Set a blistering pace in your Ironman with these gruelling bike training drills
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 killer sessions, you should have been working towards your Ironman goal for a couple of months and have 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 you into the race preparation phase of training. These workouts aren’t for the faint-hearted, but then neither is the challenge of an Ironman.
Session One: The Solo Century Ride
Time needed 5 hrs +
Extra equipment Nutrition
Coaching tip Complete a 100-mile ride. To ride the tonne is a mainstay of Ironman success. It builds muscular and aerobic endurance and gives you the confidence that you can nail the distance.
This ride encourages you to be disciplined with your bike speed and effort in the early stages of your ride. It trains your body and your head to focus fully on the task at hand and not to lose concentration. Ride to effort level as opposed to trying to hold a set average speed.
Make it easier Remove the changes in intensity during the ride and set yourself the challenge of covering the distance.
Session Two: Turbo Charged
Time needed 2 hrs
Extra equipment Turbo trainer
Coaching tip This ride can be based on heart rate, power output or effort level. It might seem as though indoor cycling and Ironman don’t fit well together, but they do. In the UK, Ironman hopefuls frequently have to wrestle inclement training conditions and sometimes have no option other than to hop on the turbo trainer. This shouldn’t be seen as torture, but as of great benefit. It breaks up your training, is good for motivation and provides variety. There’s nowhere to hide on the turbo. There’s no stopping at lights, waiting or coasting on descents. There’s no wind behind you or in your face to contest with. It’s just you, your bike and the session.
Make it easier Do 3×10 mins as your main set instead of 3×20 mins.
Session Three: The 80-8 Mega Brick
Time needed 5 hrs +
Extra equipment Nutrition, running kit.
Coaching tip This is a race simulation ‘bike to run’ brick session. Focus on the miles on the bike and the cruise intervals incorporated into the second half of the ride. This will help develop your threshold, cycling endurance and replicate fatigue leading into the brick run. Don’t run hard. The run off the bike is where the training intensity damage can be done. Don’t compromise consistency for intensity.
Make it easier? Ride 50 miles easy paced into 4×5 miles cruise intervals and 10 miles easy paced to a 6-mile run.