NEW: Half Ironman Build-Peak-Race, Fast After 50 9-Day "Weeks," Bike Power, 13 hrs/700 TSS/Week

Average Weekly Training Hours 11:19
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 11:19
Training Load By Week

This Half Ironman 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 Half Ironman 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 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-Ironman 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.

Sample Day 1
2:00:00
103.7TSS
AE3. Endurance Ride 2h power.

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.

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
36TSS
AE1. Recovery Spin 1h.

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.

Sample Day 3
1:30:00
107.4TSS
AE2. Aerobic Threshold (AeT) Steady State 1.5h (45min).

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.)

Sample Day 4
0:30:00
18TSS
Strength Maintenance (SM).

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.

Sample Day 6
0:45:00
59.6TSS
SS3. Advanced Strides Uphill 45min.

Warm up about 20 minutes in zones 1-2. Then run 5x20 seconds up a moderate grade (3-5%) hill at RPE 9 (very high effort). Powerful, quick strides. Use arms vigorously. After each uphill, walk down slowly taking a minute or more for recovery. Cool down with heart rate in zone 1 for the remainder of the scheduled workout time. (This is best outdoors but may be done on a treadmill).

Sample Day 7
2:30:00
138.3TSS
ME1. Tempo Intervals (Brick) 2.5h power.

Do this workout on terrain that simulates your A-priority race’s bike course as best you can find, or on an indoor trainer if necessary. Warm-up for about 20 minutes. Then do 5 x 20 minutes at power zone 3 (75-89% of FTP). Recover for 5 minutes after each interval by pedaling easily in power zone 1 (less than 55% of FTP). Cool down for the remainder of the ride in zones 1 and 2 based on how you feel (50-65% of FTP). These intervals will help you prepare for the bike portion of your race.
THIS IS A BRICK. FOLLOWING THE BIKE QUICKLY TRANSITION TO THE ACCOMPANYING RUN WORKOUT.

Sample Day 10
0:30:00
18TSS
Strength Maintenance (SM).

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.

Joe Friel
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Joe Friel Coaching

An endurance coach since 1980 Joe Friel has worked with triathletes, cyclists, and runners around the globe. He trains coaches and assists various national federations and national Olympic team staff. He also consults with professional athletes and sports-related businesses. Coach Friel occasionally offers personal camps and seminars for clubs and teams. He has authored 16 books on training including the best-selling Training Bible series. He is currently not accepting coaching clients.