Half IM distance: Novice / Improver 28 week plan

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Half IM distance: Novice / Improver 28 week plan


Steve Lumley

All plans by this Coach


29 Weeks

Typical Week

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

Longest Workout

1:30 hrs swim
4:00 hrs bike
2:00 hrs run

Plan Specs

triathlon half ironman intermediate base period

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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 25+ years experience of coaching and racing all triathlon distances, including 36 Iron man distance races and 5 Hawaii qualifications himself. He has coached athletes to hundreds of full and half 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 www.stevelumleytriathlon.com or email Steve at: tricoach.lum@gmail.com

"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)


Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 09:08
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 09:08
Average Weekly Breakdown

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

Single Leg Pedalling

Aim: to achieve smooth, circular pedalling technique
Try to maintain 90 rpm cadence

Min HR Elapsed

10 70 10
5 75 15
1 70 16 Left leg }
1 70 17 Right Leg}Repeat 3 times
3 70 20 Normal }
1 75 41 Left leg ]
1 75 42 Right Leg] epeat 3 times
3 75 45 Normal ]
1 80 46 Left leg
1 80 47 Right Leg
3 80 50 Normal
10 Down 60

Select necessary gearing to achieve above Heart Rates
Concentrate on pedalling in cirles

Sample Day 2

Swim 2.5k E2a #1, week 1

100 swim
100 pull
100 swim

Drill Set
2 x 3 x 50 25 drill/25 swim w. +15 secs
Choose 3 drills that you are working on.
Prep. Set
2 x 3 x 50 Increase pace through each set. E1/E2a/E2b w. +20 secs

Main Set Keep effort Aerobic in Zone E2a - emphasis on good technique

12 x 100 Drill 1st 25 of each rep. Drills as before. w. +15 secs

Cool-down 2 x 150 pull E1 - breathe every 3 strokes
100 swim E1

Sample Day 2

cadence intervals # 1

You can do this session on a treadmill set at 0% gradient or outside.
For the main set the speed should be at about half-marathon race pace.
Effort level should be no higher than E2b (L3), the emphasis is on correct cadence not speed.
You should not get faster through the set but rather shorten stride to maintain same effort and pace.
Warm-up 10mins progressive to 80% MaxHR
5 x 30 secs cadence of 90rpm/30 secs rest
5 x 30 secs cadence of 95rpm/30 secs rest
5 x 30 secs cadence of 100rpm/30 secs rest
5 x 30 secs cadence of 105rpm/30 secs rest

For the continuous run below the speed should be reduced but cadence kept high.

10 mins Continuous run with highest comfortable
5 mins Easy cool-down

Sample Day 3

Tech # 5 - single leg

WU: 10 mins warm-up Progressive to E2a MS: Drills One-legged sections - maintain highest rpm possible while keeping pedal revolutions smooth. 20 secs Right Leg/ 20 secs Left Leg/1min 20 secs both legs 100rpm 30 secs Right Leg/ 30 secs Left Leg/1min both legs 110rpm 40 secs Right Leg/ 40 secs Left Leg/40 secs both legs 120rpm 50 secs Right Leg/ 50 secs Left Leg/20 secs both legs 130rpm 2 mins easy Week 1 rpm 3 x (5 mins E2b 110 (5 mins E2a 100 Week 2 rpm 3 x (5 mins E2b 110 (1 min E2b 120 (4 mins E2a 100 Week 3 rpm 3 x (5 mins E2b 110 (1 min E2b 120 (1 min E2b 130 (3 mins E2a 100 CD: Cool-down 5 mins Easy

Sample Day 5

Tech 2, #1 (2k)

150 f/c
100 other strokes
50 f/c

Set 1 15 secs recovery throughout
Drills :
8 x 50 1 -> 2 Trickle Finger
3 -> 4 Single-arm
5 -> 6 Touch over
7 -> 8 Shark Fin

8 x 50 25 drill/25 swim
Drills as above

Kick Set
4 x 75 25 on L side/25 on R side/25 swim

200 10 kicks/1 stroke/10 kicks/ 2 strokes etc.

Set 2
5 x 50 build 1-5 maintaining stroke, if losing technique all steady pace.

2 x 50 12.5 b/c, 12.5 f/c

50 easy

Sample Day 6


60 min E1 with 5-7 strides

Sample Day 7


30 min E1 off bike

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