Half Distance Specific Prep - 12 Weeks (~11 hrs per wk)

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Half Distance Specific Prep - 12 Weeks (~11 hrs per wk)


Gordo Byrn


12 Weeks

Typical Week

2 Swim, 1 Strength, 3 Bike, 4 Run, 1 Other

Longest Workout

1:15 hrs swim
4:00 hrs bike
1:45 hrs run

Plan Specs

triathlon half ironman beginner intermediate advanced

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This plan assumes that you have completed one of my Base modules and have established your endurance.

While the average training load is 11 hours per week, this plan is challenging because the key workouts are very specific to your needs as a Half Distance athlete. Where appropriate, I have explained how experienced athletes can beef up the plan a bit.

Strength training is not emphasized but I have placed one strength session per week into the plan. This session falls on Monday in the first 6 weeks of the plan and Wednesday in the second 6 weeks of the plan. Within my own training I would use two session per week until the until the final two weeks of the plan. If you want to place a second strength session then the combo that fits best is Monday/Friday (first 6 weeks) and Wednesday/Sunday (next 4 weeks)

There is an important race simulation workout that falls six weeks out from your goal race. You can substitute a B-, or C-, priority event for this race. An Olympic Distance race would be the most appropriate choice. If you are new to Half Distance racing then, I believe, you will get the most benefit from following my race simulation workout that weekend.

The swimming program is focused on distance freestyle improvement with main set distance capped around 3000 meters (3300 yards). Where appropriate, I have explained how to dial the program up, or down.

The plan is appropriate for athletes racing all distances with weekly volume ranging from 8 to 13 hours per week.

Swim - up to 3,300 yards / 3,000 meters

Bike - up to 40 miles / 65 kilometers

Run - up to 10 miles / 16 kilometers

I hope you enjoy,



Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 10:45
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 10:45
Average Weekly Breakdown

Sample Day 1

PC 200s

Pace Change 200s
16x50 all on 10s rest with this pattern
• 3 Easy; 1 Fast
• (4x) 1 Steady, 1 Fast
• 3 Easy; 1 Fast
5x200 Easy on 10s rest
4x200 Steady on 10s rest
3x200 Mod-hard on 10s rest
2x200 Fast on 10s rest
200 Max
This swim can be shortened by dropping the 5x200 line.
Cool Down

Sample Day 1

Strength Training, Base

Please refer to Strength Training for Triathlon in the Strength section of the Endurance Corner Libarary (www.endurancecorner.com) and periodize your season according to the guidelines. If you are new to strength training then progress slowly.

Sample Day 2

Aerobic Ride (60min)

Choose one (or more) of the following and insert them into your ride:
• 1-3 x 8 minutes at 92-94 cadence, take 2 minutes relaxed between if you are doing more than one interval
• 5-10 x 1/1/1 minutes – 1 minute left leg, 1 minute right leg, 1 minute both legs
• 3-10 x 3 minutes as 30 seconds super fast cadence (keep effort/HR moderate, make sure that your hips are stable and you are not rocking wildly!), 2:30 normal cadence
• 2-5 x 5/5 minutes – 5 minutes at 92-94 rpm and 5 minutes at 65-70 rpm
Single leg work only done indoors. Don’t one-leg-it down the road outside.
Overall, aim for a steady effort – avoid your Mod-Hard zone.

Sample Day 2

Tempo Run (60 Min Main Set)

Warm-up with 10 minutes easy running that builds to Steady
Then do 6x 75 meter Strides with walking recoveries
Main Set is 6 x 10 minutes
Pattern is 2/4/3/1
• Steady
• Mod-Hard
• Steady
• Walk
Moderate your fast running so that you are able to recover while running Steady, not Easy
Watch how your mind will tempt you to hammer once your heart rate rises
Learn how to manage your pace effectively

Sample Day 3

PC 50s

Pace Change 50s
600 to 1,000 Easy building to Steady
I like to mix the strokes a bit. Typically, I will swim at least every 4th length backstroke
40x50 Main Set
• 16x50 as 1 Fast, 3 Steady (x4); all on 5s rest
• 12x50 as 1 Fast, 2 Steady (x4); all on 10s rest
• 8x50 as 1 Fast, 1 Steady (x4); all on 15s rest
• 4x50 as all Fast; all on 20s rest
If you use paddles then you can put them one for the last 12 50s. Before that you should swim without gear.
Optional Additional Main Set
200 Easy; 4x200 Steady on 15s rest
Cool Down

Sample Day 4

Big Gear (5x8 Main Set)

Warm Up with 10 minutes Easy cycling
(10x) Alternate 30s Fast with 30s Easy
10 minutes Steady
5 minutes Easy
(5x) 8 min Big Gear (65 to 75 rpm), Mod-hard effort on 2 min Recovery
5 min Easy

NOTE: If you have extra time then you can extend this workout by placing 15-30 minutes of slightly easier then Steady effort/watts following the last Big Gear interval.

POWER USERS: Mod-hard effort (with low cadence) should roughly equate to slightly UNDER FT power. I recommend that you stay under FTP for this session.

Sample Day 4

Tempo Transition Run

Run off the bike for 30 minutes repeating the following pattern (3x) 3 min Steady, 3 min Mod-hard, 3 min Steady, 1 min walk.

NOTE: If you are decoupled (HR more than 7% over normal number for the pace) then you rode much more intensely than you realized. Adjust your bike effort downwards next time.

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