NOVICE IRONMAN, 9 to 12 hours per week. 20 Week. Sunday Race. Re-usable.

Average Weekly Training Hours 09:29
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 09:29
Training Load By Week

Designed for Novice level Ironman triathletes, this plan will gradually build your speed, endurance and confidence for your key IRONMAN distance event.

"Too happy to wait to tell you - 13:01:34 is beyond what I ever thought I was capable of at my first Ironman. Thanks for everything. Amazing!" Andrew Mott, Cotswold 226, UK, July 2014.


• Email access to the author

• PDF guides on “How To Use Your Training Plan” and “Strength & Conditioning”

• Monthly email training advice newsletter

• Training zones using feel, heart rate, power or pace

• Advice on how to incorporate several races into your plan


You can start this plan any Monday or set it to end on your race day. This version is for people who's target race is on a Sunday. There are normally seven workouts per week, consisting of two swims, two cycles, two runs and a strength workout. There's a day off each week and every fourth week has a lower training volume to help your body adapt and recover. The minimal requirements are that you can already swim 2.4 km (with rests), ride for 3 hours and run for 1 hour and 40 minutes, not necessarily on the same day.

• Screenshot of the first 2 weeks (JPG)

• Screenshot of the hardest 2 weeks (JPG)


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Phil Mosley. Coaching Editor of Triathlon Plus Magazine: Full Coach Biography


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Sample Day 2
Pool Swim, Speed

These swims will involve faster paced efforts with rests. They will build your speed for Ironman race day. 

Warm Up:
All in Zone 2, with 5 secs rests.
200FC, 100KICK, 100BACK, 100PULL.

4x150FC BUILD (do each 150 slightly faster than the one before) +30secs rests.
1 minute rest.
4x100PULL BUILD (do each 100 slightly faster than the one before) +15secs rests.
1 minute rest.
8x50FC BUILD (do each 50 slightly faster than the one before) +15secs rests.

Warm Down:
100 in Zone 2, mixed strokes

Sample Day 2
Strength & Conditioning Workout

Please click on the link below for your guide to the strength and conditioning workouts.

Sample Day 3
Cycle Speed Session

These workouts will increase your ability to sustain a high power output for longer. In the first 4 weeks we'll focus on short reps with ample recoveries.

Warm Up:
15mins in Zone 2.

Main Set:
5x5mins in upper Zone 4 +90secs recoveries in Zone 2.

Warm Down:
5mins in Zone 2.

Sample Day 4
Run Speed Workout

These workouts can be done on a track, treadmill or anywhere that you can measure 1000m or equivalent. Don't worry too much about getting the training zones exactly right at this stage, it's not easy on such short efforts. Just run hard during the 1000m reps.

10mins easy jog in Zone 2.
5mins as (10secs at 5km race pace, 50secs easy in Zone 1 to 2).

Aim for 3k to 5k race pace + 400m jog recoveries.

5-10mins easy jog in Zone 1 to 2

Sample Day 5
Aerobic Endurance Pool Swim

These sessions will be done at lower intensities, but will progress in duration. They are designed to gradually increase your endurance to a level where 3800m feels relatively comfortable. We'll also include some technique work. 

Warm Up:
All in Zone 2 with 10secs rests:
3x(100FC, 50DRILL, 100PULL, 50DRILL).

200FC alternating (100 in Zone 2, 50 in Zone 4, 50 in Zone 2) with 20secs rests.

250FC in Zone 2 +15secs rests,
4x50PULL in Zone 3 +10secs rests,
250FC in Zone 2 +15secs rests.
2x100PULL in Zone 3 +10secs rests.

Warm Down:
All in Zone 2:
8x50 as (25DOG, 25FC) +5secs rests.

Sample Day 6
Aerobic Endurance Ride

These endurance workouts will gradually build up to a point where 4 to 5 hour rides feel normal.

Ride in Zone 2 at a steady, conversational pace. You can go into Zone 3 up any hills.

Sample Day 7
Aerobic Endurance Run

Most Sundays we will gradually increase your run-endurance, to a point where you can run 2 hours 30 in training without feeling excessively tired afterwards.

Keep the intensity in Zone 2 at all times. Do this on flat soft ground/trails if possible.

Phil Mosley
My Pro Coach

I have 20 years experience of helping age group athletes surpass their goals, while still making sure they have quality time available for family, friends and career. As an athlete and a parent I know how challenging this can be.

My training plans are intelligently designed around a typical work week. I set proven, time-efficient higher intensity workouts in mid-week, with longer aerobic workouts at the weekends.

Feel free to email any questions you may have: