Ironman Base Period (OVER 50) Power or HR 12-17hrs/wk.

Average Weekly Training Hours 12:21
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 12:21
Training Load By Week

This is a 12-week Ironman Triathlon Base period training plan designed by Joe Friel using the principles in his books--The Triathletes Training Bible and Going Long (co-author Gordo Byrn). It's different from the UNDER-50 plan with a similar title in that the recovery weeks in this plan are scheduled every 3rd week whereas in the UNDER-50 plan they are every 4th week. Being every 3rd week they allow for more frequent rest and recovery which is a common need of older athletes. This plan is easy to read and to follow and will prepare you to start Joe's Ironman Build-Peak-Race periods training plan, either "intermediate" (15-17 hours/week) or "advanced" (18-20 hours). (The Build period plans have a R&R week every 3rd week regardless of age.) It is best to start this Base period plan 24 weeks before your Ironman race if you intend to follow it with either of his Build-Peak-Race plans as they each last 12 weeks. Another option is to start this Base period plan 28-32 weeks before your Ironman and repeat the last 4 weeks of the plan once or twice to more fully establish your Base fitness. To start this plan you should already be capable of swimming 1 hour, biking 90 minutes and running 1 hour. The emphasis in the first several weeks of this plan is on running. In the latter half the emphasis shifts toward the bike. Each week there are 3 swims, 2-5 rides, 4-5 runs and 1-2 strength workouts. Weekly volume steadily increases from 12 to 17 hours. The exceptions are in rest and recovery weeks every 3rd week when training is greatly reduced for 4-5 days ending with testing. These R&R weeks will shed fatigue allowing for adaptation and improved performance. For gauging intensity on the bike you may use either heart rate or power. For the run either heart rate or pace. Swim intensities are based on pace and perceived exertion. Your swim, bike, and run training zones (heart rate, power, and/or pace) should be set before starting the plan. (For a detailed description of how to set your zones go to http://www.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2009/11/quick-guide-to-setting-zones.html.)

Sample Day 1
1:00:00
Anatomical Adaptation (AA).

Anatomical Adaptation (AA).

Strength: After warm up on a stationary bike, treadmill, or other do 3-4 sets of Anatomical Adaptation (AA) phase. Cool down with 5-10 minutes of spinning on a stationary bike in easy gear/resistance at high rpm. For details turn to Chapter 13 in The Triathlete's Training Bible. Or go here: http://www.trainingbible.com/bkp-all/pdf/Triathlon_Strength_Program.pdf.

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
Continuous Swim.

Continuous Swim.

You may substitute a similar masters swim session for this workout.

Warm-Up: 5-minute swim with your choice of drills and swims. Focus on how well you do the drills, not on how fast.
For the following sets: Set #1 scull front, set #2 scull chest, set #3 scull back. (How to do sculling drills video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm2SbWU6Raw).
Then do 3 sets of 4 x 50 done as 25 scull, 25 moderately fast swim emphasizing form. (Take a 10-second rest between 50s).
Mainset: Using the “feel” for the water you just developed do the following:
2 x 500 swim (1-minute rest between) at a moderate/aerobic effort.
(Take another 1-minute recovery).
Swim 400 at a moderate effort.
Cool down: 5 minutes of easy swimming.
Total: 2000+

Sample Day 2
0:45:00
Basic Strides.

Basic Strides.
This is better outdoors but may be done on a treadmill. Warm-up for about 10 minutes. Then run 4-5x20 seconds fast on a soft, gentle downhill (such as in a park). Run at approximately 400m race pace--not quite all out speed. Hold back a little. Relax. Walk (yes, "walk") back to start point for each recovery. Run easily in zone 1 to cool down to complete the planned workout duration. Go to http://trainingbible.com/Resources/ (scroll down to "Videos") to see an example of good running technique. Notice that the runner is NOT landing on his heels or his toes. His foot is flat at foot strike.

Sample Day 3
0:45:00
Base Building.

Base Building.
On soft but firm surface, run with heart rate in zones 1 & 2 or at pace zone 1. Pretty form and quick cadence. (This is better outdoors but may be done on a treadmill).

Sample Day 3
1:00:00
Isolated Leg Training.

Isolated Leg Training (ILT) on an indoor trainer. After warming-up 10-15 minutes alternate 20 to 60 seconds pedaling with 1 leg/foot only--the other resting on a chair by the trainer. Get a total of 7-10 minutes of ILT on each leg in this workout. Alternate legs as you feel like it. Pedal with a comfortably high cadence. Focus on eliminating the dead spot at the top of stroke by pushing your toes forward in your shoes at the top with your heel slightly raised. Heart rate and power are not important for this ride since you are training the nervous system.

Sample Day 4
1:00:00
Aerobic Intervals.

Aerobic Intervals.

You may substitute a similar masters swim session for this workout.
WU: 100 swim easy, 50 drill (your choice), 100 swim moderate, 50 drill, 100 swim build speed, 50 drill.
MS: For the first set decrease times with each work interval. All aerobic—easy breathing.
4 x 300 (10sec) moderate.
Rest 2 minutes.
Swim 300 easy.
6 x 50 relaxed speed (15sec).
CD: 200-300 easy swim.
Total: 2450-2550

Sample Day 4
0:45:00
Base Building.

Base Building.
On soft but firm surface, run with heart rate in zones 1 & 2 or at pace zone 1. Pretty form and quick cadence. (This is better outdoors but may be done on a treadmill).

Joe Friel
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Joe Friel Coaching

An endurance coach since 1980, Joe Friel has worked with triathletes and cyclists from all over the world helping them achieve their race goals. He also trains coaches around the world and has consulted with national federations and national Olympic team coaches. Coach Friel offers personal camps, and seminars for clubs and teams, and consults with professional athletes. He is currently not accepting one-on-one coaching clients.