Training Planner Spreadsheet

OK Folks, here it is: The final version of the Excel Triathlon Training Calendar!

What it’s for:

Planning the training for large events (marathons, Ironman races, ultra-races, your first half-marathon etc), or for a series of smaller races (a whole bunch of 10k races in a year, or several sprint triathlons, etc) can be really daunting. You want to get to the peak of fitness for the right races, without over-cooking it and ending up injured.

Many athletes use what’s called a periodized training plan to build their fitness up, while allowing their bodies time to recover and grow stronger during their training. Done right, this can get you to levels of fitness and endurance that would otherwise seem impossible.

The trouble is that building a periodized training schedule can be a real pain. It’s difficult to figure out how much time to allocate each week, and how to vary your workouts accordingly.

This MS Excel Triathlon Training Planner takes away all this aggravation. In as little as five minutes, you can build a full, 52-week training plan that’ll help you focus on your goals and plan how best to spend your training time to get results.

Key features:

  • An overall annual plan, so that you can determine the key races during the year that you want to focus on, and which will be treated more as training events.
  • Fully customisable workout design - create individual types of workouts for swim, bike, run, or anything else, and define these in terms of durations and if applicable, distances. Set individual units-of-measure for all distances, so for example you can mix track work (measured in metres) with road running (measured in miles)
  • You can define up to 16 different weekly schedules using your workouts - a “standard” one, and then optional ones for each different training periods from your annual plan, one for recovery weeks, and up to five completely custom ones.

  • A Calendar View that selects weekly plans that match the training period, or if one isn’t available, the “standard” one as a default. Or if you don’t like the schedule applied to a particular week, you can manually select any other one that you’ve defined.
  • Any part of the calendar can be over-written with custom details - you can apply your common sense in preference to what the programme tells you!
  • There’s a printer-friendly version of the calendar that omits the distances.
  • The instructions and copy-write pages are the only ones that are passworded. All others are protected to prevent accidental damage, but there’s no password.
  • Each page that needs it has instructions at the top for ease of use.

Anyway, the MS Excel Triathlon Training Planner is available via KAGI , and is priced at just £6.49 (about $10 to you over there).

Sounds like a bargain, considering how much head-scratching and confusion this could save you as you plan to achieve your fitness goals!

32 Responses to “ Training Planner Spreadsheet ”

  1. Joe Flynn on January 8, 2008 at 3:53 am

    Thank you, that saved considerable time having to do a lot of calculations using Joe Friel’s Triathlon Bible. Would have been nice if I could have added color to some of the blocks, but alas, most of the page is write protected. Thanks again.

  2. Karl McCracken on January 8, 2008 at 7:24 am

    Hi Joe -
    Thanks for the feedback. What kind of colour would you like to add? Automatic highlighting of recovery / peak weeks, that sort of thing?

  3. Nathan Goss on January 16, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    G’Day Champ,

    It would be great if we could add extra workouts to the drop-down lists withing Week’s Plan - eg: Swim Technique, Yoga, etc.


    Nath :-)

  4. Ian Gould on January 18, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Hi Karl,

    This is a great piece of work and it has really motivated me to plan my season properly. I have loads of questions, comments and requests, is there an address I can mail you at?

  5. Karl McCracken on January 20, 2008 at 7:19 am

    Hi Nathan -
    Thanks for the suggestion. Great suggestion. I’ll make the location of the list that drives the workouts a non-protected area of the sheet, so that you can add extra things.

    Hi Ian -
    I’ve sent you a separate email.

  6. micayer on September 10, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Hi Karl,
    The spreadsheet you created above is fantastic. I wish I had come across it earlier in the year. Will you be updating it for 2009?

  7. Karl On Sea on September 10, 2008 at 7:17 am

    Thank you! Yep - I have a whole list of things to add & change. Just gotta find the time to do it now . . . .

  8. Keith on October 8, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Hello Karl,
    Great document you have produced, but like others I would like the ability to add colour and additional tabs for training records, race times etc. to make it all encompassing for the season.
    Not being an Excel wiz like yourself, generating a spreadsheet from scratch would result in me not finishing it until April and loosing all my winter training in front of the pc.
    Would really appreciate a copy with a little more freedom.
    Thanks and take care.

  9. Jon Ford on December 12, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Fantastic! Great effort on your part. Thanks so much for sharing it. Would agree with the above. Clearly its not good for novices to have access to areas that would ruin the formulas, but a little flexibility would be good. And is it just me, or does the spreadsheet list “swim,” “bike” and “bike” instead of SBR?

  10. shebaduhkitty on December 20, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Cool spread sheet, still trying to figure it all out, text overlaps on page one so hard to read instructions. Also it has swim, bike and bike… where is run?

  11. B on March 23, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Cool spreadsheet. I tried adding a monthly calendar but it is locked. Is there any way I can do this?

  12. Tod on May 25, 2009 at 12:55 am

    Hmmm… Link appears to be broken. Under construction for 2009?

  13. Karl On Sea on May 25, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Tod - Sorry about that - I need to get it re-hosted. In the meantime, I’ll email you a copy.

  14. Matt on May 27, 2009 at 7:33 am

    Dear Karl,

    I blundered onto your site somehow looking for bike reviews, but stayed to check it out and very much enjoyed it (as well as lock your bike). I now live in Singapore where belive it or not you can leave your bike poorly locked and it will still be there most likely.

    Anyway, if you have time would you mind sending me a copy of the training planner when it’s ready for release?



  15. Michael on June 2, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    I tried to view but it didn’t come up. Is there another way to view this?

  16. Sam Grant on June 11, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Hi Karl,

    Great website, some brilliant articles and tips. Would be really interested in getting a copy of your training planner if you could email me a copy, the link appears to be broken.

    Many thanks,


  17. Carol on August 6, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Could you send me a copy of your training planner too?

  18. Daniel on December 8, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Gday Karl,

    I just stopped by on your website. I’m very interested in your training planner. I would be happy if you can send it to my email address.

    By the way, you have an interesting website.

    Greetings from Germany,

  19. Vin on December 24, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Hi, Karl!

    Could you email me a copy of training planner, too?

    thank you!

  20. [...] Training Planner Spreadsheet [...]

  21. Chris on January 10, 2010 at 12:40 am

    I really like the weekly planner view. Could I get the file? I’m not too sure how complex it is, but want to start my training out right this year.

  22. Karl On Sea on January 11, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Sorting out hosting this week. In the meantime, thanks to users’ feedback, I’ve:

    o Added the highlighting function to the Annual Plan
    o Made all workouts completely customizable - you can even select different units of measure for different events in the same discipline.
    o Allowed a whole stack (16, in fact) of different weekly patterns to be defined - a “standard” one, and then optional ones for each different training period, one for recovery weeks, and up to five custom ones
    o The Calendar now selects weekly plans that match the training period, or if one isn’t available, the “standard” one as a default.
    o Any week in the calendar can have a different weekly pattern applied to it, though once you do that, it’ll lose the ability to auto-populate that week, so use this function with caution.
    o Any part of the calendar can be over-written with custom details, though again, this does degrade it’s ability to do things automatically for you.
    o The instructions and copy-write pages are the only ones that are passworded. All others are protected to prevent accidental damage, but there’s no password.
    o Each page that needs it has instructions at the top for ease of use.

    It’s still possible to construct a full annual plan in about five minutes, or you can really go to town with lots of different weekly schedule patterns.

  23. Matt on January 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I had your old training planner and really liked it a lot. The improvements look awesome-and just in time for me to start working out again. I cant wait until you can get it on-line so I can download it. Thanks for all your work.

  24. Maggie on January 19, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Hi Karl

    I am struggling with a triathlon annual planner written in Word! Yours looks so much more useful. Could you email a copy to me please. Thank you Maggie

  25. Steve on August 24, 2010 at 9:11 am


    Do you have an update to your planner since 1/2010?

    Best Rgs,


  26. KarlOnSea on August 27, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    … Following an email conversation with Steve, I wrote a step-by-step guide on how to use the planner. Thought this might be useful for all:

    OK, so here’s how it works. First off you need to decide your goals for the season, and put the key races you’ll be doing on the Annual Plan page. At least one of these races needs to be “a” priority - the race that’s your most important for the whole year. This race’s position in the year is then used to allocate your target annual hours to each week - you’ll notice that it doesn’t just divide by 52, but creates a periodised plan to allow for recovery during training.

    Next up you go to the Workouts page. Here you enter details of typical workouts - for example, you might have Swim:Easy as 800m in 20 minutes as your shortest, easiest swim you anticipate doing. You only have to define workouts that you anticipate doing - so as I live by the sea, I might define a sea swim, but I’d not bother with river swims.

    Now in the Workout Plans sheet you define what a typical week would look like. For me this would be:
    Swim: endurance Monday pm
    Run: Intervals Tuesday early
    Swim: Technique Wednesday early
    Bike: Easy Thursday early
    Bike: Race Simulation Thursday pm (it’s my bike to work day)
    Run: Endurance Friday pm
    Rest Saturday
    Bike: Endurance early Sunday.

    I could define different patterns for each training phase, but if I don’t want to, all I have to do is define the pattern for a “Standard week.”

    Finally I can review the calendar which is automatically populated. The workouts for each week are scaled to fill the number of hours allocated to the week by the Annual Plan. So if your “Standard week” called for a total of 5 hours’ training, but a specific week has 10 hours allocated to it, the calendar will double the length of every training session in that week. If you’ve defined weeks for specific training phases, these will be automatically selected where required, or if not, the standard week is used.

    Hopefully that makes sense!

  27. Ryan Nedbalek on September 22, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Help! I purchased your “Training Planner”. I don’t have MS Excel, but thought I’d try it in “iWork Numbers” or “Open Office”. It seems neither will fully understand the formulas and macros (?) used. Will I have to break down and find a used copy of Excel or am I doing something wrong?? From what I can tell of your planner … it looks great!!! I just want to be able to use it, I’ve been searching for something like this forever!!! Thanks!!!

  28. KarlOnSea on September 22, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Hi Ryan -
    Thanks for your kind words. Unfortunately it probably won’t work in Numbers, as it does a whole bunch of calculations using dates - Numbers is really bad at this sort of thing. I’ll have a look at it in Open Office for you though - in general this is better at dealing with Excel files.

    As a last resort, if we can’t fix this, I’ll organise a refund - there’s no point buying s/w that you can’t use!

  29. Ryan Nedbalek on September 22, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Hi… Don’t worry about a refund. I downloaded a trial of Office 2008 for Mac from Microsoft and tried it out. I love the planner!!! Will it run on excel 2004?? I might be able to find a bargain MS office 2004 from eBay. Thanks


  30. KarlOnSea on September 23, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Yeah - should be fine and dandy in 2004 - I did most of the work putting it together with Excel for Mac v.X (the 2001 version), and tested with a PC running a version not much newer than that.

  31. Ed on March 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Your training spreadsheet sounds great. Are there any screen shots available? I don’t mind paying $10 for the right one that matches my training…just seeing too many choices to buy!


  32. KarlOnSea on November 7, 2011 at 11:30 am

    For some reason this page has become a target for every spammer in the world. So for the time being comments are disabled.