Winter Training Plan


Time to build on that foundation fitness you have gained. Trying to get you as robust physically and mentally for the preparation phase to follow.

You are gong to increase your intensity to improve that top end fitness, you are going to take your endurance to around that required to kick off say the Ironman plan (comfortable to a 90mins run – a 3hr bike – 1500m straight swim) or you may do a little over endurance if prepping for the sprint plan.

One of the absolute key outcomes of the winter plan is to put your swim, bike and run technique under pressure, while trying to hold onto good form. Mental toughness is not only about working harder; it’s also about being able to think clearly under greater and greater loads.

“Getting out there and nailing a sessions when it is dark, cold or raining, is psychological gold dust.”

Plan Overview

For all levels

It’s going to get harder, not just physically but also mentally… the days are shorter, it’s going to get cold/ wet and quite un-motivational, commitment to the process will see you through winter and emerge the other side a stronger athlete.

Be ready to hold form, when it’s hard… running hills hard and lactate starts to accumulate, hold those movement patterns. You’re in the pool and you have gone from sprint into race pace… can you still think about setting up your catch with that fatigue in your body? Can you visualise those weaker moments in your racing last season and are you building the mental strength to deal with them… NOW.


  • Skill Mastery under duress
  • Increased Endurance
  • Lactate Tolerance

How to Purchase

I use Training Peaks for all of my training plans as it makes it much easier for the athlete as you will be emailed your training sessions each day. You can do as little or as much with Training Peaks as you want, uploading your sessions from your training device or do nothing at all and just receive your training sessions daily.


Buy on Training Peaks (all prices are in dollars as the plans are on Training Peaks, a US company).


Example of a Plan

Winter is about building fitness setting you up for your race preparation training.


I've loved working with James to address the physical, skill and mental limiters that have been between where I started and where I want to get in Ironman racing. The physical is the sessions we do and why, the skill is stuff you can only get from a coach that's been pool and trackside for years and finally the mental approach is key to both training and racing - when the going gets tough in an Ironman. I've learnt a huge amount in 2 years working with James both qualifying for and having a great debut Kona, and am excited about what the future has in store together.
Paul Burton
I met James in late 2007, with one Kona (scraping a roll-down slot) and one sub-10 hour Ironman to my name, but I really didn’t believe I was capable of going much faster and was thinking of moving on to other challenges. Over the next four years under James’ coaching, I qualified for Hawaii every year (no roll downs needed), made the top 20 twice in Kona, knocked 5 minutes off my swim, 25 minutes off my bike and nearly 20 minutes off my run PBs and achieved my dream goal of completing an ironman in under 9 hours (at the age of 44). I also finished IM Lanzarote in a better time than I’d managed at IM Austria before James. James’ knowledge and expertise as a triathlon coach are a given, but what sets him apart is his ability to adapt to (and learn from) the different personalities and abilities of his athletes. He enables all his athletes to achieve beyond their previous expectations and to dream big.
Read Tim's Story
Tim Bishop
(Ironman 45-49)
If you have any questions regarding the Winter plan, please feel free to contact me.