Beginner Level 2 16-week Half Distance Training Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 07:58
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 07:58
Training Load By Week

The 16-week Beginner Level 2 Half-Distance training plan is written for athletes who have completed a few triathlons. You may also have already done a half but are now looking for greater structure. This plan is not for complete newbies - you need to have several weeks of a basic training regimen under your belt prior to starting. You could complete one of our Beginner sprint or Olympic distance plans prior to starting, for example.

The program averages about 9 hours per week with a recovery week of ~6-7 hours every 4th week. The biggest week is 10.5 hours (with options for more) and the smallest is 5.5 hours in week 1.

A typical week includes 2 rides with an optional 3rd, 1-2 light core strength routines, 2 swims, and 3 runs.

The sample week displayed in Training Peaks is the first week (the easiest).

The program focuses primarily on aerobic development with some addition of threshold and sub-threshold level training as the program progresses. The primary goal with this plan is to get you fitter than before, remain uninjured, and to the finish line with a smile on your face.

The program includes effort levels & heart rate guidelines for the swim and run, and HR/power targets for the bike. All the bike workouts are downloadable to a smart trainer to target specific power levels.

Assumptions for starting the plan: Athletes can run 40-45 minutes, ride 1 hour +, and swim 1,000 yards in separate workouts without any real difficulty.

There are options to add on additional sessions, and potential adjustments noted within the plan. There are also comments about training paces and race plans.

Please visit the One Step Beyond article page for additional reading or contact Marty for questions. We are happy to give you a bit of feedback.

Sample Day 2
Masters swim practice or

200 easy
4 x 50 kick on :10 (seconds rest after each 50)
4 x 50 drill - 1arm, fist, dog paddle, choice on :15
8 x 50 steady on :20 or so
100 easy

Sample Day 2

run or run-walk 20-25 minute easy, drills optional at the end: 2 x sideways, high knees, butt kicks, strides. See for a video description of running drills.

Sample Day 3

WU: 15 minute easy/Z1
MS: 20 minute moderate / Z2 (70-75% FTP)
CD: 10 minute easy

Sample Day 4

WU: 10 minute easy
MS: 15 minute high Z2 / comfortable fast
CD: 5-10 minute easy

Sample Day 4
core routine #1

Core strength routine:
1 to 2 x through this routine + any rehab exercises you need
isometric planks (push up position) either knee down or leg straight - 1 minute front / 30 second left side / 30 scond right side / 30 second front (alternate leg raises during the series, advanced only)
5-25 pushups (tricep focus - elbows in)
on side - top leg raises x 20 / bottom leg x 20 / flip sides and repeat
5-15 pullups (if you have pullup bar)
10 x standing side leg raises each leg
50-100 crunches - options are regular crunch / bicycle situps / V situps / medicine ball partner situps
5-10 x bridges - extend alternate legs 5 seconds at a time (advanced only)
5 to 25 pushups (pec focus - elbows out)
advanced include 2 x 10-15 standing squats then repeat planks
5-15 pullups if available

Sample Day 5
1200 swim

WU: 300 easy
4 x 50 drills - 1arm, catchup, doggy paddle, fist, on :15
2 x 50 kick on :10

MS: 5 to 8 x 100 as 50 DPS / 50 build to fast on :10-20
50 easy kick
50 easy swim

Sample Day 6
post run stretching

stretching routine reminder :) hold each for 30 second or so hamstring - left, right, both butterfly cross hip ITband calf hip flexor optional upper body & additional

Marty Gaal, CSCS

Raleigh/Cary, NC area triathlon coaching specialists.

We offer personal coaching, online coaching and group training options for triathletes, runners and swimmers. All of our training programs are customized to your life and schedule. We provide feedback, support, encouragement, and stern warnings as need be along the way. Check us out at

A full time triathlon coaching business since 2005.