Intermediate Full Distance IRONMAN 20-week plan - VIDEOS included (Heart Rate and Pace based)

Average Weekly Training Hours 11:00
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 11:00
Training Load By Week

This plan will help intermediate triathletes prepare to race their fastest full-distance IRONMAN triathlon ever in 20 weeks. The structured and specific progression of the workouts in the plan will see to that.

If you typically finish between the top-20% and top-75% of your age-group this plan will suit you well, even if you haven't done an Ironman previously (it is recommended that you have completed at least a half distance/Ironman 70.3 race, though).

The plan is simple and easy-to-follow. You don't need any prior knowledge about structured training endurance sports to be able to follow it. Everything is clearly explained in the plan.

There is on average 11 hours of training per week, over 7-10 workouts. The lightest week is 6 hours, and the hardest has 16 hours of training.

There are 21 videos included in the plan, one for each week plus one big-picture overview. This will help you understand the purpose of the plan as a whole and each week within it, its different phases, and importantly, how to execute it correctly.

Workouts that should not be missed are clearly marked as KEY WORKOUTS, so you can optimise your scheduling, and rearrange the plan cleverly if life gets in the way.

This plan is based on heart rate (and RPE) for cycling and pace for running.

It is also available as versions based on bike power instead of heart rate and based on run power instead of pace to guide intensity. See https://www.trainingpeaks.com/coach/mikael-eriksson.

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TESTIMONIALS FOR MIKAEL'S TRAINING PLANS:

-Average user rating: 9.3 / 10 (at the moment of writing, 24 October 2018)

*I gather feedback on all the training plans I create in order to constantly improve them. One of the questions I ask is for the user to rate the plan on a scale from 1/10. The average user rating is calculated from this feedback.

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One of the best training plans I´ve ever purchased!

"
The progression of the plan was very good. I felt a lot stronger after the training and I also liked that the Training Peaks version of the plan has the Structured Workouts feature so they can be easily downloaded to Garmin devices.

I sincerely think that it has been one of the best training plans I´ve ever purchased. Worth every penny!
"

Victor Campos Vallejo
31, Mexico
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Kept me organised and focused!

"
Your plan kept me very organized and focused through the 12 weeks. It was a good fit for my level. Not too easy, with too short training distances like so many other training plans I looked at, but not so daunting as some of the 12-15 hrs/week plans.

I have another race coming up, so I plan to restart the plan next week to prep for it. I would highly recommend it!
"

Christina Meyer
47, United States
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Made my training much more efficient!

"
With this training plan, my training changed to be more systematic. Each session has a clear target for what you're trying to achieve - not just "going for a run".

I haven't previously trained using training zones, and this made the training much more efficient. I've improved my run pace nicely (and it was my strongest discipline before) and really improved my cycling.

Finally, having this plan makes it harder to skip workouts, so it helps you stay consistent. If you're considering purchasing it, just go for it! It helps immensely.
"

Kristian Nikinmaa
33, United Kingdom
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-You can find more testimonials at https://scientifictriathlon.com/stories/

Sample Day 1
1:00:00
2600m
76.3TSS
CSS-test (Critical Swim Speed) [KEY WORKOUT]

CSS training (Critical Swim Speed) involves swimming at a pace that will improve your lactate threshold, a physiological factor that when improved will result in significant speed increases in distance swimming (400m plus). Use this test to find out what speed to swim at to train your lactate threshold.

Warm-up:
-300 easy
-200 w/ fins as ­↑ broken arrow ↓ freestyle
-200 w/ pull buoy and paddles as B3/5/7/3/3/5/7/3
-100 w/ pull buoy as: 2 x (12 ½ scull #1 + 12 ½ doggy paddle + 25 freestyle)

Build:
-4 x 50 (25 fast + 25 easy)
-4 x 100 at your predicted 400 pace / 20 sec rest

Main set - the CSS-test:
-400 m/yd at your absolute best effort
-10 min rest doing some light swimming (e.g. get in 200-300 m of very easy swimming, perhaps as 4-6 x 50, can include mixed strokes)
-200 m/yd at your absolute best effort

Main set part 2: Pacing
-4 x 100 at a strong effort, but slightly slower than your actual pace from the 400 / 20 sec rest

Warm down
-200m mixed strokes

MORE INFORMATION:

-"↑ X ↓ Y" means swim X on the way up the lane (25 m or yds, or 50 in a long-course pool) and swim Y on the way back.

-B3/B4/B5/B6/B7... means breathe every 3, 4, 5, 6, 7... strokes

-Broken arrow: https://youtu.be/HkrwIAJfS4U

-"Mixed strokes" means that you can choose to swim a mixture of freestyle, back stroke, breast stroke, butterfly, however you prefer (e.g. 200 mixed strokes can be 2 x (25 back + 75 free)

SCALING:
-If you need to scale down this workout, remove
1. The warm-down
2. The Main Set part 2

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
70.6TSS
FTP-test: 20-minute Time Trial [KEY WORKOUT]

Use this test to find out what your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) and/or Heart Rate (FTHR) is and set your training zones.

Do the test on an indoor trainer or outside with no interruptions for traffic and ideally as flat as possible.

If using a power meter, remember to calibrate your power meter at some point during the warm-up (e.g. after 10 minutes), before starting the Time Trial.

Warm-up:
-10 minutes easy spinning
-3 x (1 minute hard effort 90+ rpm, 1 minute easy Z1)
-4 minutes easy (Z1)
-5 minutes hard effort (Z4-Z5)
-5 minutes easy (Z1/Z2)

Main set:
-20 minutes Time Trial at your best possible effort.

Cool-down
-10 minutes very easy spin

NOTES:

-Pace well. Don't go out too hard and fade before the end of the test. But make sure that you've given it your 100% at the end of the test.

-Looking through previous tests and recent workouts will give you an idea of what power (or heart rate if you don't use power) you can realistically sustain. But tune in to your body and your effort to really give your absolute best, regardless of what you thought beforehand that you were capable of.

-Record the 20-minute TT in one single lap on your watch/head unit. Press lap when starting and finishing the TT. Do not have auto-lap (e.g. automatic laps every 5 km) activated.

-If you have a heart rate monitor, use it in the test to get an estimate of your threshold heart rate.

Sample Day 7
1:10:00
89.4TSS
Endurance run (hills)

Endurance run in Z2.

-If possible, include as much running up and down hills as possible to further work on your muscular strength and endurance. The more elevation gain you can accumulate, the better! Forget about average pace - your success metric here is elevation gain.

-On hills, use RPE/heart rate/power rather than pace to ensure you stay in Z2 (Z3 is also ok occasionally). Therefore, the pace guidelines you see here are only relevant for flat sections of your run.

-Keep your pace/heart rate/power/RPE in check. Going harder than prescribed in these endurance workouts will only be detrimental to overall improvements.

-You should be able to talk in complete sentences when running in Z2. If you are too out of breath to do this, you are running too hard.

Sample Day 10
1:15:00
3600m
70TSS
Threshold + Muscular Endurance 15 x 100 [KEY WORKOUT]

Warm up:
-600 easy
-4 x 100 as (B3, B5, B3, B5) / 20 s
-4 x 100 (snorkel optional) as (50 kick, 25 easy free, 25 sprint) / 30 s

Build:
-8 x 50 descend 1-4 / 15 sec rest

Main set - all at threshold/CSS *effort* (note that reps with paddles may be faster at the same effort)
-3 x 100 / 20 sec rest
-3 x 100 w/ paddles / 20 sec rest
-3 x 100 / 20 sec rest
-3 x 100 w/ paddles / 20 sec rest
-3 x 100 / 20 sec rest

Strength (if absolutely necessary, add a pull buoy):
-4 x 25 w/ bands / 15 sec
-4 x 50 w/ paddles and bands / 15 sec

MORE INFORMATION:

-Swim with bands: https://youtu.be/0prPd6gjQqc

-"↑ X ↓ Y" means swim X on the way up the lane (25 m or yds, or 50 in a long-course pool) and swim Y on the way back.

-B3/B4/B5/B6/B7... means breathe every 3, 4, 5, 6, 7... strokes

-Descending = each interval faster than the previous.

-Descend 1-3 example: "9 x 100 m / 10 s, descend 1-3” means descending within sets of three and then starting over for the next set of 3 (intervals 4-6). E.g. 1:50, 1:45, 1:40, 1:50, 1:45, 1:40, 1:50, 1:45, 1:40.

Sample Day 14
1:20:00
102.5TSS
Endurance run (hills) [KEY WORKOUT]

Endurance run in Z2.

-If possible, include as much running up and down hills as possible to further work on your muscular strength and endurance. The more elevation gain you can accumulate, the better! Forget about average pace - your success metric here is elevation gain.

-On hills, use RPE/heart rate/power rather than pace to ensure you stay in Z2 (Z3 is also ok occasionally). Therefore, the pace guidelines you see here are only relevant for flat sections of your run.

-Keep your pace/heart rate/power/RPE in check. Going harder than prescribed in these endurance workouts will only be detrimental to overall improvements.

-You should be able to talk in complete sentences when running in Z2. If you are too out of breath to do this, you are running too hard.

Sample Day 19
0:30:00
1500m
30TSS
Speed - 4 x 50 + 4 x 25

Warm-up:
-600 easy

Build:
-300 as 4 x (50 very easy, 25 FAST)

Main set:
4 x (
-50 all out SPRINT + 50 super easy swim recovery / 1 min rest
-25 all out SPRINT + 25 super easy swim recovery / 45 sec rest
)

Sample Day 21
1:30:00
115.6TSS
Endurance run (hills) [KEY WORKOUT]

Endurance run in Z2.

-If possible, include as much running up and down hills as possible to further work on your muscular strength and endurance. The more elevation gain you can accumulate, the better! Forget about average pace - your success metric here is elevation gain.

-On hills, use RPE/heart rate/power rather than pace to ensure you stay in Z2 (Z3 is also ok occasionally). Therefore, the pace guidelines you see here are only relevant for flat sections of your run.

-Keep your pace/heart rate/power/RPE in check. Going harder than prescribed in these endurance workouts will only be detrimental to overall improvements.

-You should be able to talk in complete sentences when running in Z2. If you are too out of breath to do this, you are running too hard.

Mikael Eriksson - Founder of Scientific Triathlon, Podcaster at That Triathlon Show
|
Scientific Triathlon

With all the athletes I coach, I have three goals:

-Improve the athlete's performance
-Increase the motivation and enjoyment the athlete gets from the sport
-Provide 100% personalized feedback, mentoring and support. Essentially, teach my athletes to be able to self-coach, should they so desire.

I have coached complete beginners to finish their first sprint and Olympic triathlons, and helped intermediate/advanced athletes qualify for World Championships and reach age group wins and podiums.