IRONMAN 70.3 Training Plan

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

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.