This plan is well suited to beginning triathletes who want to start with an Olympic distance race, and to any triathlete who wants or needs to prepare for such a race with a low-volume training plan. There are only 6 scheduled workouts a typical week: 2 swims, 2 rides, and 2 runs. In weeks 2, 4, 6, and 8, a 10-minute transition run is tacked onto the end of Saturday’s bike ride. In weeks 10 and 14 a bike-run brick workout takes the place of Sunday’s run.
The plan is 16 weeks in length and includes an optional sprint distance tune-up race at the end of Week 12. The base phase is six weeks long and the build and peak phases five weeks apiece. Weeks 4, 8, and 12 are recovery weeks and the final one is a taper week. An optional tune-up sprint triathlon is scheduled for week 12. If you don’t have the opportunity to do one, do a brick workout instead.
If you want the comfort of building a little more than the minimum amount of fitness you’ll need to successfully complete an Olympic distance triathlon, use this plan instead of the Level 1 plan, which is truly bare bones. The Level 2 plan begins with 1,900 yards of swimming, 1 hour and 30 minutes of cycling, and 1 hour of running in Week 1. It peaks with 3,300 yards of swimming, 3 hours and 10 minutes of cycling (with a tougher tempo workout than in the Level 1 plan), and 1 hour and 48 minutes of running in Week 15.