NEW-Half Ironman Build-Peak-Race Period (UNDER 50) HR 13hrs/wk.

Average Weekly Training Hours 11:29
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 11:29
Training Load By Week

This half Ironman Build-Peak-Race plan was designed for the UNDER-age-50 triathlete by Joe Friel using the principles of his books--The Triathletes Training Bible and Going Long. There are two differences between this plan and the similarly titled plan for OVER-age-50 triathletes. The first is the number of weeks (12 for OVER- and 11 for UNDER-50). The second difference is how often recovery weeks are scheduled. They are every third week in the OVER-50 plan and every fourth in the UNDER-50 plan.

For best results, start using this plan 11 weeks prior to your A-priority, half Ironman race so that it ends on your scheduled race weekend.

This plan is intended for the experienced triathlete. To start this plan you should have completed a Base training period and be able to swim 1 hour, bike 3 hours, and run 2 hours in separate workouts. Weekly volume is about 13 hours per week with 3-4 swims, 4 bikes, 4-5 runs (including bricks) and 1 strength session. The exceptions are the R&R weeks every fourth week with volume significantly reduced for 4 to 5 days and self-testing at the end of the week to measure progress. There are also fitness-building, race-simulation bricks most weeks. The last 3 weeks of this plan taper and peak you for the race.

You must have a heart rate monitor for the bike and most of the run workouts in order to manage workout intensity. Swim workouts are based on pace and expressed in yards. If swimming in a metric pool merely assume the prescribed workout distances are equivalents. (For detailed description of how to set your zones for heart rate, or pace go to

This plan was designed using the TrainingPeaks "Workout Builder" format. That means you will be able to upload each workout to a device (heart rate monitor, indoor trainer, etc) so you can precisely follow it throughout the session. (It's not necessary to upload workouts in order to use this plan.)

The plan uses common language to describe the workouts and is easy to follow. By the end of 11 weeks you will have excellent half Ironman race readiness.

If when making the purchase of this plan you include your email address when prompted you will receive further follow-up information directly from Joe. Your feedback on how this plan worked for you after the race is also requested. All the best for your training and racing!

Sample Day 1
SM, 2 Sets.

Strength: WU 5-10 minutes. Then do 2 sets of Strength Maintenance (SM) weight lifting. First set is light (12 reps with 15RM load). Second set is heavy (3-6 reps with 6RM load). CD 5-10 minutes spinning in easy gear/resistance at high rpm. This should be a very brief workout. For details turn to Chapter 13 in The Triathlete's Training Bible. Or go here:

Sample Day 2
AE3. 200s variable pace 2350.

(You may substitute a masters swim workout.) WU: Build effort on each rep.
100 swim, 50 drill (your choice), 100 swim, 50 drill, 100 swim.
MS: Each numbered set is done non-stop as a 200.
#1—100 easy, 50 mod, 50 fast (10”).
#2—50 easy, 100 mod, 50 fast (20”).
#3—50 easy, 50 mod, 100 fast (30”).
#4—100 fast, 50 easy, 50 mod (20”).
#5—50 fast, 100 easy, 50 mod (10”).
#6—50 fast, 50 easy, 100 mod. (60”)
Repeat #1, 2, 3.
CD: 150 easy with drills.
Total: 2350

For 30-45 minutes swim 25 repeats moderately fast while focusing on only Posture, Direction, Length, or Catch. (20-30sec rest after each)

Sample Day 2
ME3. Cruise Intervals on Hill (5x4min) 1h HR.

BT: Cruise intervals. Warm- up about 10 minutes. Then on a moderately steep hill (about 4-6% grade) that takes about 3-5 minutes to run up do 3-5 intervals. Get in about 15 minutes of total uphill interval time. Build to heart rate zone 4 by the top on each. Perceived exertion by half way up should be about 7 on a 10 scale. Recovery is your descent time. Jog easily and walk coming back down after each. Do a short cool down. Good form!

Sample Day 3
AE1. Recovery Spin 1h HR..

Very easy recovery spin on a mostly flat course (or on indoor trainer) in small chain ring. Heart rate in zone 1. Light on the pedals. Comfortably high rpm focusing on pedaling skills.

Sample Day 3
AE2. Base Maintenance Run 1.25h HR.

Run mostly in heart rate zones 1 and 2, as you feel, for 75 minutes. If feeling fresh make it mostly zone 2. Otherwise, adjust effort up and down to how you are feeling at the time.

Sample Day 4
ME1. Descending ladder 2300.

(You may substitute a masters swim workout.) WU: 5-10 minutes of mixed swimming and drills.
500 at 10 sec slower than T-pace (60sec rest).
300 faster than preceding pace (60sec).
200 faster than preceding pace (60sec).
200 faster than preceding pace (60sec).
100 faster than preceding pace.
CD: 1000 easy swim.

Sample Day 4
ME2. Hill Cruise Intervals 1h (6-8 min hill) HR.

BT: Hill Cruise Intervals. Warm-up about 10 minutes. Climb a 6-8 minute hill (4-6% grade), 4-5 times building to heart rate zone 4 by the top (you may only get to z3 depending on your fitness--more fit, lower HR). Get about 30 minutes of high-intensity climbing today. Stay seated upright on each. Smooth pedaling. Short cool down.

Joe Friel
Joe Friel Coaching

As an endurance coach since 1980 Joe Friel has worked with triathletes, cyclists, and runners from around the globe. He also trains coaches and has consulted with various national federations and national Olympic team staff. Coach Friel offers personal camps and seminars for clubs and teams. And he consults with professional athletes. He has authored 16 books on training including the best-selling Training Bible series. He is currently not accepting one-on-one coaching clients.