Beginner IRONMAN 36 week plan includes email access to Coach, 6-14 hrs per week, reusable, HR based

Average Weekly Training Hours 09:40
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 09:40
Training Load By Week

Beginner IRONMAN 36 week plan

I found Coach Steve's plan to be well thought out and each session was clearly explained. It was due to this plan that I was able to arrive to the start line of my Ironman feeling confident I was 100% ready for the race. The day itself went to clock work and I ended up smashing my target time of 12 hours!"

Kevin Robinson

This 36 week plan is designed to help a beginner triathlete build their fitness to be ready to tackle an Ironman

To be successful with this plan you should have at least a year of triathlon experience including completing an Olympic/international distance race to date.

Plan outline
Base or fitness/stamina development = 20 weeks
Build or race specific training = 14 weeks
Taper or readying yourself for race day = 2 week
3 week progression:1 week recovery cycle

Typical week
On avg the plan works off a basis of 2 swim sessions, 2 run and 3 bike sessions in a typical week with 2 rest days - with the hourly training load ranging from 6-14 hours a week

What do you get in this plan?
• Email access to the author
• Free “How To Use Your Training Plan” and “Swim drills” guides
• Training zones using feel, heart rate or pace
• Bike/run sessions fully uploadable to compatible GPS devices and associated applications such as Garmin Connect, Trainer Road etc

Have a question? Click here to ask me directly and I will respond within a few hours
Want to see reviews? Click here for testimonials
Not the right plan for you? Click here to view my 70.3 plans.
Want to go longer? Click here to view my full IRONMAN plans
Plans available by duration, average hours, ability level and event specific.

Sample Day 1
Swim session - tech/drills + Critical Swim Speed (CSS) assessment

Assumes 50 m pool - please adjust lengths accordingly to ensure distance covered

Option to download/print off session detail to bring to pool from paper clip in top right corner

Warm up [200m, 200m Total]
200 warm up - 100 free style, 100 back stroke,

Drills [12 lengths i.e. 600m, 800m Total]
(check youtube doc for links to demos if unsure of drill specifics]
1 - 3 - single arm (Left)
4 - 6 - single arm (Right)
7 - 9 - fist
10 - 12 - Easy, Mod & Hard free style

Main [600m, 1400m Total]
6 * 100 (done as hard - note avg time from start of 100 to touch wall - take 20 sec recovery imbetween) - overall avg will be your (critical swim speed (CSS) benchmark

Cool down [200m, 1600m total]
200 m back stroke easy

Total session distance = 1600

Sample Day 2
Run test

To ensure your training is tailored to your current fitness/abilities - the first block requires you to complete a run and bike test to get baseline HR zones which we use to direct sessions and monitor progress

This is the first of these tests - working out your run specific HR zones

NB needs GPS device and HR monitor

Please ignore the target distance - indicative only - the actual distance will be determined by you

Best done on flat out and back course
Warm up gently for 10 mins (including stopping to stretch hamstrings/calves/glutes)

For the actual test you need to accelerate to a tempo which you believe you can sustain for 30 min continuous running, but not longer. This should feel difficult!

10 min warm down please

Once you have the HR data uploaded to this session - open via the analyse icon in the top right hand corner and follow the following steps outlined in the below link

Sample Day 3
Pool session - Endurance focus NB requires pb and paddles

Assumes 50 m pool - please adjust lengths accordingly to ensure distance covered

Option to download/print off session detail to bring to pool from paper clip in top right corner

Endurance sets are designed to build stamina and strength in the water so you can go for longer distances without any issue

Warm Up [200, 200 total]
300m = 100 f/s, 100 b/s,

Drills [400, 600 total]
Single arm: 2 x 50 (1stLeft, 2nd right), 10 sec Rest
Pull Buoy: 2 x 50, as 25 Fists, 25 swim 10 sec Rest
Increasing effort: 1st 50 easy, 2nd 50 moderate, 3rd 50 hard, 4th 50 recovery

Main Set: [600, 1200 total]
1st 300m no swim aids 1 min rest
2nd 300m with pull bouy & paddles 1 min rest

Cool down: [200, 1400 total]
200m = 200 backstroke

Sample Day 3
Turbo set - endurance or 60 min easy spin

Turbo sets are a great way to improve cycling and stroke efficiency as you remove the other variables such as road surface, weather and traffic!

10 min easy zone 1 warm up
30 mins zone 2
10 mins cool down zone 1

Sample Day 4
Tempo run

Tempo runs are an excellent way for triathletes to work on building their speed and strength. They are runs that are done at a steady effort level, usually just a little slower than your 10K race pace

Session details
1km warm up zone 1
6km @10km pace or zone 3
1km cool down zone 1

Sample Day 6
Aerobic easy run with strides to encourage good form

Aerobic Zone 2 paced run focus on good running form (engage core, slight lean forward from hips to ensure mainly landing on ball of foot when making contact with ground) with a Stride every 5mins

Sample Day 7
Long bike endurance focus

Long endurance based bikes in the base period are to build your endurance and should be in the z1/z2 HR range

Steven Moody Current Triathlon Ireland Coach of the year
SMart endurance solutions

*Triathlon Ireland coach of the year award winner 2017 based on athlete/peer voting*

Coach Steve has over 20 years experience in endurance sports racing, including numerous IRONMAN and 70.3 finishes (including 2xworld champ qualification)

As a full time coach (TP level 2, Ironman U certified), Steven specialises in helping time Age Group triathletes and runners realize their goals.

See for sample client feedback