Ironman 28 Week Beginner/Intermidiate Plan for Peak Performance on Race Day - Sunday Race

Average Weekly Breakdown
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 12:15

28 week plan for Ironman athletes with a intermediate base of fitness.
This plan is recommended for athletes who have been training consistently and are currently able to swim 1,500 yards, bike 30 miles and run 4 miles continuously, but want to build up to a successful Ironman race.
For those who don't yet possess the recommended fitness, there is a 32 week plan that will allow one extra mesocycle to build a base and still achieve similar fitness on race day.
The main focus of this training plan is to build Aerobic Fitness as well as increase Threshold speed and Stamina across all three disciplines.
It is recommended for dedicated athletes who strive to achieve their best performance on race day and are willing and able to "put in the time and effort".
To accommodate busy working athletes the plan defines Monday as the Rest Day and has the longer workouts on the weekend.
The plan averages 12 hours/week of training with a maximum weekly duration of 19 hours, and is structured with 3 weeks of work and one week of recovery & testing.

Sample Day 1
Intensive Endurance - Short

Ride a "rolling course that takes you into Zone 3 frequently for a few minutes at a time. Remain seated during these efforts.
Within the ride do 5-10 x 3 minutes in mid Zone 3 with 5 minutes easy riding in between.

Sample Day 2
Lactate Stacker 2

15 min with a few good efforts to prime the body

8 x 1 min at close to max speed but remain relaxed - with 2 min easy recovery

10 min to lower HR

Sample Day 2
Drills - Own

Drills, drills & drills.
Reinforce high elbow, early vertical forearm catch. Focus on kick originating at hips, not knees. Engage core.
As you progress tie it all in into actual swimming, but stop if form breaks down

Sample Day 3
Aerobic Foundation - Grind 2

10 min Easy
10 min Zone 2
60 min Tempo
20 min Low Cadence (65-75)
20 min Med Cadence (75-90)
20 min High Cadence (90+)
10 min Zone 2
10 min Easy

Sample Day 4
30M 2 B Swim

Swim First WU 200 SW, 3 x 100 (50 Build, 50 DPS) MS 100 SW 20 sec RI 5 x 50 @ T-Pace 15 sec RI 100 SW 20 sec RI 3 x 50 Faster than T-Pace 20 sec RI 100 SW 20 sec RI 50 Max Effort, All out CD 100 SW

Sample Day 4
Basic Tempo Run

Go by time rather than mileage
WU - 10 min build Z1-Z2
MS - good form and quick cadence
10 Min Tempo (Zone 3) Steady
10 Min Endurance (Zone 2) Steady
10 Min Tempo (Zone 3) Steady
10 Min Endurance (Zone 2) Steady
CD 1 mile Z1-Z2

Sample Day 5
Endurance - Basic Ride 3

10-15 min <75%FTP
2 hrs @<70-80%FTP
10-15min @<75%FTP

Marco Nicoli
Nicoli Coaching

I am passionate about sports and physical activity. I grew up a soccer player in Italy and have completed numerous Triathlons, from Sprint to Ironman.

I believe One on One coaching provides the best performance on race day.
Every athlete is different in their physiology, strengths, weaknesses and response to training.
As such, a tailored and personalized approach will provide the optimal results.
My approach is quantitative as I truly believe the saying "What gets measured gets Improved!"