The Sufferfest & Apex Coaching

Olympic Distance Triathlon Plan / Non-4DP / Designed for Strength Training

Plan Length: 12 Weeks

Over the next 12 weeks we will put you through the paces and help you unleash your inner Sufferlandrian. This plan combines sessions in all three disciplines of triathlon in a time conscious way
that will keep you challenged with just the right amount of intensity.

To keep your body in tip top shape for the duration of this plan we have integrated our yoga for cyclists programme to keep you limber while improving your core strength and speeding recovery.

This plan also incorporates The Sufferfest Strength Training Programme to help you progressively build functional strength to increase power and endurance, reduce the change of injury, and improve your overall health.

Plan Price: FREE


Note: These plans are designed to be used with The Sufferfest Training System. You will need to download and install The Sufferfest for iOS, macOS or Windows to access the workouts associated with these plans. To get started:

  1. Go to and download the app for your device.
  2. Create your account to start your free 7-day trial.
  3. Use promo code SURGE30 to get 30 days free or $12.99 off your annual subscription.

For questions about The Sufferfest please email

Sample Week of Training

Below is a week of training from this plan which represents the type of workouts you will be doing.

Other - Week 2

Swim - Technique B

Warm Up with 200m easy swimming freestyle. 4 x 25m Drill with 10 seconds rest 200m Kick with with 20 seconds rest The following should all be done at a moderate pace, with enough rest between that you can focus on proper form. 100m Super Slow Drill 150m 3-3-3 200m Catch Up 200m Side-Glide-Kick 200m Corkscrew 200m Pull Cool down with 100-200m freestyle Incase you need to brush up on your technique definitions follow this link

Planned: 30:00

Bike - Post Strength Spin

Think of this as your cool down from your strength session. Keep your Power well below 50% of FTP, just let the easy pedaling flush out your legs so they can start repairing themselves faster and be ready for tomorrow!

Planned: 15:00

Swim - Steady Aerobic

This is an unstructured swim to help build your swim fitness and give you an easier, unstructured session in the pool. Focus on these four things for this workout session: After a short warm up, swim continuously for the entire session at your Z3 pace. Use the pace clock or watch to monitor your pace throughout the swim. Count your strokes every 4-6 laps and try to remain consistent, Practice your sighting (see Definitions).

Planned: 45:00

Run - Off the Bike Run

Steady Z2 run immediately after your bike session. Good time to practice your second transition!

Planned: 20:00

Bike - The Way Out **Reduced Intensity 90%**

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
NM: ✭✩✩✩✩
AC: ✭✩✩✩✩
MAP: ✭✩✩✩✩
FTP: ✭✭✭✭✭

One of the few Sufferfest sessions that can be viewed as a "Sweet-Spot" session since the intervals aren't above threshold (except for the very end) but are harder than a tempo effort. This session pushes your body close to the limit of what it can 'comfortably' handle without going any further. Why? Going above threshold causes a considerable amount of hormonal stress that takes a lot of time to recover from. But you don't actually have to ride above threshold to improve your FTP - the fitness gain between 30 minutes at 90% of threshold and at 102% of threshold is minimal, but the stress on your body from the later is much greater and the recovery much longer. That is why this session is a key component to any training plan: It gives you enough training stress to help improve your FTP, but remains 'easy' enough that you can do it when you're tired or before a big block of harder efforts.

Planned: 1:01:00

Bike - Cadence Builds **After Strength**

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
NM: ✭✭✭✭✭
AC: ✭✩✩✩✩
MAP: ✭✩✩✩✩
FTP: ✭✩✩✩✩

One of the best sessions there is for neuromuscular training and a regular session in The Sufferfest Training Plans, this drill asks you to progressively build from a cadence of 90 RPM to your MAX over 30 seconds, recover and repeat several times. Cadence builds improve the way you recruit your leg, glute and core muscles throughout your pedal stroke by progressing to your maximal cadence. By reaching your highest cadence possible, you are training the 'on/off' switch in each muscle group to not only work faster, but have less overlap with your other muscle groups. You're training your hamstring muscles to 'turn off' when your quads 'turn on' and vice-versa to achieve a more efficient pedal stroke.

NOTE: As a drill session, this video does not have music or a storyline like 'normal' Sufferfest videos. Just fire up a playlist on your favourite music app and you're away!

Planned: 1:00:00

Run - 4 x 1K Kicking

We know that triathlons are more focused on steadily paced runs, but if you're ever going to get faster then you need to do some speed work! Find a flat track or course with regular distance markers and prepare yourself for some explosive speed work. Here's what you need to do in order to crush this session: Warm-up: Jog for 10 minutes and an easy Z1/Z2 pace. Activation: 3 sets of 75m sprint efforts at Z5. Recover for 30 seconds. 1K Kicking: 4 sets of 1K at Z3 pace, with the final 100m at Z5 (the kick). Pace it such that you are increasing your speed over the 100m and not slowing at the end. Easy walk or jog for 3 minutes between each effort. Cool-down: Walk or jog for 5-10 minutes to cool down.

Planned: 40:00

Swim - Pace 200s

This swim is designed to work your top end speed in the water by getting you to work hard over a 200m distance. Unless otherwise indicated, the stroke is freestyle. Here's what you need to do in order to crush this workout: Warm-up: Start with an easy 300m swim. Activation 1: Swim 2 reps of 75m, kicking only (no arms). Activation 2: Swim 4 sets of 50m, building from Z3 to Z4 over the the course of the 4 sets. Pace 200s: Swim 4 sets of 200m at your Z4/Z5 pace. Take 20 seconds rest between each set. After 4, swim an easy 100m, rest 1 minute, and then finish final 4. Cool-down: Swim an easy 100-200m using the stroke of your choice.

Planned: 50:00

Bike - ISLAGIATT **Reduced Intensity 90%**

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
NM: ✭✩✩✩✩
AC: ✭✭✩✩✩
MAP: ✭✩✩✩✩
FTP: ✭✭✭✭✭

This is your go-to session when you need to increase your endurance and add in some threshold work but only have two hours. By adding in multiple surges and short chunks of time above threshold, ISLAGIATT overloads your system with metabolic byproducts ('the nasties') which your body has to learn to clear out more efficiently. Combining such long interval durations with these hard surges not only forces your body to cope with the effort, but it pushes you harder mentally because after each surge the effort right at threshold "feels" harder than it should. With the final intervals focusing more on short, repeated efforts you'll stress your body's ability to recover when deeply fatigued, making this more than just an "endurance builder" workout, but one that will help you keep churning out power deep into the final kilometers of challenging rides or events.

Planned: 1:57:00

Plan Price: FREE