Creating a Custom Structured Workout Intensity Plan


80/20 Triathlon plans have the option of one of five intensity type combinations: 1) Run and Bike Heart Rate 2) Run Pace and Bike Heart Rate 3) Run Pace and Bike Power 4) Run and Bike Power and 5) Run Power and Bike HR (all triathlon plans use Pace for the swim). If you would like to use an 80/20 structured workout triathlon plan in an intensity combination not offered, follow these steps:

  1. Purchase the plan that has at least one of the intensities you want to use. For example, if you want a custom Run Heart Rate and Bike Power plan, purchase the available Run and Bike Heart Rate plan. Your Run workout intensities are now presented as the preferred Heart Rate.
  2. Contact us confirming the plan and level you purchased, and the other plan you need to complete your custom plan. We’ll get you that second plan for free. In this example, ask for the Run and Bike Power plan. Now you have a second plan that provides the Bike workouts in Power.
  3. Load both plans with the same start or end date. You now have identical swim, bike, and run workouts each day, but presented in different intensities.
  4. Each day delete the duplicate swim, the Run Pace, and Bike Heart Rate workouts and, voila! You have a custom Run Heart Rate and Bike Power plan. Please note that this last step is not an quick process, it can take some time to strip out the extra workouts for the entire plan.
Why Are There Only Five Triathlon Intensity Combinations Offered?

The answer is scale and demand.

TrainingPeaks (the platform on which the structured workout plans are delivered) offers the plan author 5 different intensity types for each workout, written as a percentage of either: 1) Threshold Power 2) Threshold Pace 3) Threshold Heart Rate 4) Max Heart Rate and 5) Perceived Effort. Additionally, each 80/20 plan is offered in four difficulty levels (Levels 0-3) with an option for all four common triathlon distances (sprint, Olympic, half and full Ironman).

Therefore, the total possible iterations of structured workout plans is: 5 intensity types to the power of 3 sports times 4 levels times 4 distances, or 5^3x4x4 = 2,000 plan combinations. That’s a lot of plans to build and maintain! Therefore, we had to make some choices about the combinations offered.

That decision-making was based on our experience that most triathletes follow a progression when procuring their training devices. Typically, an athlete will progress from training by Heart Rate, then to Pace, and finally Power. For example, most athletes who have a bike power meter, won’t be using heart rate on the run any longer; they’ll be using pace. Additionally, new plan combinations are developed once there is critical demand for a particular combination. This paring down of possible intensity measurements to the combinations most commonly used by athletes allows us to limit the total offerings to a reasonable 85 triathlon plans.

Note that the number of combinations and custom intensity is not an issue with the 80/20 Running plans, as there is just one sport per plan instead of three.