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. Having these books handy will help with many of the workouts presented in this training plan. 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 http://www.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2009/11/quick-guide-to-setting-zones.html.)
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. For more information on compatible devices and apps and how to export the workouts from this plan to them go to http://help.trainingpeaks.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000325647-Structured-Workout-Export. (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.
When purchasing this plan if you check the box to share your email address with Joe Friel when prompted you will receive two follow-up emails from him with more information about your plan and you will also be able to contact him should you run into a problem. Your email address won't be used for anything else. Also, after your event please provide feedback on how this plan worked out for you.
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: http://www.trainingbible.com/bkp-all/pdf/Triathlon_Strength_Program.pdf.
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!
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.
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.
(This is best outdoors but may be done on a treadmill). Warm up for about 20 minutes. Then run 8x20 seconds fast on a soft, gentle downhill (such as on grass in a park or other soft surface). Run at approximately 400m race pace (RPE 9, or about pace zone 5b)--not quite all-out speed. Focus on run technique as discussed and shown in the drawings in Chapter 12 of The Triathlete’s Training Bible 4th edition. Hold back a little on each 20-second stride. You’re working on technique—not speed. Stay relaxed on each stride. Walk (yes, "walk") back to start point for each recovery. Run easily to cool down to complete the planned workout duration.
After a quick transition from the bike, run on a flat to gently rolling course (or treadmill) for the prescribed time steadily at heart rate 3 zone. Stay relaxed and start slower than you think you could maintain for 1the entire race. Focus on good form! Cool down by walking after the run.
This is an aerobic endurance maintenance workout. Ride only in heart rate zones 1, 2, and 3 as you feel at the time. This should be a comfortable effort. Power and effort will rise somewhat on uphills but no higher than zone 3. Rehearse your race day fueling strategy.