Ironman Triathlon Training Schedule

The greatest improvement can be gained by being consistent with a planned progression. As Lance Armstrong once said “The Tour de France is won in the winter not during the race”.

Preparation for an Ironman Triathlon

Progression should be made in each phase either in time or mileage and speed of movement all the time working on economy to save as much energy as possible.

24-week self coaching ironman training plan.

The training should be progressive to create adaptation improvement so the preparation is divided into parts that add variety but more importantly build up ready and fully prepared for the Ironman Triathlon.

Preparation weeks 1-4

Get back into training and establish routines, finding the best routes to cycle and run and best times to go swimming. Thinking how you can increase theses incrementally in your build up to the ironman triathlon. See how realistic the training time you have allocated yourself will be. Get your training clothing and equipment ready for the next 18 weeks.

Base building weeks 5-13

Base building 5-13 weeks this is when you need to have patience and improve the size of your capacity. This part is when most improvements will occur and you cannot put the final finishing touches until a good base has been developed. You cannot put the icing on the cake until the cake has been made.

This should be the easiest part of the training easy to steady but actually most athletes want to try much harder. Build for 3 weeks then have an easier week then repeat increasing the build of each of the three weeks. Work rate is easy long and steady with low heart rates. You will NOT improve without developing a good aerobic base. Build base to be able to cope with longer and fast sessions. Spend time planning your training working from the race backwards.

Week 13 is an easy week so makes it easy because your next block of training will be speed sessions.

Speed Work weeks 14-22

Week 14 & 15 one interval session in each sport a week. If you have none of the following overstraining signs such as throbbing legs in bed at night, irritability caused by minor things, loss of appetite, restless sleep, sudden weight loss, very heavy legs when walking up stairs or inclines and feeling tired all the time then increase speed work from one session in each sport (3 in total) up to two sessions in each sport doubling up speed work so you have at least 2 non speed days a week.

If everything is going well and no signs of aches and pains from possible signs of overuse or impending injuries then weeks 16-17 incorporate three single interval sessions plus one day three interval sessions almost a Triathlon.

Recovery Week 18 before the next two long weeks.

Longest Weeks 19-20

Consider a third or half ironman triathlon distance event or simulation brick session if this is not possible consider doing two sports half to middle one week and two sports the following week.

Long sessions will be based on the time you anticipate taking in the Ironman or aim to complete the following. Swimming 4.0-5.0km cycling 5-7 hours cycling running 2 Hours 30 minutes to 3 hours 15 minutes but not on the same day!!

Taper weeks 21-24

Four weeks are needed for the body to recover from the volume build up intensity. During the reduction in training no personnel testing is completed otherwise this will not only delay the taper can lead to a late injury. The harder you train the more you will benefit from a taper. Yes we all feel we could have done more training. Your biggest chance of improvement is reducing workout outs any last sessions hard or long will still be in your body during the Ironman.

More sleep rest relaxation with a reduction in one speed session a week in each sport is all that is required. If you want to be at your best on Ironman race day then a 4 week taper is essential, 1-3 weeks is enough for a marathon but 4-5 is the minimum for an Ironman remember you have a much longer triathlon competition to complete and you would have done more training for the Ironman than a marathon this is the reason why you need to taper for longer.

You have to have confidence in Ironmate who has experience in coaching and competing in over 100 Long distance events worldwide.