This half-distance triathlon (S-2k/B-90k/R-42.2k) Build-Peak-Race plan was designed by Joe Friel using the principles of The Triathlete's Training Bible AND those described in his book, Fast After 50. This plan is intended for the OVER-age-50 triathlete who has found that he or she recovers more slowly than they did a few years ago. To successfully use this plan you MUST have a copy of his recent Triathlete's Training Bible edition 4 (the most recent as of 2017). This 4th edition is necessary to understand the plan as you will be referred to certain portions that are associated with the workouts in the plan. Previous editions of the book won't work for this. (The book may be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/Triathletes-Training-Bible-Worlds-Comprehensive/dp/1937715442/ref=dp_ob_image_bk).
Having read Fast After 50 will also help you understand the plan, especially the 9-day "week" as explained there. (To purchase go to https://www.velopress.com/books/fast-after-50/#toc). This is a unique periodization plan intended for over-50 triathletes many of whom have used such a planning method and contacted the author reporting that it improved their training and racing performances. Also in this plan the Fast After 50 concept of periodic high-intensity interval workouts to boost aerobic capacity (VO2max) is included. The book explains the what and why for these workouts and how they will benefit you.
You should have a power meter on your bike to gauge the intensities of this plan. For running a heart rate monitor will do, but a GPS/speed-distance device is also recommended.
This plan is best started about 12 weeks prior to your first Hal-Distance A race of the season. This plan is quite detailed, often including alternative workouts, yet it's easy to follow.
Training volume is described as both workout durations and TSS. Seven-day volume throughout the first 9 weeks ranges from about 9 to 13 hours and 500-700 TSS. In the last 3 weeks you will taper down to the race with 7-day volume starting at 11 hours/600 TSS.
To start this plan you should be able to swim 1 hour including long (400m) intervals, bike 2.5 hours, and run 1.5 hours. After 16 days of focused training there are 3-4 days of recovery followed by 1-2 days of swim, bike, and/or run testing, again, as described in Fast After 50 and The Triathlete's Training Bible.
The plan uses common tri language to describe the workouts along with structured workouts that may be downloaded to a device (watch or power meter head unit). (Should you find terms you aren't familiar with check the Glossary at the back of the Triathlete's Training Bible.) By the end of 12 weeks you will have excellent fitness and be ready to race your A-priority, half-distance race (there is also a Fast After 50 BASE period plan for the 12 weeks preceding the start of this plan.). You should have heart rate (run and bike) and power (bike) zones set before starting this plan. (For a detailed description of how to set your zones for heart rate, power or pace go to http://www.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2009/11/quick-guide-to-setting-zones.html.)
The plan was created using the TrainingPeaks "Workout Builder" format. That means the workouts may be uploaded to a device (power meter, heart rate monitor, indoor trainer, etc) to help you in following it. For more information on compatible devices and apps and how to export the workouts from this plan to them go to http://help.trainingpeaks.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000325647-Structured-Workout-Export. (It's not necessary to upload the workouts in order to use this plan.)
When purchasing this plan if you check the box to share your email address with Joe Friel when prompted will receive follow-up emails with more information and you will also be able to contact him should you run into a problem. Your email address won't be used for anything else. Also, after your event please provide feedback on how this plan worked out for you.
This is an aerobic endurance maintenance workout. Ride only in power zones 1, 2, and 3 as you feel at the time. This should be a comfortable effort. Power and effort will rise somewhat on uphills but no higher than zone 3.
(You may substitute a masters swim workout.) WU: 5-10 minutes of mixed swimming and drills.
500 at 10 sec slower than T-pace (60sec rest).
300 faster than preceding pace (60sec).
200 faster than preceding pace (60sec).
200 faster than preceding pace (60sec).
100 faster than preceding pace.
CD: 1000 easy swim.
Do a very easy recovery spin on a mostly flat course (or on indoor trainer) in small chain ring. Zone 1 power only. Light pressure on the pedals. Comfortably high rpm focusing on smooth pedaling skills. Upper body "quiet" with legs spinning easily. OR take today off if still tired from past few training days.
PDLC Swim (intended to improve your swim technique which is what keeps most triathletes from improving their swim times).
Swim for the scheduled workout duration doing only 25 repeats moderately fast while focusing on only Posture, Direction, Length, or Catch. Focus on only one of these--your worst (“limiter”) of the 4. (20-30sec rest after each.) See The Triathlete's Training Bible. 4th edition for PDLC details.
May be done outdoors or treadmill. Warm-up 20 minutes. Then on a mostly flat course run 45 minutes at 30 bpm (+/-2bpm) below your 5a zone (FTHR). Focus on good form with a comfortably high cadence and somewhat flat footstrike (not on heavily on heels or toes). Cool down in heart rate or pace zone 1 for the remaining portion of this session. If using a GPS device (recommended), afterwards determine your 30-minute Efficiency Factor (EF). EF should gradually increase over several weeks. (EF is shown on the analysis feature of TrainingPeaks for this workout.)
This workout and its purpose was described in Fast After 50. Warm-up for 50 minutes gradually building intensity. Then do 3 sets of 5 x 30-second intervals. The recovery after each interval is also 30 seconds. Ride easily between the sets for 5 minutes 30 seconds in zone 1. The effort for each work interval is the high end of power zone 5. Cadence is comfortably high. Cool down in zone 1-2 for the remainder of the ride. If at any time during the 30-second intervals you sense knee discomfort or the number of intervals seems excessive then stop or do fewer--or do them at a somewhat lower intensity. It's ok to do only 2 sets if this is your first season doing this type of workout.
Warm-Up 5-10 minutes. Then do 2 sets of Strength Maintenance (SM) weight lifting. First set is light - 12 reps with 15 repetition max (RM - a load you can only lift 15 times) load. Second set is heavy - 3-6 reps with 6RM load. Cool down 5-10 minutes spinning on a stationary bike in an easy gear/resistance at high rpm. This should be a brief workout. For details turn to Chapter 13 in The Triathlete’s Training Bible 4th edition.