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Half IM Distance Novice / Improver 21 weeks (Saturday race)


Steve Lumley

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23 Weeks

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Plan Description

Designed by the UK’s most experienced Iron-distance coach and athlete, Steve Lumley (BTF L3 coach, MSc) for age – group triathletes with limited time available. This plan draws on Steve’s 30+ years experience of coaching and racing all triathlon distances, including 39 IronDistance races and 5 Hawaii qualifications himself. He has coached athletes to hundreds of full and IM finishes. These have ranged from novice to elite and include several Hawaii world championship qualifications.

This plan is targeted at a novice / improver triathlete, aiming to complete the half IM distance race. They should be confident at standard or sprint distance triathlon and possibly have completed a half IM distance race already and looking to improve.

Prior to commencing this plan athletes should have at least 3-4 weeks of preparation training under their belt and be comfortable riding for 2+ hours and running for 60 minutes continuously.

Training plan volume is between 7 and 11.5 hours per week, and is organised on a 3 week macrocycle - every 3rd week is a recovery week, often including self testing sessions. The weekly schedule includes 2-3 swim sessions, 2-3 bike sessions and 2-3 run sessions. Intensity is generally based on heart rate and / or perceived exertion. One or two ‘strength’ / conditioning sessions each week are recommended in addition to the swim, bike and run sessions detailed.

As an added bonus, purchase of this program can include email access to Steve for any questions that you may have about this plan or your training. Subscribe here for ongoing support:

Please visit us on the web at or email Steve at:

"I bought one of your training plans a short while ago and I've been really enjoying it. It's simple but varied and I can see the focus of every session. I've been doing tri for 11 years now and virtually made no improvement - I raced an Olympic distance tri yesterday and got a pb by 29 minutes! To say I am chuffed is an understatement."
(Lynne Callaghan)

“Safe to say I nailed it… Entirely down to following the training you set out. I can’t thank you enough, I would never have reached my best without your help.”

(Keith Sanders)


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
4:26 hrs 4:00 hrs
2:35 hrs 2:00 hrs
2:21 hrs 1:30 hrs
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
4:26 hrs 4:00 hrs
2:35 hrs 2:00 hrs
2:21 hrs 1:30 hrs
—— ——

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • GPS

All supported devices

Steve Lumley (MSc)

Steve Lumley Triathlon Coaching

'Ironman' / Long distance triathlon.

Elite, draft legal triathlon from developmental to elite levels

Please contact Steve for details and costs of various levels of individual coaching.

Sample Day 1


15 mins progressive warm up to 'tempo' / 35 mins at Tempo / 5 mins easy warm down

Sample Day 2

Swim 2.5k E2a #7, week 3


3 x 150 as swim-kick-pull w. +20 secs

7 x 50 build 1st 30m to E2b, then E1 w. +20 secs

3 x 500 E2a w. +1 min

COOL DOWN: 3 x 100 scull/pull by 25s

Sample Day 2

'Easy' Fartlek: Mixed pace

Easy fartlek Mix in some fast stride-outs, sustained runs for a minute or 2, short hill sprints, downhill strides, etc, making sure that you have easy recovery jogs in between. 3. Cool-down 10 - 15 minutes

Sample Day 3

Swim 2k E2a #2, week 2

Warm -up 300 continuous as 150swim/50 kick/100b/c Main Set E2a 6 x 250m w. 25 secs recovery Nos. 1-2 Pull No. 2 Swim Nos. 3-5 Drill 50/Swim 50 No. 6 Swim WD: 200 E1

Sample Day 3

Pedaling skills

Ride in the HR 1-2 zones on a mostly flat course. Include pedaling drills such as: a) try to drive pedal straight forward from 9 to 3 o'clock, b) pedal with foot against the top inside of your shoe trying to avoid touching the insole, c) try to touch toes to end of your shoes at top of downstroke. Stay as relaxed as you can while doing these drills. No tension in feet, legs, hands, etc.

Sample Day 5

Tech 2, #2 (2k)

100 swim E1 Cont.
100 catch-up
100 pull

Kick Set
6 x 50 1-2 on front no boards w. +15 secs
3-4 on back
5-6 on side

Technique Set - Emphasise High Elbow at entry
- High Elbow in catch
- Hand tracking straight
- timing and body roll

8 x 100 as 25 drill/25 swim w. +20 secs + 1 min between sets:

1. Trickle finger
2. Scull at front with high elbows
3. Doggy paddle
4. Clenched fist
5. Thumb down centre line
6. 1 arm, other arm in front
7. Windmill
8. 1 arm, other arm by side (NB body roll)

Aerobic Set
2 x 250 E2a w. 15 secs

Cool-down 100 Other strokes

Sample Day 6


90 min E1 on rolling course - work on fast, relaxed downhills

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