This 12-week Ironman Build-Peak-Race period training plan was designed by Joe Friel based on the principles described in The Triathlete's Training Bible. It may be used by either over-50 or under-50 athletes. Start this plan exactly 12 weeks before your Ironman race weekend (race week is the 12th week of the plan). Following this plan will prepare you for your Ironman by including the most important elements used by Joe in training IM athletes. Note that this is a challenging training plan for the intermediate to advanced triathlete with most weeks of 15 to 17 hours (but also note that recovery weeks every third week and pre-race taper weeks are considerably less demanding).
To start this plan you should have completed at least one Iron-distance race and have a goal of improving your personal best race time or finishing strongly.
You must have a power meter for bike workouts. Run workout intensities are mostly heart rate-based with occasional options calling for goal IM pace or effort. Swim workout intensities are based on T-times (pace per 100) or perceived exertion. Your training zones should be established before starting this plan. (For detailed description of how to set your zones for heart rate, power or pace go to http://www.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2009/11/quick-guide-to-setting-zones.html.)
This plan is simple to follow and is written in every day triathlon language as you can see in the PREVIEW. Suggestions are made throughout to guide you in making training and race planning decisions.
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.
Strength Maintenance: Warm-up 5-10 minutes. Then do 2 sets of Strength Maintenance (SM) weight lifting. First set is light (12 reps with 15 repetition-max "RM" load). Second set is heavy (3-6 reps with 6RM load). Cool down 5-10 minutes spinning on a stationary bike in easy gear or resistance at high rpm. This should be a very brief workout. For details turn to Chapter 13 in The Triathlete's Training Bible.
Down Ladder at T-time (Short Set).
You may substitute a masters swim session for this workout.
WU: 100 swim, 50 drill (your choice), 100 swim, 50 drill.
350 at T-time.
300 at T-time.
250 at T-time.
200 at T-time.
150 at T-time.
100 swim good form.
BT: Tempo intervals. Warm up about 10 minutes in HR zone 1 and 2. Then run 3-4 x 6 minute intervals on a fairly flat course. Do 4 if feeling good--3 if not. Build to zone 3 heart rate on each. Note your pace. Take a 90-second recovery jog/walk after each. Relaxed form! Listen to breathing. Run easily and walk to cool down for a few minutes to complete the planned workout duration. The first interval should be the slowest. (This is best outdoors but may be done on a treadmill).
Ride in power zones 1-2, but mostly 1 zone. Flat course or indoor trainer. Low effort--light on pedals. Comfortably high rpm.
(You may substitute a masters swim workout.) WU:
200 free, 100 drill (your choice).
4 x 100 done as 25 freestyle, 25 R arm only, 25 L arm only, 25 free.
6 x 100 Odds (1,3,5): 25 drill, 25 R arm only, 25 L arm only, 25 free. Evens (2,4,6): 25 swim, 25 drill, 25 pull, 25 swim.
MS: Try to make the times for these as consistent as possible. Recoveries are in seconds within parentheses.
8 x 100 @ T-pace (10sec rest after each).
8 x 50 @ T-pace (10sec rest after each).
CD: 200 easy.
BT: Steady Tempo Brick. Warm-up 20-30 minutes. Then ride 25-30 minutes steady in power zone 3. Steady effort. Flat to gently rolling course on your time trial set-up in aero position. Try to time this so that the tempo portion ends immediately before starting the run. Transition to the accompanying run workout.
After a quick transition following the bike, run on a mostly flat course run 15 minutes at 30 bpm (+/-2bpm) below your 5a zone (FTHR). Focus on good form with a comfortably high cadence and somewhat flat footstrike (not on heavily on heels or toes). Cool down by walking a few minutes. If using a GPS device (recommended), afterwards determine your 30-minute Efficiency Factor (EF). EF should gradually increase over several weeks. (EF is shown on the analysis feature of TrainingPeaks for this workout.)