This plan was designed for the advanced triathlete by Joe Friel using the principles of The Triathlete's Training Bible. It is best started 23 weeks prior to your first A race of the season. Following this 12-week plan will get you ready to start the Half-Ironman Build period (see Half IM Build-Peak-Race plans) which specifically prepares you for your A-priority race. The under-50 Build-Peak-Race plans are 11 weeks. You may use either a heart rate monitor or power meter to gauge the bike intensities of this plan.
While this plan is intended for the under-age-50 triathlete who has been racing for two or more years, it may also be used by older athletes who recover well within 48 hours after hard or long workouts and can train with 3 consecutive weeks of quality training before needing a recovery period. To start this plan you should be able to swim 1 hour, bike 1.5 hours, and run 1 hour. Over 12 weeks of training you will increase your weekly volume from about 13 hours to around 19 hours including 4-5 swims, 4 to 6 bikes, 4 to 6 runs, and 1 to 2 strength workouts each week. The exceptions are the R&R weeks every fourth week with volume significantly reduced for 4 to 5 days and self-testing at the end of the week to measure progress.
The plan uses common language to describe the workouts and is easy to follow. By the end of 12 weeks you will have excellent Base fitness and be ready to start the Build period 11 weeks prior to your A-priority, half-Ironman race (be sure to count backwards from your race week to get the starting point for this plan right). Your power and heart rate zones should be established before starting this plan. (For detailed description of how to set your zones for heart rate, power or pace go to http://www.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2009/11/quick-guide-to-setting-zones.html.)