Ironman Triathlon Training Plan - Level 1

Average Weekly Training Hours 09:21
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 09:21
Training Load By Week

This plan offers the minimal training you need for a successful Ironman finish. And by successful I mean finishing strong, not limping across the line and falling on your face!

The Level 1 training plan features 9 workouts per week, with relatively short workouts during the week and all of the long ones crammed into the weekends. In the odd-numbered weeks you’ll do 3 swims, 3 rides, and 3 runs. In weeks 2, 6, and so forth, you will do a brick workout instead of a ride on Saturday, which effectively adds a fourth run to your schedule. In weeks 4, 8, and so forth, you will do a brick workout on Sunday instead of a run, which effectively adds a fourth ride to the schedule.

The plan is 24 weeks long, which is the optimal amount of specific preparation time for an Ironman. Each phase – base, build, and peak – is 8 weeks long. Every fourth week is a recovery week and the final 2 weeks constitute a tapering period. There are three optional tune-up races scheduled: a sprint in Week 12, and Olympic distance event in Week 16, and a half Ironman in Week 20.

The Level 1 plan begins with 4,300 yard of swimming, 2 hours and 45 minutes of cycling, and 1 hour and 51 minutes of running in Week 1. It peaks with 8,600 yards of swimming, 8 hours and 50 minutes of cycling, and 2 hours and 45 minutes of running in Week 22. (Note that, including the brick workout, this is a week with 4 rides and 3 runs, so the total cycling time is higher and the running time lower than in weeks 21 and 23.)

Sample Day 2
0:45:00
Bike Power Intervals 45 (4x20)

WU: 10 minutes @ moderate aerobic intensity
MS: 4 x 20-second sprints in a high gear with enough recovery to reach total workout time of 45 minutes (including warm-up and cool-down)
CD: 10 minutes @ moderate aerobic intensity

Sample Day 3
0:28:00
1280m
Swim Base

WU: 300 @ low aerobic intensity
8 x 25 drills, RI=0:10
MS: 4 x 100 @ moderate aerobic intensity, RI=0:05
8 x 25 kick, RI=0:15
CD: 300 @ low aerobic intensity

Sample Day 3
0:30:00
Foundation Run 0:30

WU: Run 10 minutes @ moderate aerobic intensity
MS: Run 10 minutes @ moderate aerobic intensity
CD: Run 10 minutes @ moderate aerobic intensity

Sample Day 3
0:02:00
Running Strides (2x20)

MS: Run 2 x 20 seconds @ speed intensity with 40-second active recoveries immediately after completing today's main run workout.

Sample Day 4
0:45:00
Foundation Bike 0:45

WU: 10 minutes @ moderate aerobic intensity
MS: 25 minutes @ moderate aerobic intensity
CD: 10 minutes @ moderate aerobic intensity

Sample Day 5
0:28:00
1280m
Swim Fartlek + Sprint

WU: 300 @ low aerobic intensity
8 x 25 drills, RI=0:10
MS: 4 x 100 (25 easy/25 hard) easy = moderate aerobic intensity, hard = threshold intensity, RI=0:10
8 x 25 kick, RI=0:15
CD: 300 @ low aerobic intensity

Sample Day 5
0:30:00
Foundation Run 0:30

WU: Run 10 minutes @ moderate aerobic intensity
MS: Run 10 minutes @ moderate aerobic intensity
CD: Run 10 minutes @ moderate aerobic intensity

Matt Fitzgerald

I offer a wide selection of readymade training plans for runners and triathletes training for events of all distances. Custom plans are also available.