- Low Volume - 5 hours & 3 workouts per week for triathletes with roughly 10 training hours/week
- Mid Volume - 7 hours & 4 workouts per week for triathletes with roughly 14 training hours/week
- High Volume - 10 hours & 5 workouts per week for triathletes with roughly 20 training hours/week
Sprint/International Distance Scaling
You actually have a few viable options for you shorter distance triathlon training.
- Use the Low-Volume plan as is. International distance triathletes are welcome to increase the workout designs, e.g. add extra intervals, reduce recovery durations, etc. with our built-in Workout Creator, but the training stress already crammed into your limited training hours combined with run and swim workouts will probably make for all the work your body can handle on a weekly basis for such a short-duration event.
- For sprint-distance triathletes, consider using the Low-Volume plan but keeping your end-of-week long rides at 1.5 hours or shorter in duration.
- Your third option is to use on of the 40k TT Plans and add your run and swim workouts in much that same way you'd add them to the Half-Distance Triathlon Plans.
Full Distance Triathlon Scaling
You have a few options here too.
- Add intervals to the higher-intensity Tuesday/Thursday workouts using our Workout Creator or simply repeat a portion of the already-developed workout. It's important that you can complete the intervals as prescribed without subsequent workouts suffering.
- Increase the workout durations of your weekend endurance rides. The high-volume plan tops out at 3 hours and mid-volume at 2.5 hours which is about all the time in the saddle most riders need for a half-distance tri. Trainer rides offer zero downtime and the overall training load is equivalent to substantially longer outdoor rides.
Full-distance triathletes are looking at bike splits though, ranging closer to 5-6 hours, and your lengthened endurance rides will ideally reflect this. Consider adding as little as 30 minutes and as much as 2 hours to your final ride of the week but be careful not to escalate the training load too rapidly.
- Tack on additional Aerobic Endurance rides, especially if longer weekend rides aren't practical. Even an extra hour, e.g. Pettit, Fletcher, or Gibbs,on the trainer at 60-70% FTP can offer a big boost to your aerobic capabilities without dramatically lifting your training load.
But be careful you don't make the mistake of adding AE rides in place of much needed recovery. Be sensible, listen to your body and rest as necessary to make each workout meaningful and productive.
- Some workouts may require a reduction in intensity since full-distance triathletes typically operate at a lower intensity level than half-distance triathletes.
For instance, full-distance long AE rides at the end of the week are probably better spent at 5-10% lower FTP (65-80% vs 75-90%) than prescribed for half-distance triathletes.
Additional Notes and Concerns
- Perform an FTP-assessment workout, i.e. 20 Minute Test or 8 Minute Test, prior to commencing any of the Half-Distance Triathlon plans in order to establish/update your training levels.
- Float the workouts to those days of the week that fit your training schedule but be sure to schedule adequate recovery in order to keep your freshness and productivity at reasonably high levels, especially on the lower volume plans.
- Older age group triathletes may find that a 2 weeks on + 1 week off schedule affords improved recovery and better training response than the typical 3 weeks on + 1 week off schedule that all 3 plans follow.
Q & A
Q: Why are there no FTP tests on the half-distance triathlon plans ? I assume I'll need to do an FTP (8 minute) test prior to the start of the 12 week cycle? Is it worth doing another FTP test at some point during the plan?
A: By the time many riders get to an advanced plan like the new Half Distance Triathlon plans, they have a good understanding of their fitness and when they might need to reassess and update their power levels. When in doubt, perform an assessment before starting any new training plan.
The plans progress in a number of ways, e.g. longer intervals, decreased rest periods, and/or increased interval intensity, but it's still a good idea to reassess if you feel like your FTP has changed.
Try to schedule these at the end of a recovery week in order to get fairly representative test data with a fully rested body and mind.