Guidance for the 18 weeks before starting Full Distance Triathlon Base phase

I’m taking part in Ironman Wales on Sep 15th 2019 so I’ve got 18 weeks before I start my 12 week Full Distance Triathlon Base phase.

I started SSB 1 Low volume this week and include 3 runs per week on the non bike days of the plan. I’m also swimming twice per week.

What would be the recommended path for the next 18 weeks before the Full Distance 12 week Base plan starts?

I was thinking about doing…

SSB 1 Low Volume - 6 weeks
SSB 1 Low Volume - 5 weeks
SSB 2 Low Volume - 6 weeks

and then starting the 12 week base.

Would this be the best way to schedule the next 18 weeks or would there be a better way?


I’m in a similar position and I’ve started with Traditional Base alongside swimming and running before moving to the other base plans next year. That covers a 12 week period I would also suggest that you leave a number of weeks free for unforeseen events and potential injuries.

If you get through until next September without any other events getting in the way leading to a few weeks slipping you’ll be unusual!

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Thanks for the feedback Julian.

It never even crossed my mind to do the Traditional Base Low Volume plan for the first 12 weeks. That might be another option. Maybe…

Traditional Base

  • Low Volume 1
  • Low Volume 2
  • Low Volume 3
  • SSB 1 Low Volume

Full Distance Triathlon

  • Base
  • Build
  • Speciality

Or then again what about…

Low Volume

  1. SSB1
  2. SSB2
  3. SSB1
  4. Low Volume Full Distance Tri Plan

I’m currently doing Trad Base Low Volume with 4 swims and 3 runs a week since I had lots of spare time before I need to start my b/b/s for my 70.3 next year. I think it’s working well, specially since it’s low intensity enough that I can work hard on the swim and the run which are my relative weaknesses.

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Either way works I reckon.

Plans may change but

is pretty much what I’ve got in mind that my next year will look like.

It’s hard if your ‘A’ race is late season. I’ve been guilty before in this situation of starting a training plan at the beginning of the year and being in great great shape in July when its far too long to hold top form and also hard to let the fitness go slightly and rebuild for a late year race. It’s especially true if people you train with have mid season races, you can feel like you’re lagging behind when in reality you are just in different periods of training.

ATM I’m doing the same as @Scheherazade is doing, ticking over with Traditional Base while doing a lot of swimming and trying to get my 5k run time down!


Changed your mind on Lanzarote?

Personally I think the full distance base, build, speciality is a long hard slog - give a thought to how you want to stay fresh for it, club rides, club runs, have a break from training, focus on swim technique, other sports, settling your sleep pattern and nutrition…then you’re less likely to lose patience with the turbo when you knuckle down!

Hi George,

I’m also in for IM Wales and was in a similar situation given the time between now and event date. This is what I have pulled together over the past week or so.

Between now and Feb 15th work through Traditional Base but mainly focusing on my swim and run (weakest area) although following some sort of ‘‘plan’’ i’m not being to structured as I don’t want to get burnt out to soon given the 11 months or so between now and Sept. Biking will mainly be on the trainer but also looking to mix it up on the MTB and outdoor.

Starting Feb 15th begin Full Distance Low volume to build towards Sept 15th this time will allow around 4-5weeks spare to allow for illness breaks (always get the flu mid April) and holidays I have booked. By following the low volume plan I can add extra volume should I feel able although not counting on it.