Ironman First Time, Power or HR, 10-15hrs/wk.

Average Weekly Training Hours 11:25
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 11:25
Training Load By Week

This is a 24-week plan for the first-time Ironman triathlete in any age group (over or under 50) created by Joe Friel using the principles in his books--The Triathlete's Training Bible and Going Long (co-author Gordo Byrn). Over the course of 24 weeks the weekly volume builds from about 10 to 15 hours. There is a rest and recovery period every third week to allow for recovery and adaptation. If you are starting this plan with fewer than 24 weeks remaining until your Ironman race you may jump in at any point along the way so long as you have been training consistently for at least the number of weeks you are missing from the schedule. Most weeks include 3 workouts in each sport plus strength training once (last 16 weeks) or twice (first 8 weeks). It is strongly suggested that you own and know how to use a heart rate monitor and/or a bike power meter before starting this plan. Either may be used for the bike workouts. Run workout intensities are gauged by heart rate and perceived levels of effort. Swim sessions are based on T-pace and perceived exertion. There is periodic testing for setting zones in all three sports with instructions included in plan. Your current training zones for each sport should be set 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.)

Sample Day 1
1:00:00
AA, 3-4 Sets.

Strength: After warm up on a stationary bike, treadmill, or other do 3-4 sets of the Anatomical Adaptation (AA) phase. Cool down with 5-10 minutes of spinning on a stationary bike in easy gear/resistance at high rpm. For details turn to Chapter 13 in The Triathlete's Training Bible. Or go here: http://www.trainingbible.com/bkp-all/pdf/Triathlon_Strength_Program.pdf.

Sample Day 2
0:45:00
Basic Strides.

Basic strides (this is best outdoors but may be done on a treadmill). Warm up for about 10 minutes. Then run 4-5x20 seconds fast on a soft, gentle downhill (such as in a park). Run at approximately 400m race pace--not quite all out speed. Hold back a little. Relax. Walk (yes, "walk") back to start point for each recovery. Run easily in zone 1 to cool down to complete the planned workout duration. Go to http://trainingbible.com/Resources/ (scroll down to "Videos") to see an example of good running technique. Notice that the runner is NOT landing on his heels or his toes. His foot is flat at foot strike.

Sample Day 2
0:45:00
Continuous Swim.

You may substitute a similar masters swim session for this workout.

Warm-up: 
A. 5-minute swim with your choice of drills and swims. Focus on how well you do the drills, not on how fast.
B. 3 x (4 x 50 done as 25 slow and easy, 25 moderately fast emphasizing form). (10sec rest between 50s)
Mainset:
A. 2 x 300 swim (1min rest between) at moderate/aerobic effort.
(1min rest).
B. Swim 400 moderate effort.
Cool down: 
5 minutes of easy swimming.
Total: 1600+

Sample Day 3
1:00:00
Indoors-Isolated Leg Training.

Isolated Leg Training (ILT) on indoor trainer. After warm-up, then alternate 20-60 seconds with 1 leg--the other resting on a chair beside the trainer. Get a total of 7-10 minutes of ILT on each leg in workout. Alternate legs as you feel like it. Comfortably high cadence. Focus on eliminating dead spot at top of stroke by pushing toes forward in shoes at top.

Sample Day 4
0:45:00
Base Maintenence Run.

Base Run. On soft but firm surface, heart rate in zones 1 and 2 only. Pretty form (proud posture) and quick cadence. If very tired reduce the duration of this run or omit it.

Sample Day 4
0:45:00
Aerobic Intervals.

Aerobic Intervals
Warm-up: 100 swim easy, 50 drill (your choice), 100 swim moderate, 50 drill, 100 swim build speed, 50 drill.
Mainset: For the first set decrease times with each work interval. All aerobic—easy breathing.
Set #1: 3 x 200 (10sec rest between 200s) moderate.
Rest 2 minutes.
Set #2: Swim 300 easy.
Set #3: 6 x 50 relaxed speed (15sec).
Cool down: 100 easy swim.
Total: 1750

Sample Day 5
1:00:00
Indoors-Isolated Leg Training.

Isolated Leg Training (ILT) on indoor trainer. After warm-up, then alternate 20-60 seconds with 1 leg--the other resting on a chair beside the trainer. Get a total of 7-10 minutes of ILT on each leg in workout. Alternate legs as you feel like it. Comfortably high cadence. Focus on eliminating dead spot at top of stroke by pushing toes forward in shoes at top.

Joe Friel
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Joe Friel Coaching

An endurance coach since 1980, Joe Friel has worked with triathletes and cyclists from all over the world helping them achieve their race goals. He also trains coaches around the world and has consulted with national federations and national Olympic team coaches. Coach Friel offers personal camps, and seminars for clubs and teams, and consults with professional athletes. He is currently not accepting one-on-one coaching clients.