2019 Improved Triathlon Training Plans

800 377 Patrick McCrann



2019 New Full and Half Iron Distance Triathlon Training Plans

Whether you just signed up for your first Ironman®, Half-Ironman® or are a seasoned triathlete, there is one thing we all know to be true: you need a proven customized triathlon training plan to cross the finish line.

Maybe you purchased a plan years ago and think you’re all set, problem is, just like technology, endurance training techniques are constantly improving.

Can you imagine doing your job today with an old computer on dial-up internet? Helllooo patience tester! No, of course not! Your life and the world around you has evolved drastically since then, and you need the latest operating system to perform your job.

Triathlon training is no different. You are not the same athlete who raced on your old plan, the methodology has grown and improved, so let’s get you on a lightning speed internet connection on the best computer in the world!

Every year our plans are rebuilt to reflect our team-wide lessons learned and any new relevant best practices and research. 2019 is no exception, we continue to evolve the cycling load progression as well as the types of cycling intensity. The runs continue to rely on frequency (and Endurance Nation’s famous Split Run approach), however, now with a bit more segmentation between each phase of running.  Worried about how to train for the swim course? No worries there either! Brand new swim workouts to decrease your 100meter swim time and keep your body fresh for the bike and run.

Endurance Nation’s new 2019 Full Iron Distance and Half Iron Distance 20-week training plans are available to load and use in Final Surge, our official training plan delivery platform. Current members of Team Endurance Nation can load these plans into their log as of today. If you need assistance, remember to reach out in your Coach Thread or talk to our Support Team.

Looking to access Endurance Nation’s proven training plans? You can create a Plan level membership and access critical daily workouts. Don’t worry about what’s next, we’ll focus on the training to make sure you are ready for the big race.

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Ability Levels

Each plan has workouts listed by ability, so you can personalize each session to your current situation. The most common mistake athletes make is over-reaching in training — training to catch up vs training to build up. Within Endurance Nation plans, athletes can choose their individual levels as dictated by health, fitness, and goals.

  • Beginner (Level 1) workouts are for those doing this race for the first time, or their first race in a long time, or perhaps if you are returning from injury.
  • Intermediate (Level 2) workouts are for the experienced athlete who has a decent level of competence in the sport and is looking to improve.
  • Advanced (Level 3) workouts are the most challenging. Reserved for athletes who are currently fit, healthy and training to be competitive on race day.


Plan Types

We update all three versions of each distance plan yearly. That’s right. Every. Single. Year. Just like you, we are obsessed with getting better and doing our best at every single opportunity.  Each distance has Bike-Focused, Run-Focused and Minimalist Options depending on your personal focus or area of need to be addressed.

  • Bike Focused plans have more riding in them overall. This is great for athletes who need to focus on the bike or aren’t able to run as much. In terms of years on Endurance Nation, Bike Focus plans are good for your ODD years of membership (1, 3, 5, etc).
  • Run Focused plans have more run frequency as compared to other plans. These are good plans for athletes who need to build run durability and strength. In terms of years on Endurance Nation, Run Focus plans are good for your EVEN years of membership (2, 4, 6, etc).
  • Minimalist plans are for those athletes who are time-crunched and need to be ready to race without all the “bonus” workouts that the typical FULL or HALF plan entails. These plans emphasize the weekend training and generally limit weekday training sessions to just one workout. Additional workouts on these days are at your discretion.

Video & Additional Resources

There is a whole new suite of Coach Videos to help you navigate the final 12 weeks to your big race; go to Resources on the Final Surge site to view the right video for your training week.


In addition, there are Strength and Plyometric resources that you can add to your training plan, as supplemental workouts, depending on what your personal goals are.


Overall Long Course Plan Edits

Our Full and Half Distance Triathlon plans are built from the same playbook. We strive to keep the fundamental elements of our plans consistent so that athletes can seamlessly move between plans as needed.

On the surface, the biggest change is updating our “Big Day” approach to be a “Challenge Day.” In the past, this critical training session combined all three disciplines into a long training session. Designed to be a formative test of your functional endurance levels, the session wasn’t as effective as designed.

Firstly, it was often complicated by lining up all the disciplines in order which proved difficult for many outside of a race weekend. It required a significant swim performance, despite our early season guidance to stay light on the swim. And finally, the final brick run session was compromised from overall fatigue.

With the 2019 plans, Challenge Day is now exclusively cycling focused. The return on volume remains the same, but the logistics are easier and doing it on a bike makes it achievable for all. It will also prep athletes for the longer sessions happening in the season.

The second change is raising the bar for cycling volume a little earlier in the plan. Leveraging the two Big Day Rides, Endurance Nation athletes will now transition from endurance into a final peak phase where intensity is key to maintaining strength, and longer weekend rides are meant to be easier and (surprisingly) a bit restorative.

This cycling transition is also organized to make room for the run to grow as the bike overall difficulty fades. The goal here is to allow for continued fitness gains through better spacing instead of stacking all three disciplines with similar training targets.



  • Two swims per week for all ability levels, making room for recovery as needed. This increases to three swims per week in the last three weeks of the program.
  • Integration of progressive volume build into intermediate volume test sets.
  • Return to time-trial sets for race-specific training.
  • Creating an independent “Swim Supplement” plan that can be overlaid onto the final 12 weeks of your training into race day for athletes looking to improve the swims.


  • Three to four times per week. Early rides are Wednesday Threshold Intervals, Saturday Endurance, Sunday Tempo (Always Be Pushing Ride)
  • Later rides switch to Tuesday Max Power, Thursday Sweet Spot Training and a Saturday aerobic ride.


  • Four to six runs per week are scheduled, depending on your ability level.
  • Long runs are scheduled on either Thursdays or Sundays, based upon the weekly focus.
  • The long run will be a Split Long Run (AM and PM) until the later weeks of the plan, where it becomes a more traditional long run.

Race Rehearsals

  • All plans include Race Rehearsals in weeks 15 and 18.


Phew! That is a lot of upgrades, don’t you feel faster simply reading it?

We would love to help you crush your goals this year with the latest and greatest in triathlon training plans. You can create a Plan level membership and access critical daily workouts. Don’t worry about what’s next, we’ll focus on the training to make sure you are ready for the big race. After all, we not only get your body ready to race, we also prepare your mind. Execution is critical, but let’s start with the training. Have no fear, you have an amazing endurance team and coach beside you every step of the way.

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