This is a 24-week plan for the first-time Ironman triathlete in any age group (over or under 50) created by Joe Friel using the principles in his books--The Triathlete's Training Bible and Going Long (co-author Gordo Byrn). Over the course of 24 weeks the weekly volume builds from about 10 to 15 hours. There is a rest and recovery period every third week to allow for recovery and adaptation. If you are starting this plan with fewer than 24 weeks remaining until your Ironman race you may jump in at any point along the way so long as you have been training consistently for at least the number of weeks you are missing from the schedule.
Most weeks include 3 workouts in each sport plus strength training once (last 16 weeks) or twice (first 8 weeks). It is strongly suggested that you own and know how to use a heart rate monitor and/or a bike power meter before starting this plan. Either may be used for the bike workouts. Run workout intensities are gauged by heart rate and perceived levels of effort. Swim sessions are based on T-pace and perceived exertion. There is periodic testing for setting zones in all three sports with instructions included in plan. Your current training zones for each sport should be set 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.)