1,930meter Swim | 90km Bike | 21k Run
Start this program if you can consistently swim 40min, run 60min and bike 90min.
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This half Ironman plan covers many weeks of challenging, but attainable training for someone who has some endurance experience, and ideally some Olympic distance races within the past season. This plan is also ideal if you have completed a half Ironman last season on minimal training and wish to improve while keeping a reasonable number of training hours.While it's definitely possible to finish a half Ironman with fewer hours per week or fewer days per week than what you see here, I wanted to show a plan which uses a somewhat sane number amount of training hours while maximizing the total race preparation. While this article lists specific daily workouts, I realize that every athlete has specific strengths, weaknesses, available hours, and other restrictions. Hopefully, you can adjust this plan to fit you well enough. If not, you might want to find a local coach to fit a plan to match your specifics. Some Assumptions
Since there's no such thing as an optimal plan which fits everyone's level of fitness and background, I'm going to have to make a few assumptions to create a plan that's not too generalized. As you look through the workouts each week, make any adjustments in length or intensity to fit your needs. Here's what I've based this plan on:1. Limited endurance experience. You have 1-3 years of recent experience in endurance sports and your ability is relatively equal in swimming, cycling, and running. Limiters are swim efficiency, bike strength/endurance, and run endurance/efficiency.2. Limited Training Time. You work full time, are a full time student, and/or (gasp!) wish to have a social life in addition to bringing home a paycheck or getting a diploma. 3. Maximized Potential. Even if you have a goal "just to finish" and you have limited hours available per week, you would still rather finish in 5.5 hours instead of 7 and you are willing to make some changes to transform from just training for an event to becoming "The Complete Athlete."
The Big Picture
1. This preparation plan covers 20 weeks. It probably won't fit your race calendar exactly, but it's long enough that you should be able to adjust. 2. The concept of periodization is employed to first develop general endurance and "neuro speed" and then to progress into race-specific abilities. Most periods are 4 weeks long-3 weeks of increased training, then 1 week of recovery.3. The plan includes 5-10 hours each week of training. Physical training comes from mostly short sessions but 5-6 days per week with 1-2 workouts per day. There are no secrets in these workouts, just consistent work and a few changeups to keep the training fresh and interesting.4. I recommend doing shorter multisport and single sport races in preparation for a half Ironman. Best choices to schedule these at the end of week 2 or 3 in each period, taking full advantage of the coming recovery week. A race will be your hard workout of the week, so remove other long/tough sessions scheduled.5. No gym strength sessions are planned. I love the gym, but for the number of hours available per week in this plan, I feel much better race results come from spending time in the water, roads, and trails than in the gym. Workouts will be planned to develop sport specific strength during normal training. If you plan to do gym strength work, it should only come by adding onto the existing schedule-not easy to fit in for most of us.6. The Complete Athlete. Your race finish times depend on much more than just training. For each training period, I've included some initiatives in areas in addition to just the workouts:
Race Prep: course knowledge, race day strategy, fueling, equipment Training: the workouts Physical Health: nutrition, weight, body composition, fatigue, soreness, injuries Mental Health: confidence, motivation, stressEfficiency: flexibility, equipment setup, proper form
The Period OverviewThe chart below shows each period and concepts for each. The PDF files show all the detailed workouts for each week.
Racing Prep: Begin doing your some of your workouts on terrain which simulates race day. Training: Here in Base 1, we'll be increasing hours a bit while keeping consistency. We will add 1 hard workout per week-1 workout, not 1 hard day. We will also begin sport-specific strength work by incorporating hills on the bike and run.Physical Health: Imagine showing up for a 10k race in peak fitness. Then imagine having to put on a 20lb backpack at the start line to carry to the finish. I want you to get the most on race day from all the training hours you put in. Running fast is helped greatly by having a high strength-to-weight ratio. You don't need to be in peak form at this point in the season, but begin to monitor weight and body fat % for later comparison and take a look at your diet for areas to improve-nothing drastic, just little changes at a time with continuous improvement over the entire training period. Include with your training log a 1-10 scale for daily nutrition with 1 being a weekend in Vegas and a 10 being a nutritional angel. Rank yourself and monitor areas to improve. Most of us know what is good and bad eating so self seed yourself on this one.Search out sports nutritional information to read during this period. There's a lot of good stuff out there. Email me if you need some good links.Mental Health: Day after day it's tough to do all the workouts solo so try to find someone to join you for some of the sessions. A masters group once a week is good (this will be your 1 hard session!), but keep the rest easy. Talk to people in your area in person or via the net to find new routes and training partners. Efficiency: Aero positioning and power output on the bike oppose each other. Ride lower and your power output will suffer. Begin working this month on flexibility of your back and legs. Come race day, your goal is to be as thin to the wind as possible, for as long as possible without suffering power output. Flexibility is free speed.
Appendix: RPE ChartThis chart can help with gauging intensities of daily workouts. Combine with your heart monitor ranges if desired.