Get back into regular winter Ironman workouts with our six-week training plan
Hoping to do an Ironman this summer? Even though that seems a long time away, it’s time you said goodbye to Sunday morning lie-ins and started training consistently.
You don’t need to be running a marathon before breakfast, but you do need to establish yourself in a solid training routine. Ease into it gently then build up the key sessions gradually, month by month. This way your fitness will increase at a steady rate and you won’t feel like you’re killing yourself in the process.
This training plan allows you to achieve exactly that. There are sessions to do from Monday to Sunday, but you can swap the days around. The key thing is to do most of the workouts consistently each week while allowing time to recover. We recommend starting this plan about seven months before your target race.
At this time of year, not only do you need to train regularly but you also need to work on some triathlon fundamentals. This means seeking out some swim technique coaching, having your running style analysed (try runningschool.co.uk) and getting a bike fit if you’ve never had one before. Do these things over the next two months and you’ll see real benefits on race day.
There’s an ever-increasing body of evidence indicating that improvements in strength and conditioning lead to faster swim, bike and run performances. So I’ve included two sessions per week.
Ironman training is best suited to intermediate or advanced triathletes, rather than beginners. This training plan eats up around 12 hours per week and is designed for people with a full-time job. If you have extra time, add an hour to the beginning and end of the mid-week rides. An extra swim would help too.
For simplicity’s sake the swims are given as Main Set only. In addition you should incorporate a warm up and warm down too. So at the beginning of your swims include a few hundred metres of front crawl, drills, backstroke and kicking. For your warm downs, do at least five minutes of gentle swimming. Check out the Key and Training Zones Guide to understand the abbreviations.
– Phil Mosley, Coaching Editor