IRONMAN 70.3 Training Plan

Swim, run and cycle your way through a half-IRONMAN this summer

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Training Plan

Making the jump from sprint or standard distance triathlon to an Ironman 70.3 can be intimidating. The total time to swim, bike and run 70.3 miles (113K) requires a proper training plan to become ultra-endurance fit.

Below is a 12 week program with guidelines to follow. There are a number of important aspects to consider beyond the training program which are necessary to achieve a half-Ironman goal. These are outlined in my paper, Training Principles and Issues for Ultra-endurance Athletes, published in Current Sports Medicine Reports 2005.

Important principles to understand:

  • Consistency in training is most important with a weekly routine. Each day of the program and its scheduling has a purpose. Stick with it.
  • Within the last 6 weeks, several sessions in each discipline should be over distance (beyond the race distance.)
  • No need to swim fast but rather safely with confidence – but below the cut off time! Open water practise is a must.
  • The longest event is the bike which serves as the means to ingest fuel and hydrate. Practise this in training.
  • The half marathon running pace and overall fatigue will be similar to the back end of a marathon.
  • Break up the race into these segments: Swim Start, End of Swim, Transition 1, First 10K on bike, Half-Way on Bike, Transition 2, First 5K into the Run, Half-way into the Run, Final 5K.
  • Accept poor sleep the night before the event. It won’t affect your performance.
  • Review your training the night before the race to build mental confidence and focus on execution.
  • Proper fuelling and hydration management can make or break your experience and success rate. You must practise in training.
  • Key training in priority order: Long Bikes, Long Runs, Simulated BRICK, Simulated Triathlons, a few Open Water swims ideally with others
  • On race day, expect the unexpected and celebrate your health and fitness by racing in the moment. The race is a means to challenge yourself physically and mentally.
Training Schedule

Download printable 12 week IRONMAN 70.3 training plan.

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