*** 70.3 Half Ironman Training Plan - 18 weeks - 7-15hrs/wk - Novice to Intermediate

Average Weekly Training Hours 11:25
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 11:25
Training Load By Week

This is an 18 week plan which assumes athletes have been active, although not necessarily training. Athletes who are ranked similarly in their age-group throughout the swim, bike and run will find this plan especially helpful. It is also for the intermediate-level triathlete.

This plan takes a balanced approached to training and preparation, understanding the bike and run will be the two biggest factors in your race performance. Some may find that certain sports do not get trained enough, but key factors to performing well have been considered when designing this plan. The plan is great for athletes with a HR monitor, but also those without.

The plan follows a Linear Periodization model which will stress athletes, with recovery periods to allow for proper recovery and adaptation. If athletes follow the workouts as listed and suggested, they will see the benefit of performing at your peak for the half-ironman! If athletes modify the plan, and do not follow the guidelines of the daily workouts, the results may vary.

Sample Day 1
LT test, 30' TT, avg HR?

BT: Warm up well. Then run a 30 minute time trial on flat course/track. Punch HR monitor ''lap'' button 10 minutes into Time Trial. Average heart rate for last 20 minutes predicts Lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR).

Sample Day 2
MS, 3-4 sets

BT: Warm up 5-10 minutes. Then 3-4 sets of MS. Cool down 5-10 minutes spinning in easy gear/resistance at high rpm. For details go to START (above), WORKOUT DESCRIPTIONS or TRAINING, PRINTABLE VIEW OF WORKOUTS or see Joe Friel's Training Bible book.

Sample Day 2
Base building

On soft but firm surface, heart rate in zone 1 only. Pretty form and quick cadence.

Sample Day 3
Short RI 100s

8 x 50 easy done as 25 swim, 25 kick.
8 x 50 count strokes and time the 50s. What combination gives you the lowest 'score?' (Ex: 43 strokes + 45 seconds = 88).
MS: Swim a moderate effort using what you learned in WU set.
15 x 100 (10 sec) moderate.
6 x 50 kick (20 sec) moderate.
CD: 500 easy alternating 50 pull, 50 swim.
Total: 3000

Sample Day 3
Indoors-Isolated Leg Training

Isolated Leg Training on trainer. After warm-up, alternate 20-60 seconds with 1 leg--other on a chair. Get a total of 7-10 minutes of ILT on each leg in workout. Alternate legs as you feel like it. Comfortably high cadence. Focus on eliminating dead spot at top of stroke by pushing toes forward in shoes at top.

Sample Day 4
Form work, count strokes

Swim several long, easy sets. Focus on form. Count strokes per length trying to reduce them with efficient technique. Cadence should be in the range of 45-55 strokes per minute.

Sample Day 4
Strides, 6-8, count steps.

Strides. Warm up . On grass run 6-8x30 left-foot steps. Goal = 19-20 seconds. On the recoveries skip 60 times (30 skips each leg alternating). Include walking in recoveries. Perfect form! Zone 1cool down.

Jim Vance
TrainingBible Coaching / SuperFly Coaching

Jim Vance coaches Olympians, Kona qualifiers, All-Americans, National Champions and elite-minded athletes, who are serious about their goals and working hard toward them. He has coached these athletes in triathlon, swimming, running and cycling. He offers training plans on TrainingPeaks for athletes, as well as individual one-on-one coaching programs starting at $500/month.

Jim's Books:

  • Triathlon 2.0 - Data Driven Performance Training
  • Run With Power
  • Triathlon Science