Base 1 Phase 3 Week Review

Got Zero, my new bike this phase!

Base 1 phase of ‘The Plan’ is almost over.  Based on Joe Friel‘s book the Triathlete’s Training Bible my periodization training plan has 3 base phases.  Each base phase involves 3 weeks of steady, progressively longer workouts followed by a recovery week.  Currently I am finishing my first base phase with a recovery week.  A recovery week basically is not a week off but a reduction in hours trained.  Before starting Base 2 phase next week, I figured this would be a great time to look at the numbers from this phase and reflect on the progress made in the last 3 weeks while on ‘the plan’ I created to prepare for my first triathlon.

The goal for this first phase was to take the building block workouts I had done since May and hone them into a tight athletic, triathlon specific training plan.  The biggest focus was on improving my overall endurance.  Swimming and biking do not require as stringent a reflection right now.  Biking for me is still new and there are skills I have identified that I know I need to work out.  Also, biking work is pretty simple right now, get used to riding and work to increase my weekly mileage and have fun.  Mixed with spin class, I think I am golden.  Swimming is pretty much going to continue where I am at right now, so I just need to keep  working on increasing my endurance and working on my form.

This leaves running.  Running right now is one of my favorite new found loves.  I often cannot wait to get out there and see  how fast and/or far I am going to go on any given day.  I never thought I would say this, but I love running!  Running lies at the heart of how the triathlon obsession began back in April/May.  The great thing about running for me is that after several months on the couch to 5k program(c25k)  and later working to increase distance and speed, I can now run a 5k distance and can run continuously run for over an hour and I have numbers to reflect on.  Gotta love the numbers!

Duration wise I am fairly happy with the last 3 weeks of work.  Week 2 I was suffering from tendinitis so I limited my activity.  The last week of this phase I am really pleased with the 9 hours of work.  Distances were also really good for this phase.  They increased every week and continued to improve.  The best improvement was the running distance and times.  rTSS is an effort score that Training Peaks calculates to determine level of effort and NGP is supposed to be an adjusted pace based on elevation and overall difficulty.  I think the rTSS score for the last week went down as my heart rate stayed lower longer on that last run.  At the beginning of this phase I was running 2.6 miles and  I finished that off with a max of 3.84 miles!!!   Time wise I could not be happier, my pace steadily decreased pretty well over the 3 week period.


  • Got a new road bike named ‘Zero’
  • Running distance went from 2.6 to 3.84
  • Average pace dropped from 17:20 to 15:21
  • Best Mile (Calculated by Training Peaks not the once I counted by laps) went from 16:50 to 14:51.
  • Continued to work on Pilates and Spin classes
  • Began fund raising for tour De cure diabetes ride
  • Finished phase with a 9 hour work out week.
  • Run my first 5k (this Saturday but I will count it)
  • Started riding Zero and building a base of hours
  • Continued to focus on increasing endurance
  • Completed strenght and plyometric workouts

Pretty good way to finish off a three week phase, lots of progress and obvious hard work.  I set some tough goals each week and strived to complete them.  With recovery week nearly at an end I will have to push my Base 2 goals up pretty soon.  Unlike Base 1 phase, I have clear numerical data to base my goals, so  the end of base 2 should be interesting to see how close I get to my set targets.  With this week almost over, I am now down to 18 weeks till my estimated first triathlon, or roughly 4 months.  Overall I have completed 24 weeks of training and I am not  close to done yet.  Til next time.


  1. Nice, thats one of the most important things. Set goals so you can strive to achieve them. I have to sit down and think about where I want to be. I know by November next year I want to do a 70.3 and I want to plan another half marathon for early next year. Other than that I have no idea where I want to start. Thinking about picking up The Triathlete’s Training Bible to help me lay out a plan. What do you think about the book?

    1. As I am new to training, I think the book is pretty good. I like the fact that Friel tries to explain the principles of exercise training science and not just how to create a plan. Allows you to understand a little bit of what you are trying to do. I guess the best testament to the book will be how well things work out for me in March, as my entire training plan is based on the book. Its pricey, but I think it is worth it. Also, you should check out his associated blog, he writes allot about the science of training.

  2. I love the tri bible. It’s very indepth and an awesome reference source. Have you incorporated any strength training into your plan?

    1. If you look at the grid, there is a spot for strength. I am actually doing the prescribed workouts from the book and mixing in some plyometrics. I do this twice a week currently. The ab workouts I remove and replace with pilates. So far, I am digging the bible. I have a much better idea of how to train and why and what to do when.

      1. That’s awesome. Pilates are great core work. I did a bunch of Pilates after I hurt my back. I do a lot of functional movement strength stuff now, which is simple and helps my running and swimming form. Good luck on your 5K!

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