Free 3-month 70.3 training plan

Want to master the middle-distance triathlon, commonly known as the 70.3 or half-Ironman? Dermott Hayes has a 70.3 training plan that'll help ensure you're race ready...

Free 70.3 triathlon training plan

So, you’re going to do a 70.3/half-Ironman/middle-distance triathlon. Maybe you’re stepping up after racing short course for a few years. Or maybe you’re dropping back down after having completed an Ironman. Whatever your reason, it’s time to make sure you’re ready for the 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1km run, which make up the 70.3 triathlon.


The 70.3 training plan

This free downloadable 70.3 training plan forms what is known as the end of the traditional ‘build’ phase and the complete ‘peak’ phase, taking you all the way to your 70.3 race day. With this in mind, if you want to follow this plan, it’s crucial that you’ve already spent time working on the ‘base’ phase for a 70.3 and that you’ve laid down solid foundations on which to build your training distances. Jumping straight into this plan from very little training could lead to injury and fatigue very quickly.

On the training plan you’ll find a healthy balance between swim, bike and run training, with a slight emphasis on the bike as this is where you can make real gains at this distance. Sessions in the plan vary between tempo, race pace, interval and recovery styles, and this varied approach will ensure a high quality of intensity when needed, but also make sure that you train at lower intensities to help with fat burning and endurance.

It wouldn’t be a successful plan without bike/run brick sessions, and we include longer traditional race simulation-style sessions that really help to boost endurance. We also include shorter-duration, multi-transition-style sessions that
you can execute at slightly faster paces and also use to practise
kit changes.

A major part of executing a successful 70.3 is to get your head straight as to what kind of pacing is needed – it’s not just as simple as going a bit slower than you
did for an Olympic tri, or going faster than you did at Ironman. 70.3 racing requires a real balancing act when it comes to pacing, and that has to be developed through training experiences. Base your initial targets around previous racing experiences and then introduce those paces into training and see how far off the mark you are. Be prepared to be flexible and keep revisiting your targets.

Remember to try and train harder than you need to race – doing the real hard miles in training will make the race easy… kinda.


Dermott’s  top tips for 70.3 training and racing

Prep the course

Do your homework on your race course and try to replicate it in training where possible.

Break down the sessions

Mentally break down the longer training sessions into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Stay organised

You have to be organised to make this training happen. Sort out your kit. Sort out your diary. 

Test before race day


Test your equipment, clothing and nutrition in training. Not on race day.