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Intermediate 16-week Half-Distance Training Plan


Marty Gaal

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4.5 (10)


16 Weeks

Plan Specs

triathlon half ironman intermediate advanced power based hr based

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Plan Description

The 16-week Intermediate Half-Distance training plan is for the triathlete with one or more seasons of training under his/her belt. Athletes have already done a few races including a Half or are coming into triathlon from another endurance sport. The program averages 11 hours per week with a recovery week of ~8 hours every 4th week. The biggest week is 12.5 hr (with options for more) and the smallest is 7.5 hours.

The early weeks focus on aerobic development with a limited amount of threshold-type training. The later weeks include a fair amount of threshold and sub-threshold intervals as well as race-specific intensity workouts.

The program includes effort levels & heart rate guidelines for the swim and run, and HR/power targets for the bike.

Assumptions: athletes can run an hour, ride 1.5 hour, and swim 1,500 yards in separate workouts without difficulty.


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:29 hrs 1:49 hrs
4:17 hrs 3:30 hrs
1:45 hrs 1:00 hrs
0:45 hrs 0:45 hrs
0:02 hrs 0:40 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:29 hrs 1:49 hrs
4:17 hrs 3:30 hrs
1:45 hrs 1:00 hrs
0:45 hrs 0:45 hrs
0:02 hrs 0:40 hrs

Training Load By Week

Marty Gaal, CSCS. Raleigh, NC area with 15 years full time coaching experience.

One Step Beyond

Raleigh/Cary, NC area triathlon coaching specialists.

We offer personal coaching, online coaching and group training options for triathletes, runners and swimmers. All of our training programs are customized to your life and schedule. We provide feedback, support, encouragement, and stern warnings as need be along the way. Check us out at

A full time triathlon coaching business since 2005.

Sample Day 1

Masters swim practice or

400 easy
4 x 50 kick on :10 (seconds rest after each 50)
6 x 50 drill on :15
12 x 50 either steady Z2 or 1 easy, 1 build to fast on :15
100 easy

Sample Day 1


run 30-40 minute easy, drills optional at the end: 2 x sideways, high knees, butt kicks, strides. See for a video description of running drills.

Sample Day 2


WU: 20 minute easy/Z1
MS: 30 minute moderate / Z2 (70-75% FTP)
CD: 10 minute easy

Sample Day 3


WU: 15-20 minute easy
MS: 20 minute high Z2 / comfortable fast
CD: 5-10 minute easy

Sample Day 3

core routine #1

Core strength routine: 2 to 3 x through this routine + any rehab exercises you need isometric planks (push up position) either knee down or leg straight - 1 minute front / 30 second left side / 30 scond right side / 30 second front (alternate leg raises during the series, advanced only) 5-25 pushups (tricep focus - elbows in) on side - top leg raises x 20 / bottom leg x 20 / flip sides and repeat 5-15 pullups (if you have pullup bar) 10 x standing side leg raises each leg 50-100 crunches - options are regular crunch / bicycle situps / V situps / medicine ball partner situps 5-10 x bridges - extend alternate legs 5 seconds at a time (advanced only) 5 to 25 pushups (pec focus - elbows out) advanced include 2 x 10-15 standing squats then repeat planks 5-15 pullups if available

Sample Day 4

2.5k drills focus

WU: 400 easy 12 x 50 drills - 1arm L, 1arm R, catchup, doggy paddle, fist, Powerstroke, repeat series on :15 4 x 50 kick on back/sides/back/normal on :10 MS: 10 x 100 as 50 DPS / 50 build to fast on :10-20 CD: 100 easy kick 200 easy swim

Sample Day 5


run 1hr to 1hr 10 minute build into comfortable steady pace (mid Z2).

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