Category Archives: Training Plans

The Ultimate Half Ironman Training Plan – 18 Weeks

The following program is designed for the triathlete who has competed in several triathlons, perhaps even a season of triathlons, preferably Olympic Distance Races. It also takes into consideration he or she can run at least 7 miles or about an hour with relative ease, swim at least 5000 yards per week and ride at least 25-30 miles 3 times per week on the bike. A half Ironman is a big step-up from the standard Tri. It is definitely doable, you just have to race and train smarter.

The first 12 weeks of the program is considered a base building phase gradually increasing mileage and yardage. A speedwork/quality phase makes up weeks 13-16 with weeks 17 and 18 dedicated to the taper. You will also notice three recovery weeks on weeks 4, 8 and 12. These are important. Stick to them. By the end of the base building phase, some of you may start to get a little grumpy and irritable. This is due to the fact that you are pushing that “overtrained” state. Fortunately, the speedwork phase begins the following week. During this period you will be cutting back on the mileage/yardage while maintaining your overall endurance. This will also provide you with the added rest for which are looking. You will probably experience an increase in energy and your attitude will start to err towards the positive side! This is also a time when you must begin to use your head and train smart! An improper approach to speedwork can lead to injuries in all three events. We will discuss this further as we break down the individual activities.

The base building phase focuses on general aerobic training and should include the use of a heart rate monitor. If you do not own one, than I suggest you make the purchase. There are several heart rate monitors on the market and all do a fine job. And you do not have to buy the most expensive. However, you will want a model that has at least an overall time display. Alternatively, you can buy a triathlon watch with a heart rate feature as well – check out the best triathlon watches here.

Swim workouts are general distances but specific workouts can be found on our Half Ironman Triathlon Swim Workouts.

SwimBikeRun
Week 1   
Monday1000 yds. a.m.20 miles. p.m. 
Tuesday1000 yds. a.m 40 min p.m.
Wednesday 20 miles. p.m. 
Thursday1000 yds. a.m 30 min p.m.
Friday   
Saturday  50 min a.m.
Sunday 25 miles. a.m. 
Week 2   
Monday1000 yds. a.m20 miles. p.m. 
Tuesday1250 yds. a.m 45 min p.m.
Wednesday 25 miles. p.m. 
Thursday1000 yds. a.m 35 min p.m.
Friday   
Saturday  55 min a.m.
Sunday 30 miles a.m. 
Week 3   
Monday1000 yds. a.m20 miles p.m. 
Tuesday1250 yds. a.m 45 min p.m
Wednesday 25 miles p.m. 
Thursday1250 yds. a.m 40 min p.m
Friday   
Saturday  60 min a.m
Sunday 35 miles a.m. 
Week 4RecoveryRecoveryRecovery
Monday1000 yds. a.m20 miles p.m. 
Tuesday1000 yds. a.m 40 min p.m
Wednesday 20 miles p.m. 
Thursday1000 yds. a.m 30 min p.m
Friday   
Saturday  50 min a.m
Sunday 30 miles a.m. 
Week 5   
Monday1000 yds. a.m20 miles p.m. 
Tuesday1500 yds. a.m 45 min p.m
Wednesday 25 miles p.m. 
Thursday1250 yds. a.m 40 min p.m
Friday   
Saturday  60 min a.m
Sunday 40 miles a.m. 
Week 6   
Monday1250 yds. a.m25 miles p.m. 
Tuesday1500 yds. a.m 50 min p.m
Wednesday 25 miles p.m. 
Thursday1500 yds. a.m 40 min p.m
Friday   
Saturday  70 min a.m
Sunday 45 miles a.m. 
Week 7   
Monday1250 yds. a.m25 miles p.m. 
Tuesday1750 yds. a.m 60 min p.m
Wednesday 30 miles p.m. 
Thursday1500 yds. a.m 45 min p.m
Friday   
Saturday  80 min a.m
Sunday 45 miles a.m. 
Week 8RecoveryRecoveryRecovery
Monday1000 yds. a.m20 miles p.m. 
Tuesday1250 yds. a.m 50 min p.m
Wednesday 25 miles p.m. 
Thursday1250 yds. a.m 35 min p.m
Friday   
Saturday  70 min a.m
Sunday 35 miles a.m. 
Week 9   
Monday1250 yds. a.m25 miles p.m. 
Tuesday2000 yds. a.m 60 min p.m
Wednesday 30 miles p.m. 
Thursday1500 yds. a.m 50 min p.m
Friday 20 miles p.m. 
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds. 80 min p.m
Sunday 50 miles a.m.75 min walk p.m
Week 10   
Monday1500 yds. a.m25 miles p.m. 
Tuesday2250 yds. a.m 60 min p.m
Wednesday 35 miles p.m. 
Thursday1750 yds. a.m 50 min p.m
Friday 20 miles p.m. 
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds. 90 min a.m
Sunday 55 miles a.m.75 min walk p.m
Week 11   
Monday1500 yds. a.m25 miles p.m. 
Tuesday2500 yds. a.m 60 min p.m
Wednesday 40 miles p.m. 
Thursday1750 yds. a.m 50 min p.m
Friday 20 miles p.m. 
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds. 100 min a.m
Sunday 60 miles a.m.75 min walk p.m
Week 12RecoveryRecoveryRecovery
Monday1000 yds. a.m20 miles p.m. 
Tuesday2000 yds. a.m 50 min p.m
Wednesday 30 miles p.m. 
Thursday1250 yds. a.m 40 min p.m
Friday 20 miles p.m. 
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds. 90 min a.m
Sunday 50 miles a.m.60 min walk p.m
Week 13SpeedworkBikeRun
Monday1500 yds. a.m30 miles p.m.0
Tuesday2500 yds. a.m Quality Day
Wednesday Quality Day 
ThursdayQuality Day a.m. 60 min p.m
Friday 20 miles p.m. 
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds. p.m 90 min a.m
Sunday 50 miles a.m.60 min. walk p.m
Week 14   
Monday1500 yds. a.m30 miles p.m. 
Tuesday2500 yds. a.m Quality Day
Wednesday Quality Day 
ThursdayQuality Day a.m. 60 min p.m
Friday 20 miles p.m. 
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds. 90 min a.m
Sunday 50 miles a.m.60 min. walk p.m
Week 15   
Monday1500 yds. a.m30 miles p.m. 
Tuesday2500 yds. a.m Quality Day
Wednesday Quality Day 
ThursdayQuality Day a.m. 60 min p.m
Friday 20 miles p.m. 
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds. 90 min a.m
Sunday 50 miles a.m.60 min. walk p.m
Week 16
Monday1500 yds. a.m30 miles p.m.
Tuesday2500 yds. a.mQuality Day
WednesdayQuality Day
ThursdayQuality Day a.m.60 min p.m
Friday20 miles p.m.
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds.90 min a.m
Sunday50 miles a.m.60 min. walk p.m
Week 17Begin TaperBegin TaperBegin Taper
Monday   
Tuesday2500 yds a.m. 60 min p.m
Wednesday 30 miles p.m. 
Thursday1500 yds a.m. 40 min p.m
Friday 20 miles p.m. 
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds. 75 min p.m
Sunday 50 miles a.m. 
Week 18   
Monday1500 yds a.m. 40 min p.m
Tuesday 40 miles p.m. 
Wednesday(choice) 1000 yds20 miles p.m.30 min p.m
Thursday(Travel Day)(Travel Day)(Travel Day)
Friday15 min. easy15 min. spin30 min walk
SaturdayRace DayRace DayRace Day
SundayRace DayRace DayRace Day

Swimming: The swim portion of the half Ironman is 1.5 miles and a set of swimming workouts for the entire program can be found at the bottom of this page. They were designed for training in a 25 yard pool. If you are swimming in a 25 meter pool, you can use the same workouts. For a 50 meter pool, there will be some changes. You are certainly not bound by these workouts so feel free to tweak them as you see fit.

Cycling: Your bike rides should be aerobic, concentrating on staying within your heart rate zone. Remember, for some, the running heart rate zone may be higher than that of cycling, so you will need to experiment to find out what works best for you. Attempting to cycle within your running HR zone may do more harm to your aerobic system than not. To experiment, subtract 5 to 10 beats from your running zone and determine how it feels during the ride.

Running: The key to a successful endurance running program is training smart. And the best way to accomplish this is through aerobic training with a heart rate monitor. By now you should have determined your running heart rate zone based on the information at the top of the page. A successful running program should include a solid warm-up and cool down. When you head out on your run, spend the first 12-15 minutes warming up slowly bringing your HR up to your aerobic zone. After you have completed the bulk of your run spend the last 12-15 minutes bringing your heart back below your training zone. Also, running gear is expensive, but it there are usually some good running gear sales going on at any given time.

The running distances in the program are listed in minutes. However, if you feel comfortable running in miles than that is fine. Just allow yourself a sufficient warm-up and cool down period. The advantage of running by minutes is it allows you to accurately assess your training improvement.

Week 1

Monday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Run: 40 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Run: 30 miutes pm

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Run: 50 minutes am

Sunday
Bike: 25 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Week 2

Monday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Run: 45 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Run: 35 minutes pm

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Run: 55 minutes am

Sunday
Bike: 30 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Week 3

Monday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Run: 45 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Run: 40 minutes pm

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Run: 60 minutes am

Sunday
Bike: 35 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Week 4 – Recovery

Monday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ridek eep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Run: 40 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Run: 30 minutes pm

Friday
Rest

Satuday
Run: 50 minutes am

Sunday
Bike: 30 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Week 5

Monday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Run: 45 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Run: 40 minutes pm

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Run: 60 minutes am

Sunday
Bike: 40 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Week 6

Monday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ridekeep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a goodcool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Run: 50 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Run: 40 minutes pm

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Run: 70 minutes am

Sunday
Bike: 45 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Week 7

Monday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 1750 yds am
Run: 60 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 30 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Run: 45 minutes pm

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Run: 80 minutes am

Sunday
Bike: 45 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Week 8 – Recovery

Monday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Run: 50 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Run: 35 minutes pm

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Run: 70 minutes am

Sunday
Bike: 35 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Week 9

Monday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 2000 yds am
Run: 60 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 30 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Run: 50 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm
When you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Swim (choice): 1000 yds am
Run: 80 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 50 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.
Walk: 75 min pm

Week 10

Monday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 2250 yds am
Run: 60 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 35 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1750 yds am
Run: 50 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm
When you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Swim (choice): 1000 yds am
Run: 90 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 55 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.
Walk: 75 min pm

Week 11

Monday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 2500 yds am
Run: 60 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 40 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enoughtime for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1750 yds am
Run: 50 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm
When you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Swim (choice): 1000 yds am
Run: 100 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 60 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.
Walk: 75 min pm

Week 12 – Recovery

Monday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 2000 yds am
Run: 50 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 30 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enoughtime for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Run: 40 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm
When you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Swim (choice): 1250 yds am
Run: 90 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 50 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.
Walk: 60 min pm

Week 13

Monday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Bike: 30 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 2500 yds am
Run: Quality Day

Wednesday
Bike: Quality Day

Thursday
Swim: Quality Day
Run: 60 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm
When you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Swim (choice): 1250 yds am
Run: 90 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 50 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.
Walk: 60 min pm

Week 14

Monday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Bike: 30 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 2500 yds am
Run: Quality Day

Wednesday
Bike: Quality Day

Thursday
Swim: Quality Day
Run: 60 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm
When you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Swim (choice): 1250 yds am
Run: 90 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 50 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.
Walk: 60 min pm

Week 15

Monday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Bike: 30 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 2500 yds am
Run: Quality Day

Wednesday
Bike: Quality Day

Thursday
Swim: Quality Day
Run: 60 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm
When you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Swim (choice): 1250 yds am
Run: 90 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 50 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.
Walk: 60 min pm

Week 16

Monday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Bike: 30 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 2500 yds am
Run: Quality Day

Wednesday
Bike: Quality Day

Thursday
Swim: Quality Day
Run: 60 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm
When you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Swim (choice): 1250 yds am
Run: 90 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 50 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.
Walk: 60 min pm

Week 17 – Taper Week

Monday
Rest

Tuesday
Swim: 2500 yds am
Run: 60 Minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 30 miles pm

Thursday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Run: 40 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm

Saturday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Run: 75 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 50 miles am

Week 18 – Race Week

Monday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Run: 60 minutes pm

Tuesday
Bike: 40 miles pm

Wednesday
Swim (choice): 1000 yds am
Bike: 20 miles pm
Run: 30 minutes pm

Thursday
Travel/Rest

Friday
Swim: 15 min easy at site
Bike: 15 minute spin
Run: 30 minutes walk

Saturday
Race Day

Sunday
Race Day

Heart Rate Monitoring

I subscribe to the Maffetone method of determining your aerobic heart rate zone. This is just one method of heart rate training and certainly not the only one. You will find a basic description of this method as well as the tradtional 220-method in the article Follow Your Heart: Methods of Heart Rate Training located in the Triathlon FAQ’s section.

According to Dr. Maffetone, the following formula will give you your aerobic heart rate zone:180 minus your age will give you your upper range in beats per minute. Then subtract 10 to find your lower range in beats per minute. If you feel this range is too high then bring everything down 5-10 beats per minute.Ex: A 37 year old individual in descent shape-

180 – 37 = 143 This would be the upper range.

143 – 10 = 133 This is the lower range.

Therefore, the aerobic range of this particular individual is 133-143. You will find a complete breakdown of Dr. Maffetone’s method of HR training on the Tri FAQ’s page. Now according to Dr. Maffetone, this should be fine for the run and the bicycle. However, some folks have a hard time sustaining that high a heart rate on the bike. So an adjustment downward may be necessary.

The heart rate monitor should be used as a means of keeping yourself in “aerobic” check. BE STRICT with yourself and stick to your aerobic levels. Do not let anyone else influence your training. If you have been training with a partner or are currently looking for one, explain to the individual what your goals are and make sure he/she will go along. I also suggest purchasing Dr. Maffetone’s book “Training For Endurance.” I am really not trying to single out or promote his materials, I just feel he does a nice job of conveying his message while keeping things simple and easy to understand. And even if you do not fully agree with his HR training zones, the book is extremely informative and can be applied to any type of training program.

** I have included an extra workout in weeks 9-17 for each activity. You will find each highlighted in red. They include a Saturday swim, a Friday bike ride and a Sunday long walk. Each will be discussed below in their respective section. They are considered recovery workouts but will also contribute to base building within your overall program.

Swimming Half Ironman Training

The swim portion of the half Ironman is 1.5 miles and a set of swimming workouts for the entire program can be found at the bottom of this page. They were designed for training in a 25 yard pool. If you are swimming in a 25 meter pool, you can use the same workouts. For a 50 meter pool, there will be some changes. You are certainly not bound by these workouts so feel free to tweak them as you see fit. Please see the
breakdown below:

25 Yard (meter) Pool – usually standard length
1 length = 25 yards (meters)
1 lap (2 lengths) = 50 yards (meters)
2 laps (4 lengths) = 100 yards (meters)
½ mile = about 800 yards = 32 lengths
1 mile = about 1700 yds (meters) = 68 lengths
1.5 miles = about 2500 yards = 100 lengths

50 Meter Pool
1 length = 50 meters
2 lengths = 100 meters
½ mile = about 800 meters = 16 lengths
1 mile = about 1500 meters = 30 lengths
1.5 miles = about 2300 meters = 46 lengths

When you read the swim workouts, you will notice that I did include yardage for stroke drills but did not specify the type of drill.

***The main set of each workout is based on repetitive swims with very little rest between each. Swim these relaxed. The idea is to build endurance while swimming aerobically, NOT fast. You will find your speed will begin to increase naturally. In order to stay aerobic, periodically check your heart rate throughout the set. You can use on of our top waterproof heart rate monitors, or the quickest way to do this is place your finger under your chin/neck, find your pulse and count the beats for a six second count and add a zero to the total.

For example:14 beats in 6 seconds = 140 beats per minute.

Try to keep your heart rate between 140 – 160 beats per minute. For folks in their 40’s and up, try to keep your rate closer to 140, maybe even a bit less. For athletes in their late twenties to mid thirties, try to keep it closer to 150. And for those in their twenties and younger, 160 should be fine. The idea behind this method of training is to prepare your heart rate for the bike ride upon exiting the water during a race. The closer your heart rate is to your bike training rate, the better the outcome of your entire race. For example:

Let us say you are in your early 40’s and for eighteen weeks the bulk of your aerobic bike training was at an average heart rate of 125 bpm (beats per minute). Come race time, you exit the swim with a heart rate of 175 bpm. As you begin the bike ride, you are now a full 50 beats per minute above your bicycle training rate! Within a mile or two the ride, your heart rate will drop, but probably not the full 50 beats. More than likely, it will settle in at about 145-155 beats per minute or a 20-30 bpm recovery. Thus you will be riding the 25 mile/40k bike coarse with a heart rate some 20-30 beats higher than your training rate. And this will be the beginning of the end, for you will pay the price on the run. Now, if you were to exit the water in the same race with your heart rate closer to 140 or 150 beats per minute, and you recovered the same 20-30 bpm during the bike ride, your heart rate would settle in somewhere between 120 and 130 bpm – your normal bicycle training rate! This would only leave you better prepared for the run.

Do I have to learn to do flip turns?

Do not worry about flip turns while you swim unless you feel very confident doing them. Simply take a quick breath on the wall and push off. Flip turns will cause your heart rate to rise. This in turn may negatively affect your aerobic pace. If you do swim with a masters program, you may be forced to do flip turns to keep up with the swimmers in your lane. If this be the case, move to a slower lane with less pressure from the other swimmers.

How should I breathe when swim training?

When swimming freestyle, you should get into the habit of breathing every stroke. The more oxygen you take into the body, the lower your heart rate will remain. However, alternating your breathing or breathing every three strokes, will help you in two ways:

1. It will balance out your freestyle stroke.
2. It will get you used to looking in both directions, which may help during a race when trying to find your mark

Also practice lifting your head and looking forward when swimming…say once or twice per lap during your main set. You may have a black line down the middle of the lane, but unless you are racing in the clear waters of the Caribbean, the open water in most tri’s will be fairly dark.

** You will notice I added a 1000 yard Saturday swim workout in weeks 9-17. The purpose of this workout is to add base yardage to your swim program and still benefit from the effects of a recovery swim. Treat this workout solely as a recovery workout after your long run on Saturday. Swim easy and relaxed, but not sloppy. There is absolute no stress involved. Kick easy, swim real easy, just relax, rest a lot and piddle in the water.

The quality workouts listed at the bottom of this page are designed to help you build speed. You will be getting a bit more rest overall from here on out, however, there will still be some longer distance workouts to maintain endurance. When you do the workouts, you want to slowly build your exerted effort and work on getting faster as the set progresses. You also want to build each workout with the last week of the quality period showing the greatest results. For example:

Your quality set is 5 x 100’s all out on the 6 minutes. First, you want to try to build your effort with each lap of the100 so you are finishing faster than you started. In a 25 yard pool, always swim the first 25 yards building up your effort so when you come off the first wall, you can begin to really push it. You will also want to attempt to descend each 100 so the each 100 gets faster. And your overall set should be faster the last week of the quality phase as opposed to the first. You do not want to start out at a full sprint. You will risk injury, perhaps in your shoulders, and you will be driving your heart rate up too fast, too soon. I suggest you swim your quality workouts in a 25 yard pool. The point is simply to build speed. If you attempt to do quality work in a 50 meter pool, lake or ocean, you will tire out much sooner due to fewer walls which will actually hurt your speedwork. Plus you will not be swimming this hard in a race, so there is no point in trying to simulate such conditions. And again, do not worry about flip turns. In a set like this where you are pushing your heart rate to maximum levels, flip turns will not hurt you. But if you do not know how to do one…it is fine. Taking a quick breath on each wall with a good push-off will actually help you remain in “sprint-mode” for the entire swim.

Cycling Half Ironman Training

Again, your bike rides should be aerobic, concentrating on staying within your heart rate zone. Remember, for some, the running heart rate zone may be higher than that of cycling, so you will need to experiment to find out what works best for you. Attempting to cycle within your running HR zone may do more harm to your aerobic system than not. To experiment, subtract 5 to 10 beats from your running zone and determine how it feels during the ride. For example:

If you are 40 years of age, and in pretty good shape, your aerobic heart rate zone based on the Maffetone method, should be 130-140. If you were to subtract 10 beats for your cycle training, your zone would be 120-130. And this is where you should experiment.

Obviously, the flatter the terrain on which you ride, the easier it will be to monitor your heart. If you live in a hilly or mountainous area, your rate will definitely rise when cycling uphill. If this be the case, shift to higher gears (so you are spinning) and try to keep your ride smooth. Avoid pumping the pedals if possible. The harder you pump, the higher your heart rate will rise. This will not always be as easy as said but you should at least attempt to keep your heart rate as low as possible during the uphills. Also, try to remain in the saddle while riding uphill and only climb out as a last resort.

Cycling workouts during base building phase:
Monday- your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ridekeep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a goodcool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.
Wednesday- your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enoughtime for a cool-down.
Friday- when you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.
Sunday- finally, your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Aero Position in Training

Because you will be cycling for about 2.5-3 hours during your race, acclimation to the aero position is necessary, especially on a flatter race coarse. The flatter the coarse, the less the need to get out of the saddle to ride i.e. Hill work. Your Sunday long ride will certainly be a good time to practice. Once you have decided on a race, try to find out as much info as possible about the bike coarse. Is it hilly? What are the winds like…etc? Then try to simulate these conditions within your own training rides. For example, if the coarse is hilly, incorporate some hill work or hill repeats into your biking regimen.

If you know the coarse is famous for its winds, say along a coastline, try to ride on days you know the wind has picked up. Typically, the wind will pick up in the afternoons so plan a couple of rides after work. Once daylight savings time begins, you will have time in the late afternoons to get in a good ride. Spending a lot of time in the aero position can cause some lower back pain, at least in the beginning.

Back Pain When Cycling

If you are experiencing lower back pain after your ride, a good lower back stretch is a must as you increase the distances in your cycling. One good stretch is to lay on your back and pull your knees to your chest. Wrap your arms around the outside of you legs and gently squeeze the arms pulling the knees closer to the chest. You should feel this in your lower back. Remember, ease into the stretch by pulling gently. You may also lift one leg at a time to your chest while leaving the other extended with a slight bend.

Hill Workouts for Cycling

When incorporating hill work into your bike rides or if you are faced with strong headwinds throughout your ride, staying aerobic should still be your goal. With the hills, this will be tougher to do. Unlike riding into head winds, gravity plays a huge roll on hill work, and your heart rate can soar. So do the best that you can.

As you travel uphill, stay in the saddle, switch to higher gears and try to maintain an easy spin as opposed to pounding the pedals. Obviously, if you live in the west where “hills” are much steeper and longer, some of this is easier said than done, but try to stay as close to your zone as possible. For some of you, headwinds will always be part of your training. If so, again, shift to higher gears, and find a comfortable pace. As I stated earlier, gravity will not play the same role here, but psychologically, head winds can be quite defeating. Find a nice gear and spin rather than grind the pedals. Do not worry about speed.

Using Bike Training for Triathlon Workouts

During the winter months, some of you will be forced to ride indoors on a trainer. And this can be extremely boring!…even with the most user friendly trainers such as a Computrainer. However, riding on a trainer does provide one excellent benefit – Mental Toughness. And this will only help. Once you begin riding outdoors, the bike trainer can still play a significant role in your cycling program especially during your quality workouts.

Quality workouts can be dangerous on the highways unless you can find a road that is rarely traveled upon. And even this can be dangerous simply because sprint cycling on the highways requires so much thought and concentration, safe biking habits are usually sacrificed. The trainer will offer you the ability to focus solely on your speedwork without any worry of highway traffic.

Quality Work: Like swimming, you will want to build within your quality set, as well as throughout the weeks of the quality phase. For example:

If your quality workout consists of 6 x 5 and 2’s…Five minutes hard, two minutes easy/recover, you should take the first 5/2 of the first day building your effort. On the first 5/2, gradually build your effort throughout the first five minutes. Do not just start out hammering. On the second 5/2, you can build your effort a little quicker so by numbers 3-6 you are really going after it. And each particular quality day, follow this same pattern. By the last week of the quality phase, your output or results should still exceed those recorded on that first session.

You will notice I added a 20 mile bike ride on Friday’s in weeks 9-17. The purpose of this addition is to add base mileage to your cycling program and still benefit from the effects of spinning. The ride can be used as a recovery ride as well as a prep ride for your Saturday long run. However, to benefit from this ride you must spin in a high gear the entire ride, keeping your heart rate very low. If you are riding on hills, than this will be tougher but try to stick to your plan. If you are riding in headwinds, just slow your cadence until your heart rate drops to the desired mark.

Running Half Ironman Training

The key to a successful endurance running program is training smart. And the best way to accomplish this is through aerobic training with a heart rate monitor. By now you should have determined your running heart rate zone based on the information at the top of the page. However, if you would like to explore other methods of heart rate training feel free to check out the article on Methods of Heart Rate Training. 

As previously mentioned, I tend to adhere to the methods of Dr. Phil Maffetone. And according to Dr. Maffetone, a successful running program should include a solid warm-up and cool down. When you head out on your run, spend the first 12-15 minutes warming up slowly bringing your HR up to your aerobic zone. After you have completed the bulk of your run spend the last 12-15 minutes bringing your heart back below your training zone. For example:

An individual with an aerobic HR zone of 130-140 bpm heads out on a 45 minute run. The first 15 minutes is spent slowly bringing the heart rate up to 130 bpm. After the warm-up, the individual then runs for 15 minutes keeping his/her heart rate between 130-140 bum. Finally, the last 15 minutes will be spent running below 130 bpm and should be maintained until the run is completed.

The running distances in the program are listed in minutes. However, if you feel comfortable running in miles than that is fine. Just allow yourself a sufficient warm-up and cool down period. The advantage of running by minutes is it allows you to accurately assess your training improvement.

Half Ironman Running Training Tips

 If you can, run on a grass path, or gravel path. The softer the ground, the better the shock absorption for your legs. Concrete is the worst, asphalt is next, tar is very soft (running track) with any type of dirt trail being the best. Actually, running on a golf coarse is ideal! Unfortunately, concrete sidewalks surround the entire island on which I live, so remember, you get what you get. Whatever the surface, stay aerobic and you should be fine.

Walking During Long Training Runs

For many of you, you will be testing new grounds regarding running distances and injury prevention is of the upmost importance. If you are having difficulty on your long run, then incorporate some walking into the run. Long time marathoner, author and running coach, Jeff Galloway incorporates walking into his training programs for longer distance running. After reaching a particular distance in your long run, say 9 miles or so, then begin a walk/run segment to finish your run. For example:

If your long run is 90 minutes or around 6-8 miles, and you are having problems getting over that 60 minute barrier, than run/walk for the remaining 30 minutes…perhaps 5 minutes run, 2 minutes walk.

You will find that your overall time will not be that much slower and most importantly, you will feel much better after the run. At least your legs will thank you! If you do decide to run/walk on your long run, do not run until you become fatigued and then decide to walk.

Many folks will say to themselves “I’m not stopping, I feel fine” subscribing to the no pain, no gain philosophy. However, you may find you will not recover fast enough for the next run segment. If you have set a 5 minute limit to your run, then stop at 5 minutes! If you want to build your mileage as pain free as possible then stick to your limits regardless of how good you may feel.

**You will notice walking was added to the program in weeks 9-16. I am a huge believer in walking. You can use it as a means of recovery after your long ride as well as a substitute for an easy run day. I usually walk at least once during the week, for about 75 minutes and at a rather fast pace with a long stride. I like to think of it as an extra day of running without the pounding. I personally do not do a lot of arm pumping when I walk, however feel free. It won’t hurt you.

Weight Training During Half Ironman Training

Finally, I suggest you lift weights at least two days per week and no more than three. Do some type of circuit training and 2 sets of 15 reps per exercise. Keep the weights light. You do not want to build bulk. We just want to build some strength for endurance.

And, make sure you do not rush through each set of 15. Just because the weights are light, does not mean you hurry through the set. Take your time with each rep concentrating on form rather than speed.

You may feel sluggish the first couple of weeks but it will get better. A basic circuit consists of Lat Pull Downs, Bench Press, Leg Lifts, Leg Curls, Squats (or lunges), Tricep Pull Down, Bicep Curls, Calf Raises and sit-ups or crunches. Feel free to add or leave out what you see fit.

Speed or Quality Workouts

Swim Quality Workouts
Warm – up
»500 sw, 200 k, 100 sw
6 x 50’s build 15 sec. rest bet. ea. ……1100 yds
»5 x 100’s hypoxic-breath every 3 strokes…………………………………………500yds
»5 x 100 fast on 7 min.sw with an
easy 50 while resting……………………….500yds
»Easy 200 sw dn …………………………..200 yds
Total …………………………………………2300 yds
Cycling Quality Workout
»Warm-up:10 miles easy or 30 minutes.
Keep youe HR below your training zone.
»6 x 3/2’s – 3 minutes hard/2 minutes easy
10 mile (30 minute) cool-down
»During the hard portion of the ride, build within the ride. Keep your HR 5-10 beats above your HR zone.
Note:During the four weeks add a minute to the
hard ride so by week four you are cycling
6 min hard/2 min easy
Running Quality Workout
On a Track:
»Warm-up 1.5 miles (6 laps) easy
»5 minute stretch routine
»1 x 880 (2 laps) 5 bpm above top end of HR zone w/ an easy 440 between (1 lap) then rest 1 minute. Do this set 3 times
Easy 1.5 cool down – run/walk
Note: During the four weeks add an 880 eachweek so by week four you are running 6 x 880’s.

**Note** regarding the Quality Running Workout: if you are unable to make it to a track, then you can incorporate this workout into your regular daily run. Just take your average 1 mile split time and half it. This will be the length of time you will run hard. Then divide the average by four and this will be your recovery run. Then walk for 1 minute.
For example:

Your average 1 mile run is 8:00. You will run hard for 4 minutes, recovery for 2 minutes and walk 1 minute. The warm-up and cool down will remain as above.For a 7:00 minute/mile average, your hard run will be 3.5 minutes (3:30), your recovery 1.75 (1:45) minutes and your walk 1 minute and so on.

18 Week Olympic Distance Intermediate Triathlon Training Plan

The following program is designed for the triathlete who has competed in several triathlons, perhaps even a season of triathlons, either Sprint Distance or Olympic Distance Races. It also takes into consideration that the triathlete can run at least 5 miles at around 10/mile pace or about 50 minutes, swim at least 3000 yards per week and ride at least 15-25 miles 3 times per week on the bike.

As always, increasing your efforts in training in an attempt to improve your performance requires some thinking  on your part. Remember you have to race and train smarter.

Different Phases of the Training Plan

The first 12 weeks of the program is considered a base building phase gradually increasing your distances in all three sports.

A speedwork/quality phase makes up weeks 13-16 with weeks 17 and 18 dedicated to the taper.

You will also notice three recovery weeks on weeks 4, 8 and 12. These are important. Stick to them.

By the end of the base building phase, some of you may start to get a little grumpy and irritable. This is due to the fact that you are pushing that “overtrained” state.

Fortunately, the speedwork phase begins the following week. During this period you will be cutting back on the mileage/yardage while maintaining your overall endurance. This will also provide you with the added rest for which are looking.

You will probably experience an increase in energy and your attitude will start to err towards the positive side! This is also a time when you must begin to use your head, control your energy and train smart! An improper approach to speedwork can lead to injuries in all three events. We will discuss this further as we break down the individual activities.

The base building phase focuses on general aerobic training and should include the use of a heart rate monitor. If you do not own one, than I suggest you make the purchase.

Two-a-Day Workouts 

If possible, divide your two-a-day workouts into an a.m and p.m workout. Do not treat these as a brick workout.

Note Regarding Swim Workouts

You have your choice of workouts for each distance. (workouts listed at the bottom of the page) You may choose whichever workout you wish. For example, there are two workouts totaling 750 yds. Take your pick! I suggest not doing the same workout each time to break things up.

Training Plan

SwimBikeRun
Week 1   
Monday750 yds 15 miles 
Tuesdays750 yds  20 min
Wednesday 15 miles  
Thursday1000 yds  20 min
Friday   
Saturday  30 min 
Sunday 20 miles  
Week 2   
Monday750 yds 15 miles  
Tuesday1000 yds  20 min
Wednesday 15 miles 
Thursday1250 yds  20 min
Friday   
Saturday  35 min
Sunday 25 miles  
Week 3   
Monday750 yds 15 miles 
Tuesday1000 yds  20 min.
Wednesday 20 miles  
Thursday1500 yds 25 min 
Friday   
Saturday  40 min 
Sunday 30 miles 
Week 4RecoveryRecoveryRecovery
Monday750 yds10 miles 
Tuesday750 yds  20 min
Wednesday 15 miles  
Thursday1250 yds  20 min 
Friday   
Saturday  30 min 
Sunday 20 miles  
Week 5   
Monday1000 yds 15 miles  
Tuesday1000 yds  20 min 
Wednesday 20 miles  
Thursday1500 yds  25 min 
Friday   
Saturday  40 min 
Sunday 30 miles  
Week 6   
Monday1000 yds 15 miles  
Tuesday1250 yds  25 min 
Wednesday 25 miles  
Thursday1750 yds  30 min 
Friday   
Saturday  45 min 
Sunday 35 miles  
Week 7   
Monday1000 yds a.m20 miles p.m. 
Tuesday1500 yds a.m 25 min p.m.
Wednesday 25 miles a.m. 
Thursday2000 yds a.m 35 min p.m.
Friday   
Saturday  50 min a.m.
Sunday 40 miles a.m. 
Week 8RecoveryRecoveryRecovery
Monday750 yds 15 miles  
Tuesday1000 yds  20 min 
Wednesday 20 miles  
Thursday1500 yds  25 min 
Friday   
Saturday  40 min 
Sunday 30 miles  
Week 9   
Monday1250 yds 20 miles  
Tuesday1500 yds  25 min 
Wednesday 25 miles  
Thursday2000 yds  35 min 
Friday 20 miles  
Saturday1000 yds.  50 min 
Sunday 40 miles 60 min. walk 
Week 10   
Monday1500 yds 25 miles . 
Tuesday1750 yds  25 min
Wednesday 25 miles  
Thursday2250 yds  40 min 
Friday 20 miles  
Saturday1000 yds. 55 min 
Sunday 45 miles 60 min. walk 
Week 11   
Monday1750 yds 25 miles  
Tuesday2000 yds  30 min 
Wednesday 30 miles  
Thursday2500 yds  45 min 
Friday 20 miles 
Saturday1000 yds.  60 min 
Sunday 50 miles 60 min. walk 
Week 12RecoveryRecoveryRecovery
Monday1250 yds 15 miles  
Tuesday1500 yds  20 min 
Wednesday 20 miles  
Thursday1500 yds  35 min 
Friday 20 miles  
Saturday1000 yds.  50 min 
Sunday 40 miles 60 min. walk 
Week 13   
Monday2000 yds 25 miles  
Tuesday2500 yds  quality day 
Wednesday quality day  
Thursdayquality day  30 min 
Friday 20 miles  
Saturday1000 yds. 60 min 
Sunday 40 miles 60 min. walk 
Week 14   
Monday2000 yds 25 miles  
Tuesday2500 yds  quality day 
Wednesday quality day  
Thursdayquality day  30 min 
Friday 20 miles 
Saturday1000 yds.  60 min 
Sunday 40 miles 60 min. walk 
Week 15   
Monday2000 yds 25 miles 
Tuesday2500 yds  quality day 
Wednesday quality day  
Thursdayquality day  30 min 
Friday 20 miles  
Saturday1000 yds.  60 min 
Sunday 40 miles 60 min. walk 
Week 16   
Monday2000 yds 25 miles 
Tuesday2500 yds  quality day 
Wednesday quality day  
Thursdayquality day  30 min 
Friday 20 miles  
Saturday1000 yds.  60 min 
Sunday 40 miles 60 min. walk 
Week 17Begin TaperBegin TaperBegin Taper
Monday1500 yds 25 miles  
Tuesday2000 yds  30 min
Wednesday 25 miles  
Thursday1000 yds.  45 min 
Friday   
Saturday  60 min 
Sunday 40 miles 45 min. walk 
Week 18   
Monday1500 yds 25 miles 
Tuesday  45 min 
Wednesday1500 yds 25 miles  
ThursdayTravel DayTravel DayTravel Day
Friday   
SaturdayRace DayRace DayRace Day
Sunday Race Day Race Day Race Day

Olympic Triathlon Beginner Training Plan – 11 Week

The following program is designed for the individual who would like to complete or finish his or her first Olympic distance triathlon with no regard to time. This also takes into consideration that the individual can run 3 miles, three times per week and cycle a minimum of 8-10 miles (about 60 minutes) regardless of speed.

The entire program should be completed at an easy, aerobic pace. If you own a heart rate monitor and are familiar with aerobic heart rate training, than train at the lower end of your aerobic zone. I subscribe to the 180-method of determining your aerobic heart rate zone. This is just one method and certainly not the only one

Olympic Distance Training Plan Chart

DateSwimBikeRun
Week 1   
MondayRestRestRest
Tuesday300 yds a.m. 3 miles p.m.
Wednesday 8 miles 
Thursday300 yds a.m. 2 miles p.m.
Friday   
Saturday  3 miles a.m.
Sunday 10 miles a.m. 
Week 2   
MondayRestRestRest
Tuesday300 yds a.m. 3 miles p.m.
Wednesday 10 miles 
Thursday500 yds a.m. 3 miles p.m.
Friday 8 miles 
Saturday  4 miles a.m.
Sunday 10 miles a.m. 
Week 3   
MondayRestRestRest
Tuesday500 yds a.m. 3.5 miles p.m.
Wednesday 10 miles 
Thursday500 yds a.m. 3 miles p.m.
Friday 10 miles 
Saturday  5 miles a.m.
Sunday 12 miles a.m. 
Week 4Recovery WeekRecovery WeekRecovery Week
MondayRestRestRest
Tuesday300 yds a.m. 3 miles p.m.
Wednesday 8 miles 
Thursday300 yds a.m. 3 miles p.m.
Friday 8 miles 
Saturday  3 miles a.m.
Sunday 10 miles a.m. 
Week 5   
MondayRestRestRest
Tuesday500 yds a.m. 4 miles p.m.
Wednesday 10 miles 
Thursday750 yds a.m. 3 miles p.m.
Friday 10 miles 
Saturday  5 miles a.m.
Sunday 15 miles a.m. 
Week 6   
MondayRestRestRest
Tuesday750 yds a.m. 4 miles p.m.
Wednesday 15 miles 
Thursday750 yds a.m. 3 miles p.m.
Friday 10 miles 
Saturday  6 miles a.m.
Sunday 15 miles a.m. 
Week 7   
MondayRestRestRest
Tuesday750 yds a.m. 4 miles p.m.
Wednesday 15 miles 
Thursday1000 yds a.m. 3.5 miles p.m.
Friday 10 miles 
Saturday  6 miles a.m.
Sunday 20 miles a.m. 
Week 8Recovery WeekRecovery WeekRecovery Week
MondayRestRestRest
Tuesday500 yds a.m. 3 miles p.m
Wednesday 10 miles 
Thursday500 yds a.m. 3 miles p.m
Friday 10 miles 
Saturday1000 yds optional p.m 5 miles a.m
Sunday 15 miles a.m. 
Week 9   
MondayRestRestRest
Tuesday1000 yds a.m. 4 miles p.m
Wednesday 15 miles 
Thursday1250 yds a.m. 4 miles p.m
Friday 15 miles 
Saturday1000 yds optional p.m 6 miles a.m
Sunday 25 miles a.m. 
Week 10   
MondayRestRestRest
Tuesday1250 yds a.m 5 miles p.m
Wednesday 20 miles 
Thursday1500 yds a.m 4 miles p.m
Friday 15 miles 
Saturday1000 yds optional p.m 7 miles a.m
Sunday 30 miles a.m. 
Week 11Race WeekRace WeekRace Week
MondayRestRestRest
Tuesday1500 yds 6 miles
Wednesday 30 miles 
Thursday1000 yds 3 miles
FridayRestRestRest
SaturdayRace Day!Race Day!Race Day!
SundayRace Day!Race Day!Race Day!

Olympic Distance Training Plan Details by Week

Week 1

Monday
Rest

Tuesday
Swim: 300 yds am
Run: 3 miles pm

Wednesday
Bike: 8 miles
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride, keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Thursday
Swim: 300 yds am
Run: 2 miles pm

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Run: 3 miles am

Sunday
Bike 10 miles am
Finally, your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down

Week 2

Monday
Rest

Tuesday
Swim: 300 yds am
Run: 3 miles pm

Wednesday
Bike: 10 miles
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride, keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Thursday
Swim: 500 yds am
Run: 3 miles pm

Friday
Bike: 8 miles
For Friday rides, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Run: 5 miles am

Sunday
Bike 12 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down

Week 3

Monday
Rest

Tuesday
Swim: 500 yards am
Run: 3.5 miles pm

Wednesday
Bike: 10 miles
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride, keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Thursday
Swim: 500 yards am
Run: 3 miles pm

Friday
Bike: 10 miles
For Friday rides, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Run: 5 miles am

Sunday
Bike 12 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down

Week 4 – Recovery Week

Monday
Rest

Tuesday
Swim: 300 yds am
Run: 3 miles pm

Wednesday
Bike: 8 miles
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride, keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Thursday
Swim: 300 yds am
Run: 3 miles pm

Friday
Bike: 8 miles
For Friday rides, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Run: 3 miles am

Sunday
Bike 10 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down

Week 5

Monday
Rest

Tuesday
Swim: 500 yds am
Run: 4 miles pm

Wednesday
Bike: 15 miles
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride, keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Thursday
Swim: 750 yds am
Run: 3 miles pm

Friday
Bike: 10 miles
For Friday rides, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Run: 5 miles am

Sunday
Bike 15 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down

Week 6

Monday
Rest

Tuesday
Swim: 750 yds am
Run: 4 miles pm

Wednesday
Bike: 15 miles
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride, keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Thursday
Swim: 750 yds am
Run: 3 miles pm

Friday
Bike: 10 miles
For Friday rides, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Run: 6 miles am

Sunday
Bike 15 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down

Week 7

Monday
Rest

Tuesday
Swim: 750 yds am
Run: 4 miles pm

Wednesday
Bike: 15 miles
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride, keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Thursday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Run: 3.5 miles pm

Friday
Bike: 10 miles
For Friday rides, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Run: 6 miles am

Sunday
Bike 20 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down

Week 8 – Recovery Week

Monday
Rest

Tuesday
Swim: 500 yds am
Run: 3 miles pm

Wednesday
Bike: 10 miles
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride, keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Thursday
Swim: 500 yds am
Run: 3 miles pm

Friday
Bike: 10 miles
For Friday rides, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Run: 5 miles am
Swim 1000 yds optional pm

Sunday
Bike 15 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down

Week 9

Monday
Rest

Tuesday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Run: 4 miles pm

Wednesday
Bike: 15 miles
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride, keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Thursday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Run: 4 miles pm

Friday
Bike: 15 miles
For Friday rides, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Run: 6 miles am
Swim 1000 yds optional pm

Sunday
Bike 25 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down

Week 10

Monday
Rest

Tuesday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Run: 5 miles pm

Wednesday
Bike: 30 miles
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride, keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Thursday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Run: 4 miles pm

Friday
Bike: 15 miles
For Friday rides, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Run: 7 miles am
Swim 1000 yds optional pm

Sunday
Bike 30 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down

Week 11

Monday
Rest

Tuesday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Run: 6 miles pm

Wednesday
Bike: 30 miles
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride, keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Thursday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Run: 3 miles pm

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Race Day!

Sunday
Race Day!

Sprint Distance Beginner Triathlon Training Plan

The following program is designed for the individual who would like to complete his or her first sprint triathlon with no regard to time. This program takes into consideration that you can swim at least 8 lengths or 200 yards in a 25 yard pool (4 lengths/200 meters in a 50 meter pool), run 2 miles – two times per week and cycle a minimum of 5-8 miles (about 45 minutes) regardless of speed.

Read through the entire training calendar, detailed training guide and program guide first. Most of your questions should be answered.

Important Note: For the first two weeks, it is important that you stick to the program. Do not skip a workout. Not just for the obvious physical benefits, but primarily to develop a habit of simply “sticking with it.”

This will be the time when you will need to make some adjustments in your life, replacing old habits with new habits! It is the time to find out WHEN you can train based on your daily responsibilities (work, your spouse, children, class, etc). Do not skip a workout just because it may not be convenient.

For students or those of you who work full time, you may have a preset daily schedule week in and week out which will help you remain consistent with your training. However, others (i.e. part timers or those in the service industry) may have a work schedule that changes each week. Whatever the case may be, you need to take the time to plan ahead for each coming day. This may require you to get up earlier in the morning to get in a particular workout. Perhaps your lunch break will server as a good time to run, swim or head to the weight room.

Train during YOUR time and not your spouses or kids. Don’t miss your child’s soccer game or jeopardize your private time with your spouse simply because of your training. I think you will find, once you have accomplished the task of balancing your training with your daily lifestyle, the training will become part of your daily lifestyle and not something you HAVE to do.
Also, try to divide your workouts into a.m. and p.m. In other words, try not to do the workouts back to back. For some this may not be possible. However, adequate rest between workouts will help insure optimal muscle recovery and prevent overuse injuries.

For the the swim portion, please be sure to check out swim workouts for sprint triathletes which contains 10 sample workouts you can use during training.

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Wk 1OFFRun:
15 min
Bike:
5 miles
Swim:
200 yards
OFFRun:
15 min
Bike:
5 miles
Wk 2OFFS: 200 yds
R: 15 min
Bike:
6 miles
Swim:
200 yards
OFFRun:
20 min
Bike:
8 miles
Wk 3OFFS: 200 yds
R: 20 min
Bike:
6 miles
S: 300 yds
W: 30min
OFFRun:
30 min
Bike:
10 miles
Wk 4OFFS: 300 yds
R: 20 min
Bike:
8 miles
S: 300 yds
W: 30 min
OFFRun:
40 min
Bike:
10 miles
Wk 5OFFRun:
20 min
Swim:
300 yards
BRICK
(see details)
Swim:
400 yards
Run:
40 min
Bike:
12 miles
Wk 6OFFRun:
30 min
Swim:
400 yards
BRICK
(see details)
Swim:
400 yards
Run:
40 min
Bike:
15 miles
Wk 7OFFRun:
30 min
Swim:
400 yards
BRICK
(see details)
Swim:
500 yards
Run:
40 min
B: 15M
W: 30 min
Wk 8OFFRun:
30 min
Swim:
500 yards
BRICK
(see details)
Swim:
500 yards
Run:
50 min
B: 20M
W: 30 min
Wk 9OFFS: 500 yds
R: 30 min
Bike:
15 miles
S: 600 yds
W: 45 min
OFFRun:
50 min
B: 20M
W: 30 min
Wk 10OFFS: 600 yds
R: 30 min
Bike:
15 miles
S: 600 yds
W: 45 min
OFFRun:
60 min
B: 20M
W: 30 min
Wk 11OFFS: 500 yds
R: 30 min
Bike:
15 miles
OFFS: 200 yds
R: 15 min
Race Day 

Key: S – Swim, R – Run, B – Bike, W – Walk

Week 1

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: Run: 15 minutes

9 and 1/1 – 9 minute warm-up followed by running 1 minute and walking 1 minute for the remainder of the 15 minutes.

Workout Description: 9 and 1/1 means you begin all of your runs with a 9 minute warm-up. The warm-up consists of a 5 minute walk followed by a light stretch theno a 1 minute easy jog, 1 minute walk (two times). Total time of the warm up is a little over 9 minutes including the light stretch. Keep your HR below your running heart rate zone during the warm-up. After the warm-up, the remaining portion of the run will be made up of a combination of running and walking. For the above workout, the remainder of your run will consist of 1 minute running, 1 minute walking. **NOTE: If you are an experience runner, you do not have to run/walk. Please refer to the Program Guide for more on the warm-up and run descriptions.

Wednesday: Bike 5 miles

Warm-up: start out with a 10 minute spin.

Main portion: Cycle in your aerobic zone.

Cool-down: Spin easy, bring your HR down for last 5 minutes.

Workout Description: For all of your bike rides, begin with an easy 10 minute warm-up. Start out spinning in an easy gear. By spinning, I mean pedaling at a cadence – pedaling fast! You will probably bounce in your saddle while spinning. That’s ok. As your hip flexors begin to loosen up you will begin to develop a feel for spinning. After your warm-up, build your effort to reach the lower end of your aerobic zone. Remain in your zone for the bulk of your ride. Continue to focus on spinning when you ride. Begin to get a feel for your bike, the gears etc. Practice shifting gears to develop a feel for the various gear combinations. By gear combination I am referring to the combination of either the big or small front chain ring and the rear cog. Try to remain in your heart rate zone throughout the ride. Please refer to the Program Guide for details. Stay aerobic and Don’t forget to drink!

Thursday: Swim: 200 yards (meters)

Warm-up: swim 50 freestyle easy. Rest 2 minutes.

Main set: swim 4 x 25’s easy freestyle -15 seconds rest between each

Swim down: Swim 50 very easy

Workout Description: The total distance of this workout is 200 yards or meters depending upon your pool facility. The warm-up is 50 easy. If you are swimming in a 25 yard pool, you will swim 50 yards or 2 lengths of the pool. In a 50 meter pool, you will swim 1 length. The main set is 4 x 25’s freestyle with 15 seconds rest between each 25. In a 25 yard pool, you will swim 1 length of the pool, four times with 15 seconds rest between each length. In a 50 meter pool, you will swim halfway down, stop and rest. If the pool is too deep to stand, hang on to the lane rope for your rest. Finally, the swim down is another 50 easy. In a 25 yard pool, you will swim 2 lengths easy. In a 50 meter pool, you will swim 1 length easy. Again, refer to the program guide for all details.

Friday: OFF

Saturday: Run: 15 minutes

9 and 1/1 – 9 minute warm-up followed by 1 minute running and 1 minute walking for the remaining 6 minutes of your run.

Sunday:

Bike: 5 miles

Warm-up: start out with a 10 minute spin.

Main portion: Cycle in your aerobic zone.

Cool-down: Spin easy, bring your HR down for last 5 minutes.


Week 2

Monday: OFF

Tuesday:

Swim: 200 yards (meters)

Warm-up: 50 easy freestyle

Main set: 2 x 50’s easy freestyle -15 seconds rest between each

Swim down: 50 swim down real easy

Run: 15 minutes

9 and 2/1. 9 minute warm-up, then 2 minute run, 1 minute walk for the remaining 6 minutes of your run.

Wednesday: Bike: 6 miles

Warm-up: 10 minute easy spin. Keep HR below zone. After 10 minutes, build your effort and ride in your aerobic zone. Allow time to cool down and bring your HR down close to 100 bpm

Thursday: Swim: 200 yards (meters)

Warm-up: swim 50 freestyle easy. Rest 2 minutes.

Main set: swim 4 x 25’s easy freestyle -15 seconds rest between each

Swim down: Swim 50 very easy

Friday: OFF

Saturday: Run: 20 minutes

9 and 2/1 – 9 minute warm-up, then 2 minute jog, 1 minute walk for the remaining 11 minutes of your run.

Sunday: Bike: 8 miles

Warm up with 10 minutes spinning. Keep HR below your zone. After 10 minutes, slowly bring your HR rate up to aerobic zone for the remainder of your ride. Allow enough time for cool down.


Week 3

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: Swim:

200 yards (meters)

Warm-up: 50 easy freestyle

Main set: 2 x 50’s easy freestyle -15 seconds rest between each

Swim down: 50 swim down real easy

Run: 20 minutes

9 and 3/1 – 9 minute warm-up, then 3 minutes jog, 1 minute walk for remainder of your run.

Wednesday: Bike 6 miles

Warm-up: 10 minute easy spin. Keep HR below zone. After 10 minutes, build your effort and ride in your aerobic zone. Allow time to cool down and bring your HR down close to 100 beats per minute or lower.

Thursday:

Swim: 300 yards (meters)

Warm-up: 50 easy swim freestyle

Main set: swim 8 x 25’s freestyle -10 seconds rest between each

Swim down: 50 swim down real easy

Walk: 30 Minute

Keep the walk brisk. This will act as great means of active recovery.

Friday: OFF

Saturday: Run: 30 minutes

9 and 3/1. 9 minute warm-up, then 3 minutes jog, 1 minute walk for remainder of run.

Sunday: Bike: 10 miles

Warm up with 10 minutes spinning. Keep HR below your zone. After 10 minutes, slowly bring your HR rate up to aerobic zone for remainder of your ride. Allow enough time for cool down.


Week 4

Monday: OFF

Tuesday:

Swim: 300 yards (meters)

Warm-up: swim 50 easy

Main set: swim 4 x 50’s freestyle -15 seconds rest between each

Swim down: 50 swim easy

Run: 20 minutes

9 and 4/1 – 9 minute warm-up, then 4 minutes jog, 1 minute walk for the remainder of your run.

Wednesday: Bike 8 miles

Warm up with 10 minutes spinning. Keep HR below your zone. After 10 minutes, slowly bring your HR rate up to aerobic zone. Allow enough time for cool down.

Thursday:

Swim: 300 yards (meters)

Warm-up: 50 easy swim freestyle

Main set: swim 8 x 25’s freestyle -10 seconds rest between each

Swim down: 50 swim down real easy

Walk: 30 Minute

Keep the walk brisk. This will act as great means of active recovery.

Friday: OFF

Saturday: Run 40 minutes

9 and 3/1 – 9 minute warm-up, then 3 minutes jog, 1 minute walk for the remainder of your run.

Sunday: Bike 10 miles

Remember, warm-up, cool down and drink plenty of fluids!


Week 5

*NOTE: We will begin brick workouts this week (week 5) through week 8

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: Run 20 minutes

9 and 5/1 – 9 minute warm-up, then 5 minutes jog, 1 minute walk for the remainder of your run.

Wednesday: Swim: 300 yards (meters)

Warm-up: swim 50 easy

Main set: swim 4 x 50’s freestyle -15 seconds rest between each

Swim down: 50 swim easy

Thursday: Brick Workout: 30 Minute Bike/10 Minute Run/20 Minute Walk

Warm up on the bike with 10 minutes spinning. Keep HR below your zone. After 10 minutes, slowly bring your HR rate up to aerobic zone for the remainder of the ride. Allow enough time for cool down. Following the bike, run easy for 10 minutes. Begin the run with a 2 minute walk for your warm-up. Then run 3 minutes/walk1 minute for the remaining 8 minutes of your run. Try and keep your heart rate in your running aerobic zone. Then finish off the brick with a 20 minute brisk walk. Please see Program Guide for more on your Brick workouts.

Friday: Swim 400 yards (meters)

Warm-up: swim easy 50

Main set: swim 6 x 50’s freestyle -10 seconds rest between each

Swim down: swim easy 50

Saturday: Run 40 minutes

9 and 4/1 – 9 minute warm-up, then 4 minutes jog, 1 minute walk for the remainder of your run

Sunday: Bike 12 miles

Don’t forget – include a good warm-up and allow for a cool down. And don’t forget to drink!


Week 6

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: Run 30 minutes

9 and 6/1 – 9 minute warm-up, then 6 minutes jog, 1 minute walk for the remainder of your run

Wednesday: Swim 400 yards (meters)

Warm-up: Swim easy 50

Main set: 12 x 25’s swim freestyle – 10 seconds rest between each

Swim down: 50 swim easy

Thursday: Brick Workout: 30 Minute Bike/10 Minute Run/20 Minute

Walk Follow the steps of the brick as you did in week 5. Remember on the run, warm-up for 2 minutes followed by 3 minutes running/1 minute walking for the remaining 8 minutes. Then a 20 minute brisk walk.

Friday: Swim 400 yards (meters)

Warm-up: swim easy 50 freestyle

Main set: swim 6 x 50’s freestyle -10 seconds rest between each

Swim down: swim easy 50

Saturday: Run 40 minutes

9 and 5/1 – 9 minute warm-up, then 5 minutes jog, 1 minute walk for the remainder of your run

Sunday: Bike 15 miles

Your distances are increasing! Make sure to warm-up, cool down and don’t forget to stay hydrated!


Week 7

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: Run 30 minutes

9 and 7/1 – 9 minute warm-up, then 7 minutes jog, 1 minute walk for the remainder of your run.

Wednesday: Swim 400 yards (meters)

Warm-up: Swim easy 50

Main set: 12 x 25’s swim freestyle – 10 seconds rest between each

Swim down: 50 swim easy

Thursday: Brick Workout 30 Minute Bike/10 Minute Run/20 Minute Walk

Follow the steps of the brick as you did the week before. Remember on the run, warm-up for 2 minutes then 3 minutes run/1 minute walk for the remaining 8 minutes. Then a 20 minute brisk walk.

Friday: Swim 500 yards (meters)

Warm-up: swim 50 easy

Main set: 16 x 25’s swim freestyle – 5 sec. rest bet ea.

Swim down: swim 50 easy

Saturday: Run 45 minutes

9 and 6/1 – 9 minute warm-up, then 6 minutes jog, 1 minute walk for the

remainder of your run.

Sunday:

Bike: 15 miles

Make sure to warm-up, cool down and don’t forget to stay hydrated!

Walk: 30 Minute

Keep the walk brisk. This will act as great means of active recovery.


Week 8

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: Run 30 Minutes

9 and 8/45 – 9 minute warm-up followed by 8 minutes jogging and 45 seconds walking for the remainder of the run.

Wednesday: Swim 500 yards (meters)

Warm-up: easy 50 swim

Main set: 8 x 50’s swim freestyle -10 seconds rest between each

Swim down: 50 swim easy

Thursday: Brick Workout 30 Minute Bike/10 Minute Run/20 Minute Walk

Follow the steps of the brick as you did the week before. Remember on the run, warm-up for 2 minutes then 3 minutes run/1 minute walk for the remaining 8 minutes. Then a 20 minute brisk walk.

Friday: Swim 500 yards (meters)

Warm-up: swim 50 easy

Main set: 16 x 25’s swim freestyle – 5 seconds rest between each

Swim down: swim 50 easy

Saturday: Run 50 minutes

9 and 7/1 – 9 minute warm-up, then 7 minutes jog, 1 minute walk for the remainder of your run. Remember, as we up the distances, injury prevention is key! Try to keep your Heart Rate Low!

Sunday:

Bike: 20 miles

We are increasing the distance one last time! Make sure to warm-up, cool down and don’t forget to stay hydrated! Are you working on your pre-race nutrition?

Walk: 30 Minute

Keep the walk brisk. This will act as great means of active recovery.


Week 9

Monday: OFF

Tuesday:

Swim 500 yards (meters)

Warm-up: easy 50 swim

Main set: 8 x 50’s swim freestyle -10 sec. rest bet ea.

Swim down: 50 swim easy

Run: 30 Minutes

9 and 8/.30 – 9 minute warm-up. Then 8 minutes jog followed by 30 seconds walk for the remainder of the run.

Wednesday: Bike 15 miles

Make sure to warm-up, cool down and don’t forget to stay hydrated!

Thursday:

Swim: 600 yards (meters)

Warm-up: 50 easy swim

Main set: 20 x 25’s swim freestyle – 5 sec. rest bet ea.

Swim down: 50 swim easy

Walk: 45 Minute

Keep the walk brisk. This will act as great means of active recovery.

Friday: OFF

Saturday: Run 50 minutes

9 and 8/1 – 9 minute warm-up, then 8 minutes jog, 1 minute walk for the remainder of your run. Remember, as we up the distances, injury prevention is key! Try to keep your Heart Rate Low

Sunday:

Bike: 20 miles

Make sure to warm-up, cool down and don’t forget to stay hydrated! Are you working on your pre-race nutrition?

Walk: 30 Minute

Keep the walk brisk. This will act as great means of active recovery.


Week 10

Monday: OFF

Tuesday:

Swim: 600 yards (meters)

Warm-up: 50 easy freestyle

Main set: 500 swim freestyle straight and easy

Swim down: 50 swim easy

Run: 30 Minutes

9 and 8/.15 – 9 minute warm-up. Then 8 minutes jog followed by 15 seconds walk for the remainder of the run.

Wednesday: Bike 15 miles

Make sure to warm-up, cool down and don’t forget to stay hydrated!

Thursday:

Swim: 600 yards (meters)

Warm-up: 50 easy freestyle

Main set: 5 X 100’s swim easy freestyle. Rest 15 sec. between each.

Swim down: 50 swim easy

Walk: 45 Minute

Keep the walk brisk. This will act as great means of active recovery.

Friday: OFF

Saturday: Run 60 minutes

9 and 8/1 – 9 minute warm-up, then 8 minutes jog, 1 minute walk for the remainder of your run. Remember, as we up the distances, injury prevention is key! Try to keep your Heart Rate Low

Sunday: Bike 20 miles

Make sure to warm-up, cool down and don’t forget to stay hydrated! This is the last long ride before your race and it is worth repeating… are you working on your pre-race nutrition?

Walk: 30 Minutes

Keep the walk brisk. This will act as great means of active recovery.


Week 11 – RACE WEEK!

Monday: OFF

Tuesday:

Swim: 500 yards (meters)

Warm-up: swim 50 easy

Main set: 400 swim (work on your sighting!)

Swim down: swim 50 easy

Run: 30 Minutes

9 and 21 – 9 minute warm-up. Then jog easy for 21 minutes.

Wednesday:

Bike: 15 miles

Make sure to warm-up, cool down and don’t forget to stay hydrated!

Thursday: OFF

Friday:

Swim: 200 yards (meters)

Warm-up: swim 50 freestyle easy. Rest 2 minutes.

Main set: swim 4 x 25’s easy freestyle -10 seconds rest between each

Swim down: Swim 50 very easy

Run: 15 Minute

9 and 6 – 9 minute warm-up. Then 6 minutes jog for the remainder of the

run.

Saturday/Sunday: RACE DAY!