NEW: Ironman Base Period (UNDER 50) 12-17hrs/wk (HR based) Workout Builder Format

Average Weekly Training Hours 12:56
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 12:56
Training Load By Week

This 12-week Ironman Base period training plan was designed by Joe Friel using the principles described in his books--The Triathlete's Training Bible and Going Long (co-author Gordo Byrn). It differs from the plan with a similar title for OVER-50 aged triathletes in that the recovery weeks occur every 4th week here while in the OVER-50 plan they are every 3rd week.

This plan is easy to read and to follow and will prepare you to start Joe's Ironman Build-Peak-Race periods training plan. It is best to start this plan 24 weeks before your Ironman race if you intend to follow it with either of his Build-Peak-Race plans as they last 12 weeks. Another option is to start it 28-32 weeks before your Ironman and repeat the last 4 weeks of this plan once or twice to more fully establish your Base fitness.

To start this plan you should already be capable of swimming 1 hour, biking 90 minutes and running 1 hour. The emphasis in the first several weeks of this plan is on running. In the latter half the emphasis shifts toward the bike. Each week there are 3 swims, 2-5 rides, 4-5 runs and 1-2 strength workouts. Weekly volume steadily increases from 12 to 17 hours. The exceptions are in rest and recovery weeks every fourth week when training is greatly reduced for 4-5 days culminating with self-testing. These R&R weeks will shed fatigue allowing for adaptation and improved performance.

For gauging intensity on the bike and run you must have a heart rate monitor. Swim intensities are based on pace per 100 and perceived exertion. Your swim, bike, and run training zones (heart rate and pace) should be set before starting the plan. (For a detailed description of how to set your zones go to http://www.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2009/11/quick-guide-to-setting-zones.html.)

The plan was created using the TrainingPeaks "Workout Builder" format. That means the workouts may be uploaded to a device (power meter, heart rate monitor, indoor trainer, etc) or app to help you follow it precisely. For more information on compatible devices and apps and how to export the workouts from this plan to them go to http://help.trainingpeaks.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000325647-Structured-Workout-Export. (It's not necessary to upload the workouts in order to use this plan.)

When purchasing this plan if you check the box to share your email address with Joe Friel when prompted you will receive two follow-up emails from him with more information about your plan and you will also be able to contact him should you run into a problem. Your email address won't be used for anything else. Also, after your event please provide feedback on how this plan worked out for you.

Sample Day 1
1:00:00
Anatomical Adaptation (AA).

Anatomical Adaptation (AA).

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 on a stationary bike 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.

Sample Day 5
1:00:00
Anatomical Adaptation (AA).

Anatomical Adaptation (AA).

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 on a stationary bike 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.

Sample Day 6
1:00:00
60TSS
AE2. Base Building 1h HR.

Base Building.
On soft but firm surface, run with heart rate in zones 1 & 2 or at pace zone 1. Pretty form and quick cadence. (This is better outdoors but may be done on a treadmill).

Sample Day 15
1:00:00
Max Transition (MT).

Max Transition (MT).


Strength: After warm up do 3-4 sets of Max Transition (MT)-- 10-15 reps with heavier loads than in AA. Cool down 5-10 minutes by spinning. 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.

Sample Day 29
0:45:00
Max Strength (MS).

Max Strength (MS).

Strength: BT: Warm up 5-10 minutes. Then do 3-4 sets of Max Strength (MS) with 3-6 reps and heavy loads. Cool down 5-10 minutes 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.

Sample Day 30
1:00:00
40TSS
AE2. Aerobic Threshold (AeT) Steady State (1h (30min) HR.

Aerobic Threshold (AeT) Steady State.
BT: Wa m-up 10-15 minutes. Then on a mostly flat course run 30 minutes at 30 bpm below your 5a zone (LTHR). Focus on good form with a high cadence (88+ rpm) and somewhat flat footstrike (not on heavily on heels or toes). Cool down in heart rate zone 1 for the remaining portion of this session. If using a GPS device, afterwards note your Efficiency Factor (EF) on TrainingPeaks. EF should increase over several weeks for similar workouts to this one.

Sample Day 57
0:30:00
Strength Maintenance (SM).

Strength Maintenance (SM).

Strength: WU 5-10 minutes. Then do 2 sets of Strength Maintenance (SM) weight lifting. First set is light (12 reps with 15RM load). Second set is heavy (3-6 reps with 6RM load). CD 5-10 minutes spinning in easy gear/resistance at high rpm. This should be a very brief workout. 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.

Joe Friel
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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 16 books on training including the best-selling Training Bible series. He is currently not accepting coaching clients.