Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Training

The No-Fade 70.3 Run Triathlon Training Plan

Can’t seem to finish strong? This six-week run-focused plan will change that.

For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.

This six-week program is for athletes who are looking for a breakthrough on the run in the 70.3 distance. It is for individuals who have a strong base established, and who perhaps are in need of a mid-season six-week block after their first or second races of the year have failed to meet their expectations.

Sessions are based primarily on perceived exertion with some key goal pace sets worked in. It is mostly strength-oriented and for the athlete who has the ability to train twice a day. The layout of the plan is focused on the run but uses the swim and bike workouts strategically as set-up and recovery sessions, so it’s important to follow the workout order if possible.

Want to transform your triathlon knowledge, training, and performance? Check out 10 Weeks to Your Best 70.3—a complete training program led by top endurance coach Jim Vance—free with Outside+ membership!

Key Workout Terms

Strength endurance: Aerobic low/big gear work (aka over gear work) that can be 5–45 minutes long, with a cadence of 45–75 RPM, depending on the duration of workout or interval

Build: Start very easy and increase to aerobic threshold or comfortably uncomfortable pace for the second half of the session

Aerobic threshold: About 70% of your VO2max or 75% of your working heart rate

Week 1

Monday
Swim 4000, long aerobic with 100s, 200s, 300s

Bike 1:00–1:30, trainer set with hills or strength endurance

Optional run Off the bike, 20 min

Tuesday
A.M. Run Fartlek as 15 min warm-up, then:
2×15 sec hard/15 sec easy
2×30 sec hard/30 sec easy
2×45 sec hard/45 sec easy
1×1 min hard/1 min easy
2×45 sec hard/45 sec easy
2×30 sec hard/30 sec easy
2×15 sec hard/15 sec easy
15 min cool-down jog

P.M. Run 45–60 min OR Bike 1:30
Note: Second run only for those athletes with a strong base.

Wednesday
Bike Up to 2:00. Build or long aerobic threshold.
Intervals: Prefer a build ride to flush out yesterday’s run(s).

Swim 3000, speed with fast 25s

Thursday
Run Fartlek as 15 min warm-up, then:
1 min hard/1 min easy
2 min hard/2 min easy
3 min strong/3 min easy
4 min strong/4 min easy
3 min strong/3 min easy
2 min hard/2 min easy
1 min hard/1 min easy
15 min cool-down jog

Note: A good judge of when you go from “hard” (aerobic threshold) to “strong” (anaerobic threshold) is that you can still speak, but it is hard to complete a sentence.

Bike 1:00–1:30 low heart rate OR Swim 3000, strength

Friday
Swim 4000, including 40×50, 20×100 or 10×200

Saturday
Swim 3000, mixed set

Bike 3:00–4:00 with last hour slightly more effort, going by feel

Sunday
Run 2:00 easy or 1:30 easy then push the last 30 min as you feel, but no harder than comfortably uncomfortable.

Optional Bike 1:00 OR Swim 3000

Week 2

Monday
Swim 3000–4000, long aerobic with 300s, 400s or 800s

Bike 2:00 with Olympic to 70.3 race-pace efforts

Tuesday
Run 1:00, build. Start easy and build every couple miles. Finish at or near threshold.

Bike 1:00–1:30, strength endurance. Can be a hilly ride or intervals at a low heart rate.

Wednesday
Swim 4000, hard

Thursday
Bike 1:00–2:00, time-trial work

Run 30–45 min off the bike

Friday
Run Fartlek as 15 min warm-up with pick-ups, then 15×3 min at 70.3 goal pace or effort with 1 min jog recovery, 10 min cool-down jog

Swim 3000, strength

Saturday
Bike 4:00, long ride, hilly, with low heart rate and low cadence

Swim 3000 mixed set

Sunday
Run 1:30 build as:
45 min easy
45 min build 15-15-15, finishing at or above 70.3 effort

Optional bike 1:00–1:30

Week 3

Monday
Swim 4000, hard

Optional Bike 1:00

Tuesday
A.M. Run Hill reps. Intermediate, do 2 rounds; advanced, do 3 rounds.
10×30 sec hill reps. Run strong up/easy jog down. Think strong not fast on gradient of 5–7%. Jog 10 min easy between sets. 15 min cool-down jog.

P.M. Bike 1:15. 15 min easy then 1 hour build every 20 min with the last 20 at 70.3 effort

Wednesday
A.M. Run 40 min, easy

P.M. Swim 3000–3500 with main set of 30×25 as 25 fast/25 easy with 15 sec rest
Run Straight after swim as 20 min easy, then 15 min building every 5 min, finishing nearly all-out. 5 min cool-down jog

Thursday
Swim 4000, long aerobic with main set of 8×400 pull

Bike 2:00 with strength endurance intervals

Friday
Run 2:00 very easy, talking pace

Optional swim 2000 with some kicking OR bike 1:00

Saturday
Swim 3000 with some race effort such as 3×500, 2×1000 or 2000 straight with choice of swim or pull

Bike 3:00 with 3×30 min building to 70.3 effort in the last 10 min of each effort. 10 min easy between each effort

Sunday
Run Fartlek as 15 min warm-up, then 10×6 min at 70.3 goal pace or effort with 2 min easy jog after each effort. 10–15 min cool-down jog

Optional swim 3000 OR bike 1:00–1:30

Week 4

Monday
Swim 3500 short speed set including main set of 2 rounds of 10×50 as 25 fast/25 easy with 15 sec rest and 3×200 pull in between sets

Bike Main set of 30×1 min big gear, 1 min easy

Tuesday
Run Treadmill tempo as 15 min easy, then set the gradient at 2–3% and run 30 min easy. After 30 min of hill climb, set it to zero gradient and do 30 min building pace every 5–10 min with the last few minutes near 10K race effort. 10 min cool-down.

Bike 1:00, easy

Wednesday
Swim Big swim day.
Choice:
30–40 x 100
15–20 x 200
12–15 x 300

Optional run 20–30 min, easy

Thursday
A.M. Bike 2:00 total, including a main set of 6–8 x 5 min hard/3 min easy or 12–15 x 3 min hard/2 min easy

P.M. Run 45 min, easy

Friday
Run 1:00. 15 min jog warm-up, then 20–30 min of 30 sec hard/30 sec easy. 15 min cool-down jog

Swim With main set of 100, 200, 300, 400 swim. 300, 200, 100 pull 8×75 as 25 easy/25 fast/25 easy

Saturday
BRICK
Bike 3:00 easy on rolling hills if possible. Keep the cadence 75–80 RPM and 60ish on any climbs. Run Off the bike as 5K at race effort/5K easy jog. Practice race-day nutrition today!

Sunday
Run 1:50, longer tempo 30 min easy jog. 30 min at 15–20 sec per mile slower than 70.3 effort or goal pace. 5 min jog easy. 20 min at 10–15 sec per mile slower than 70.3 effort or goal pace. 5 min jog easy. 10 min 5–10 sec per mile slower than 70.3 effort or goal pace. 10 min jog cool-down

Swim 2000–3000 recovery with kicking

Week 5

Monday
Swim 4000 mixed set, pace and strength:
800 pull, 8×100 swim
600 pull, 6×100 swim
400 pull, 4×100 swim
200 pull, 2×100 swim

Tuesday
A.M. Run Short fartlek as:
15 min warm-up jog
2×15 sec hard/15 sec easy
2×30 sec hard/30 sec easy
2×45 sec hard/45 sec easy
1 min hard/1 min easy
2×45 sec hard/45 sec easy
2×30 sec hard/30 sec easy
2×15 sec hard/15 sec easy
15 min cool-down jog

P.M. Bike With main set of 20×1 min big gear, 1 min easy

Wednesday
Swim 3000–4000 with main set of 30–40 x 50 at race effort with 5–10 sec rest

Bike 1:30–2:00 with up to 1:00 of work at race effort. Example: 5–6 x 10 min with 5 min rest or 7–8 x 7 min with 3 min rest

Thursday
Run Fartlek as 15 min warm-up with pick-ups, then 15×3 min at 70.3 goal pace or effort with 1 min jog rest. 10 min cool-down jog

Swim 3000, strength

Friday
Swim 3000 speed set, 3 rounds of 8×50 hard with 20 sec rest/200 pull after the 50s, rest as desired

Bike 1:30 as you feel. Start easy and build second half no harder than race effort.

Saturday
BRICK
Bike 2:30 aerobic on hilly terrain if possible or push the gears so cadence is less than 80 RPM Run Off the bike as 5 min easy then 10 min as 20 sec hard/40 sec easy. 5 min cool-down jog

Sunday
Run 1:30. Start very easy for first 45 min. Then build last 30–40 min to a comfortably uncomfortable effort. No harder! Can simply jog if you feel like jogging.

Optional Swim Up to 3000. Open water if possible or mix of swim/kick/drill

Week 6

Monday
Swim 4000 choice, include 20×100, 10×200 or 5×400

Run 30 min, easy

Tuesday
Bike 1:30 with some over gear work such as 5–6 x 5 min, 8–10 x 3 min or 20–30 x 1 min with equal rest as interval time

Swim 2000 easy with some fast 25s

Wednesday
Swim 3000 with main set of 100, 200, 300, 400 swim, 300, 200, 100 pull

Thursday
BRICK
Bike 1:15 as 30 min easy, 30 min build, finish at race effort. 15 min cool-down. Run Off the bike as 5 min easy, 4×3 min race effort/3 min easy. 5 min cool-down

Friday
Swim 3000 with main set of 8×100 building every 2

Saturday
BRICK
Bike 1:00 including 4×1 min pick-ups with 3 min easy between each Run Off the bike 15 min

Optional Swim 20 min open water OR pool
6–8 x 200 easy

Sunday
Race day!

Scott DeFilippis is a professional triathlete and coach. He credits Brett Sutton as his greatest mentor after working with him for five years as an athlete and coach. DeFilippis has helped dozens of athletes qualify for both the Ironman 70.3 and Ironman World Championships. He can be reached at scott.defilippis@gmail.com.