Ironman 20 weeks, Beginner to Intermediate by HR, RPE, and Power

Average Weekly Breakdown
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 13:44

Ironman for Beginners to Intermediate

Author: Mike Ricci, USAT Triathlon Level 3 Coach
Length: 20 Weeks
Time: 275 hours

This program should be used by an athlete in their second year or triathlon or beyond. The program consists of 3 workouts per week in each sport, 1-2 days of strength training and core work too. The maximum volume is around 18 hours, and consistently around 15-16 hours.

Requirements:You should be able to swim at least 1500 yards. You should be able to bike at least 90 minutes and be able to run/walk for 60 minutes. It’s ok if you have to use the run/walk method for the running. If you are a weak swimmer or runner, you can certainly do the best you can on your weaker events but its best if you are already up to the base fitness levels suggested. By race day we will have you ready when you toe the line! We’ll guide you every step of the way with a detailed plan and free complimentary access to our D3 Message Forum.

Our programs are designed for the age group triathlete who has a busy life with a full time job, a family and / or other responsibilities.

Our plans set YOU up for success! We have sold thousands of our plans internationally and many or our athletes are returning customers who keep coming back for more! Our main goal with this plan is to get you to cross the finish line happy and healthy!

Years of coaching experience goes into the design of our plans! USA Triathlon Coach of the Year Mike Ricci has designed these plans with his twenty years of coaching expertise. Mike has written the training plans for our Age Group World Teams seven times and coached of the University of Colorado Triathlon team to 4 consecutive National Titles. Mike’s passion is getting you to the finish line and having an enjoyable experience along the way. By race day we will have you ready when you toe the line!

Purchase of this plan includes our 'Training Terminology' and our "How to use Intensity" documents. You’ll also have access to our online videos for run drills. We leave no stone unturned in trying to get you to reach your goals!
During the training plan, there is testing every few weeks throughout the program to test your fitness level so you can re-adjust your HR Zones if you train with a HRM. If you don’t train with a HRM, that’s fine as the tests are still good training and you can measure improvement based on time.

Most importantly, purchase of this program includes complimentary access to the D3 Forum at any time for questions that you may have about this plan.

If you have questions about the plan, please feel free to email Coach Mike Ricci at any time: and check out our website at:

Sample Day 1
Long Endurance

WU: 400 swim, 3x200 on 20" RI

2 x 50 back 1:30 rest

3 x 200 on 20" rest

2 x 50 back 1:30 rest

3 x 200 on 20" rest - descend each set of 200s.

100 easy swim

6 x 75 kick

600 pull

100 easy swim

12 x 75 (3 x 1st drill, 2nd Stroke, 3rd easy, 4th FAST) 20" rest

CD: 200

Sample Day 2
5 miles Aerobic / Z2

WU: 10'

MS: run 5 miles at AeT (Zone 2, RPE 6, E Pace) - about 15-20 bpm below your LT (race pace HR)

CD: 10'

Sample Day 2
Easy Z2

90' ride on a flat to rolling course. Keep HR in Zone 1-2 (RPE 5-6, 60-70IF). Easy on the pedals and just get some time in the saddle.

Sample Day 3
Straight Swim

WU: 3 x 100 done as 25 kick, 25 R. arm, 25 L. arm, 25 swim .

MS: 1000 straight swim alternating T-pace 50s with easy-pace 50s.

CD: 200 kick easy.
100 swim good form.

Sample Day 3
New Weight Training Program

After 5-10' minute aerobic warm up: 3 Warm up Exercises: 1. 3 way lunges (front, side, rear) 2. Macarena's 3. Squat Rows Main Set: 1. Lat Pull Down 2. Pushups on Ball or feet on ball 3. 1 leg squat (Bulgarian Lunge) 2nd Main Set: 1. Dumbell Press 2. Cable Cross 3. W's 4. Doubles

Sample Day 4

Run 70' on a hilly course or treadmill. Let the HR get up to high Z3 (RPE 7, M Pace)/low Z4 (RPE 8, T Pace) on the uphill and keep HR in Zone 1-2 (RPE 5-6, E Pace) otherwise. Stay hydrated and fuel a little - practice nutrition! Stretch when done and add in Core 1, 2 or 3.

Sample Day 4

Easy spin for 60' in small chain ring. Do this after a long run or race if one is scheduled.

Michael Ricci

The key to achieving your goal is having a plan! D3 Multisport founder and head coach Mike Ricci uses his collective 25+ years of coaching experience to help each individual athlete be successful - at any level. His passion for the sport and wisdom gained from coaching thousands of athletes all go into the design of his training plans. Let the D3 coaching team take the guesswork out of your training and guide you with pre-built training plans, customized plans, or 1-to-1 coaching.