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Beginner Full Distance Triathlon 26-week plan (Bike power, Run Pace)

Author

Mikael Eriksson

All plans by this Coach

Length

26 Weeks

Plan Specs

triathlon ironman beginner power based pace based tss based

Refund Policy

This plan is protected by our Refund Policy and may, with the author's approval, be exchanged for a plan of equal value from the same author.

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Plan Description

This plan will help you prepare for your first full distance triathlon.

To start this plan, you should be at a level where you are able to train consistently for 6 days per week for a total of 6-7 hours, without it being a massive challenge. This is the plans starting point. You should be able to do swim workouts starting from 2200 m/yds, bike for 2 hours, and run for 1h10min. If you can do these things, you will be able to follow the plan, and it will then gradually build you up to a really good fitness level, so you can complete training weeks you wouldn't have thought possible, and ultimately complete your Full Distance race feeling strong!

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.

There is on average 9 hours of training per week, over 6-8 workouts. The lightest week is 7 hours, and the hardest has 14 hours of training.

There are 28 videos included in the plan, one for each week plus two introductory videos, to help you understand the purpose of the plan and the different phases and execute it correctly.

The workouts are prescribed based on power for cycling and pace for running, as well as on perceived effort using cues like "easy", "moderate", "hard" and RPE (Rating of Perceived Exertion) ratings like "4/10" and "7/10".

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

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ABOUT THE COACH:
Mikael Eriksson is the founder and head coach of Scientific Triathlon, a coaching business that provides world-class individual coaching to athletes of all levels, as well as top-rated training plans that in the fairly short time they've been available, have already been used by over 1000 athletes in all corners of the world. He is also the host of the podcast That Triathlon Show.

TESTIMONIALS FOR MIKAEL'S TRAINING PLANS:

Average user rating: 9.3 / 10 (at the moment of writing)

*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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Stats

Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
4:28 hrs 5:00 hrs
2:41 hrs 2:15 hrs
1:52 hrs 1:30 hrs
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Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
4:28 hrs 5:00 hrs
2:41 hrs 2:15 hrs
1:52 hrs 1:30 hrs
—— ——

Training Load By Week


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.

Sample Day 1

0:45:00
2200m
44TSS
Endurance/Neuromuscular

The purpose of this workout is mostly to work on aerobic endurance. Therefore, in any of the segments that are easy, make sure you do swim at an easy effort that feels sustainable for a long time. Focus on good form and technique.

The workout is spiced up with a few short and sharp neuromuscular efforts. Here, you should simply go at an all out effort. Do try to keep your technique together, but high power and high stroke rate is the main goal of these neuromuscular segments, not perfect technique.

-300 easy w/ fins
-200 easy w/ pull buoy
-200 easy kick w/ fins and kickboard or snorkel
-4 x 100 descend 1-4 (very easy, easy, moderate, FAST!) / 20"

Main set:
-200 easy / 20"
-8 x 25, alternating FAST/very easy, leaving on every 1:00
-300 easy / 20"
-8 x 25, alternating FAST/very easy, leaving on every 1:00
-200 easy

Sample Day 2

1:30:00
63.4TSS
Endurance/Neuromuscular (Power)

This ride consists of 9 x 10-minute segments. Ride as much as you are comfortable with in the aerobars.

Your heart rate/power should remain at a steady Z2-level throughout. But we alternate cadence in half of the 10-minute segments as seen below. The 10-minute segments with 'choice cadence' you should select your most comfortable, natural cadence.
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-10' @ Z2 as (4' @ 60 rpm, 3' @ 70 rpm, 2' @ 80 rpm, 1' @ 90 rpm)

-10' @ Z2, choice cadence

-10' @ Z2 as (4' @ 70 rpm, 3' @ 80 rpm, 2' @ 90 rpm, 1' @ 100 rpm)

-10' @ Z2, choice cadence

-10' @ Z2 as (4' @ 80 rpm, 3' @ 90 rpm, 2' @ 100 rpm, 1' @ 110 rpm)

-10' @ Z2, choice cadence

-10' @ Z2 as (4' @ 70 rpm, 3' @ 80 rpm, 2' @ 90 rpm, 1' @ 100 rpm)

-10' @ Z2, choice cadence

-10' @ Z2 as (4' @ 60 rpm, 3' @ 70 rpm, 2' @ 80 rpm, 1' @ 90 rpm)

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-This ride is recommended to do indoors on the trainer. But don't get sucked into any competitiveness on Zwift - do your own thing ignoring everybody else.

-If you ride outdoors, set yourself up for success by selecting a flat route.

-This ride should feel comfortable, you shouldn't have to work very hard. Work at the low end of the power/HR range prescribed if that's what it takes to keep your effort low.

-Target Session-RPE (how easy/hard you perceive the session on a scale from 1-10): 3-4

Sample Day 3

0:50:00
58.8TSS
Endurance (Pace)

Easy Z2 endurance run. Keep an eye on BOTH heart rate and pace (or power, if you have a run power meter). You want both of them to remain in Z2 or below. If HR goes into Z3, reduce your pace (even into pace Z1 if needed) until HR is back in Z2.

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-This run should feel comfortable, you shouldn't have to work hard at all. You should be able to have a dialogue with yourself (try it!) without getting out of breath. This "talk test" is a great way to verify you're not running too hard.

-Target Session-RPE (how easy/hard you perceive the session on a scale from 1-10): 2-4

-If your HR tends to easily rise past Z2, set yourself up for success by selecting a flat route and running at a time of day when heat won't affect you.

-Also, be aware that running slow enough such that your heart rate remains low is an absolutely essential part of any triathlon or run training plan. Faster is certainly not better in these endurance run. Intensity-control is the name of the game!

Sample Day 4

0:45:00
2200m
44TSS
Endurance/Neuromuscular

The purpose of this workout is mostly to work on aerobic endurance. Therefore, in any of the segments that are easy, make sure you do swim at an easy effort that feels sustainable for a long time. Focus on good form and technique.

The workout is spiced up with a few short and sharp neuromuscular efforts with paddles. Here, you should simply go at an all out effort. High power is the main goal of these neuromuscular segments, not perfect technique, but do make sure you finish your stroke completely (push the back end of the stroke) rather than exit the water early with your hand (a common mistake when swimming with paddles). If you sacrifice a little speed in doing so, that's still the right thing to do in this workout.

-300 easy w/ fins
-200 easy w/ pull buoy
-200 easy kick w/ fins and kickboard or snorkel
-4 x 100 descend 1-4 (very easy, easy, moderate, FAST!) / 20"

Main set:
-200 easy / 20"
-4 x 50 w/ paddles, the first ~10 seconds of each 50 as an all out sprint, then cruise easy / 15"
-300 easy / 20"
-4 x 50 w/ paddles, the first ~10 seconds of each 50 as an all out sprint, then cruise easy / 15"
-200 easy

Sample Day 6

2:00:00
111.7TSS
Endurance/Neuromuscular (Power)

-1h 30min easy Z2, conversational effort. Ride in the aerobars if possible.
-15 x 10" all out SPRINT (sitting up), starting every 2' (very, VERY easy spin between sprints)
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-The sprint segment is all about following RPE (Rating of Perceived Exertion). Go as hard as you possibly can when sprinting, and as easy as you possibly can (without the bike falling over, if riding outdoors) when recovering. Ignore heart rate and power, they are not relevant here.

-Keep an eye on BOTH heart rate and power in the Z2 part of this ride. You want both of them to remain in Z2 or below. If HR goes into Z3, reduce your power (even into power Z1 if needed) until HR is back in Z2.

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-The sprint segment should obviously feel quite hard, but other than that this ride should feel comfortable, so the overall perception of the workout should be that it was not too challenging. Stay on the low end of the target power/HR ranges if that's what it takes to accomplish this.

-Target Session-RPE (how easy/hard you perceive the session on a scale from 1-10): 4-6
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Race nutrition and hydration practice:

It's never too early to start practising race nutrition. Long rides and runs are the perfect opportunities to do so.

In your IRONMAN, the goal should be to get in 60-90 grams of carbohydrates per hour to make sure you don't run out of glycogen. This is the equivalent of 3-4 gels per hour.

You will also need 500-1000 ml of fluid (water, electrolyte drink or sports drink or a combination) depending on your sweat rate and the environmental conditions. Most athletes also need a certain amount of sodium. For some, the sodium you get from gels and sports drinks will be enough, but others (especially those who both have a high sweat rate, and very salty sweat) may need to supplement as much as 1500 mg sodium per litre fluid.

You should, through this training plan (and especially, but not exclusively) practise these things (nutrition, hydration, and sodium intake) and carefully LOG them in your workout comments/training diary, so that when you get close to race day, you already have a very clear understanding of what combination works best for you (some athletes may work best with more solid nutrition, whereas others do better with more liquid options, for example) and how much you need and cal tolerate of each component of your nutrition/hydration plan.

Sample Day 7

1:10:00
80.5TSS
Endurance/Neuromuscular (Pace)

-50' easy Z2, conversational pace
-8 x 10" fast strides, starting every 2' (very easy jog or walk between strides)
-Easy jog to the prescribed duration
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Strides are accelerations to ~95% of max speed with great running form. RELAX when running strides. Don't let your hands, face or arms tense up.

Build pace to close to max over the first few seconds of the acceleration, maintain this "best relaxed speed" for a short time, and then, as you get to around 10 seconds, just gradually let the speed dissipate as you take away all the effort but still maintain form and phase out the stride.

Strides are not meant to be a hard workout - it's a running form workout - a great way to work on technique and running mechanics, and to increase top end speed.

Walk or jog very easily between each stride so you can perform them with perfect form.

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-In the Z2 part of this run, keep an eye on BOTH heart rate and pace (or power, if you have a run power meter). You want both of them to remain in Z2 or below. If HR goes into Z3, reduce your pace (even into pace Z1 if needed) until HR is back in Z2.

-If your HR tends to easily rise past Z2, set yourself up for success by selecting a flat route and running at a time of day when heat won't affect you.

-Also, be aware that running slow enough such that your heart rate remains low is an absolutely essential part of any triathlon or run training plan. Faster is certainly not better in these endurance run. Intensity-control is the name of the game!
---------------------------------------------------

-This run should feel comfortable, you shouldn't have to work hard at all, except for the strides (which are fast, but relaxed). You should be able to have a dialogue with yourself (try it!) without getting out of breath. This "talk test" is a great way to verify you're not running too hard.

-Target Session-RPE (how easy/hard you perceive the session on a scale from 1-10): 3-4

Sample Day 8

0:45:00
2200m
44TSS
Endurance/Neuromuscular

The purpose of this workout is mostly to work on aerobic endurance. Therefore, in any of the segments that are easy, make sure you do swim at an easy effort that feels sustainable for a long time. Focus on good form and technique.

The workout is spiced up with a few short and sharp neuromuscular efforts. Here, you should simply go at an all out effort. Do try to keep your technique together, but high power and high stroke rate is the main goal of these neuromuscular segments, not perfect technique.

-300 easy w/ fins
-200 easy w/ pull buoy
-200 easy kick w/ fins and kickboard or snorkel
-4 x 100 descend 1-4 (very easy, easy, moderate, FAST!) / 20"

Main set:
-200 easy / 20"
-8 x 25, alternating FAST/very easy, leaving on every 1:00
-300 easy / 20"
-8 x 25, alternating FAST/very easy, leaving on every 1:00
-200 easy

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