Triathlon Training Plan Base 1 phase: The Plan

Back in May when I began to concoct the notion that I  would one day run a 5k and later do a triathlon I was clueless about how to put a training plan together.  Early in those days I found allot of short week plans, but these were made for athletes that were much fitter than me.  So, I read allot of articles on training and devoured books on the subject. I learned about how to prepare for races and what I needed to get my body ready to swim, bike and run.  I realized I had a daunting task going from 10-15 hours of couch surfing a week to 11-10 hours of training a week.  I had worked out before, but that was primarily weight lifting with a little cardio.  What I was looking at though for this task before me was endurance, endurance and more endurance.  I realized I may have grown a little stronger lifting weights, but I could not run more than 30 seconds and heart rate recovery took minutes instead of seconds.  I was in really bad shape and none of the pre-made plans accounted for that.  What I needed was a plan, a plan that would take me into next year and to my first into my last triathlon of the season.

Luckily I found Joe Friel’s Triathlon Training Bible(I have mentioned allot of this before and I am sorry for some of the repeat exposition).  From there I developed a plan.  May to the end of  August would be base building, getting my body ready for the increased loads and learning how to be more efficient in my swimming and running.  September I would continue, but I would start to push a few workouts and build up my hours leading into my periodization schedule. Well, that almost worked, except my health decided it was going to try one last time to test me.  I over came that and this week I have started to work on ‘The Plan’.  From here till the end of next summer, the end of race season, it is all about ‘The Plan’.  Monthly goals no longer matter, as phase goals are the focus now.  All work outs are broken into smaller goal specific, race specific functionalities.  ‘The Plan’ I started this week was carefully thought out using the book mentioned and everything I sifted through on the internet and discussed with subject matter experts.

If you are not familiar with periodization, it is basically a method of training that allows you to reach your peak at the time of races.  For me, it was a logical hanger to build my plan around.  Not sure about all the peak stuff, but it has a solid basis in all the items I need to improve and is organized in a way that makes sense from a triathlon training perspective. ‘The Plan’ was created using the periodization framework and is divided similarly.  I started by looking at the races that have been scheduled this year and added them to a spread sheet that spans from October to the end of September and includes triathlon events, running events and cycling events (including the Atlanta Tour De Cure which I am going to sign up for and fund-raise for diabetes as I have diabetes, more on this later once I get signed up).  Its a very busy schedule but I used it to prioritize races and to set importance of each race.  This allowed me to determine my prime races for next year, or the ones I am training specifically for.  The first one, the Early Bird Triathlon was the most important as it would be my first triathlon ever.  So I went from there and allotted phases of training till I came to the base 1 phase, which I started this week.

This Base 1 Phase boils down into the following components:

  • Lasts four weeks and aims to add hours each week.  So this week I am aiming for 10 hours of training, with 11 next week and 11.5 for the third week of this phase.
  • The fourth week, the 22nd to the 28th is a recovery week. This means drastically reduced hours, so more like 7 or 8 hours.
  • Aim of this period is to push endurance.  Some light speed work through drills is included in this phase.
  • As I just got Zero, my bike, I also aim to get familiar riding it and possibly setting up a plan to possibly try some big mile rides next summer if I can get the training together.
  • Two weight lifting sessions focusing on preventing injury and not doing unnecessary actions as well as incorporating some plyometric activity.
  • Continue with Pilates and Spin class.
  • At end of recovery week I do my first 5k!

So that is my goals and required workouts for the next four weeks.  I will continue this series with the next post focusing on swimming and its related goals and what I aim to accomplish over these four weeks tomorrow.  Til next time.



  1. You have such great goals…..Maybe someday I will consider a tri.. After reading so much about them from you and Carrie…it makes me wonder if I could do one. Hhhmm… Maybe some day.

    1. To be honest, I have not completed one yet. But the training has kept me motivated,that and you’re blog. You could look at a short super sprint race. Thank you.

  2. […] I started posting a series outlining the next four weeks of planned periodization training. The goal of this series is to […]

  3. […] have now officially completed the first week of the ‘Plan’‘s outlined base 1 week 1.  With only 5 months to go till my first triathlon,  and entering […]

  4. […] post is a series of posts (first one found here, or click on ‘The Plan’ page  for all posts).  The last post I did in this series […]

  5. […] 1 phase of ‘The Plan’ is almost over.  Based on Joe Friel‘s book the Triathlete’s Training Bible,  my […]

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