IRONMAN TRIATHLON PROGRAM
This 36-week program is designed for beginner to intermediate triathletes who have their sights set on the #motherlode of all triathlons: the Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run).
There are 10-13 weekly workouts (3 swims, 3 rides, 3-4 runs, 1-2 strength training sessions) that build a strong, capable foundation to go the distance in all three disciplines in the day-long race. The workouts are far from basic: nearly every ride and run has skill or speed development, while the pool workouts are rarely repeated.
THE PREREQS: At a minimum, you need to be able to swim 500 meters or yards in a pool without touching the bottom or hanging on the edge. It doesn’t have to be pretty, and you don’t have to keep your face in the water the whole time. If you can’t do that but are intent on this plan, enrolling in an adult swim class and/or private lessons is a great idea.
For the run and bike portions, being injury-free is necessary. Ideally, you have completed an Half-Ironman triathlon—or at least run a marathon—before taking an Ironman, but if you’re starting from scratch, this 36-week plan can help you get to the finish line happily and injury-free.
The first week of the plan calls for a 45-minute ride and a 50-minute run; completing those durations shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.
TRAINING BASICS: Most weekdays, you’ll have two workouts that together add up to 90-120 minutes. (Usually you can break these up into two sessions, if need be, but there are regular bike/run bricks.)
The weekend workouts range from a total of 60 minutes to 7+ hours. Both days typically have two workouts on them: a bike + swim; a bike + run; or some other dual combination. The longer weekend workouts will get you ready, both mentally and physically, for an Ironman, a day-long endeavor.
LONGEST WORKOUT DISTANCES: Swim: 4,000+ yards/meters (complete four times); ride: 6-7 hours (complete three times); run: 3 hours (complete two times).
During week 28 of the program, you will have the opportunity to participate in a Half-Ironman to gain racing experience.
A FEW MORE TIDBITS:
—You will have the opportunity to race Half-Ironman during the training. (If you want to race more, that’s totally cool: we will help adjust your schedule.)
—One day weekly is a total rest day.
—There are no waves for the Ironman program; when you register, we will grab your race date and get your swim/bike/run schedule all dialed in.
STRENGTH TRAINING INCLUDED? Yes. You will usually have two strength circuits a week. Some of the exercises require hand weights and a stability ball.