Long Course Coach Q & A Session #2: Adding A Big Triathlon Week into a Half Ironman plan


Creative Commons License photo credit: benjami

We get email and Twitter questions regarding our training plans all the time. We strive to answer each one, and it occurred to us that maybe sharing this information could be good for other self-coached triathletes out there. Enjoy!

Rich and Patrick


Any advice appreciated. Managed to snag week in majorca, have bike but wifi in hotel screwed, hence email from phone. Can’t access training plan + want to adapt it – on wk8 of 12 adv Half Iron plan – l raced a HIM on sunday, lost 2 days traveling, just done 1 hour wetsuit sea swim (resort on beach) – have good running plus great riding scope. Within 5 miles of a 4 mile climb (never get this at home!), can ride lumpy, mountain or flat terrain here – roadie heaven!!

Last opp to ride is next monday, could run or swim however. Just training and resting up – is it okay to pimp my plan for this week? Any advice – sea swim newbie, hilly 70.3® coming up so thought this ideal to do a big tri week in the sun.

Thanks, Dave


Hey, no worries. I think you should definitely go with a big tri week based on the fact you are free, can train, and are 8 week out from a hilly HIM. You can search Big Tri Week on the Endurance Nation Blog for full info to do your own remix, but here’s my quick advice to you.

First, course, the customary word of caution: don’t over do it here. Your goal race is a half and you have some key workouts coming up in the next few weeks before you taper. Not to mention you just raced (nice work!). The goal here is to place an additional aerobic load on your system that won’t take away from our typical intensity-focused training. In addition to Mondays swim only day, you might have to take Tues / Wed off as well; if so then you should aim to pick things back up by the scheduled Thursday long run.

Thursday as Run .5 hrs, Bike 2.5 hours. Run early, maybe do some light stretching afterwards. All easy w/ high cadence. The ride is on rolling terrain. Very aerobic zone 1-2, goal is to negative split the ride by coming back home just slightly faster.

Friday as Run .5hrs, Bike 1.5 hrs, Swim 1hr. Easy AM run followed by a Solid Hill ride. Roll over to that 4 mile hills and do 4 repeats climbs, each with at least 5′ of rest afterwards. #1 is done steady at 95 rpms; #2 at steady at 80 rpms; #3 is steady at 90 rpms but include a 1′ acceleration every 1/2 mile (ouch!); #4 is whatever you can do. Easy PM open water swim.

Saturday as Bike 2.5 hours, Swim 1hr. Nice easy aerobic ride, last hour is steady zone 2-3. Easy PM open water swim.

Sunday as Run .5hrs, Long Bike of 4 hours. Get the easy run done first, eat up, then put in your longest ride of this block. Ideally this will be done as easy out, steady back, with the hills in the first half, flats in the second. This way if you fade early, you aren’t done for in the hills.

Monday: Swim 1hr Pack up and get out of town…nicely done!

Good luck!

Coach Patrick

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