This 22-week program is designed for beginner to intermediate triathletes who have their sights set on a Half-Ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run). There are 10-12 weekly workouts (3 swims, 3 rides, 3-4 runs, 1-2 strength training sessions) that build a strong, capable foundation to go the distance in all three disciplines. The workouts are far from basic: nearly every ride and run has skill or speed development, while the pool workouts are rarely repeated.
THE PREREQS: At a minimum, you need to be able to swim 500 yards (back, forth, back, forth) in a pool without touching the bottom or hanging on the edge. It doesn’t have to be pretty, and you don’t have to keep your face in the water the whole time. If you can’t do that but are intent on this plan, enrolling in an adult swim class and/or private lessons is a great idea.
For the run and bike portions, being injury-free is necessary. Ideally, you have completed an Olympic distance triathlon—or at least run a half-marathon—before taking on a Half Ironman.
TRAINING BASICS: Most of the mandatory weekday workouts are 75-90 minutes.
The weekend workouts range from 60 minutes to 5 hours, 15 minutes. One day typically has a bike/run brick and the other is a run with a swim. The longer weekend workouts will get you ready, both mentally and physically, for a Half-Ironman, which typically takes most beginner triathletes seven to eight hours to complete.
LONGEST WORKOUT DISTANCES: Swim: 2,800 yards; ride: 4 hours (and then run 30 minutes); run: two hours.
A FEW MORE TIDBITS:
—You will have the opportunity to race a sprint or Olympic distance along the way. (If you want to race more, that's totally cool: we will help adjust your schedule.)
—One day weekly is a total rest day. (On the plan as written, it's a Friday, but you can easily rearrange the plan to accommodate your schedule.)
STRENGTH TRAINING INCLUDED? Yes. You will have one to two strength circuits a week. These require hand weights and a stability ball.