Ironman Training for the Time-Constrained Athlete
Distance: 140.6 miles = 2.4 mile swim [1.7%] + 112 mile bike [79.7%] + 26.2 mile run [18.6%]
140.6 miles is a lot for any athlete to handle. We’re not all professionals athletes who can train (and rest) all day. So, we created a plan that allows for the time-constrained athlete to successfully finish an Ironman race.
Here are some assumptions that we’re making about the athlete about to embark on this Ironman training plan:
- The athlete is competing in their first or second 140.6 mile triathlon.
- The athlete has competed in multiple 70.3 mile triathlons.
- The athlete is a proficient swimmer.
- The athlete has typical work/life time constraints.
- The athletes like to train. 98-99% of the days are training days.
A typical 3-3-3 training plan has 3 swims, 3 bikes and 3 runs each week. 98% of the race distance is bike and run so this plan only calls for 2 swims per week. That opens up another day for bike, run or recovery.
Training is broken up into 4 parts: Base [Weeks 11-14], Build [Weeks 7-10], Race Specific [Weeks 2-6] and Taper [Weeks 0-1]
Saturday and Sunday are “high volume” training days. Saturday is either a long bike or a bike/run brick. Depending on what you do on Saturday, Sunday is either a long slow run (if you did a Saturday long bike) or a rest day (if you did a Saturday bike/run brick).
Monday and Friday will be swim days to protect the legs. If possible, join a Master’s swim program to help push you. Make sure you limit kicking drills.
A 3-4 hour mid-week bike, preferably on Wednesday, is a critical workout. If necessary, take 1/2 day off work from week 2-10 to allow time for this training.
It is highly encouraged to incorporate yoga, stretching and core workouts into your weekly schedule within reason. An hour of lunges on Friday night may potentially wreck your weekend training.
Starting Week 6, the bike you will be using on race day is the bike you should use for all trainings.
Race simulations will consist of 90 mile bike rides [80% of race distance] + 13 mile runs [50% of race distance] at projected race pace.
|Week - Period||Monday [Swim]||Tuesday [Track]||Wednesday [Bike]||Thursday [Tempo Run]||Friday [Swim]||Saturday [Bike]||Sunday [LSD Run]|
|Week 14 - Base||Swim 1||Run 1||Bike: 50 miles [Zone 3]||Run: 60 min tempo||Swim 2||Bike: 60 miles [Zone 3]||Run: 90 min LSD|
|Week 13 - Base||Swim 3||Run 2||Bike: 50 miles [Zone 3]||Run: 60 min tempo||Swim 4||Bike: 60 miles [Zone 3]||Run: 90 min LSD|
|Week 12 - Base||Swim 5||Run 3||Bike: 50 miles [Zone 3]||Run: 60 min tempo||Swim 6||Bike: 75 miles [Zone 3]||Run: 90 min LSD|
|Week 11 - Base||Swim 7||Run 4||Bike: 50 miles [Zone 3]||Run: 60 min tempo||Swim 7||Bike: 75 miles [Zone 3]||Run: 90 min LSD|
|Week 10 - Build||Swim 1||Run 1||Bike: 4 x Bike 1||Run: 75 min tempo||Swim 2||Bike: 90 miles [Zone 3]||Run: 120 min LSD|
|Week 9 - Build||Swim 3||Run 2||Bike: 4 x Bike 1||Run: 75 min tempo||Swim 4||Bike: 90 miles [Zone 3]||Run: 120 min LSD|
|Week 8 - Build||Swim 5||Run 3||Bike: 4 x Bike 1||Run: 90 min tempo||Swim 6||Bike: 112 miles [Zone 3]||Run: 120 min LSD|
|Week 7 - Build||Swim 7||Run 4||Bike: 5 x Bike 1||Run: 90 min tempo||Swim 7||Bike: 112 miles [Zone 3]||Run: 120 min LSD|
|Week 06 - Race Specific||Swim 1||Run 1||Bike: 75 [Zone 3]||Run: 120m tempo||Swim 2||“Race Simulation - 90 mile bike + 13 mile run”||Rest|
|Week 05 - Race Specific||Swim 3||Run 2||Bike: 75 [Zone 3]||Rest||Swim 4||Bike: 75 mile + 6 mile run||Run: 120 min LSD|
|Week 04 - Race Specific||Swim 5||Run 3||Bike: 75 [Zone 3]||Run: 120m tempo||Swim 6||“Race Simulation - 90 mile bike + 13 mile run”||Rest|
|Week 03 - Race Specific||Swim 7||Run 4||Bike: 75 [Zone 3]||Rest||Swim 7||Bike: 75 mile + 6 mile run||Run: 120 min LSD|
|Week 02 - Race Specific||Swim 1||Run 1||Bike: 75 [Zone 3]||Rest||Swim 2||“Race Simulation - 90 mile bike + 13 mile run”||Rest|
|Week 01 - Taper||Swim 3||Run 5||Bike: 50 [Zone 3]||Run: 80 min tempo||Swim 4||Bike: 60 mile easy ride||Run: 120 min LSD|
|Week 00 - Taper||Swim 5||50% of Run 4||Bike: 25 [Zone 3]||Run: 40 min tempo||Swim 5||Rest||Race Day|