Ironman Frankfurt 2017: Novice 20 week plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 12:33
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 12:33
Training Load By Week

Designed by the UK’s most experienced Iron-distance coach and athlete, Steve Lumley (BTF L3 coach, MSc) for age – group triathletes with limited time available. This plan draws on Steve’s 25+ years experience of coaching and racing all triathlon distances, including 36 Iron man distance races and 5 Hawaii qualifications himself. He has coached athletes to hundreds of full and 70.3IM finishes. These have ranged from novice to elite and include several Hawaii world championship qualifications. This plan is targeted at a novice 'Ironman' triathlete, aiming to complete the distance. Confident at standard distance triathlon and possibly having completed a half ironman distance race already. This plan covers the final 20 weeks build up to the target race. Prior to commencing this plan athletes should have at least 12-18 weeks of preparation and base training training under their belt and be comfortable riding for 4+ hours and running for 120 minutes continuously. Training plan volume is between 9 and 16 hours per week, and is organised on a 3 week macrocycle - every 3rd week is a recovery week, often including self testing sessions. The weekly schedule includes 2 swim sessions, 3-4 bike sessions and 3-4 run sessions, generally based on heart rate. As an added bonus, purchase of this program can include email access to Steve for any questions that you may have about this plan or your training. Subscribe here for ongoing support: "I bought one of your training plans a short while ago and I've been really enjoying it. It's simple but varied and I can see the focus of every session. I've been doing tri for 11 years now and virtually made no improvement - I raced an Olympic distance tri yesterday and got a pb by 29 minutes! To say I am chuffed is an understatement." (Lynne Callaghan) “Safe to say I nailed it… Entirely down to following the training you set out. I can’t thank you enough, I would never have reached my best without your help.” (Keith Sanders) Please visit us on the web at or email Steve at: I nailed it… Entirely down to following the training you set out. I can’t thank you enough, I would never have reached my best without your help.” (Keith Sanders) Please visit us on the web at or email Steve at:

Sample Day 1
Tech 2, #1 (2k)

150 f/c
100 other strokes
50 f/c 300

Set 1 15 secs recovery throughout
8 x 50 1 -> 2 Trickle Finger
3 -> 4 Single-arm
5 -> 6 Touch over
7 -> 8 Shark Fin 400

8 x 50 25 drill/25 swim 400
Drills as above

Kick Set
4 x 75 25 on L side/25 on R side/25 swim

200 10 kicks/1 stroke/10 kicks/ 2 strokes etc. 500

Set 2
5 x 50 build 1-5 maintaining stroke, if losing technique all steady pace.

2 x 50 12.5 b/c, 12.5 f/c 100

50 easy 50

Sample Day 1
Cadence # 1

Minutes % HR Cadence Elapsed

10 70 10
5 75 95 15
5 80 100 20
5 70 90 25
5 80 100 30
5 85 105 35
5 70 90 40
5 85 105 45
5 90 110 50
5 70 90 55
5 warm down 80 60

Select necessary gearing to allow heartrate and cadence
to conform with above
Relax upper body and spin legs

Sample Day 3

Warm-up well. Then ride 40 minutes non-stop in the E2 zone on a mostly flat course. 85-95 rpm. Smooth pedaling. Aero position if on TT bike

Sample Day 3
cadence intervals # 4

You can do this session on a treadmill set at 0% gradient or outside.
For the main set the speed should be at about half-marathon race pace.
Effort level should be no higher than E2b (L3), the emphasis is on correct cadence not speed.
You should not get faster through the set but rather shorten stride to maintain same effort and pace.

Warm-up 10mins progressive to 80% MaxHR

2 Sets of
90 secs on/90 secs off then 60/60, 45/45, 30/30, 15/15
(On a track do 500m on, 400m off, 400m on, 300m off, 300m on, 200m off, 200m on, 100m off, 100m on)
Recovery sections should just be an easy jog.
Pick up speed through series from just slower than 10k pace by increasing cadence not stride length.
Count number of strides in each effort to ensure compliance with above.
2 mins easy between sets (500m jog on track)

20 mins total (5.5km)

Choose a shallow gradient and run reps of 30secs - 1 min up and down maintaining a high cadence.
10 mins total

5 mins Easy cool-down

Sample Day 4
Masters, aerobic, form

Masters. Concentrate on form--NOT fitness! Consider moving to a slower lane.

Sample Day 5
Max Strength weights

Warm up 5-10 minutes. Then 3-4 sets of MS. Cool down 5-10 minutes

Sample Day 6
Tempo TT, 10k at LTHR

BT: Tempo Time Trial. Warm-up about 15 minutes raising heart rate to E2a. Then start 10k on track / or a flat course. Aim to keep AV HR in E2 zone. Time? Cool down.

A course of approximately 10k is Ok on the road. Ideally choose one which is flat and can be repeated regularly.

Record AV HR and time run for the course

Steve Lumley (MSc)
Steve Lumley Triathlon Coaching

'Ironman' / Long distance triathlon.

Elite, draft legal triathlon from developmental to elite levels

Please contact Steve for details and costs of various levels of individual coaching.