This 13-Week training plan is for experienced triathletes looking to comfortably complete their first Ironman distance event (2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling and 26.2 miles of running.) This famous training plan, Thirteen Weeks to a Thirteen-Hour Ironman, has helped countless athletes successfully complete their first Ironman event. This plan is for the experienced triathlete, who has completed several sprint and Olympic distance races.
You can currently swim three times per week for about an hour, estimating a race swim pace of 1:45 to 2:00 per 100 yards. You are currently doing a long bike ride at about 90-minutes and you estimate an average of 15 to 18 miles per hour for the race. You can currently do a long run that is 75- to 90-minutes long. Weekday training needs to be light, but weekend training hours are more available. The total training hours for the first week of the plan are 8:45 and the biggest week of training, Week 11, is 13:15 hours.
In Week 11 are your longest workouts. On Saturday you have a 1:30 swim workout and a 5:00 bike ride. Sunday is a 3:00 run. Volume tapers significantly the final two weeks of the plan to have you rested and ready for race day.
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Originally appeared in the June 1999 issue of “Triathlete Magazine."
Plan is available in the book “Training Plans for Multisport Athletes”
The main set will be mostly aerobic work; however a good deal of form work is included at the beginning or the end of the workout. For this workout, speed is less important than good form. Some coaches refer to this as drill work. Neuromuscular training is important during the drill segment. (Can select a Workouts in a Binder card E(Form). )
This level is used for aerobic maintenance and endurance training. Heart rate should stay primarily in the 1 to 2 zones. How much time is spent in each zone depends on how you feel that day. The goal of an E2 run is not to see how much time you can spend in Zone 2. Run a rolling course if possible, with grades up to 4 percent. For reference, most highway off-ramps are 4-percent grade. Changing the grade on a treadmill, for those living in vertically deficient cities, can simulate hills. If you run with a group, inner discipline is necessary to let the group go if they turn a training run into a race.
Ride mostly in Zones 1 to 2 zones with a few short (10 to 20 second) accelerations placed throughout the workout, your choice. Relax and have fun.
BT: Swim with masters or on your own, control the intensity, so RPE of the main set is mostly in Zone 3. Some plans offer an optional main set workout in the comment section. You can also select a Workouts in a Binder card (E).
This workout is intended to work on running form and neuromuscular coordination. After 15 to 20 minutes of warm-up, complete the fast run segments (typically 20- to 30-seconds) on a soft flat surface, such as a grassy park or football field. Walk or slowly jog back to the start position, taking the assigned time to rest (typically 90-100 seconds.) The emphasis is on quick cadence and proud posture. This workout is for form, so trying to spend every moment above Zone 1 is not important. If heart rate drops below Zone 1 during recovery, it is okay. Cool down with 5 to10 minutes of easy jogging.
Ride in the small chain ring at 90 rpm on a flat course, keeping heart rate in Zone 1. If you are unable to maintain 90 rpm, coast and rest until you can resume 90 rpm.
Swim with masters or on your own, control the intensity, so RPE is in Zones 1-2. (Can select a Workouts in a Binder card (E). )