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The 70.3 Half Distance racing programs get you ready for the perfect blend of endurance and speed. Like the Sprint/Olympic training plans, some workouts will potentially build to being longer than the actual distance of the swim, bike and run legs in the race. This will afford you the overall endurance and strength needed to be able to maximize the use of the speed that you will also be developing throughout these programs.
As with all Racing programs you select from 8, 11 or 14 workouts/week. Those include two strength sessions and then the remaining sessions are split evenly between swimming, cycling, and running.
Which Option Should I Choose?
First and foremost, it is important to have a base of fitness from an endurance sport and/or some experience triathlons before targeting a Half Distance race. If you are pretty much coming into the sport fresh with little other endurance training background, it is recommended that you target at least one Olympic distance event before jumping up to the 70.3 Half Distance. As a minimum it is good to be comfortable swimming 1,000, cycling 1-hour and running about 5-miles (8km).
8 workouts/week is ideal if you have only trained for 1-2 Sprint or Olympic distance races and quickly moving up to the 70.3 distance. It provides the core key workouts needed to build overall fitness and speed, but also affords adequate recovery if you are just stepping up to the Half Distance. This option is great as well if you are time crunched and want to ensure you get in the basic foundational sessions needed for the distance. This option includes the Core Six Workouts, which are a long session and a shorter faster session in each sport every week plus the two additional strength workouts weekly.
11 workouts/week starts with the 8 workouts a week and then adds in an additional medium length session in each of the three sports. This enhances overall endurance and efficiency and is a great choice for those with a bit more experience in triathlon training. For many this is the sweet spot that is a good balance between training and the rest of life.
14 workouts/week takes the previous option and adds in one additional shorter recovery workout in each sport weekly. This extra workout is a low stress session that builds overall consistency in the week of training and ends up giving a nice boost in overall efficiency of motion. This is good for those who know how to manage a few days where you have multiple workouts.