11 Weeks Ironman Triathlon build phase

Average Weekly Training Hours 11:46
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 11:46
Training Load By Week

This training plan is written to prepare you to finish your first Ironman. The weekly volume per week starts at 8 hours and will gradually move up to 12-14. You should already be consistently training 8-10 hours per week before starting this plan and ideally you should have completed some Olympic and half distance races in the past season

This build phase training plan is prepared to provide you with improved strength of your major muscle groups used in triathlon, it will involve more force and muscular endurance sessions, and is a time for eliminating muscle imbalances. This will follow a 4 week cycle of easy, medium, hard and recovery weeks based on hourly volume, with a progressives reliance on carbohydrate as a fuel, moving into zone 3 tempo workouts during the course of the plan

This plan is based on an annual volume of 500 hours per year, which won't necessarily mean an average of 10 hours per week. It will build to 14+ with recovery weeks at around 8 hours per week.

This build phase training plan is prepared to provide you with improved strength of your major muscle groups used in triathlon, it will involve more force and muscular endurance sessions, and is a time for eliminating muscle imbalances. This will follow a 4 week cycle of easy, medium, hard and recovery weeks based on hourly volume, with a progressive reliance on carbohydrate as a fuel, moving into zone 3 tempo workouts during the course of the plan

Nick de Meyer

Level 3 British Triathlon Coach
Training Bible Master Endurance Coach
Training Peaks Level 1 Coach
Level 3 Personal Trainer
TRX Instructor

Sample Day 1
0:30:00
PE, 3-4 sets

Warm up 5-10 minutes. Then 3-4 sets of PE. 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

Sample Day 1
0:45:00
Cruise Intervals, 3-4x6 minute, heart rate zone 3.

BT: Tempo intervals. Warm up well. Then 3-4 x 6 minutes. Build to zone 3 heart rate. 2 minute recovery interval. Relaxed form! Listen to breathing.

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
Descending ladder

WU: 5-10 minutes of mixed swimming and drills.
MS:
500 at T-pace (60”).
300 faster than preceding 300 pace (60”).
200 faster than preceding 200 pace (60”).
200 faster than preceding 200 pace (60”).
100 faster than preceding 200 pace.
CD: 1000 easy swim.
Total—2300+

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
Endurance spinning

Use the cadence mode if you have this available. Spin on the high end of your comfortable range in the small chain ring in the 1-2 heart rate zones on a flat to gently rolling course. Allow your feet and legs to relax while spinning. Note and record your average cadence for the ride when done.

Sample Day 3
1:30:00
Long run, tempo finish, 5M at goal pace

BT: Long run, tempo finish. The first part of this run is a warm-up at heart rate zones 1-2. The last 5-8 miles (8-13km) are at next A-priority race goal pace. Walk 5 minutes for cool down. What was your goal-pace heart rate?

Sample Day 4
1:15:00
Continuous swim

WU: 10-minute swim with your choice of kicks and swims.
Drills: Focus on how well you do the drills, not on how fast.
Set #1 scull front, set #2 scull chest, set #3 scull back.
3 x (4 x 50 done as 25 skull, 25 distance per stroke emphasis).
MS: Using the “feel” for the water you just developed:
5 x 500 swim (1’) at moderate/aerobic effort.
Kick 400 moderate effort.
CD: 10 minutes of kicks and swims.
Total: 3000+

Sample Day 4
1:00:00
Ride however you feel

Ride how you feel. If tired ride in 1-2 zones alone. If fresh ride in all zones and may be a group ride. Be smart!

Nick de Meyer
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Sound Coaching

Nick has been a Level 3 British Triathlon Coach for 10 years, and has been a master endurance coach with Training Bible Coaching UK in that time. He is also a Training Peaks Level 1 Coach, and formerly was a Regional Development Coach for the South East region for British Triathlon.

Alongside his online coaching business, Nick also runs Speedy Swimming which specialise in 1-2-1 front crawl technique lessons, endless pool swim video analysis, swim clinics and group swim sessions