Free Winter Training Program For
Ironman And Triathlon


Swimming Cycling Running and Triathlon training guide.
"Base with Appropriate Pace" sessions, this is to make sure your base training is at a pace you can consistently maintain. Remember the pyramid - base before strength before speed.

The more complete athlete you develop yourself, the better you will become; become adaptable and when it is really time to increase the intensity you can. BAPs are "base with appropriate pace" sessions. Appropriate base sessions are easy, economical and efficient workouts.

EASY means going as much as 50% slower than you hope to go in a race next year. Use your past season's speed as your guide and be honest. This refers to at least 80% of your weekly solo training.

Biking - due to winter conditions you will go much slower than in the summer (air temperature has a real effect on speed) so racing at 21 mph means averaging 14 mph now or 18 mph racing speed means averaging 12 mph.

Running - racing at 7 minute mile pace must be 9 minute per mile now. Or racing at 8.30 minute per mile pace means 10.30 minute per mile pace.

Swim - Please note Ironmate does not advocate BAPs with the swim discipline due the environment being constant and the lower muscle stress means you can maintain a higher level of intensity throughout the off season.

Ironmate can hear the "that's sound really slow" brigade.

Remember the better you can go slowly, the quicker you go fast. You can't mentally bash your self against a brick wall every week for months on end.

"But I don't train hard all the time!" Accumulation of tough training over many months will lead to mental fatigue and de- motivation. Going slower can seem uncomfortable because you are using different muscle groups and energy systems. For long distance racing it is vital to teach your body the different paces that you will inevitably go through during the race. This is the only time of year that you can develop this part of your racing armoury.

ECONOMY AND EFFICIENCY (the two "E"s) are so important. You can only maintain the two "E"s when you are not tired. There must be no mental strain. Your thoughts need to be relaxed so you can fully concentrate on one feature at a time i.e. a smooth form, a relaxed comfortable pace or keeping everything very easy so you can learn not to let your mind drift.

When you race, your sole concentration is about being fast, other competitors will distract you and without learning to be efficient you will get caught up in their race. There is too much to think about when racing, so the two "E"s must be learnt to become second nature, so during any race you can go on automatic pilot and concentrate to provide a true saving of energy.

BASE - The bigger the base, the higher the peak but increasing effort and hours at the same time leads to illness and fatigue.

TRAINING - Many training schedules work with 3 weeks on and then 1 week recovery. Ironmate advocates the following that at this time of year, your training cycle be 4 weeks on then use the 5th week for recovery with a reduction in hours trained. This is 4 weeks of easy progression in "time" not effort!
If you are having the fourth week as recovery it means that the previous 3 weeks were too hard. As you progress through your training cycle you will move to a 3 week/1 week cycle. E.g. If are currently training 6 hours per week (360 minutes) add no more than 12 minutes each week for the next 4 weeks:

Week 1 - 360 minutes
Week 2 - 372 minutes
Week 3 - 384 minutes
Week 4 - 396 minutes
Week 5 - Reduce week 1 time by 50% (180 minutes)
Week 6 - Repeat Above - this is meant to feel easier the second time around concentrate on increasing the hours not the effort for the next 10 weeks and aim for consistency rather than nothing during the week and all training at the weekend - better to do an hour a day with a day off than 4 hours over 2 days.
Once you develop consistency you can progress to increasing the hours of your individual sessions.

Winter Triathlon Training schedule.

Winter Training is often disliked because pure and simple it slows you down and many do not like that lack of "speed" feeling. Be thankful for our changing seasons colder conditions are OK. Why? Because they slow you down. The denser colder air makes your muscles less elastic. When muscles are warm you have a better blood supply so they can shorten and lengthen much more efficiently.

The extra layers of clothing cause resistance and the inability to lose heat from your skin surface makes training at normal summer paces difficult if not impossible, so working out in the cold is actually a form of resistance.

Biking on a heavier machine builds specific functional strength and slows you down, running off road gains in stronger legs result from lifting your legs higher in long grass, lifting and pushing from soft surfaces and running up and down steep hills. Caution here as there is extra stress on your Achilles tendon, calf and knees as a result of too much too soon.

Winter Training Tips.You may wonder why you go slower at this time of year, coming from a racing season and faster speeds it is very noticeable that out doors sports speed has slowed down. Don’t worry it not a huge drop in fitness, this is due to the following reason.

The cold dense air is the speeds enemy. Your muscles are less elastic making it harder to work at high intensities and the reduced blood flow due to the cold it is harder almost impossible to compete at summer race pace.

This small dip is due to not racing as much at top end speed & some strength will have been lost. In a few months time it will still be cold and you will have got accustomed to a slower speed. The extra layers of clothing create extra resistance, which are as specific as you can get to build strength, also heat dissipation is harder to achieve with lots of layers.

Dehydration is very easy to achieve and will can cause injuries and weaken your immune system.

Things to watch out for are over the Christmas festive period are swooping your health & fitness kit for your party gear. Ok to over indulge on a few days but not the whole of December.
Its ever so easy to put on a kilo (2.2046 lbs) or 7,000 calories during this time, but you will have to expend 8-10 hours of decent training just to get back to where you were a month before!!
You need to consider all those favourite races you want to compete in, fitting into that summer swim costume now not in January when the unnecessary weight has been put on.


The season is ending for northern hemisphere athletes unless you are planning on competing off road cross country running skiing or mountain biking.Out of season top 10 tips.

1. You must decrease your fitness levels otherwise you will Not be able to build up and achieve improved performances next year. Now is the time to improve recovery and recuperation.

2. It is good to increase your body weight by 1-2 kilos this will allow you to be less likely to become ill over the winter months by making your immune system stronger. Often putting on some extra weight early on to keep you warmer stops continual snacking as you strive to keep warm out training. Much better to wear a thin layer over the whole of your body than have arms and legs exposed.

3. Now is the time to improve strength in the gym or cycling and running off road. You can get a lot warmer especially if you run in the woods away from strong cold winds. A session out on the road may have chilled you to the bone but in a protected area can seem so much warmer.
Consider training in the gym during the cold winter months to improve forceful movements then decrease the amount of strength work but continue throughout next racing season rather than not doing any.

If you had problem concentrating during the racing season mountain biking off road can improve this as you have to think all the time as you travel towards the next hole, tree root obstacle muddy section rock etc.

4. Training at the end of a season still needs some structure this includes complete rest days and very easy recovery sessions? If you concentrate on technique and economy of movement going slower will seem challenging as you have to concentrate.

5. Enter races this gives you the winter commitment that you need to train for, also aim for specific measurable ambitions. Time or position or both.

6. Make your life easier preparing now could save you a lot of time in the future. Investigate other swimming pools run routes short cuts etc so when you are time limited you have other options. By checking out alternatives you have a much wider range of options available to you. Can you find training partners that live nearer or are their gyms and swimming pools that are closer resulting in less time spent traveling?

7. Prepare for next season by investigating new items you need correct bike set up, running gait analysis. You now have time to do this.

8. Variety is the spice of life. Do different sports but not flat out your fitness levels will allow you to go much longer and harder which could result in soreness or injuries. Try concept 2 rowing, cross country running, hiking carrying a back pack harder than it seems on your legs for hours.

9. Improve your nutrition and hydration learns more about yourself how much you need to eat and drink. Take time to work out your resting metabolic rate or energy expenditure while running etc.

10. Review the “Good the Bad the Ugly” about your previous season. By doing this it can help you plan your next season.Make a list on the left hand side and what you plan on doing on the right hand side. Were you lacking strength up hills as the season progressed do you need to add hills mid way thru next year?

If you have a vacation planned and are limited to training time you can also incorporate some hills then. Some athletes experience a cross over from running up hills to cycling.

Set yourself short-term goals to help you achieve long-term aims. Having a focus always helps in the cold winter months when you have no up coming races to train for.