Beginner Half Distance 16-week plan - VIDEOS included (Heart Rate and Pace based)

Author

Mikael Eriksson, Founder & Head Coach @ Scientific Triathlon, host of That Triathlon Show podcast

All plans by this Coach

Length

16 Weeks

Typical Week

2 Swim, 1 Other, 3 Bike, 1 Day Off, 3 Run

Longest Workout

1:00 hrs swim
3:30 hrs bike
1:45 hrs run

Plan Specs

triathlon half ironman beginner hr based pace based tss based

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Summary

Includes Structured Workouts

Structured Workouts automatically sync with compatible devices and guide you through workouts in real time.


Learn More about Structured Workouts.

This plan will help you prepare for your first half distance triathlon.

It is recommended that you have completed either a sprint or an Olympic triathlon before starting this plan. You should be able to swim for 30 minutes (breaks are allowed), bike for 90 minutes, and run for 60 minutes (short walk breaks are allowed) as you start this plan, and you should have done a few weeks of training at least 3 hours per week before starting this plan.

The plan is simple and easy-to-follow. You don't need any prior knowledge about structured training endurance sports to be able to follow it.

There is on average 8 hours of training per week, over 6-10 workouts. The lightest week is 6 hours, and the hardest has 11 hours of training.

There are 17 videos included in the plan, one for each week plus one big-picture overview, to help you understand the purpose of the plan and the different phases and execute it correctly.

The workouts are prescribed based on heart rate for cycling and pace for running, as well as on perceived effort using cues like "easy", "moderate", "hard" and RPE (Rating of Perceived Exertion) ratings like "4/10" and "7/10".

This plan is also available as versions based on bike power instead of heart rate and based on run power instead of pace to guide intensity. See https://www.trainingpeaks.com/coach/mikael-eriksson.

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ABOUT THE COACH:
Mikael Eriksson is the founder and head coach of Scientific Triathlon, a coaching business that provides world-class individual coaching to athletes of all levels, as well as top-rated training plans that in the fairly short time they've been available, have already been used by close to 1000 athletes in all corners of the world. He is also the host of the podcast That Triathlon Show.

TESTIMONIALS FOR MIKAEL'S TRAINING PLANS:

Average user rating: 9.3 / 10 (at the moment of writing)

*I gather feedback on all the training plans I create in order to constantly improve them. One of the questions I ask is for the user to rate the plan on a scale from 1/10. The average user rating is calculated from this feedback.

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One of the best training plans I´ve ever purchased!

"
The progression of the plan was very good. I felt a lot stronger after the training and I also liked that the Training Peaks version of the plan has the Structured Workouts feature so they can be easily downloaded to Garmin devices.

I sincerely think that it has been one of the best training plans I´ve ever purchased. Worth every penny!
"

Victor Campos Vallejo
31, Mexico
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Kept me organised and focused!

"
Your plan kept me very organized and focused through the 12 weeks. It was a good fit for my level. Not too easy, with too short training distances like so many other training plans I looked at, but not so daunting as some of the 12-15 hrs/week plans.

I have another race coming up, so I plan to restart the plan next week to prep for it. I would highly recommend it!
"

Christina Meyer
47, United States
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Made my training much more efficient!

"
With this training plan, my training changed to be more systematic. Each session has a clear target for what you're trying to achieve - not just "going for a run".

I haven't previously trained using training zones, and this made the training much more efficient. I've improved my run pace nicely (and it was my strongest discipline before) and really improved my cycling.

Finally, having this plan makes it harder to skip workouts, so it helps you stay consistent. If you're considering purchasing it, just go for it! It helps immensely.
"

Kristian Nikinmaa
33, United Kingdom
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You can find more testimonials at https://scientifictriathlon.com/stories/

Stats

Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 08:00
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 08:00
Average Weekly Breakdown

Mikael Eriksson - Founder of Scientific Triathlon, Podcaster at That Triathlon Show

Scientific Triathlon

With all the athletes I coach, I have three goals:

-Improve the athlete's performance
-Increase the motivation and enjoyment the athlete gets from the sport
-Provide 100% personalized feedback, mentoring and support. Essentially, teach my athletes to be able to self-coach, should they so desire.

I have coached complete beginners to finish their first sprint and Olympic triathlons, and helped intermediate/advanced athletes qualify for World Championships and reach age group wins and podiums.

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

0:45:00
1500m
50TSS
CSS-test (Critical Swim Speed)

Use this test to find your Critical Swim Speed (CSS) - an estimate for your maximum metabolic steady state.

Warm-up:
-200 easy
-200 easy w/ pull buoy and paddles
-100 w/ fins as (25 kick, 25 swim)

Build:
-2 x 50 as (25 FAST, 25 easy)
-2 x 50 at your predicted 400 pace / 20 sec rest

Main set - the CSS-test:
-400 m/yd at your absolute best effort
-10 min rest doing some light swimming (e.g. get in 200-300 m of very easy swimming, perhaps as 4-6 x 50, can include mixed strokes)
-200 m/yd at your absolute best effort

Main set part 2: Pacing
-2 x 100 at a strong effort, but slightly slower than your actual pace from the 400 / 20 sec rest

Sample Day 2

1:15:00
88.3TSS
Threshold, VO2max and Zone Assessment

This workout consists of two time trials. One 5-minute TT and one 20-minuteTT.

You will use these tests to be able to track progress, and to assess your training zones for heart rate and power (if you have a power meter).

Do the test on an indoor trainer or outside with no interruptions for traffic and ideally as flat as possible. Make sure that the test is repeatable, ie. choose a course you can repeat later on, or if youtest indoors, use a setup in terms of e.g. fan, temperature etc. that works well and can be repeated.

If using a power meter, remember to calibrate your power meter at some point during the warm-up (e.g. after 10 minutes), before starting the Time Trial. Make sure your power meter and heart rate monitor are working and are measured during the test.

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Warm-up:
-10 minutes easy spinning
-3 x (1 minute hard effort 90+ rpm, 2 minute easy effort)
*Do each 1-minute effort slightly harder than the previous one.

Time Trial 1:
-5-minute Time Trial at your best possible effort.

Recovery:
-20 minutes very easy spinning

Time Trial 2:
-20-minute Time Trial at your best possible effort.

Cool-down
-10 minutes very easy spin

NOTES:

-Pace well. Don't go out too hard and fade before the end of the tests. But make sure that you've given it your 100% at the end of the tests.

-Looking through previous tests and recent workouts will give you an idea of what power (or heart rate if you don't use power) you can realistically sustain. But tune in to your body and your effort to really give your absolute best, regardless of what you thought beforehand that you were capable of.

-Record each test in one single lap on your watch/head unit. Press lap when starting and finishing test. Do not have auto-lap (e.g. automatic laps every 5 km) activated.

Sample Day 4

0:45:00
59.6TSS
Threshold and Zone Assessment

Use this test to find out what your Functional Threshold Pace (FTPa) and/or Heart Rate (FTHR) and/or Power (FTP) is and set your training zones.

Use a flat course that you can repeat this test on at a later date.

Warm-up:
-10 minutes easy jogging
-3 x (30 seconds very hard, 30 seconds very easy)
-3 minutes moderately hard
-4 minutes easy, include 2 x 20-second strides (smooth accelerations to 90-95% of max speed, but stay relaxed)

Main set:
-20 minutes best effort Time Trial

Cool down
-5 minutes very easy

NOTES:
-Pace well. Don't go out too hard and fade before the end of the test. But make sure that you've given it your 100% at the end of the test.

-Looking through previous tests and recent workouts will give you an idea of what pace/power (if you use it)/heart rate you can realistically sustain. But tune in to your body and your effort to really give your absolute best, regardless of what you thought beforehand that you were capable of.

-Record the 20-minute TT in one single lap on your watch. Press lap when starting and finishing the TT. Do not have auto-lap (e.g. automatic laps every 1 km) activated.

Sample Day 5

0:30:00
1500m
30TSS
Endurance/Neuromuscular

-200 easy / 30" rest
-3 x 100 easy / 20" rest
#1. Breathe left
#2. Breathe right
#3. Breathe bilaterally
-10 x 50 easy / 15" rest
*Odds: kick the first 10 m/yds
*Evens: Max sprint the first 10 m/yds
-500 easy w/ pull buoy (snorkel optional but recommended)

Sample Day 6

1:30:00
60TSS
Endurance ride - HR

Endurance ride in Z2.

-Keep your pace/heart rate/power/RPE in check. Going harder than prescribed in these workouts will only be detrimental to overall improvements.

-RPE should be 4 or lower on a scale from 1-10 (http://bit.ly/2ISwP0z)

-You should be able to talk in complete sentences when riding in Z2. If you are too out of breath to do this, you are riding too hard.

Sample Day 6

0:15:00
17.1TSS
Brick run Z2 - Pace

Brick run straight off the bike in Z2.

Focus on holding good form and not letting the preceding bike ride force you into poor run mechanics.
-Run tall
-High cadence
-Hips up
-Good arm action

-Keep your pace/heart rate/power/RPE in check. Going harder than prescribed in these workouts will only be detrimental to overall improvements.

-The preceding bike ride may make RPE a bit more difficult to use directly in brick runs than in standalone runs, but you should stay at or below 5/10 on a scale from 1-10 (http://bit.ly/2ISwP0z).

-You should be able to talk in complete sentences when running in Z2. If you are too out of breath to do this, you are running too hard.

Sample Day 7

1:00:00
70.9TSS
Endurance run - Pace

Endurance run in Z2.

-Keep your pace/heart rate/power/RPE in check. Going harder than prescribed in these workouts will only be detrimental to overall improvements.

-RPE should be 4 or lower on a scale from 1-10 (http://bit.ly/2ISwP0z)

-You should be able to talk in complete sentences when running in Z2. If you are too out of breath to do this, you are running too hard.

Beginner Half Distance 16-week plan - VIDEOS included (Heart Rate and Pace based)

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