12 Week half Ironman (70.3) Preparation (12 - 14hrs per week)

Average Weekly Training Hours 09:54
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 09:54
Training Load By Week

You have either gone through the whole process from Foundation building your skills and technique into Winter building your fitness and holding technique under more pressure and now you’re embarking on the final preparation to your race. Or you may be just tapping into this phase of your training to help you with your final preparation for your race.

The key is:
1) You are not injured
2) Your enthusiasm is high (you have not overdone the training to this point)
3) Technically you are sound
4) You have built adequate fitness to take on the ironman plan

There are a number of ways in which you can tailor this plan to suit you, your lifestyle and your ability.

Improved economy + increased training loads + psychological skills = faster & tougher athlete

Sample Day 1
Lactate tolerance

Warm up (400m) 
100 back - 100m Front scull deep kick (fsdk) – 100 Front doggy deep kick (fddk) - 100 fly

Pre main (600m)
100 single arm L & R into 100m swim – 100 single arm with paddles into 100 swim – 100 single arm into 100 swim

Main set 1 (1700) 
8 x 25m sprint OFF 30 seconds recovery
4 x 200m L3 threshold off 30 seconds recovery 200m back between
4 x 25m sprint off 1min 
2 x 200m L3 TH - OFF 30 sec rec

Cool down (200m) 
200m easy back

Sample Day 1
Easy/ tempo 20 - 40 mins

All additional run info is available form

Monday runs are to be at your discretion:
1. If you are tired after the weekend take the shorter option and do it easy L1
2. If you feel ok, then take the longer option and complete at tempo L2

Sample Day 2
Technical spin

All bike technical info is available on

Warm up 5mins easy spin into 5min build 1 x gear harder each minute (10mins)

Main set
4 x (5 - 10mins @ your race cadence off a 130 hr rec)

Effort level:
Heart rate = +10bpm harder than your race pace HR (L2/ 3)

Power = If your predicted race power is around 220, work at around 250w (+30w)

NB: Play with the cadence during the 10mins and lift it by 5rpm come back to race rpm then drop it 5 rpm lower than race pace

Cool down
5 - 20mins easy spin

Sample Day 2
Maintenance full

Maintenance exercises:
1. Advanced nordic hammies
2. Upper body (push ups/ dips/ pull up's)
3. Legs (clean & jerk or squats)
4. Physio ball hip strength (squad with ball against the wall)
5. Single leg squat into jump
6. Trunk 1 (Ballistic ball sit ups with partner or against the wall or V-sits)
7. Trunk 2 (front plank into rotation)

Sample Day 3
Drills into swim

Warm up (700m) 
400 back - 100m fsdk – 100 fddk – 100 fly 

Pre main (800m)
100 single arm Left & Right into 100m swim
100 single arm L & R into 100m paddles
Pull Buoy

100 single arm L & R into 100m pull
100 single arm L & R into 100m finz

Mains set 1 (1000m) 
Drill/ swim 200's
25 catch up – 100 swim - 25 catch up - 50m swim
25m fist - 100m swim - 25m fist - 50m swim
25m head tap – 100m swim- 25m head tap - 50m swim
25m Finger drag – 100m swim - 25m finger drag - 50m swim
25m Forearm drag – 100m swim - 25m forearm drag - 50m swim
25 Shark fin - 100m swim - 25m shark fin - 50m swim

Cool down (400m) 
200m easy back – 100 double arm back – 100 best swim

Sample Day 3
Mile reps (key session) 4miles

Go through full warm up (15 - 20mins) link to run warm up.

Main set
3 miles as (1mile @ L2 pace - then up pace to TH L3 - then drop back down to L2

Recovery off 130bpm rec or around 1minute

1 mile @ L3 pace

This will not feel so hard, but just get used to the format as this is going to build and become very tough

Cool down:
Flushing - link to flushing video

Sample Day 4
Power work

Full warm up 5mins spin easy - 5mins build 1 x gear harder each min - 5mins staying in hard gear, lower cad, then sprinting final 15 secs of each 1min (15mins)

Main set 1
10 - 15 x 30 seconds hard - 1mins recovery
You will not see very high heart rates on the 30 secs as its not long enough.

Main set 2
5 - 8 x 1mins hard into 2mins easy
You should see HR climb to around L4 and start to build lactate after about 30-40 secs

Cool down
10 - 30mins easy spin

James Beckinsale
Optima Training Systems

After years of coaching athletes in person I wanted to help athletes who couldn’t engage with coaches or clubs personally. Rather than just providing online training plans, I have put together a number of resources including plans, videos and articles https://www.jamesbeckinsale.co.uk/

For the training plans to become personal to you I’ve included profiling tools that will help set your individual training zones. I’ll also be posting training sessions and current thinking on social media.