The Basic Week

If you are looking for some kind of direction for the season and are not in a position to hire a coach to tailor things to your needs then I suggest setting up a basic repeatable week.

My beliefs are to set up a week you know fits with your life, your goals, your time and your ability. Do this for three to six weeks and adjust the stimulus in small increments to progress. Never move away from the basic outline of the week — instead, aim to complete the week well, week in and week out, with no issues. From there you can change things a little bit at a time.

You can challenge yourself by adding in a camp for five to seven days once every two to three months and then going right back to your staple week outline.

I’ve always been a big believer in consistent work over many years. It’s not that glamorous so it’s a hard sell, but it’s the most successful approach I’ve seen over years. I’m a big advocate of consistent weeks of training over many months and years to get to your best performances. No major highs or major lows and limited stopping and starting.

Here is an example of a basic week during the season that I would suggest for a person aiming to do long distance triathlon and go in the top 10% of their age group.

Monday – Aerobic

  • Swim: Endurance-focused. Your long, boring sets. For example: 2x 1500m or 6x 800m.
  • Bike: 90 minutes to 2 hours with some big gear strength focus built in.
  • Run: Optional but slow. Can be water running and short in duration (30-40 minutes).

Tuesday – Short, Hard, Intensity-Focused

  • Swim: Shorter and harder. 3km total with 2km main set focused on short hard swimming.
  • Bike/Run: Short hard brick with fast riding and running. Or string a harder bike ride with an easy run one week and alternate to the next week being a hard run and an easy spin.


  • Run: Medium long run with race specific sets. For example, 6x 1 mile reps at your race effort in a 75 minute to 2 hour run total.
  • Swim: Example: 30x 100 at 10-15 seconds above race effort on 20-40 seconds rest.

Thursday – Day Off, Recovery!

Friday – Long Brick

  • Long Brick: Include some tempo or threshold effort riding and a run of one to two hours in length with some race specific efforts.
  • Swim: 3-4km in length. Include some skill and technique and a main set with short rest and steady effort work. For example: 10x 200m on 5-10 seconds rest.

Saturday – Long Ride

  • Bike: Long ride between four and five-and-a-half hours.
  • Swim: Sprint set

Sunday - Long Run

  • Run: Long run in the morning.
  • Run: Short run in the afternoon.

This is a very basic outline to work with for an elite long course triathlete.

Find a basic week that suits you and your needs. Getting eight hours every week for months is better than getting one week at 20 hours and then two at four hours.

See you out in the sun.

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TrainingMarilyn Chychota