend the time thinking for yourself!
The Intermediate Full Distance Plan got me much stronger and allowed me to finish my first full distance triathlon without trouble and importantly, I enjoyed the race! The plan had a gradual progression in volume and intensity and a good balance between pushing and recovery. It allowed me train easy without feeling guilty and then push genuinely hard when needed. Rating 10/10!
A personal plan based on my own pace/heart rate
Since starting the 8-week Beginner Olympic Distance plan I am injury-free and pain-free and feel like this plan is a personal plan based on my own pace/heart rate. There is no guess-work. You know what you have to do and the only thing you have to do is stay disciplined.
I also went from being stuck around 210 lbs for the longest time in my life to dropping down to 200 lbs, my blood pressure improved and I feel amazing!
Very high quality training from a trustworthy source
Using the Advanced Full Distance plan saved me a lot of time as I didn't have to worry about how to structure my training. I already had a trustworthy source to follow. It also has great Weekly Videos explaining the 'how' and 'why' of the training.
Very happy with my results!
I bought the Beginner Olympic plan to prepare for my first triathlon. I come from a powerlifting background with no background in endurance sports, and the structured workouts, easy-to-follow instructions, and progression of the plan helped me successfully complete my first triathlon and greatly improve my endurance. To anyone considering buying this plan, go for it, it is well worth it!
Amazing result! I'll use the plan again next season
Previously, I had no structure or plan... every day I made up a workout and as long as I felt sufficiently winded at the end, I thought it was a good workout. With the Intermediate Olympic training plan, I didn't have to think about what to do each day. Everything has been figured out for me and I just have to go out and execute. I really liked the detail and structure of the workouts, and that they were based on my personal bike power, run pace and swim pace thresholds.
The end result was amazing! I ended up improving by 6 minutes on both the Sprint and the Olympic distance. This is the value of structured training vs. non-structured, haphazard training. I intend to use the plan again next season and follow it even more rigorously. Highly recommended, ten out of ten!
One of the best training plans I´ve ever purchased!
The progression of the plan was very good. I felt lot stronger after the training and I also liked that the Training Peaks version of the plan has the Structured Workouts feature so they can be easily downloaded to Garmin devices. I sincerely think that it has been one of the best training plans I´ve ever purchased. Worth every penny!
Follow this plan and you will be prepared for the race
This was my first Olympic distance race, and I was able to complete it. I don't think I could have done so without the Beginner Olympic plan.
The instructions for what to do each day were specific and detailed. It helped to prepare me well for the race, and go from just exercising to training. The plan was well worth the investment. Follow it and you will be prepared for your race.
Control, confidence, and a new PB
The Advanced Half Distance plan gave me direction so I could focus on training rather than planning. I set a new PB despite bad conditions on race day, with a distinct feeling of control and confidence, and being in execution mode. Previously I've trained according to more general plans from the book "Fast Track Triathlete", but this plan was a clear improvement.
This plan delivers!
With the help of the Advanced Full Distance plan, I finished my first Ironman is sub-10 hours, with a run leg close to my open marathon PB! The plan has a nice progression so I was never fatigued even though I was always working hard, a good variety in sessions, and it kept me accountable. I improved, I enjoyed the training, and I learned a lot about training with the help of this plan.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
You need basic equipment to swim (pool and open water), bike (outdoors or indoors), and run.
With all plans except the Beginner Sprint and Olympic plans (for which you don't need any of the following), you need either a heart rate monitor or power meter to measure intensity on the bike, and a way (such as a GPS-watch) to measure pace or heart rate or power for running. For the swim you do NOT need a watch. You can use the pace clock that most pools have, or simply RPE (rating of perceived exertion).
You can use either a road bike or a triathlon bike for these plans, it is all up to you. If you are a beginner training for a sprint or Olympic race, you do not even need a road bike, any bike will do.
In many of the plans certain swim equipment is used. Fins, pull buouy, and paddles would be the most important pieces to have. In addition, it would be good to get a snorkel. For intermediate and advanced plans, a Finis Tempo Trainer and ankle strap are also recommended.
For advanced plans, a power meter on the bike is recommended. For intermediate long distance (70.3 andIRONMAN) plans, a power meter on the bike is also recommended.
When you get a training plan, you get a blueprint for training that will put you in a great position to achieve your goals on race day.
But, it is up to you to follow this blueprint and execute on it. It is also up to you to make adjustments as and when needed (see question in rightmost column on the topic of making adjustments).
If you need somebody to individualise your training and make adjustments for you, what you need is coaching. This level of support is not included in the purchase of the training plans, and we cannot answer questions that fall under the umbrella of coaching, as that level of support is something we reserve for our coaching clients.
With the limitations clarified, let's make it clear that we do offer exceptional customer support, thanks to Coach and Customer Support Manager David Dhooge (email@example.com).
He responds to questions and queries from training plan users such as:
- Things that are unclear about specific workouts, or generally about how to use the plan.
- How to adjust the plan for XYZ (other races, vacation, work and family schedule etc.). Note that we don't make the adjustments for you, but we can make suggestions and recommendations.
- How to adjust the plan when you have a longer/shorter time than the plan duration until your goal race.
- Other general questions about the plan, the workouts, and the execution of the plan or the workouts.
So there are a lot of potential questions that are covered by the support we offer.
Some common questions we get that are not included in our customer support are:
- Monitoring/analysing workouts and checking training progress
- Race planning
- Help with changes to the plan that go beyond "adjustments" and towards "consulting" (you could consider a consultation for this).
Yes, you can. Whether you are using the Training Peaks or PDF-version of the plan, you can reuse it whenever you want. You can choose to start or restart the plan anytime.
For information on how to apply/unapply ("start/stop") the plan in Training Peaks, see here.
Getting the plan in its PDF-format is relatively self-explanatory. You get a PDF-file containing the complete training plan, all workout details, and all the additional information is part of the plan (e.g. information on how to set training zones, links to videos and resources) in one single, easy-to-navigate package. Remember that when you get the plan on Training Peaks, the PDF-version is included for no extra cost.
Getting the plan on Training Peaks is hands down the way to go if you are already a Training Peaks user. Then you know how the platform works already, and you can keep your training data and comments in the same place that you have your planned and upcoming training. You can benefit from some of the Training Peaks functionality on a Free account, but if you are a Training Peaks Premium user you have even more features at your disposal. For example, moving workouts around in your calendar to fit your schedule (see question in rightmost column on how to adjust the training plan).
If you are not a Training Peaks user currently (either using no training platform, or using something different, such as Garmin Connect, Today's Plan etc. or nothing at all), the start of a training plan is a good point to consider starting. As mentioned, you could start on a Free Training Peaks account and still get access to many great features.
Look at the Training Peaks website to fully understand what the platform is about, but in short, this is how you can benefit from using the plan on Training Peaks:
- Browser-based software and mobile app available.
- Intuitive training calendar with all your planned and completed workouts.
- Intuitive view of planned workouts and their descriptions
- Intuitive workout summary (distance, pace, heart, rate, power, etc.)
- Comment on your workouts after you complete them! Keep your training log and training data in one place.
- Sync workouts from your devices (e.g. Garmin) to Training Peaks automatically.
- Sync Structured workouts from Training Peaks to your GPS-watch, bike computer, or Zwift.
- Move workouts around in your calendar (Premium feature).
- Powerful additional analysis tools (Premium feature).
- Use Dashboards and Charts to track your overall training progress beyond the workout level Premium feature).
If you think you would get additional value from using Training Peaks, go for that option. But if the benefits don't seem relevant to you, save some money and go for the PDF-version.
If you do decide to go the Training Peaks route you can get a free 14-day trial of Training Peaks Premium when you first sign up.
Some of our Training Peaks plans are available in different versions such as
- "Heart rate and pace based" = Bike workouts based on heart rate, run workouts based on pace
- "Power and pace based" = Bike workouts based on power, run workouts based on pace
- "Power based - bike and run" = Bike and run workouts based on power.
For example, if you use a "Heart rate and pace based" plan, a structured workout will automatically show you a target Heart Rate range for the workout (and different workout steps), so you don't have to calculate percentages of threshold or look up your zones yourself.
Similarly, with a "Power and pace based" plan, the same thing will happen but with target Power ranges instead of heart rate.
See the images below:
Heart Rate based workout
Power based workout
Structured workouts have the following functionality that some athletes find useful.
- They can be exported to your GPS-watch or bike computer (Garmin, Wahoo etc.) and your watch/head unit can then "lead you through" your workout.
- They can be exported to indoor bike software like Zwift (power-based workouts only) so you can then ride the workout on your indoor smart trainer with the software automatically adjusting the resistance according to the structured workout file.
This is because the Training Peaks versions of the plans are not sold by Scientific Triathlon, but by Training Peaks, and as you can imagine, Training Peaks take a significant cut of the price.
The PDF-versions on the other hand are sold directly by us, there is no middle man.
This being said, when you pay for the Training Peaks version of the plan, you also get the PDF-version for no extra cost (see one of the previous questions). And, you get access to a lot of additional functionality by using the plan in the Training Peaks ecosystem (the amount of functionality depends on whether you use a Free or Premium Training Peaks account).
In value-for-money terms, we believe that the Training Peaks version of the plan (with the PDF included at no extra cost) is the best deal (although both options are exceptional value-for-money!).
Because the Training Peaks versions are sold by and through Training Peaks, we do not control the sales channel/shopping cart system, and we simply are unable to change anything else than price. Only Training Peaks can offer refunds on their own platform, and they might do it if you contact their customer support, but they do not offer a 100% satidfaction guarantee.
In contrast, with the PDF-versions, everything is under Scientific Triathlon's control. We are therefore very happy able and very happy to offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and full refunds if you are not happy with the plan when purchased in PDF-format.
You have the option to pay with credit card or with PayPal, regardless of whether you go for the PDF-version or Training Peaks version of a plan.
Step 1: Click on the plan you want under the heading "Choose Your Plan" further up this page.
Step 2: A window will open up where you should select whether to get the PDF-version of the plan or the Training Peaks version (pick your desired combination of pace, heart rate, and power, as explained in a previous question):
Step 3A: If you go for the PDF-version, you will be taken to a shopping cart page that looks as follows. Just choose whether to pay by credit card or with PayPal, fill in your details and complete the order.
Step 3B: If you go for the Training Peaks version, you will be taken to a shopping cart page on the Training Peaks website. In the first step, log in to your account or create a new account. In the second step, fill in your billing address. In the third step, choose whether to pay by credit card or with PayPal, fill in your details and complete the order.
It mostly just comes down to your budget. Coaching is always going to be the best way to improve the most and the fastest. If you can afford it, go for coaching.
Similarly, since our customised plans are designed specifically for you and your goals, strengths and weaknesses, that would be the second would be the second-best option. More affordable than coaching but not as affordable as the ready-made training plans.
If you are not able or willing to invest in either coaching or customised plans, these ready-made training plans are a great choice. Extremely affordable, yet delivers highly thought-out, structured training, that for most athletes will lead to good improvements (and reduce the risk of injury and overtraining), albeit they won't get you to quite the same performance-level as coaching or a custom training plan would.
It really depends on what your scenario is. In many cases we may be able to recommend a plan and possibly some workarounds that will make it very suitable for you.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and describe your needs, and we will see if we can figure out a suitable option for you.
We will eventually add base training plans to our library. Once they exist, using them will be perrfect for this scenario.
In the meantime, this is one of those questions that our support team can help you with. Please email email@example.com and describe your needs.
It depends. If it is unpredictable but still a "normal" 21st-century adult life (Monday-Friday workdays, somewhat regular hours) then yes.
The key for you will be to really plan ahead exceptionally well, become a calendar-ninja/productivity-machine, and make adjustments when the need to do so arises. See some of the related questions in the rightmost column
If your life is unpredictable/irregular in some other way (e.g. you are a long-haul flight pilot with several days of exclusively work and sleep, followed by several days completely off work), then the best training for you is so far from these regular-schedule training plans that we would not recommend getting a ready-made plan. Instead, consider coaching, which is the ultimate way of getting the most out of your time to train and finding the right balance, no matter how odd your schedule may be. Customised training plan is another option you could consider.
You can, but this will require you to make adjustments to the plan, at least in the discipline (if it's just one, such as running) that you're injured from. It is your job and responsibility to get these adjustments right.
Generally, we only recommend this option for experienced athletes who know how to handle return-to-training very intimately.
If you're not as experienced, we recommend working with a coach to help get this critical period of training right.
As for athletes of any experience-level, we recommend coaching as the ideal way to get the absolute most out of your training, with customised training plans coming second and ready-made training plans being our third recommendation.
However, if you are not able or ready to invest in coaching or a customised plan, the ready-made Beginner plans we have are a perfect choice for you! They are designed to be easy to use and follow, even if you're very new to the sport. And they are structured with a focus on the most important big rocks that a beginner should tackle, and not get stuck in the weeds of less important details and nuances.
In short, if a ready-made training plan is what your budget allows for, it is an absolutely brilliant option that you will benefit a lot from!
We currently do not yet have any advanced plans in our library. They are on the roadmap, but for now the only options we have for advanced athletes are customised plans and coaching.
Once we add the advanced plans, our belief is that yes, you will benefit from the plans. We wouldn't be creating them otherwise.
However, as for athletes of any experience level, coaching and customised plans will be even more beneficial, and if your budget allows, those would be our first and second recommendations.
No. The difference in training and recovery needs is primarily determined by athletic experience and ability, not age or gender. A 25-year-old complete beginner to the sport with no athletic history will be able to handle a lot less than a 55-year-old lifetime athlete who has qualified for Kona.
This is why the plans are based on the three levels of Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.
Of course goal race distance also dictates training needs significantly, so that's the other dimension of the matrix.
We also think that inter-individual differences in needs greatly outweigh group differences in needs. For example, the variance in training/recovery needs between males athletes age 30-40 will be greater than the difference between the average 30-40 year-old male and female athlete.
In other words, it is much more important to adjust a plan for the individual than for the demographic group of the individual
This is why we encourage you to make your own adjustments to the plan, and not just follow it blindly. Refer to the questions in the right-most column for tips on how to make such adjustments.
If you purchase the PDF-version:
Once you complete the order through the online shopping cart you will immediately be redirected to an order page here on scientifictriathlon.com where you can download the training plan.
You will also receive a confirmation email with your order details and a link to that same order page for downloading the plan.
Download the plan and get started!
We recommend you save the order page in your favourites so you always have access to it should you need to re-download the plan. And of course, save the PDF so you can easily access it anytime.
If you purchase the Training Peaks version:
You will be taken to an order completion page on trainingpeaks.com where you are asked to apply the training plan to the account (either by selecting Start on Monday, or by selecting a specific start or end date).
If you apply the plan there and then, you will see it in your Training Peaks calendar immediately.
If you don't apply it then and there, you can choose to apply it at any time, by opening it in the Calendar view in your Training Peaks account from the Training Plan Library in the left-hand panel. The plan will be available in this Training Plan Library forever.
You will also be sent an order confirmation email from Training Peaks. If you want to also receive the PDF-version of the training plan for no extra cost, please forward this order confirmation and your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first thing to keep in mind is to try to minimise these occurences by always planning ahead and being a "calendar ninja". Every week, look at your calendar and your training plan for the following couple of weeks, and try to predict conflicts and make adjustments ahead of time so you can complete as much training as possible.
However, sometimes things do come up on short notice and you inevitably end up missing one or a few sessions.
It really is up to you to decide what to do based on how you feel, and what you know about how much training you can handle acutely and recover from.
If you feel you can add the missed session(s) to one of the following days of training without it negatively impacting your performance in the key workouts planned for those days, feel free to do so.
However, if you have the slightest doubt that "making up" for that session later will have even a small negative impact on your performance in those key workouts, just let that missed session go and do not try to add it in later.
Many of the biggest problems in training, whether it be injuries, overtraining, or general fatigue and reduced performance, stem from trying to make up for training leading to doing more training acutely (in a short span of time) than you can handle. It's always better to err on the side of caution and not do the session later if you're unsure about what the right choice is for you.
You can and should make adjustments to the plan as needed. Of course, don't change things unless there's reason to do so, but it would be a very rare case where you can go through an entire training plan without making any changes.
With any changes and adjustments you make, try to make sure you follow the following principles:
- Keep easy days easy. If you have 3 days in a week with only low-intensity training (or complete rest), try to ensure that after your adjustments you still have 3 low-intensity days, even if they might fall on different days than initially planned.
- Spread out easy and hard days. It's better to have your 3 easy days (continuing on that example) on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday than on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Spread out your work within each discipline. If you have 3 runs (or swims, or bikes) scheduled for a week, aim to spread them out across the week rather than stack them. For example, it's better to run on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday than on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
All that being said, sometimes you may have to break one of these principles, and as long as you're conscious of not putting yourself at risk of injury or overtraining, that's an acceptable thing to do. Done is better than perfect.
Sometimes you may need to do adjustments other than just moving workouts around for scheduling issues. You may need to adjust for fatigue, or for not having time to do an entire workout as planned.
When you have less time than the planned duration of the workout:
Aim to get in as much of the main set as possible, but still retain some warm-up before the main set. As an example, if you have a 60 minute run (20 minute warm-up, 30 minute main set, 10 minute warm-down) planned, but only have 30 minutes, do a 5-minute warm-up and 25 minutes of the main set.
Adjusting for fatigue:
If you are too tired, for whatever reason, to do a hard workout, we recommend:
- The 20-minute rule. Aim to do some warm-up and try to do some of the intensity planned within this 20-minutes. For example, if your main set is 20 x 1-minute intervals with 1 minute rest, then warm up for 14 minutes, and then do 3 x 1-minute intervals with 1 minute rest. Assess how you feel. Quite often, after working out for 20 minutes and including some intensity, you find yourself feeling better and better, and end up completing the workout as planned. If that happens, fantastic!
- If you still feel very fatigued and sluggish in the intensity,parts, but ok (if only just) for the low intensity parts, consider just making the session an easy recovery / endurance session in Zone 1 or 2.
- If after 20 minutes you feel that even low intensity doesn't make any sense given how rubbish you feel today, time to call it a day, go home and rest.
- If you cut the session short as per the previous paragraph, do not attempt any other training that same day. And any sessions you lose from that day should remain lost. Do NOT try to make up for these sessions or do them later in the week. Just get on with the schedule. The same goes for if you decide to replace the intensity with easy recovery / endurance. Do NOT try to cram in that intensity later. That session is gone, your body was telling you it was too much, and you do not want to push it over the edge again, you want to stay on the right side of the edge.
Adjusting for illness:
If you miss days of training due to illness, make sure to take the first couple of days coming back from illness as low-volume, low-intensity training. If you were ill for two weeks or more, the first 5-7 days at least should be low-volume, low-intensity.
All our plans are more all-encoompassing than just swim, bike and run performance. Which other aspects are in focus depends on which plan we're talking about.
For example, for beginners training for a sprint triathlon, pacing is one of the main focus points outside of just the physical and technical improvements that we're focusing on, as that will be key for a beginner doing a sprint distance race.
In contrast, for any of our Ironman plans, working on race nutrition and hydration is the most important factor we're focusing on outside of swimming biking and running.
In short, all of the plans are more than just swimming, biking and running. What the other aspects are depends on the demands of the race and ability of the athlete.
Generally speaking, to expect to really get results you should aim to complete at least 90% of the work in the plan.
You can't just do the "key sessions" and expect to improve anywhere near as much as you would if you do pretty much all sessions. The right mindset to endurance training is that every session is a key session (even though a lot of these key sessions are relaxed and easy).
All that being said, of course you can still improve (maybe a lot?) if you don't hit 90% of the sessions. And if you are unlucky and get sick or hit by work and family duties really hard, achieving 90% may not be possible. Don't fret about it, but if you are in that situation, you need to set your expectations at a lower level.
Note that doing 90% of the work doesn't mean that you shouldn't make adjustments. You absolutely should. For example, if long rides on Saturdays aren't good for you, you might switch your long ride to Wednesdays instead. Your still doing 100% of the work, even if you move things around.
There is of course a method to the sequencing of workouts, so please don't move things and change things if it isn't necessary. But generally, if you move things around and can still perform well in your hard workouts, then you're executing on the intended purpose of the plan and will see the benefits.
The Strength Training plan works brilliantly in combination with any of the triathlon plans.
There is no one right answer for how to place your strength workouts within your swim-bike-run training, but rather, use the following rules to find the best solution for you.
- The best time to do the strength training is when you can actually do it. Make it as easy as possible on yourself from a scheduling and logistics perspective. If it's easiest to do gymwork right after finishing your swim/bike/run session, do not worry about whether it's "optimal" from a physiological perspective - it is optimal because it's the time that you can almost guarantee that it will get done, and done is better than perfect. Minimising the risk of having to miss sessions is the first order of priority.
- The second most important thing to take into consideration is: how does the gymwork affect your endurance training the following days? Do you tend to be quite sore the day after lifting weights? Or two days after? If you are generally a bit sore one day after strength training, aim to do the strength training on a day when the following day's endurance training consists of relatively low-intensity training that won't be negatively impacted by some moderate soreness. If your soreness peaks two days after strength training, adjust accordingly. Of course, if you don't really get any soreness you have great flexibility and can do the strength training almost any time you please.
- If you have great flexibility in your schedule and are looking for something as close to "optimal" as possible, our recommendation is to do the gym workouts on the same day as a hard swim, bike or run. Do the endurance workout in the morning and the gym workout at least 4, ideally 6+ hours later (afternoon/evening). Gym training can be considered quite intense, and the idea is that we want to keep our easy days easy, so we'd rather place the gym work on a day that already has a degree of intensity to it than to reduce the number of easy days in our schedule.
For more information on combining strength training and endurance training, please read our blog article Triathlon Strength Training - The Definitive Guide.
If you have further questions about the plans, or want a recommendation for which plan would be best for you, please contact us using the form below.
Ready-Made Training Plans vs. Customised Plans vs. Coaching
Structured plan of specific duration (e.g. 16 weeks) leading up to specific goal (e.g. 70.3)
Completely individualised training plan (or series of training blocks, minimum duration 8 weeks) created by one of our expert coaches for your specific goal or goals
Completely individualised, ongoing coaching. Way more than just a training plan, this includes ongoing communication, monitoring, adjustments, all to maximise your performance.
Available as PDF-file and as Training Peaks plan
Plan delivered in Training Peaks (you can use a Free or Premium account)
Plan delivered in Training Peaks (you can use a Free or Premium account)
Different goal events or training objectives (Sprint, Olympic, Half, and Full distance, Strength Training)
Based on an in-depth questionnaire that asks about your goals, current training and training history, injury history, time constraints, current ability, and so on.
The onboarding phase includes completing an in-depth questionnaire, communicating with your coach on phone/video calls and email/text-based messaging, and day-to-day interaction and adjustments around your workouts.
Different experience levels (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Can be used on a block-by-block basis: e.g. if you have 32 weeks to your goal race, get a customised plan consisting of 4 x 8-week blocks. You only commit to one block at a time.
No minimum commitment time (but a 14-day notice period for cancellation of the service)
Customer support available (support does not include customisation, coaching, or consultation-like services): (email@example.com)
The coach providing the plan answers questions if something about it is unclear, and can make adjustments when it's still in "draft-mode". After you have accepted and received the plan, no further adjustments or changes are included.
Unlimited communication. Any questions, comments or suggestions, just email/text your coach. Communication also occurs around specific workouts, in Training Peaks post-workout comments. You will also have regular (typically biweekly) coaching calls.
Ongoing training monitoring, adjustments, and communication with coach are NOT included.
Ongoing training monitoring, adjustments, and communication with coach are NOT included.
Your coach monitors your training on a daily basis and makes adjustments as needed (whether identified by the coach themselves or as requested by you).
Cost: varies depending on plan and format. From 29 to 69 €, around 3-4 € per week.
Cost: 25 € per week
Cost: 250 € per month