This plan was designed for the advanced triathlete by Joe Friel using the principles of The Triathlete's Training Bible. It is best started 24 weeks prior to your first A-priority race of the season. Following this 12-week plan will get you ready to start the Half-Ironman Build period (see Half IM Build-Peak-Race plans) which specifically prepares you for your A-priority race. The over-50 Build-Peak-Race plans are also 12 weeks. You may use either a heart rate monitor or power meter to gauge the bike intensities of this plan.
This plan is intended for the over-age-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 and train best when rest and recovery weeks are every third week (instead of every fourth week as in the UNDER-50 plan with a similar title). To start this plan you should be able to swim 1 hour, bike 1.5 hours, and run 1 hour. Over 12 weeks of training you will increase your weekly volume from about 13 hours to around 19 hours including 4-5 swims, 4 to 6 bikes, 4 to 6 runs, and 1 to 2 strength workouts each week. The exceptions are the R&R weeks every third week when volume is significantly reduced for 4 to 5 days with self-testing at the end of the week to measure progress.
The plan uses common 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-Ironman race. Your power and heart rate zones should be established before starting this plan. (For detailed description of how to set your zones for heart rate, power or pace go to http://www.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2009/11/quick-guide-to-setting-zones.html.)
Strength: After warm up on a stationary bike, treadmill, or other do 3-4 sets of Anatomical Adaptation (AA) phase. Cool down with 5-10 minutes of spinning in easy gear/resistance at high rpm. 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.
(You may substitute a masters swim workout.) Warm-Up: 100 swim easy, (10 seconds rest), 50 moderately fast, (10 seconds rest), 100 swim moderate, (10 sec rest), 50 swim moderately fast, (10sec rest), 100 swim build speed, (10 sec), 50 swim fast.
Mainset: For the first set decrease times (swim faster) with each work interval. All aerobic—easy breathing.
4 x 100 moderate (10sec rest between).
Rest 2 minutes.
300 slow and easy. Form!
6 x 25 relaxed speed (15 sec).
Cool down: 200 easy swim.
OR ALTERNATIVE PDLC SWIM (your choice)
For 30-45 minutes swim 25 repeats moderately fast while focusing on only Posture, Direction, Length, or Catch. (20-30sec rest after each). See PDLC details below under "Pre-activity comments."
Ride in heart rate or power zones 1-2, all 1 zone if using only HR. Flat to gently rolling course. Low effort--light on pedals. Comfortably high rpm.
Basic strides (this is best outdoors but may be done on a treadmill). Warm up with a 15- to 20-minute easy run. Then run 4-5x20 seconds fast on a soft, gentle downhill (such as a grassy park or dirt road). Run at approximately 400m race pace--not quite all out speed. Relax. Walk (yes, "walk") back to start point for each recovery. Run easily in zone 1 to cool down to complete the planned workout duration.
On soft but firm surface, heart rate in zones 1-2 only or very easy effort. Pretty form and quick cadence.
Warm-up + drills for your technique limiter. Then do 6x50 fast form (on 90 seconds). Long, easy cool down. FORM!
OR ALTERNATIVE PDLC SWIM (your choice):
Swim for the scheduled workout duration doing only 25 repeats moderately fast while focusing on only Posture, Direction, Length, or Catch. (20-30sec rest after each)
On soft but firm surface, heart rate in zones 1-2 only. Very easy effort. Pretty form and quick cadence. (This is best outdoors but may be done on a treadmill).