IronDistance Triathlon : Novice 20 week plan HILLY BIKE


Steve Lumley

All plans by this Coach


20 Weeks

Typical Week

3 Swim, 3 Bike, 1 Day Off, 3 Run, 2 Strength

Longest Workout

1:30 hrs swim
6:00 hrs bike
2:30 hrs run

Plan Specs

triathlon ironman intermediate

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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 30+ years experience of coaching and racing all triathlon distances, including 39 Iron man distance races and 5 Hawaii qualifications himself. He has coached athletes to hundreds of full and half IM finishes. These have ranged from novice to elite and include several Hawaii world championship qualifications.

This plan is targeted at a novice 'IronDistance ' triathlete, aiming to complete the distance. Confident at standard distance triathlon and possibly having completed a half IM distance race already.
This plan covers the final 30 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:


Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 12:38
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 12:38
Average Weekly Breakdown

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.

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

Mod-easy pyramid

WU: 4 x 100 swim done as 25s each of kick, R arm only, L arm only, swim.
MS: The even intervals are done at 5 seconds slower than 100 T-pace. The others are relaxed swims with good technique. Recoveries are in seconds within parentheses.
100 (15”) 200 (20”) 300 (40”) 400 (60”) 300 (40”) 200 (30”) 100.
CD: Easy combination of kicks and strokes for 10 minutes.
Total: 2400

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

Strides, 6-8, count, up-down

Strides. Warm up. Then 6-8x20 seconds on slight hill. Odd strides uphill; evens downhill. Count steps--30+ in 20 seconds. Cool down with heart rate in zone 1.

Sample Day 4

Masters, aerobic, form

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

Sample Day 5

Strides, 4-5, relax

Strides. Warm up. Then 6-8 x 20 seconds fast on soft, gentle downhill. Strides are fast relaxed running with high cadence (aim for 30+ right or left leg contacts in 30s). Focus on cadence rather than stride length, ie. Shorten stride if necessary Not all out. Relax.

Walk and hop back to start point during each recovery. Hop 30 times on right leg and then 30 times on left leg (hops are to build foot/leg strength). Remainder at E1

Sample Day 5

Max Strength weights

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

IronDistance Triathlon : Novice 20 week plan HILLY BIKE

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