Training Plan Advice for Triathlon and how to select days

Hi - I have been using Trainer Road for over a year, but only ever used “Train Now” - I thought I would try a plan…

I generally Train 5-8hrs/week including Running and Swimming and get a long outside ride in on Sundays.
I have never actually competed in a triathlon, although will probably start with olympic distance

I have tried using the custom plan builder, but for some reason it keeps giving me Sundays off? (I have tried selecting both indoor and outdoor)
Do I just adjust my plan manually to suit?

Hey @thomas1 :slight_smile:

I was able to reproduce the behavior, and it appears we are running into a bug here. I will bring it up to the Team and let you know we find ASAP!

1 Like

Thanks @Caro.Gomez-Villafane - in general just struggling to find a plan that works with my schedule/availability

When plan builder asks for how many hours I train is that supposed to include Swimming and Running too?

I have run into issues when I am significantly under prescribed cycling workouts too…. The main reason for wanting to use a plan was trying to get some structure around triathlon specific workouts and respective intensity between different sports over the course of a week

I’ll simply stick with “ train now” for the time being, taking an easy week every 4th or 5th

for me personally, I found that using a mid to high volume time trial plan, and then adding in my own swim and run training worked well for half distance aquabike and triathlon (I podiumed both, and had bike splits equal to what I did 20+ years ago).

1 Like

Hey @thomas1, reporting back :slight_smile:

It turns out this is not a bug but rather a confusion around how Tri Plans are built. The Sunday workout that shows while building the plan is actually an extra cycling workout that is added on 1-2 weeks during some phases and that’s why it looks like it’s been deleted.

For a bit of reference, these extra workouts are normally:

  • Scheduled on the same day as a Swim (except for Olympic HV Build, where it’s scheduled with a Run + Swim)
  • It typically falls in the Recovery Week.
  • An Endurance or Tempo workout.

Please feel free to add the Olympic Distance Triathlon plan to your Calendar as there’s nothing wrong with it. :slight_smile:

Plan Builder includes the Swim and Run workouts to the time availability you gave it. For example, if you give it 6-9 hours of available time to train per week, it will schedule your Bike, Run, and Swim workouts to meet those hours.

If you feel that it is under-prescribing your cycling workouts, you can always use TrainNow to add volume or consider changing to a higher-volume plan if you think you can take the extra load without getting too fatigued.


I wanted to add to the above that when you are creating a Tri Plan, you can toggle ON the Customize training days for each block to see on what Phases of the training plan the extra “Sunday” workout will be added to.

Then, once you get to the Overview of the plan, you can see on what days exactly you will get the extra workout by clicking on each Phase + Block Detail

1 Like

Thanks @Caro.Gomez-Villafane - I’ll give the plan builder another go. I train roughly 6-9 hours per week , but a lot of that is usually weighted to my Sunday Outside ride (2-3hours)

So 5-6hrs Monday- Friday 2x swims, 2x Runs, 2x Indoor rides- with a long ride on the weekend.

Should I include this long ride time when selecting my plan?

Welcome to Tri plans :slight_smile: There is a short course Tri thread that may contain some gems for you

There are also a lot of threads on how to include your existing outdoor weekend rides into Tri plans. Best training effect is if those are easy endurance rides, do your harder intensities on the trainer. If it’s actually quite a hard ride, you may want to substitute your threshold workout there - recovery is important.

Thanks @JoeX - yes my Sunday rides inevitably become fairly hard rides 160-200TSS usually several threshold intervals with unintentional VO2 max sessions on climbs

1 Like

In that case, you would probably benefit from the Low Volume plan since it has 2x of each (except runs):

You can move the workouts to the days you’ll be training, set their durations (Bike only), and leave Saturday/Sunday free to fit in the long unstructured ride.

Ok- thanks @Caro.Gomez-Villafane I’ve been using Train Now for my weekend rides consistently for the past 1.5years now, I try to make them structured- (but inevitably always go harder) :sweat_smile:

1 Like

Yeah! In that case just make them unstructured, and enjoy them :slight_smile:

You probably want to use the “Customize Training Days” option noted above. That’ll let you move things around to match your schedule. I often use that to flip Sat/Sun workouts (plan builder often makes Sun the endurance day, but I usually do a long group ride Sat, so I flip them).

Yes, that’s what I did, but I found it difficult to understand what each day was for and how it related to the previous.
For example a 1hour run does not mean much, however, once you have fitted the workouts to suit your schedule and add the plan you then realise that 1hour run is a hill repeat session. But you don’t know this when planing the days, only after you have added the plan.

Make them unstructured? You mean don’t use train now outside rides? Would that not lower the quality of the workout?

I get the sense that I’m probably better off creating a masters low volume cycling plan built around 3 days/5hours then just fitting in my running and swimming where can.

1 Like

I would, especially if you try to make them structured- (but inevitably always go harder). If you’re not following the prescribed workout, then we don’t recommend matching the the workout performed outside to the scheduled ride.

I’d disagree, I’d say the types of workouts you get from Tri plans are more appropriate for Tri training and consider that you are working two other disciplines, but the most important thing is having a plan you follow consistently whatever that may be.

1 Like