This is a 4-week plan to be used by the athlete who has just completed an Ironman triathlon. The plan starts on the Monday following the race and takes the user safely, day-by-day through a gradual return to normal training. Training volume gradually increases with changes in intensity remaining small throughout. The emphasis is on general body strength, skill enhancement and aerobic endurance fitness. At the end of this plan the athlete will be ready to start base 3 training in preparation for the next race of the season.
Ride on a mostly flat course or indoor trainer staying only in heart rate or power zone 1. Cadence should be comfortable. If it begins to feel like you are working at a harder effort than z1 normally produces, stop the workout and stretch. That's all today. Otherwise, rest and recover. Stretch after.
Swim 20-30 minutes using pull buoys to eliminate lower body work. Focus on your technique, especially 1) posture (nose pointing down), 2) direction (extended arm points straight ahead--not across the centerline), 3) length (looong reach), and 4) catch (fingers point _down_ as hand enters water--_not_ at wall).
Ride easily for 1.5 hours on a mostly flat course or indoor trainer in zone 1 heart rate or power. Keep it easy. Your cadence should be comfortably high. Pay attention to your intensity. Easy! Stretch after.
Swim about 30 minutes using a pull buoy so legs are quiet. Work on technique: 1) posture (nose pointing down), 2) direction (extended arm points straight ahead--not across the centerline), 3) length (looong reach), and 4) catch (fingers point _down_ as hand enters water--_not_ at wall). Take frequent recovery breaks.
Run easily on a flat course or treadmill for about 30 minutes. Stay only in heart rate or pace zone 1. Focus on relaxation, especially of your face and hands. This will help to relax your entire body. Feel free to shorten this run if the effort feels high. Stretch after.
Ride about 2 hours in zone 1 (HR or power) on a flat to gently rolling course (or indoor trainer). No high intensity. Focus on a smooth spinning of the pedals at a comfortably high cadence. Stretch after.
Swim about 40 minutes (less is also OK). Work only on technique (posture, distance, length, catch) by swimming _only_ 25s. Each of these is done at about Olympic-distance effort. Recover for as long as you want. Do NOT time the 25s or the recoveries. This is NOT a workout. It's all about recovery.