So you have decided to take on a Half Ironman!. Good for you! This 16-week plan is designed for those who already swim, bike, or run at least 2-3 times a week. Can you follow this plan without any type of fitness or active foundation? Yes, but I would suggest you don’t to avoid injury and burn out. The key to success in any distance triathlon is proper progression and consistency. The focal point of this plan is to have you cross the line injury free. We do this by staying consistent and building upon each of your workouts every week or two. We know via the scientific literature that our muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones adapt to change very slowly, and when changes are too big, injury often results. So stay consistent and don’t add anything to the workouts. Remember this is a template plan designed for a wide variety of people and not meant for your individual needs. In order to have success with this plan you must be consistent, and on the other end of spectrum, make sure you do not do more than what’s prescribed in the plan.
Instructions for your 16-week plan:
1. Feel free to move days around so the training fits your personal schedule better. My suggestion is not to run back-to-back days or do back-to-back long bike and run workouts.
2. You will notice there are no days off designated in the 16-week plan. Listen to your body and take a day off when you need one. It is really that simple. The plan is designed not to beat you up, but to gradually increase your training so that your body adapts quicker all while creating less fatigue and soreness. Again, this does not mean you should never take a day off. When you’re tired or feeling drained, take a rest day!
3. If you want to add any workouts to your schedule, my suggestion is to add a day in the discipline where you are weakest or that is most challenging for you. So take one of the workouts prescribed and do it another time throughout the week.
4. Regarding your swim workout: if you are weak in this area, seek out swim lessons, clinics, and get in the water often. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes at a time, the more you are in the water, the better! As you get closer to the race, make sure you seek out venues that provide open water swimming. ETA Coach has open water swims from April to September in Medford Lakes, NJ that give swimmers more than 40 opportunities to swim throughout the season.
5. Regarding your bike workouts: Make sure you are safe at all times and have a proper fit on your bike. Seek out local clubs and bike shops for group rides. Once again, be safe!
6. Regarding your run workouts: Running can beat the athlete up the most, so back off if the initial workouts are too aggressive for you and walk more. I know walking can be monotonous, but trust me: it will aid in preventing injury and progressing your run fitness.
7. Regarding all of your workouts: Remember, this plan is designed to keep you injury free and build your fitness to complete your race. Keep all the workouts easy to stay in line with the plan’s goals.
I wish you the best of luck on your journey and if you ever have questions or would like to pursue a more individualized approach with your training, don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Before you start your journey, I would highly suggest you read these articles to provide clarity to the approaches taken in the plan and to keep you safe, injury free, and enjoying your workouts!
Setting Goals and Thinking Long Term: http://www.etacoach.com/resources/TF01.php
Are Swim Drills Necessary?: http://www.etacoach.com/resources/Swim_Drills.php
Walk before you Run Literally: http://www.etacoach.com/resources/walk_before_you_run.php
The Consequences of Low Energy Intake: http://www.etacoach.com/resources/the_consequences_of_low_energy_intake.php
The Problem with One- Time Training Plans: http://www.etacoach.com/resources/TF010.php
Have fun and train smart!