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Joe Friel

All plans by this Coach
5 (3)


12 Weeks

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Includes Structured Workouts

Structured Workouts automatically sync with compatible devices and guide you through workouts in real time.

Learn More about Structured Workouts.

Plan Description

Train smart with a half-distance triathlon plan by Joe Friel, best-selling author and internationally recognized endurance coach.
• Prepare for a half-distance triathlon: swim = 2k, bike = 90k, run = 21.1k
• Plan is intended for advanced triathletes over age 50.
• Plan is for 12 weeks of Base training, to be followed by 12 weeks of Build training.
• Receive two follow-up emails from Joe with more information on the plan (must provide email address at time of purchase).
• If plan is not working for you within the first 2 weeks, you can switch to a plan of equal value or receive a full refund.

“Joe Friel’s wealth of knowledge in triathlon is astounding.” —Siri Lindley, triathlon world champion
“Joe Friel is one of the world’s foremost experts on endurance sports.” Outside magazine

This half-distance Base plan for the over-50 triathlete was designed by Joe Friel using the principles from The Triathlete’s Training Bible. Having this book handy will help with many of the workouts presented in the training plan but is not necessary.

Who is this plan for?

This plan is intended for the over-50 triathlete who has been racing for two or more years, but it may also be used by younger athletes who seem to recover slowly after hard or long workouts. This is a very challenging training plan; do not purchase if you are not an advanced triathlete! The plan uses common triathlon language to describe the workouts and is easy to follow. By the end of 12 weeks you will have excellent Base fitness and be ready to start the Build period 12 weeks prior to your A-priority, half-distance race.

When should you start the plan?

Start about 24 weeks prior to your A-priority race of the season. Following this 12-week plan will get you ready to start the Half-Distance Build period, which specifically prepares you for your A-priority race. You should be able to swim 1 hour, bike 1.5 hours, and run 1 hour before starting the plan. You should also be able to frequently do three workouts per day. You should have heart rate and power zones set before starting this plan. (For a detailed description of how to set your zones for heart rate, power, or pace, read this.)

What is the weekly volume?

Over 12 weeks, you will increase your weekly volume from about 13 hours to around 17 hours. A typical week includes 4–5 swims, 4–6 bikes, 4–6 runs, and 1–2 strength workouts. Exceptions are the R&R weeks every third week with volume significantly reduced to 4–5 days and self-testing at the end of the week to measure progress. (There is a similarly titled plan for Under-50 triathletes that has rest and recovery every fourth week instead of every third week.)

Do you need any devices?

You may use either a heart rate monitor or a power meter to gauge the bike intensities of this plan. The workouts use the TrainingPeaks “Workout Builder” so that they may be uploaded to a device (power meter, GPS, etc.). (For more information on compatible devices and apps and how to export the workouts, read this. However, it’s not necessary to upload the workouts in order to use this plan.)

After your event, please provide feedback on how this plan worked for you.
“Thanks again for your interest in my training plans, and I hope your training and racing go very well this season.” —Joe Friel

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Bike x4
5:40 hrs 3:00 hrs
Run x4
3:34 hrs 2:00 hrs
Swim x4
3:09 hrs 1:30 hrs
Strength x2
1:22 hrs 1:00 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
5:40 hrs 3:00 hrs
3:34 hrs 2:00 hrs
3:09 hrs 1:30 hrs
1:22 hrs 1:00 hrs

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • GPS

All supported devices

Joe Friel

Joe Friel Coaching

An endurance coach since 1980, Joe Friel has worked with triathletes, cyclists, and runners around the globe. He trains coaches and assists various national federations and national Olympic team staff. He also consults with professional athletes and sports-related businesses. Coach Friel occasionally offers personal camps and seminars for clubs and teams. He has authored 17 books on training including the best-selling Training Bible series. For more info, go to his blog at

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