Triathlon: Ironman Triathlon Training Plan - Beginner: 6.25 to 13.0 hrs/wk
Author: Gale Bernhardt
13 weeks - $64.95 (There is a 10% discount when ordering from Gale Bernhardt’s website.)
Total Hours: 121
This 13-Week training plan is for experienced triathletes looking to comfortably complete their first ironman distance event (2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling and 26.2 miles of running.) This famous training plan, Thirteen Weeks to a Thirteen-Hour Ironman, has helped countless athletes successfully complete their first ironman event. This plan is for the experienced triathlete, who has completed several sprint and Olympic distance races.
You can currently swim three times per week for about an hour, estimating a race swim pace of 1:45 to 2:00 per 100 yards. You are currently doing a long bike ride at about 90-minutes and you estimate an average of 15 to 18 miles per hour for the race. You can currently do a long run that is 75- to 90-minutes long. Weekday training needs to be light, but weekend training hours are more available. The total training hours for the first week of the plan are 8:45 and the biggest week of training, Week 11, is 13:15 hours.
In Week 11 are your longest workouts. On Saturday you have a 1:30 swim workout and a 5:00 bike ride. Sunday is a 3:00 run. Volume tapers significantly the final two weeks of the plan to have you rested and ready for race day.
Q & A
Q – I see “Workouts in a Binder” mentioned on the swimming instructions preview, do I need to purchase that product to successfully complete the program?
A – Swimming is a bugger for several reasons. One is that some people prefer swimming with a masters group and do not want specific workouts for the swim portion of the plan. They want guidelines for what kind of intensity to hold during the masters workout. Others prefer suggested workouts, but they want to modify any suggestion to meet personal needs. (Because people with a swimming background can complete significantly more yards during a particular one-hour swim workout than a beginning swimmer can.)
Additionally, I don’t want athletes paying for something they don’t need.
For the reasons stated above, I did not bundle a purchase of “Workouts in a Binder for Triathletes” with individual training plans; but left that product as an optional purchase, available at in my online store and many major book and triathlon retailers. This product has totally waterproof workout pages designed with two levels for each workout. Those levels can also be modified to meet the needs of shorter workouts. This design was conceived to eliminate the frustration associated with printing workouts onto paper, putting them in a baggie, only to get mid-way through the set and find water leaked into the bag and destroyed the workout.
Q – What if I don’t like the plan once I’ve seen it?
A – Because discounted plans are offered through this site and a coding system, no refunds are allowed. If you are worried about wanting or needing a refund, you can forego the discount and purchase the plan directly from the TrainingPeaks website. Refunds for training plans are offered for a limited time after purchase. You can find this training plan on that site by following this link.
Q – What do I get with a training plan?
A – After purchase, you will receive an email with instructions on how to download and access your training plan. Your plan will be available in your own private online training log account. You will enjoy the following benefits and more:
Daily e-mails with your next workout keep you on track
Create your own routes or search the library of routes for tracking your workouts
- Map, graph and share workouts with your friends by e-mail, Facebook and view in Google Maps or Google Earth
- Upload workouts from one of more than 80 training devices (Garmin, Suunto, Timex, Polar, more) or easily record your workouts manually
Track your fitness and gain confidence
- Complete nutrition tracking to monitor your diet
Get support and answers on a message board specific to your plan and access to more message boards
Workout #1 : Day Off
Workout #2 : Swim
Planned Time: 1:00:00
The main set will be mostly aerobic work; however a good deal of form work is included at the beginning or the end of the workout. For this workout, speed is less important than good form. Some coaches refer to this as drill work. Neuromuscular training is important during the drill segment. (Can select a Workouts in a Binder card E(Form). )
Workout #3 : Run
Planned Time: 0:30:00
This level is used for aerobic maintenance and endurance training. Heart rate should stay primarily in the 1 to 2 zones. How much time is spent in each zone depends on how you feel that day. The goal of an E2 run is not to see how much time you can spend in Zone 2. Run a rolling course if possible, with grades up to 4 percent. For reference, most highway off-ramps are 4-percent grade. Changing the grade on a treadmill, for those living in vertically deficient cities, can simulate hills. If you run with a group, inner discipline is necessary to let the group go if they turn a training run into a race.
Workout #4 : Bike
Planned Time: 1:00:00
Ride mostly in Zones 1 to 2 zones with a few short (10 to 20 second) accelerations placed throughout the workout, your choice. Relax and have fun.
Workout #5 : Run
Planned Time: 0:30:00
This workout is intended to work on running form and neuromuscular coordination. After 15 to 20 minutes of warm-up, complete the fast run segments (typically 20- to 30-seconds) on a soft flat surface, such as a grassy park or football field. Walk or slowly jog back to the start position, taking the assigned time to rest (typically 90-100 seconds.) The emphasis is on quick cadence and proud posture. This workout is for form, so trying to spend every moment above Zone 1 is not important. If heart rate drops below Zone 1 during recovery, it is okay. Cool down with 5 to10 minutes of easy jogging.
Workout #6 : Swim
Planned Time: 1:00:00
Swim with masters or on your own, control the intensity, so RPE is in Zones 1-2. (Can select a Workouts in a Binder card (E). )
Workout #7 : Run
Planned Time: 0:45:00
Within a run that is mostly Zone 1 to 2 intensity, insert several 20- to 30-second accelerations when the mood strikes you. Finish the acceleration faster than you began. Quick cadence and proud posture are important. Feel light and fast. Jog easy for two or more minutes between accelerations.
Workout #8 : Swim
Planned Time: 1:15:00
BT: Swim with masters or on your own, control the intensity, so RPE of the main set is mostly in Zone 3. Some plans offer an optional main set workout in the comment section. You can also select a Workouts in a Binder card (E).
Workout #9 : Bike
Planned Time: 2:00:00
This level is used for aerobic maintenance and endurance training. Heart rate should stay primarily in Zones 1 to 2. How much time is spent in each zone depends on how you feel that day. The goal of an E2 ride is not to see how much time you can spend in Zone 2. Ride on a rolling course if possible, with grades up to 4 percent. For reference, most highway off-ramps are 4-percent grade. Riding in a slightly larger gear can simulate a gentle hill, if there are no hills where you live. Remain in the saddle on the hills. If you ride with a group, inner discipline is necessary to let the group go if they want to hammer.
Hard copy of this plan is available in the book Training Plans for Multisport Athletes by Gale Bernhardt, published by VeloPress.