Beat Kona and reach the pinnacle of Ironman triathlon with nine Ironman training sessions
To tackle the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run in the world’s greatest triathlon race is the ultimate goal for many Ironman participants. Getting there isn’t easy. Like Hawaii itself, places for the Ironman are red hot.
There’s a strict ‘slot allocation’ process at each of the Ironman events around the world. The top age-group and pro finishers in each race are rewarded with the chance to swim in Kailua Bay, ride the infamous Queen Ka’ahumanu (Queen K) Highway and run along Ali’i Drive through lava fields to the ‘Energy Lab’, and finish to the roars of the crowd.
Completing an ironman, let alone qualifying for Kona, means taking on the ultimate endurance event. You test every fibre of your body, pushing your performance beyond what you think you can achieve. You surrender to the unknown. This is why the training is so important. Miles matter when becoming an Ironman. Long miles build physical and psychological competence and confidence. For the most successful Kona qualifiers, century rides (of 100 miles), mega bricks (long bikes followed by long runs), endurance runs and super swim sets are the mainstay of their Hawaii armoury. If overnight success or quick-fix fitness is what you’re after, you’ve come to the wrong place.
Whether it’s your first or your fifth Ironman, these sessions will help you as you prepare for the biggest physical challenge of your life. Before having a crack at these nine killer sessions, you should have been working towards your Ironman goal for a couple of months and built up your swim, bike and run volume. The sessions are designed to take place at the end of a structured and progressive 10-to-16-week build phase and to see the Ironman hopeful into the race preparation phase of training. The workouts aren’t for the faint-hearted, but then neither is the challenge of an Ironman.
This article was first published in Triathlon Plus magazine – click here to subscribe.