Triathlon: Ironman Triathlon Training Plan - Beginner: 4.5 to 14.25 hrs/wk

Average Weekly Training Hours 08:04
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 08:04
Training Load By Week

Wow, I wish I could be an ironman—I mean, just finish the event. I’d be happy to step across that awesome line and receive a finisher’s medal around my neck. (Big sigh.) I’ve got too much going on in my life to think about an ironman distance event and I’m not good enough. I mean, those folks have a training schedule that looks like a part-time job, swim like speed boats, ride a bike at Mach 1 for 112 miles and then run an entire marathon looking like the Roadrunner dancing away from Wiley Coyote. There is no way I’ll ever have enough time or speed—even in my wildest dreams. Finishing an ironman distance event is out of my reach…

If the words above read as though they came from your personal thought-bubble, I disagree with you. There is a common misconception that in order to complete an Ironman distance event, one must train 20 to 30 hours per week and average speeds that few athletes can accomplish. To comfortably complete an Ironman distance event, 20 to 30 hours per week of training is simply not necessary. The average speed needed is not that of The Roadrunner. So, what does it take?

For race day, if you estimate it is possible to swim 2.4 miles at a pace of 2’50” per 100 yards (2:00 swim time), ride 112 miles averaging 15.7 miles per hour (7:08 bike time), run or run/walk 26.2 miles at a 12’47” pace per mile (5:38 marathon time) and add about 30 minutes in for transitions, these times make it possible to finish an Ironman race in 15:16. That gives you 1:44 of “reserve” time for unforeseen problems. Ironman is possible.

This 16-week plan begins with Week 1 between 5:30 and 6:30 total training time. The long run begins at 1:00 and the long ride between 1:30 and 2:00. (See the plan preview.) The plan builds fitness so you swim 1:30, run about 3:00 and ride about 6:00 on the weekend of Week 12. The total training for Week 12 is between 13:15 and 14:15. Yes, that amount of training is enough. After Week 12, a few weeks of tapering volume has you rested and ready to go on race day.

Find the supporting documents you need to help you with this plan at this link.

You can find more training plan choices at THIS HOT LINK.

Originally appeared in “Triathlete Magazine.”

Sample Day 1
1:00:00
AA

Warm up aerobically, running or cycling for 10-20 minutes, then complete 2-3 sets x 15-20 repetitions (reps) of the designated exercises using a light to moderate weight.

Sample Day 2
0:30:00
Formwork

The main set will be mostly aerobic work; however a good deal of form work is included at the beginning or the end of the workout. For this workout, speed is less important than good form. Some coaches refer to this as drill work. Neuromuscular training is important during the drill segment. (Can select a Workouts in a Binder card E(Form). )

Sample Day 3
0:30:00
Cadence - Zones 1-2

Run a flat to gently rolling course in heart rate Zones 1 to 2. No need to "push" Zone 2. Within the run, check leg speed a few times by counting your left foot strikes for 15 seconds. The total should be 21 or more.

Sample Day 4
0:30:00
Endurance - 90rpm

Ride in Zones 1-2 on a flat to gently rolling course at 90+ rpm. If you're unable to spin 90+ rpm coast and recover until you can.

Sample Day 4
0:30:00
AA

Warm up aerobically, running or cycling for 10-20 minutes, then complete 2-3 sets x 15-20 repetitions (reps) of the designated exercises using a light to moderate weight.

Sample Day 6
1:00:00
Easy Run

Run on a flat course - a soft surface would be best (grass, dirt or treadmill) - keeping heart rate in Zone 1.

Sample Day 6
0:30:00
Endurance Swim (Z1-2)

Swim with masters or on your own, control the intensity, so RPE is in Zones 1-2. (Can select a Workouts in a Binder card (E). )

Gale Bernhardt
|
Gale Bernhardt Consulting Inc.

I offer one-on-one, completely personalized coaching for athletes that want customized training.

For athletes that enjoy self-coaching, but need a bit of help, I offer phone consulting services.

You can find more information about these services on my website www.galebernhardt.com