36 Week All Levels Ironman Triathlon Training Plan

This training plan is specifically tailored to the Ironman training and racing distance and is designed for ALL levels, because it includes specific testing sessions to identify your customized intensities for each workout. It was written by 2008 Trainer of the Year Ben Greenfield, using advanced training techniques based on science and practical experience. This plan will bring you to the starting line of your Ironman event with superior fitness and confidence.

Sample Day 1

Superset Series I from Top 12 Resistance
Training Routines for Triathletes, 4x through, 8-10 reps

Sample Day 1

Warm-up about 20 minutes. Then time trial for
40 minutes at a cadence of 80-90rpm, in your racing
position. Try to choose a flat course and maintain an
intensity that causes you to breathe hard and the legs
to burn. You must, however, be able to maintain
cadence. Record your average heart rate for the final
30 minutes of this ride. If you have a power meter, also
record power. This will be your bike lactate threshold
heart rate (LT), or bike lactate threshold power (also
can be recorded as "CP30" if using critical power
zones). You can safely subtract 20 beats from you bike
LT to find your bike aerobic threshold heart rate, which
will be your Ironman heart rate. Cool-down well.

Sample Day 2

Warm up well. Then run a 30 minute time trial on
flat course/track. Punch HR monitor ''lap'' button 10
minutes into Time Trial. Average heart rate for last 20
minutes predicts Lactate threshold heart rate (LT).
Record this value as your new LT or AT (they both
denote the same value).

Sample Day 2

Warm-up 500m. Then swim 5x50m No
Breathers (breathe minimally). Swim 200-300 meters,
focusing on relaxed breathing. Then swim 5x50m
popeye breathing. Swim 200-300 meters, focusing on
limiting head out of water. Swim 5x50m balanced
breath. Swim 200-300 meters, focusing on balanced
breathing. Cool-down 500m. Total 2500.

Swim drill videos available at:

Sample Day 3

Superset Series II from Top 12 Resistance
Training Routines for Triathletes, 4x through, 8-10 reps

Sample Day 3

Warm-up 10-20 minutes, then ride 8-12 1-2
minute climbs of varying grades. Shift to a higher gear
than you would normally use for any given climb.
Cadence is 50-60 rpm. Seated. Heart rate max is Zone
5, or lactate threshold +10 beats.

Sample Day 4

Warm-up 10-20 minutes, then find a steep hill
that takes 1-2 minutes to climb. Run in a slow,
controlled manner up the hill, pushing through the
toes and focusing on force application. Walk or light
jog back down the hill. Goal is 7-10 repeats. Easy cooldown

Ben Greenfield
Ben Greenfield

I coach groups, teams and individuals from around the world for triathlon, cycling, swimming, running, obstacle racing, adventure racing, bodybuilding, muscle gain, fat loss, anti-aging and cognitive performance.

A full list of my consultation, coaching and training services is at http://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com, where you can see my concierge Ultimate coaching , and also 20 and 60 minute consultation and pre-written training and nutrition plans.