This 12-week plan is written for an athlete who wants to be competitive at the Ironman distance. This plan requires the use of a power meter device AND an athlete that has already established their power training zones.
Athletes intersted in this plan should already have a minimum duration on their long rides of 4 hours, a long run of 2.5 hours, and a swim at least an hour.
The emphasis of this plan in the first 5 weeks is on the bike gradually shifting to the run for the following 5 weeks. Swimming remains rather consistent throughout. Volume is relatively high at about 20 hours per week (plus or minus 3 hours with recovery periods in weeks 4 and 8). Key swims are scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays. Quality bike rides and runs are on Tuesdays, Thursdays and the weekends. There is a BIG day of training at the ends of weeks 3 and 7 with about 8 hours of combined swimming, biking and running (with 90 minute rest-nutrition breaks between) to help prepare you for the stresses of the race. The run taper begins 3 weeks before the race with the bike taper starting 2 weeks out and the swim tapering the week of the race. The week of the race may be customized by following simple instructions that week to fit either a Saturday or Sunday race.