World Champs Qualifier Half Distance Specific Prep - 9 Weeks


Gordo Byrn


10 Weeks

Typical Week

4 Swim, 1 Strength, 5 Run, 1 Custom, 3 Bike

Longest Workout

1:45 hrs swim
4:00 hrs bike
2:00 hrs run

Plan Specs

triathlon half ironman intermediate advanced

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An advanced level plan for athletes preparing for Half Distance Champs or capable of qualifying for World Champs.

The plan assumes a flexible lifestyle and a very high standard of base fitness.

The plan is appropriate for short-course athletes going long, or Full Distance athletes stepping down.


Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 14:24
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 14:24
Average Weekly Breakdown

Back to Plan Details

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 ( and periodize your season according to the guidelines. If you are new to strength training then progress slowly.

Sample Day 2

Monsy 100s (777 Pattern)

6 minutes choice warm-up Then 3x200 BBP (Band Buoy Paddles) Steady on 5s rest 3x150 BB Mod-Hard on 5s rest 3x100 Band Only Fast on 10s rest Then Three Sets of 7x100 no extra rest between sets and NO gear. Pattern is: 1 at TT1500 plus 25s 1 at TT1500 plus 15s 3 at TT1500 plus 5s 1 at TT1500 plus 15s 1 at TT1500 plus 25s ++ 1 at TT1500 plus 20s 1 at TT1500 plus 15s 3 at TT1500 plus 5s 1 at TT1500 plus 15s 1 at TT1500 plus 20s ++ 1 at TT1500 plus 15s 1 at TT1500 plus 10s 3 at TT1500 plus 5s 1 at TT1500 plus 10s 1 at TT1500 plus 15s ==== Then 6x75 - odds are Fly/Back/Breast; evens are Back/Breast/Free - do them continuous with legal turns ==== C/D TT1500 is average pace per 100 for a 1500 TT For the 3x100 in the "middle" seek to hold slightly faster than TT pace each time. For the other swims - change speed, use the clock and learn how to recover while swimming so that your fastest swimming is in the middle of the 3rd set of seven.

Sample Day 2

Threshold Run (60 Min Main Set)

Warm-up with 15 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
• Threshold
• Mod-Hard
• PowerWalk

Learn how to manage your pace effectively. The PowerWalk is important so you learn how to do that effectively and take aid smoothly in your races.

A good proxy for Threshold run pace is what you are able to achieve off the bike in an Olympic distance race. So Threshold pace is slightly quicker than 70.3 race pace and Mod-hard is slightly slower than 70.3 race pace.

Sample Day 4

PC 125s

Pace Change 125s
300 Easy on 15s rest
3x100 Steady on 15s rest
8x125 as 50 Easy (long strokes), 25 Fast, 50 Steady on 15s rest
100 Easy
8x125 as 50 Easy (long strokes), 25 Fast, 50 Steady on 10s rest
100 Easy
Optional Additional Main Set
200 Easy; 4x200 Steady on 15s rest
Cool Down

Sample Day 4

Long Run - 3x25 - 2hrs

Warm-up with 15 minutes that build to steady. The goal of this session is to progressively build until you are able to run all three 25 minute segments at close to 70.3 race pace.

However, this assumes that you will be running Mod-Hard pace in your race! If you are likely to run Threshold pace in your event then cap pace at Mod-hard for this workout. Likewise, if you are likely to be running Steady pace in your event then cap pace at Steady.

This is meant to be an intensive endurance workout and it is essential that you are in your Mod-Hard zone to get the physiological benefits that we're targeting. Don't race.

Main set structure is (3x) 25/5 - 25s are Mod-hard pace, 5s are Steady pace // don't leave your Mod-hard zone (ever), if you end up walking to stay in your Mod-hard zone then start a little easier next time.

Last 15 minutes of the workout are easy. I like to end this session with strides -- perfect form, moving quickly when fatigued, long recoveries.

Sample Day 5

Flat Progressive Aerobic Benchmarking

If you have a powermeter then this workout will let you check in on your power zones. If you don't have a powermeter then you can still test by benchmarking distance travelled for each segment of the test set. Rather than fixed times, you can use a fixed distance course and note your split. It's not perfect but, on a calm day, your average speed will be a meaningful number.

Remember that the main set will have physiological benefits even if you don't gather any data.

Warm-up should be about 30 minutes duration; include about 15 minutes worth of Steady effort; and include 3x2 minute Builds were you lift effort gradually from Steady to just under Functional Threshold (effort, not HR). Spin Easy between the warm-up sets.

The main set is a 45 minute continuous effort which you split into thirds. Aim for 15 minutes worth of effort at each of: Aerobic Threshold (AeT, bottom of Steady); Lactate Threshold (LT, top of Mod-hard); Functional Threshold (FT, top of Threshold).

For a full explanation of the zones see the Library Sections: Endurance Essentials and Exercise Physiology on the Endurance Corner website.

An important NOTE is that this is a short test for an endurance athlete - your races and long workouts will let you see how much you decouple. When endurance is well established, you should be able to stay within 7% of these benchmarks when racing as well as with your long workouts.

Another way to approach the test is to benchmark off a target HR. Use the HR that corresponds to AeT, LT and FT respectively. Given yourself five minutes to gradually build to the each target HR.

If you don't have access to a power meter then use the target HR method and track distance covered. While distance is influenced by wind speed/direction, you will still be able to gather useful data. This field data is useful for comparison against the Progressive Bike tests that are often done in the lab, or indoors.

World Champs Qualifier Half Distance Specific Prep - 9 Weeks

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