How To Prepare For Next Years Ironman Triathlon


Things to consider when planning for next years Triathlon.Ironmate list below a range of things and mistakes to consider avoiding errors that have been made over the last 25 years in triathlon. A few minutes reading below could save you hours or even prevent a wasted build up and Ironman event. Training any longer than 24 weeks (6 months) will lead to

  1. Over training. Waste of training time disappointing race or competition season.
  2. Mental Burn out before or come race day. = Unable to push thru when things get tough.
  3. Illness – reduced immune system
  4. Injury – over use or monotony of similar training.
  5. Plateau performance. = under perform race day.
  6. Stress – from trying to fit in too much for more than six months and neglecting the rest of your life and putting off the chores in life we have to do.


By training for more than 6 months for your next Ironman you risk over training. Training in many different ways adding variety and not doing the same sessions can improve endurance.

If you keep adding volume for six months without any consideration to fitness gains you will nearly always leads to being over trained. You are more likely to have a great Ironman by doing less than training TOO MUCH!

Training causes fatigue and with adequate rest you improve. If you feel tired you have succeeded but your body has to adapt to be able to progress forward.

Being fit from other type of training in September October and November with allow you to have all round fitter body to prepare you for the winter months to train for the Iron man triathlon. You will also be able to draw upon this saved strength and core fitness in the later parts of the Ironman.


It is very easy to become stale from training for the Iron Man triathlon. It is not easy yourself to see the signs that you have mental burn out. As your minds becomes more tired from the training you either go slower into a head wind or up a hill as you are unable to dig deep.


Being fresh going into the winter will reduce your chance of becoming sick more than once during the winter. By having consistent uninterrupted training you will develop confidence and improved fitness levels.


If you have been injury free over the summer months then doing alternative training before Iron Man build up will give you much better all round total fitness as you progress through the winter. Resistance training is especially important.


Many Iron man athletes plateau in the last 6 weeks before the Iron man. This is nearly always from starting their build up more than 8 months before IM day. The only way you can prepare for longer if you have had a break at the end of the season.
Also planned reduction in training even if you think you do not need it. To overcome this you need to consider unstructured training before you start your Iron man build up. Also consider different types of cross and alternative training. Ironmate suggests



Include the following exercises if short of time rotate the list every other time. Cardio- strength, dynamic fitness – Include Lunges, dips, squats, plank, shuttle runs, press ups, quick feet step ups and star jumps.


Start running off road in September and get accustomed to off road before the weather gets colder and the terrain changes.= Improves balance, change of pace different terrain and is more specific to Ironman running.

LONG WALKS - fat burning builds up endurance = Get use to being on your feet

MOUNTAIN BIKING - improves bike handling skills, improves cadence and strength.

PILATES - improving body awareness, increases flexibility and slow controlled movements.

RESISTANCE - weight training. Riding a mountain bike. Running off road. Swiss ball and core work outs = links up muscles together for improved total strength = During the Ironman you will use strength rather than fitness.

STRETCHING - better for any endurance events reduces muscle fatigue.

YOGA - strengthens tones and stretches you without the need for equipment = improve the body and mind and learn to relax. Can improve breathing. Improves visualization by imaging a scene. There are many types of yoga from slow movements to and deep breathing called fast pace yoga is called Ashtango designed to build up concentration and endurance. Gentle Yoga is exactly that slow controlled movements and holding stretches. Iyengar yoga holds a pose and uses equipment such as bench chairs ropes. Kundalini yoga includes deep breathing chanting and meditation.

STRETCHING - better for any endurance events reduces muscle fatigue. The tighter your muscles the sooner they will shorten when dehydrated and or fatigued.

IRONMAN NEXT YEAR TIPS - consistence regular training to prepare yourself for when you begin Ironman training. Routine training to get use to training on planned days.


Everyone has a weak sport. Consider the following when training in the off season before you start a structured plan. Are you?

  1. Prone to injury = Reduce the risk.
  2. Particular sport causes tiredness = Aim for improved efficiency.
  3. Lack endurance in one sport = Less sessions per week but longer. Before you can do this you first need to increase frequency.
  4. Need to be more efficient = Skills (single legged cycling)
  5. Could improve much more = be consistent, find a training partner.
  6. Training for the Iron man next year.

SWIMMING - do not use the pull buoy over the winter training build up. Spend a lot more time kicking. Kicking only kicking harder when swimming, side kicking. Lots of drills to be the smoothest you can against the dense water resistance. You will be rewarded by being faster and by using up less effort have more energy for the bike and run. Improve other swim strokes, by doing this you can improve your feel for the water.

CYCLING - use a heavy bike and always carry at least two full bottles on every ride. Consider lowering your road bike saddle by 0.5 -1.0 cm until December, then raise it back up again. Remember to mark the position before altering so you can return to the same position again. Seated climbing for cycle specific strength.

RUNNING INJURY PREVENTION TIPS - increase frequency of running slowly aiming to still run the same number of miles in a week but NOT MORE. For example if you run 25 miles a week try running 5 times a week covering 25 miles even if it means some that some runs you only cover 3 miles Run as much as possible on soft surfaces.

TICKING OVER TRAINING - if you plan on doing 12-14 hours training a week at peak for the Ironman (10-4 weeks pre Ironman) then consider NO more than 25% of time spent swimming cycling and running during the ticking over period of training. So only train 3-3.5 hours per week plus other types mentioned in winter training. No timed swims cycle and runs as Nike say “Just do it”.

GENERAL TRAINING - easy medium but NOT hard training as you will only be able to sustain high efforts for up to 12 weeks pre Ironman so save the tougher workouts until you have a much better base.

Swimming – consider getting qualified stroke analysis. Swim more often and try to get a better feel for the water.

Cycling- Learn to cycle in easy gears (fast spinning) down hill and on the flat then next time use Big gears (low cadence) staying seated climbing or riding into a head wind. Keep your rides under 3 hours and consider social café stops.

Running – Run and walk to build up endurance even on short runs. Consider running a little faster and learn to walk fast in between. Training until December.

IMPORTANT MONTHLY SESSIONS - aim to do one of each of the following listed to get you ready for the start of your Ironman build up.

EXPERIMENT - it is doubtful that you will gain as much endurance fitness by doing the same number of hours a week until the Ironman triathlon.

Aim for 3 weeks high volume one week reduction by at least 25%.(I.e. 10 hours a week 1-3 then 7.5 hours week 4)