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An Advanced 8-Week Olympic Triathlon Training Plan for Your Fastest Race Yet

Ready to get faster? This high-performance plan is for you.

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You’ve got a few years of triathlon under your belt and are looking to go from finisher to faster. We’ve got a training plan for you!

This 8-week Olympic triathlon training plan is designed as a complete program, and includes a strength workout that’s built into the plan. This plan should not present a massive uptick in your typical training volume. If it feels like a large jump, then stick for now with our 8-week Olympic-distance development plan before you progress. 

Both plans use effort notes that are based on perceived exertion or your feeling of how hard you’re going. As you get more advanced, you can fine-tune that effort with heart-rate zones, pace, or power.

Along with a workout key for the training plans, generic warm-ups for each sport are listed in the box below. If you’re looking for training plans for other distances, be sure to check out the PDF plans for our Triathlete members and our interactive 10-week 70.3 training course.

RELATED: A Triathlete’s Guide to Race Fueling for Every Distance

8-Week Olympic Triathlon Training Plan

Warm-Ups

SWIM BIKE RUN
400-600 easy swim with snorkel, buoy, ankle strap 15-20 min. easy spin 10-min. jog
8 x 25 as:

2 x [4 x 25 progress effort 70%, 80%, 90%, 95%]

4 x 60 sec. building RPM and effort every 20 sec., 60 sec. easy spin between

Key

General Swim Bike Run
WU: Warm-Up KS: Key Swim KB: Key Bike KR: Key Run
PS: Pre-Set SS: Supporting Swim SB: Supporting Bike SR: Supporting Run
MS: Main Set BR: Brick Run

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Athletes start their race after training with an 8-week Olympic triathlon training plan.
(Photo: Getty Images)

Week 1: Intro Week

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
STRENGTH: Core + Activation Work KS: 2 x:

6 x 100 easy, 10 sec. rest.

2 x 100 fast, 25 sec. rest.

50 easy and smooth

KB: 3 x

90 sec. as: 15 sec. max effort sprint into 75 sec. best sustainable pace, with 4 min. easy recovery between rounds

SS: Technique swim:

3 x (12 x 25 fast, 400 smooth) with snorkel, buoy, band

STRENGTH: Core + Activation Work KB: Ride ~2 hours including

MS: 2 x 15 min. as 10 min. strong but smooth, 5 min. hard effort.

5 min. easy spin @ 95 RPM between rounds

KS: 8 x 100 swim as:

2 @ 75%, 85%, 90%, 95% effort with 20-40 sec. rest

KR: 40 min. smooth, include some pick-ups as:

20-40-60-40-20 sec. with 60 sec. easy jog recovery

BR: 20 min. easy jog OTB KR: 60 min. smooth running, working in some hills

Week 2: Building

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
STRENGTH: Full strength KS: 2 x 100 smooth with paddles on 30 sec. rest, 10 x 25 @ 90% with ~5-7 sec. rest KB: 6 x 4 min. hard effort.

Change cadence every other rep.

4 min. easy recovery between each

SS: Building ladder swim.

50, 100, 150, 200, 250 and back down. Increase effort on the back half.

STRENGTH: Full strength KB: Ride 1.5-2 hours including:

15 min. strong endurance pace ~65-75 RPM,

8 min. lighter endurance at choice RPM,

4 min. building to race pace.

Spin easy 5 min. then repeat.

KS: 12 x 100 swim as

3 @ 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95% effort with 20-40 sec. rest.

SR: Light resilience run, 60 min. KR: 10 min. easy aerobic effort, 5 min. steady running, 5 min. up-tempo BR: 20 min. easy jog OTB KR: 60 min. smooth running, working in some hills

Week 3: Building

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
STRENGTH: Full strength KS: 2 x

4 x 100 fast, best effort you can hold, 10 sec rest.

400 smooth pull between rounds

KB: 3 x

5 x 1 min. hard @ high RPM. 1 min easy spin.

5 min. smooth effort between rounds

SS: 8 x 200 swim, smooth effort, 30-40 sec. rest.

8 x 50 as 25 fast/25 easy on short rest

SB: Easy bike, 90 min. KB: Ride up to 2.5 hours including

2 x 5 min. building to 80% effort,

4 min. @ 85-90% effort,

1 min. best effort then 20 min. build effort by 10 min. to finish @ goal race pace for last 10 min. all @ choice RPM.

KS: 2 x 200 @ 75%, 8 x 25 fast.

Finish with: 2 x 100 fast on 1 min. rest

SR: Light resilience run, 60 min. KR: 2 x 6 x 60 sec. hard uphill running, easy jog down into 8-10 min. strong running on flat BR: 20 min. easy OTB BR: 30 min. easy OTB KR: 70-80 min. run including 2 x 5 min. @ race pace with 3 min. easy walk/jog between

Week 4: Transitional Week

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
STRENGTH: Core + Activation work KS: 2 x 500 with buoy @ 75%, 30 sec. rest

2 x 300 with buoy @ 80% effort, 30 sec. rest

2 x 100 swim @ 90%, 45 sec. rest

KB: 60-80 min. light rolling hills ride, including 8-12 rounds of:

3 min. easy riding @ choice RPM,

2 min. hard effort at <65 RPM

SS: Building ladder swim:

50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300 and back down.

Increase effort on the back half

SB: Easy bike, 90 min. KB: Lighter 2-2.5 hr ride including

2-3 x

5 min. smooth riding @ 100+ RPM

5 min. stronger @ choice RPM

KS: 12 x 100 swim as

6 @ 80%, then

3 @ 90%,

3 @ 95% effort, with 20-40 sec. rest

KR: 30-60 min. recovery run KR: Low stress, rolling trail run of up to 60-70 min.

Week 5: Race Simulation

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
STRENGTH: Full strength KS: 2 x

300 with paddles, 30 sec. rest

20 x 25 @ 90%, ~5-7 sec. rest

10 min. up-tempo

KB: 3 x 2 min. as:

20 sec. max effort,

1 min. 40 sec. @ best sustained pace,

4 min. recovery between efforts

SS: Technique swim: 2 x (12 x 25 fast, 2 x 400) with snorkel, buoy, band STRENGTH: Full strength KB: Ride ~2 hours including:

20 min. @ strong endurance pace @ ~65-75 RPM,

10 min. lighter effort @ choice RPM,

8 min. building to race pace,

easy spin 5 min. then repeat

KS: 200 @ 75%

4 x 25 max effort on 20 sec. rest.

200 @ 80-85%

4 x 50 fast on 30 sec. rest.

200 @ 85-90%

8 x 25 max effort on 20 sec rest.

200 @ 95%

4 x 100 fast on 1 min. rest

KR: 15 min. easy aerobic,

10 min. steady,

10 min. up-tempo

BR: 3-4 x 1K @ race pace, 2 min. easy between KR: 60 min. smooth endurance run including

4 x 5 min. @ race pace with 3 min. easy walk/jog between

Week 6: Sharpening

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
STRENGTH: Full strength KS: 300 with paddles + buoy @ 70%,

4 x 100 steady with buoy @ 70% with 20 sec. rest,

300 with paddles + buoy @ 70%,

8 x 50 strong @ 85% with 10 sec. rest,

300 with paddles + buoy @ 70%,

10 x 25 @ 90% with 15 sec. rest

KB: 3-4 x

5 min. @ race pace with cadence below 70 RPM,

4 min. recovery between

SS: 3 x (8 x 50 fast, 400 smooth) STRENGTH: Full strength KB: ~2 hr. ride including

MS: 2 x 15 min. building efforts as

10 min. below race pace, 5 min. @ race pace,

5 min. recovery between rounds

KS: 2 x

4 x 50 fast on 20 sec. rest,

2 x 100 @ 85% on 20 sec. rest.

200 @ 90-95%, holding pace from 100s, 50 easy

SR: Light resilience run, 60 min.

Finish with 5-10 min. of drills to prepare for tomorrow

KR: 4 x 60 sec. pick-ups with high cadence on 60 sec. rest

2 x 6 min. building by 2 min. to strong pace, 3 min. easy running between

BR: Brick Fartlek

1-2-3-2-1 min. @ race pace with equal time recovery jog between

BR: 30 min. of great posture and technique. Low stress and conversational KR: Easy run for 50-60 min.

Week 7: Race Prep

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
STRENGTH: Core + Activation work KS: 2 x

300 smooth with paddles on 30 sec. rest,

40 x 25 @ 90% on ~5-7 sec. rest

KB: 2 x

2 min. strong @ 95 RPM,

4 min. choice RPM,

90 sec. strong @ 95 RPM,

3 min. choice RPM,

1 min. hard @ 95 RPM, 2 min. choice RPM,

45 sec. hard @ 95 RPM,

1 min. choice RPM,

30 sec. Sprint @ 95 RPM

SS 3 x (8 x 50 fast, 400 smooth) SB: Easy spin, 50-60 min. KB: ~2 hr. ride including

3 x 5 min. strong building 1-3 with #3 as best effort, 4 min. spin between, then 10 min. building from strong effort to race pace

KS: 6 x 100 building effort every 2 intervals (70%/80%/90%) on 20 sec. rest.

14 x 25 all fast on 20 sec. rest.

6 x 50 building effort every 2 intervals (70%/80%/90%)

14 x 25 all fast on 20 sec. rest

SR: Easy 30-40 min. run, finish with 5-10 min. of drills to prepare for tomorrow KR: Sharpening run:

6 x 400m (or ~90 sec.) @ race pace into 8 min. at/ just above race pace

BR: 10 min. easy BR: 2 x 4 min. @ race pace, 4 min. easy between KR: 4 x 30 sec. strides into 40-50 min. easy aerobic effort

Week 8: Race Week

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
SB: Easy spin, 45-60 min. KS: 200 with snorkel + buoy, 12 x 25 swim as 3 x progressing effort 1-4 (easy to fast) on 10 sec. rest

MS: 8 x 100 as2 @70%, 2 @ 80%, 2 @ 85%, 2 @ 90%,

30 sec. rest between

KB: PS: 2 x 3 min. aerobic, 2 min. strong @ cadence <65 RPM, 1 min. build to fast and high effort @95+ RPM, 1 min. easy

MS: 3 x 4 min. progress effort each interval as:

#1. Build to 80%;

#2. Build to 85%;

#3. Build to best effort

2 min. easy spin between each then into 5 min. at race pace (by feel, no data)

SS: Longer progressive building effort swim. 45 min. SB: Easy bike spin, 45-50 min. OPEN-WATER PREP SWIM: Warm-up for 10-15 min. then

2-3 x

30 strokes race effort, 30 strokes smooth, 20 strokes race effort, 30 strokes smooth, 10 strokes above race effort, 30 strokes smooth

RACE DAY!

Trust in your preparation, be patient, and have fun out there!

KR: 4 x 4 min. building to race pace, 1 min. easy between

6 x 30 sec. pickups, 30 sec. easy

BR: 15-20 min. easy jog PREP BIKE: Ride ~20-45 min., include 4 x 3 min. builds, spinning up to quick cadence.

Spin easy 2 min. between efforts

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