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18 week HALF DISTANCE TRI Plan (cap required hours = 12:00)


Paul Duncan

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18 Weeks

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Plan Description

This program is designed for the beginner/intermediate triathlete training for a half distance triathlon.

The peak required time investment for this program is about 12 hours. This program can be used by someone training for their first triathlon or someone looking to score a personal best.

It is recommended that you start with a base of about 5-6 hours per week of training before starting out this program.

The program uses heart rate zones as your guide. If you would like further guidance on heart rate zone testing, contact Paul Duncan at


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:55 hrs 2:00 hrs
3:45 hrs 4:00 hrs
1:46 hrs 1:20 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:55 hrs 2:00 hrs
3:45 hrs 4:00 hrs
1:46 hrs 1:20 hrs

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • Heart Rate Monitor

All supported devices

Paul Duncan

USAT Certified
Qt2 Sytems Level 1
ORR Level III (Expert)

Multi-sport coach.

Sample Day 1


Warm up @ ZR

1:00 recovery spin between

Ride easy as you feel to final duration

(optional: add up to 45 minutes easy spinning to the end of the workout to log extra miles (if you feel good)

Sample Day 1

Transition run! 1st mile @ 5k pace!

1st mile is within 20 seconds of your last 5k test pace! After the 1st mile, slow WAY down and get down to to the bottom of Z1, this may require a very slow shuffle! Once you reach the bottom of z1, treat this run as a progressive Z1 run, increasing your HR each mile!

Sample Day 2

Aerobic Gear Change Swim (long swim)

Repeat cycle for total duration 
5:00 buoy (no paddles) 
5:00 paddles + buoy
5:00 Free 
5:00 Free w fins 

Record total meters!

Recommended Paddles:

Recommend buoy:

Recommended fins:

Sample Day 3

Recovery spin (20-90 minutes)

do not exceed ZR at ANY point.

Sample Day 3

Caveman Run (as you feel) 30-45 minutes

As you feel run. Can be done in conjunction with a bike ride or not, up to you.

Sample Day 4

Main Set: progressive 25's (2 rounds)

warm up:
5:00 with pull buoy (no paddles)
5:00 free with fins

Main set:
2 rounds of: 
4x25's EASY w 10 sec rest 
4x25's Moderate w 15 sec rest 
4x25's HARD (all out) w 20 sec rest

Cool down:
Repeat cycle until final duration is met
200 buoy (no paddles) 
150 paddles + buoy 
100 free (fins optional)

Recommended Paddles:

Recommend buoy:

Recommended fins:

Sample Day 5

Z1 Progression Ride (last 60 @ Z2)

The majority of this ride should be in Z1. The last portion of the ride should build into Z2 if you feel good. Be patient, the goal is to have a progressively higher HR throughout the ride. Its ok to start below Z1 to achieve this goal. 

Set your computer to lap ever 30:00 or 7 miles, record splits manually into post activity comments with HR average. 

OPTIONAL: add up 60 minutes to the end of this ride if you feel good! Bonus miles.

Pay close attention to your fueling. Report all splits in post activity comments.

Fueling Reccomendation:
1 bottle sports drink every 45:00
1 gel (100kcal) every 45:00

bottle should be mixed at 150-180kcal per bottle.

Recommended sport drink.

Recommend gel:

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