The Sufferfest & Apex Coaching

140.6 Full IM Triathlon Plan / Non-4DP / Designed for Strength Training

Plan Length: 13 Weeks

Want to CRUSH that 140.6? This is the training plan for you!

Can you answer yes to all of these questions?

You are 12 weeks away from a Full IM triathlon and you want to make sure you are ready to crush it.
You’ve been training consistently for the last 9 months, averaging between 8 and 12 hours a week.
You can run comfortably for 10 miles without any pain or without needing to stop.
You can swim continuously in open water for more than 60 minutes without needing to stop or hold onto something.
You’ve completed a 70.3 triathlon at least once before and are familiar with training for all three disciplines
You want to take a structured approach to help you get the most out of your training.
You are time-crunched and only have 8-16 hours available a week to train.
You have access to a swimming pool or suitable body of water 2-3 times per week.
You want to become a more well-rounded athlete by incorporating Yoga and Strength Training into your weekly training routine.

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.

Cross Training - Yoga: Recovery Booster

Beginner Sufferfest sessions tear your body down. It's in the periods between Sufferfest sessions, when you're recovering, that you become more powerful. This session helps boost your recovery time, relaxing you and ensuring you give your body the chance to grow stronger.

Planned: 15:00

Run - Recovery Run

This jog is so easy and the pace so slow you should be embarrassed to be seen running this slow - except that you know that this slow run is helping you get even faster! The pace is just high enough to be considered a job, and your focus should be on taking short strides and enjoying the scenery around you.

Planned: 20:00

Cross Training - Breathing To CRUSH THEM

Perhaps the only people more Badass than Sufferlandrians are Navy Seals. And this is the breathing exercise that Navy Seals do to calm down and focus themselves before major operations. Learn and use this technique before heading into your own major events and races.

Planned: 3:00

Bike - Standing Starts

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

Standing starts closely simulate a lifting session on the bike because it requires the engagement of your core, upper and lower body. Standing starts will train your ability to generate force through the pedals by forcing you to recruit all of your musculature. No matter your prefered discipline, these efforts are key to teaching your body to recruit all of the muscle fibers in your legs. The saying "Use it or Lose it" actually does apply here. All of the benefit in this session comes from hitting these 20 seconds effort as hard as you possibly can. To do that, you need full recovery between each sprint, and you need to respect that recovery! These efforts should see you start at super low RPMs with very high torque, as the effort continues your cadence will naturally increase. Your goal is to get your cadence as high as possible by the end of each 20 second effort. To maximize your muscle recruitment you want to both push down and pull up on the pedals at the start. Proper core engagement is a must, your legs need a good strong backboard to push against. We understand that not everyone's trainer has the necessary resistance, or the required stability, to perform this workout as described. For stability issues you can get much of the same benefit by doing these efforts seated. If your trainer can't handle the rapid change in speed, or does not have high enough resistance at super a super low cadence then you can start the efforts are a higher cadence and simply treat them as "normal" all out sprints.

Coach Notes:
This is a session that can be done indoors or outdoors. If done outdoors, come to a slow roll in your largest Chain Ring and your 3rd or 4th smallest cog on your rear cassette. Complete the same set of 4 x 20sec maximal start efforts, with 6-8 minutes of easy spinning between.

Planned: 45:00

Swim - 20 X 50 - Speed

This swim is designed to work your top end speed in the water by getting you to work hard over a short 50m distance. You'll be asked to maintain a constant pace at different levels of rest and fatigue. 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 400m swim. Activation 1: Swim 4 sets of 50m Drill with 20 seconds of rest between each. Activation 2: 8 sets of 25m at Z4 pace with 15 seconds rest between each. 20 x 50s: The 20 reps are divided into 4 sets of 5 by 50m all at Z4 pace but with the following variable recovery: Swim the first set with 10 seconds rest between 50s Swim the second set with 30 seconds rest between 50s. Swim the third set with 20 seconds rest between 50s. Swim the fourth set with 40 seconds rest between 50s. Swim easy for 50-100m between each set. Cool-down: Swim an easy 100-200m using the stroke of your choice.

Planned: 1:00:00

Other - Yoga: Stretching After Suffering

Intermediate You've just finished a brutal Sufferfest session. You probably just want to curl up in a ball, but to speed your recovery this sequence will stretch you out and open you up. You'll be ready to Suffer again in no time.

Planned: 15:00

Run - 4k increasing

If you drill into the pacing strategies of any endurance competitor, you quickly learn that the negative split is the fastest way to complete a course. A negative split is where your pace is higher during the second half of the course. We'll work on that pacing strategy today. Refer to your training plan to determine whether you complete the 4K or 5K Increasing session. 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 1: Do 2 sets of 50m of your choice of drills (butt kicks, high knees, etc.). Take 30 seconds rest between each drill. Activation 2: 2-3 sets of 150-200m at Z4a pace. Rest for 30 seconds in between sets. 4K Increasing: Increase your pace progressively over the entire 4K run. Start at your upper Z2, lower Z3 pace increase to high Z3 by the halfway point and progress to Z4b/Z5 by for the last 500m. 2 x 4k : Complete 2 repeats of 4k where you increase your pace progressively over the entire 4k run. Start at your upper Z2, pace increase to high Z3 by the end of the second kilometre and progress to Z4b/ Z5 by for the last 500m Cool-down: Walk or jog for 5-10 minutes to cool down.

Planned: 1:00:00

Bike - Butter

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

Smooth like butter. Grace under pressure. It's what we're focusing on in this session as you accumulate plenty of time at a high aerobic workload. A good warm-up leads you into two sets of five 90-second intervals with 3-minutes of "recovery" between each. Instead of full gas intervals followed by super low intensity recovery, these efforts are hard, but the real sting (and training benefit) comes from the incomplete recovery you face between intervals. These "recovery" efforts are at the upper end of Z2, meaning you still need quite a bit of oxygen to keep that power churning. By keeping the intervals themselves under your Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP) AND not allowing complete recovery, your body will burn through your Anaerobic Capacity (AC) before the end of each set, forcing your body to produce that power aerobically. Your body goes through that same transition near the 3-minute mark of the 5-minute test during Full Frontal, but with this session not only is it less painful, you end up with more total time in that aerobically dependent state. Endurance sports are all about churning through as much oxygen as possible, and few other workouts see you churning this hard and for this long.

Planned: 59:00

Bike - Extra Shot @75%

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

Coffee. Cocktails. Fights. Sometimes, you just need an extra shot. Same goes for workouts. This is a 20 minute 'booster' you can add on to any existing Sufferfest workout. It has no warm-up or warm-down - you go straight into race simulation and grit your teeth till the end. When you take on this session fresh, the sustained effort just above threshold stresses both MAP and FTP to an equal extent. If you're doing this at the end of another session (when you're already fatigued), then dial the intensity down to 85%. That will really push your steady-state power production and help your body increase FTP.

Coach Notes:
After G.O.A.T.

Planned: 22:00

Run - Off the Bike Run

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

Planned: 30:00

Bike - G.O.A.T

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
Neuromuscular Power (NM - 5 second): ✭✭✭✩✩
Anaerobic Capacity (AC - 1 minute): ✭✭✩✩✩
Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP- 5 minute): ✭✩✩✩✩
Functional Threshold Power (FTP - 20 minute): ✭✭✭✭✩

This session is all about high-torque efforts, very similar to the efforts you would experience out riding up the steep slopes of Mt Sufferlandria. While these efforts are short, and the intensity isn't too high, the low cadence targets combined with minimal recovery will leave some begging for the high cadence sprints of The Omnium. High torque efforts like these have two primary benefits. Improved neuromuscular coordination, and increased muscular endurance. During each pedal revolution your legs have to "switch on" and "switch off" almost all of the muscles in your legs. High cadence efforts in something like Cadence Builds are great for teaching these groups to make that switch quickly. These low cadence efforts are better for teach ALL of the muscles in your legs to "switch on". Done properly you should be pulling with your hamstrings with one leg while the other leg is pushing down with all the force your glutes and quads can muster. If you feel like you are pushing yourself up out of the saddle during harder efforts (like seated sprints) then your hamstrings are not being utilized since they should be pulling you back down into your saddle. The second main benefit is improved muscular endurance. Even though the session is under 45 minutes, you will put a similar amount of muscular fatigue into your legs as a steady 3 hour base ride. You can almost view this session as hitting the leg press for 8 sets of 100 reps. And just like the weight room, proper form is absolutely key! That means: -- You should focus on pushing down AND pulling back up. You want your glutes and quads activated on the way down, and your hamstring and hip flexors activated on the way up. -- To properly engage your hamstrings think about trying to pulling your heel up to your butt when your crank arm is going from 6 o'clock to 10 o'clock. -- Your knees should be tracking straight up and down, no collapsing in or out! -- Your core should be fully engaged to keep your hips rock steady in the saddle. This will be easier if you are both pushing and pulling during each pedal revolution. This session is very simillar to Power Station. Both help improve your muscular endurance and coordination, the biggest difference is the work to rest ratio between the two. While the intervals here are shorter than those in Power Station, the decreased recovery duration means fatigue will build faster, especially for those with a weakness in repeated efforts. Modifying interval length and recovery duration can also be seen between sessions like Revolver and A Very Dark Place. Both serve up a healthy dose of MAP/VO2 work, but the overall "feeling" of those two sessions are different. If you find that your lower back starts to ache during this session, or that you have to start rocking in the saddle to keep the power up, then it's time for you get started on our Yoga programme. Kick it off with "Core Strengtheners I" to make sure your core is just as strong as those legs!

Planned: 42:00

Swim - Technique A

Warm Up with 200m easy swimming freestyle. 4 x 25m Drill with 10 second rest 200m Pull with with 20 second rest The following should all be done at a moderate pace, with enough rest between that You can focus on proper form 150m One Arm Freestyle 200m ¾ Catch Up 200m Elbow-Hip-Elbow 150m Fist Drill 200m Zipper Drill Cool down with 100-200m freestyle Incase you need to brush up on your technique definitions follow this link

Planned: 1:00:00

Cross Training - Yoga: Loosen Your Lower Back

Beginner This routine is designed to relieve pain and release tension in the lower back. These poses open up the hips, stretch the hamstrings and strengthen the core. We finish with a diaphragmatic breathing exercise to relax the body and let go of tension around areas of pain.

Planned: 15:00

Swim - 800s

This swim is designed to develop your ability to swim powerfully using your upper body (so you can save your legs from the bike and run) as well as to train yourself to execute a smart pacing strategy (by starting slow and finishing fast). 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 easy using the stroke(s) of your choice. Activation: 4 X 50m at your Z4 pace. 800 Repeats:: Perform the following 800m reps with 90 second rest between as follows: Swim-steady at your Z3 pace. Increasing 800m: build your pace progressively, increasing from Z2 to Z4 over the full distance. Arms Only at Z3 (with paddles and leg buoy if you have them). Building 800m: Complete the first 300m at Z2, second 300m Z3, final 200m at Z4 Arms Only at Z2 (no paddles, but leg buoy if you have one). Cool-down: Swim an easy 200-300m using the stroke of your choice.

Planned: 1:45:00

Cross Training - Breathing To CALM DOWN

In 4-7-8 Breath your exhalations are twice as long as your exhalations. It is a therapeutic breathing technique that can help to reduce pain and calm your nervous system.

Planned: 3:00

Run - 45/30 Split Endurance/Race Pace

Today is all about building that endurance. Your first run comes right after your first bike and will be 45 minutes in length, RTP and HR should both remain in Zone 2 the entire time. Your second run comes in right after your second bike and is 30 minutes in length. For this run the goal is to maintain race pace for the full duration. Race pace will be between 120-135% of RTP Between one of these switches (ideally both) you will practice you T2 transition. So have your running gear all set up so that you can get off the bike and go straight into the run. The key to a good transition is remaining calm, so the more you can practice a calm transition in training, the more natural it will be to remain calm on race day. You can read up again on transitions here

Planned: 1:15:00

Bike - 90/60 Split Endurance/Race Pace

Today is all about building that endurance. Your first bike leg is 90 minutes in length. Your goal is to keep both power and heart rate inside Z2 Your second bike leg is 60 minutes in length. Your goal is to maintain Race Pace for this entire 60 minute bike. Race pace will usually be between 70 and 85% of FTP After atleast one of these legs (ideally both) you will practice T2. Meaning you have your running gear set up beforehand so that you can get off your bike and immediately get ready for the run. This is a great day to practice your nutrition strategies for race day. Aim to consume 50-75g of carbohydrates per hour. *Note that the maximum fuel your body can process in 60 minutes is 90 grams, but only if 60g come from glucose and 30g come for fructose. Unless you know the exact sugar break down of your nutrition do not aim for 90g per hour* It is also a good idea to weight yourself before and after this session so you can determine if you are drinking enough. Losing 1-2 pounds of water weight during this session is okay, any more than that and you need to assess how to get more fluids in come race day.

Planned: 2:30:00

Plan Price: FREE