NOVICE IRONMAN. Winter Base Training. 8 to 11 Hours Per Week. 12 Week. Re-usable.

Average Weekly Training Hours 08:21
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 08:21
Training Load By Week

Designed for Novice Ironman triathletes, this training plan will gradually build your endurance and speed throughout the winter months. After completing this plan you'll need just 12-16 weeks of race specific training leading up to your key event.

"Too happy to wait to tell you - 13:01:34 is beyond what I ever thought I was capable of at my first Ironman. Thanks for everything. Amazing!" Andrew Mott, Cotswold 226, UK, July 2014.


• Email access to the author

• PDF guides on “How To Use Your Training Plan” and “Strength & Conditioning”

• Monthly email training advice newsletter

• Training zones using feel, heart rate, power or pace

• Advice on how to incorporate several races into your plan


You can start this plan any Monday. There are normally seven workouts per week, consisting of two swims, two cycles, two runs and a strength workout. There's a day off each week and every fourth week has a lower training volume to help your body adapt and recover. The minimal requirements are that you can already swim 1500m with rests, cycle for 2 hours and run for 1 hour, not necessarily all on the same day.

• Screenshot of the first 2 weeks (JPG)

• Screenshot of the hardest 2 weeks (JPG)


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Phil Mosley. Coaching Editor of Triathlon Plus Magazine: Full Coach Biography


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Sample Day 2
Strength & Conditioning Workout

Please click on the link below for your guide to the strength and conditioning workouts.

Sample Day 2
Pool Swim, Speed

These swims will build your speed for Ironman race day. We'll start off fairly easy and build up gradually.

Warm up:
6 x 75 frontcrawl in Zone 2 + 20secs rests.

2 x 200 frontcrawl in Zone 4 + 30secs rests,
100 with a pull float in Zone 5 + 30 secs rests,
100 frontcrawl in Zone 4.

Warm Down:
6 x 75 in Zone 2 as (50 frontcrawl, 25 backstroke) + 20secs rests

Sample Day 3
Cycle Speed Session

These short, sharp sessions can be done outside or using an indoor trainer. If you're outside and you feel good, you can extend the warm up and warm down by 10 minutes each.

Warm Up:
12mins easy cycling in Zone 2,
3mins as (10secs in Zone 4, 50secs in Zone 2).

6x3mins hard efforts in Zone 4 to 5 (+2mins recoveries in Zone 1 or Zone 2)

Warm Down:
10mins easy cycling in Zone 2

Sample Day 4
Run Speed Workout

Warm Up: 
10mins easy jog in Zone 2.
5mins as (10secs at approx 5km race pace, 50secs in Zone 2).

8x400m. Aim for your 3k to 5k race pace (Zone 5). +400m jog recoveries.

Warm Down:
5mins slow jog in Zone 2.

Sample Day 5
Aerobic Endurance Pool Swim

These sessions will be done at lower intensities, but will progress in duration. We'll also include technique work. 

Warm Up:
All in Zone 2 with 20secs rests.
200 frontcrawl, 100 kick with float, 100 drill* (see attached description), 200 frontcrawl.

4x200 in Zone 2 as (150 frontcrawl, 50 kick with float) +30secs rests.

8x50 frontcrawl BUILD - each 50 faster than the one before (start slow) + 15secs rests.

Warm Down:
200 frontcrawl in Zone 2

Sample Day 6
Aerobic Endurance Ride

Ride in Zone 2 at a steady, conversational pace. You can go into Zone 3 up any hills.

Sample Day 7
Aerobic Endurance Run

Keep the intensity in Zone 2 at all times. Do this on flat soft ground/trails if possible.