This Base period plan was designed by Joe Friel specifically for the over-50-year-old triathlete training for an Ironman. The OVER-50 plan differs from the UNDER-50 plan in that R&R weeks occur every 3 weeks instead of every 4.
It uses the principles described in his books--The Triathletes Training Bible and Going Long. It is easy to read and to follow and will prepare you to start the Ironman Build period training plan. It is best to start this plan at least 24 weeks before your Ironman race. Another option is to start it 28-32 weeks before your Ironman and repeat the last 4 weeks of the plan once or twice to better 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 9 weeks of this plan is on running. In the last 3 weeks 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 increases from 12 to 17 hours. The exception is in R&R weeks every third week when training is greatly reduced for 4-5 days culminating with self-testing. These R&R weeks will allow for adaptation and improved performance.
(For detailed description of how to set your zones for heart rate, power or pace go to http://tinyurl.com/29t3q6m and click on USING HR, POWER AND PACE (PDF) under my picture.)