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Half Iron Distance Triathlon, Swim-focused, 20 weeks


Cortney Jacobsen

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21 Weeks

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Plan Description

Nervous about the swim in your upcoming Half Iron Distance triathlon? This plan has you covered! This is a 20-week half distance triathlon training plan, specifically created for athletes who do not come from a swimming background and want to give a little more attention to their swim in training for one of their first couple half distance triathlons.

** Swim workouts are shorter, but more frequent, than a typical half distance triathlon training plan, and each swim workout focuses on skills and drills to build your confidence in the water so you don't get overwhelmed thinking about swimming the full 1.2 miles. We'll build up to that.
** Bike workouts will build your hill-climbing ability! Whether your chosen race is flat or hilly, developing the ability to climb hills on the bike will build your muscular endurance so you can have a great run. Frequent bricks are also included in this plan, as having the ability to run strong off the bike is a skill often underestimated by athletes who favor running.
** Because this plan is intended for runners, it assumes that you are familiar with your training paces - e.g. 5k, 10k half marathon, marathon - although, be forewarned that these paces do not translate to your triathlon paces of the same distance!
** This plan includes time dedicated for strength training, though specific workouts are not provided.
** I write all of my plans for time-crunched athletes, so peak week will not exceed 12 hours.

* Training blocks are given in 4-week increments, with the 4th week being a recovery week.
* Detailed notes are provided for each workout. Contact me anytime with questions at

The workouts are written by RPE (rate of perceived exertion) (aka TSS in Training Peaks). If you are interested in HR-, pace-, or power-based plans, please contact me for personal coaching. Please email any time with questions, comments, and success stories at I would love to hear from you and will include you in my closed Facebook group if requested.

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Swim x3
2:02 hrs 0:50 hrs
Run x3
2:27 hrs 2:00 hrs
Bike x3
3:55 hrs 3:30 hrs
Day Off x1
—— ——
Other x1
0:03 hrs 0:30 hrs
Strength x1
0:49 hrs 0:45 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:02 hrs 0:50 hrs
2:27 hrs 2:00 hrs
3:55 hrs 3:30 hrs
Day Off
—— ——
0:03 hrs 0:30 hrs
0:49 hrs 0:45 hrs

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • GPS

All supported devices

Cortney Jacobsen

Northwest Energy Lab

Cortney specializes in working with high-achieving business executives who train and race long-course triathlon despite their time-crunched lives. Her 20-year career in high tech product leadership enables her to uniquely connect with her clients' challenge of managing a demanding job while pursuing training and racing goals. She take a top-level view to creating personalized training plans, which considers sleep, stress, mood, and nutrition, as well as training data.

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