Balancing the intensity in the TR Olympic Plan

As a duathlete, I’m following the OLY tri plan and replacing the swims with yoga, ez days, etc. Where I’m struggling is absorbing all the intensity featured on consecutive days. This week’s schedule:

M off
T VO2 Max bike (9x3 at 120%)
W 60 minute tempo run (wu, 35 minutes zone 3/4, cd) - about 7 miles
Th 1:15 bike with 3x12 minutes at threshold, then VO2 Max run in the PM (7x 2 minutes)
Fri ez bike

Should I place a couple of ez days after the wednesday run and perhaps build the intervals into my long bike on the weekend? I like the workouts, but the spacing seems off compared to other plans I’ve used (Friel’s Training Bible, for example).

Any thoughts?

1 Like

Based on the description you’ve provided, it sounds like you are specifically doing the Oly Low Volume-- is that correct? If not, I’d recommend bumping down to the low volume plan.

You certainly could buffer in additional easy days, but from my understanding one of the goals of endurance (and especially multisport) training is to condition your body to productively carry fatigue. It is definitely a tricky balance between the extremes of overtraining and undertraining, and it is probably tough to discern where the sweet spot is when you’ve just started up a new training program (even if you are an experienced athlete, a huge change in training format can be jarring).

So before buffering in extra easy days, it might be worthwhile to re-examine how optimized your recovery is in between workouts: nutrition (timing, quality, quantity-- are you getting enough of what you need when you need it?), stress (oh hello ongoing global health crisis plus whatever else you might have going on), and sleep (again a mix of quality and quantity).

Never hurts to go back to the basics and see if there’s any room for improvement :slight_smile:

Hope this is helpful! Here are some links that might be useful:

Optimized Recovery
TR Blog: Recovery Tips
Deep dive on sleep

If it were me I’d be tempted to move the Thursday run to the same day as the easy bike because my body (47 years old) struggles with two harder workouts on the same day.

I have found I benefit from a bike and run on the same day as long as one of those is on the easier end of the spectrum.

I’ll often turn those days into a brick workout with either the easy bike or run as the second portion.

Depends how well you respond to it though but I agree that a certain level of fatigue is what you’re after throughout the plan. The trick is finding the right balance though.

Not a lot of easy/aerobic sessions there, youve got four hard and one easy. No easy run, and only two runs per week.

And youre doubling up two hard sessions on one day, Ive tried this and perhaps if its working for you, but generally youd get more value doing the vo2 run another day.

I would put an easy run instead of the vo2 run. And move the vo2 run to the weekend. Doesnt have to be long, 45 mins (10-15wu, then intervals)

Are you in base or build phase?

I’m in the build of the high volume plan. Chose the high version to work in more cycling and figured I could alter the run schedule a bit while protecting the quality runs. I have been moving the VO2 run to Fridays coupled with an easier ride later. The weekends are typically longer workout but all at zone 2 pace so intensity isn’t an issue. Your description of the VO2 run is exactly what I’ve been doing (except on Friday).


I did the High Volume to incorporate more cycling with the intention of hitting the quality runs, but also knowing I might shave a few others if needed. It’s worked out fairly well except for that darn VO2 day which I’ve moved to Friday the last 2 weeks and seem to be handling it better. I also moved the bi-weekly long run to Mondays to protect the weekend cycling days. That’s been okay as long as I schedule adequate recovery.

I guess (as with any blanket plan) making it fit is one of the biggest challenges. Love the value TR provides though.