This is a 12-week Ironman Triathlon Base period training plan designed by Joe Friel using the principles in his books--The Triathletes Training Bible and Going Long (co-author Gordo Byrn). It's different from the UNDER-50 plan with a similar title in that the recovery weeks in this plan are scheduled every 3rd week whereas in the UNDER-50 plan they are every 4th week. Being every 3rd week they allow for more frequent rest and recovery which is a common need of older athletes. This plan is easy to read and to follow and will prepare you to start Joe's Ironman Build-Peak-Race periods training plan, either "intermediate" (15-17 hours/week) or "advanced" (18-20 hours). (The Build period plans have a R&R week every 3rd week regardless of age.) It is best to start this Base period plan 24 weeks before your Ironman race if you intend to follow it with either of his Build-Peak-Race plans as they each last 12 weeks. Another option is to start this Base period plan 28-32 weeks before your Ironman and repeat the last 4 weeks of the plan once or twice to more fully establish your Base fitness.
To start this plan you should already be capable of swimming 1 hour, biking 90 minutes and running 1 hour. The emphasis in the first several weeks of this plan is on running. In the latter half the emphasis shifts toward the bike. Each week there are 3 swims, 2-5 rides, 4-5 runs and 1-2 strength workouts. Weekly volume steadily increases from 12 to 17 hours. The exceptions are in rest and recovery weeks every 3rd week when training is greatly reduced for 4-5 days ending with testing. These R&R weeks will shed fatigue allowing for adaptation and improved performance. For gauging intensity on the bike you may use either heart rate or power. For the run either heart rate or pace. Swim intensities are based on pace and perceived exertion. Your swim, bike, and run training zones (heart rate, power, and/or pace) should be set before starting the plan. (For a detailed description of how to set your zones go to http://www.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2009/11/quick-guide-to-setting-zones.html.)