Challenge Davos, Switzerland Half Ironman 2019 - 21 week plan by Craig Zelent

Average Weekly Training Hours 11:06
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 11:06
Training Load By Week

This is a training plan that will provide you with a solid foundation for a great racing experience. This is a very specific training plan for the 20 weeks leading up to and including your race. Additionally you will find an extra week of recovery workouts for the week after your race.

This plan is perfect for the 1st time Half Ironman (70.3) competitor. This is also ideal for those who want to train by feel as heart rate and power tools are not utilized. This is very practical for those who have real lives - 1 day per week is always scheduled as an off day from training.

Testimonials:
I used the Ironman Lake Placid plan written by Craig. It worked so well for me as it gave me visibility of the long term plan and required progression yet also walked me through the volume and intensity steps needed to have the strength, endurance and mental toughness to compete so strongly on race day. I actually found it to be of significantly more value than some prior 1:1 coaching I had had as it focused on progressive development and highly targeted training for my specific race. Most importantly for me was the value of the plan; my development as a function of the money spent, and given the expertise I received was undeniable. Here Craig not only developed a highly effective training plan but also made himself available to me by email and even phone ahead of the race. I can't recommend Craig's training plans enough. If you are serious about triathlon and want to achieve your goals at Iron distance racing then look no further. - Darren H.

I will always be grateful to Craig Zelent for his wonderful IM Lake Tahoe training plan. Craig not only provides a great program (swim, bike, run), but includes strength, recovery workouts and nutrition plans which makes the Ironman training more feasible, diverse, successful and fun. The 20 week program leading up to the race is great for people like me who work full time. His extra week of recovery workouts for the week after the race is very helpful, as well. I highly recommend his programs to other triathletes.

His program is oriented to have a great racing experience and show results. Craig encourages athletes to approach him (by phone or e-mail) to answer any specific questions or ways to modify the program. He is always eager to help identify and execute the routine on a weekly basis to guarantee becoming an Ironman. He wants other people to succeed and meet their racing goals. I got a PR thanks to his program and knowledgeable advice. - Claudia F.


I've used Craig's Oceanside 70.3 plan more than once and it is my 70.3 PR race. I love the flexibility in Training Peaks and seeing the entire race plan in one place so I can shift schedules around my other events. It is a great baseline plan that one can easily add or subtract or shift workouts around to fit a worker's schedule. I highly recommend this easily downloadable plan for anyone. LS

Sample Day 1
0:10:00
WEEK #16 - Recovery Day

Actively focus on recovery today: Watch nutrition closely (healthy carbs, lean protein, and good fats), stretch for 5-10 minutes.

Goals for the week:
1)Increase your long bike ride to at least 65 miles.
2)Increase your long run to 14 miles.
3)Do an open water swim workout.

Sample Day 2
0:45:00
1829m
Swim 2,000 Yards

Ideally swim Master's Swim or try the workout below.

200 yards freestyle warmup.

200 yards - 4 x 50 as 25 drill, 25 freestyle swim. Do these in IM order so #1 is butterfly drill, #2 is backstroke drill, #3 is breaststroke drill, #4 is freestyle drill. Do these in 5-10 seconds rest.

1,500 yards - 12 x 125 in 4 blocks of 3. The 1st block is butterfly, the 2nd block is backstroke, the 3rd block is breaststroke, the 4th block is freestyle. Feel free to switch in/out a stroke if you want to avoid a particular stroke. The middle 25 will be the stroke. So in the 1st block of 3 125's you will swim 50 free, 25 butterfly, 50 free. The 2nd block of 3 125's you will swim 50 free, 25 back, 50 free. Etc. Pick an interval that will give you 10 seconds rest. It is a-ok to use a different interval for each block of 3. I used 2 minutes for the butterfly and freestyle blocks, 2:05 for the backstroke block and 2:10 for the breaststroke block.

100 yards - freestyle warmdown.

"B" workout.

Sample Day 2
1:03:00
7mi
Transition Run 7 Miles

I'd suggest doing this run immediately after the swim workout so as not to have 3 separate workouts in 1 day. Thus, combining workouts may be the best use of your time. Run on soft but firm surface. Aim for 7 miles.

Post workout recovery priority: Drink a protein shake (24 grams protein) within 30 minutes of completing this workout. Consume some carbs asap, as well.

"B" workout.

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
16mi
Indoor Bike Workout

I suggest doing this in the evening, completely separate from the AM swim/run workout.

Ideally you will have access to a spin class. I like the idea of a spin class (with a good instructor) because it often will be the best quality hour you spend on the bike all week. You don't have stop signs or other interruptions and it is a chance to really clean up your pedal stroke and cadence. Always make certain to have enough tension on the fly wheel - especially when you ride out of the saddle. Try to get to class early so you can have 10 minutes of warmup and give yourself 5 minutes at the end of class to warm down while on the bike.

"A" workout

Sample Day 3
0:55:00
2195m
Swim 2,400 Yards

Ideally swim Master's Swim or try the workout below.

200 yards - freestyle warmup.

300 yards - put fins on. 12 x 25 dolphin shooters on an interval that will give you 10 seconds rest. The 1st 4 and the last 4 are with a board. These will seem very different as the board will try to pull you to the surface - thus you need to work extra hard to stay under water - this is great for your core. If you have to come up for a breath, then do your best to "re-engage" and finish the 25 with dolphin kicking while under water.

1,600 yards - 8 x 200 freestyle. The odds are on an easy interval that will consistently give you 10-15 seconds rest. Swim these as "form". The evens are on an interval that will get progressively tighter and swim those as "fast". So I did the odds on 3:20. I did the evens on 3:15 for #2, 3:10 for #4, 3:05 for #6, 3:00 for #8.

300 yards - warm down by putting on pull buoy and paddles. 3,5,7 breathing pattern by 100's.

"B" workout

Sample Day 3
0:50:00
Maintenance Phase

Warm up 5 minutes - easy running, spinning. or eliptical.

Try to spend 15 minutes each on core, upper body, legs.

For weights: MAINTENANCE PHASE: 10-12 reps/1 set. I suggest in this order: Bench Press or Push-ups, Squats, Lat Pull Down, Leg Extensions, Military or Shoulder Press, Hamstring or Leg Curl, Bicep Curl, Calf Raises, Tricep Curl, Wrist Curl.

2 sets of your ab/core exercises for 20 minutes - Ab Crunches, Back Extensions. I highly recommend using an Exercise Ball, Free Motion Cable Cross Machine, Bosu Ball.

Post workout recovery priority: Drink a protein shake (24 grams protein) within 30 minutes of completing this workout. Consume some carbs asap, as well.

"A" workout.

Sample Day 4
1:40:00
25mi
Bike 25 Miles - Ladder

Ride on a flat to gently rolling course. Aim for 25 miles total. After a good warmup, the focus of this ride is a ladder:
4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4 minutes "on" with 1 minute recoveries after each.

Allow at least 10 minutes to warm down after this effort.

"B" workout.