Category Archives for "Ironman Training"

Ironman Training Rules

Ironman Training: Rules to Remember

“Getting ready for your Ironman training? Make sure you list down these rules to remember. Know what they are below!”

Ironman Training Rules

There’s an old saying that goes, all roads lead to Rome. In the triathlon world, all roads eventually and hopefully lead to Kona and the Ironman World Championships.

If you’ve been bitten by the triathlon bug chances are you’ll want to go long and race your first half- and full-distance IM.

Here are a few tips for any triathlete who wants to go long and step up to the half and full-IM distance.

It takes a minimum of 13 hours of training per week to get in shape for an Ironman race. That means you’ll be training almost every day of the week.

After all, you not only have to swim, bike and run during the race, but you have to beat the cutoff times.

Participants in competing in the half- or full-Ironman events will be pulled from the course if they’re unable to finish each leg of the event in the set amount of time.

To some small extent you can fake the training for both an Ironman and half IM race. In other words, you can finish both of these race distances without completely putting in the time to train, but you’ll hate the race.

There are few things more miserable in life than spending 17 hours on an Ironman course hating every painful swim stroke, bike pedal and running step. Sure, there are amateur athletes who’ve finished without putting in the hard work, but they just spent over $500 on the entry for a day of self-inflicted pain.

You probably know that a triathlon of any length consists of a swim, bike and run, but in order to succeed at the half- and full-Ironman distance you’ll have to learn a fourth discipline: nutrition.

Unlike the sprint or Olympic distance triathlon, the half and full IM becomes about how fast you can swim, bike and run, and just as importantly how you can take in enough calories to keep from bonking. More at The 4 Rules of Ironman Training

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Iron man Triathlon

Iron man Triathlon: Tapering Tips

“Getting ready for our next Iron man Triathlon? Let these tapering tips help you. Read them now!”

Iron man Triathlon

Iron man Triathlon

Tapering for the Ironman triathlon is a critical last step in preparing for race day. After months of pushing yourself in preparation to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run 26.2 miles, you need to dramatically reduce your training volume and intensity three weeks prior to the event. Tapering allows you time to recover from the intense training and will ensure you are rested and ready to race when the canon fires on race morning.

Reduce Volume
Reduce your training volume by 10 to 20 percent three weeks out from race day. Keep swimming, biking and running, but reduce the duration of each session. Reduce the volume by an additional 10 to 20 percent for each of the following weeks, paying careful attention to what your body is telling you by monitoring your energy levels and any aches and pains. As you get closer to race day, you should feel rested and want to train longer. Do not give in to that temptation and stick to your taper plan.

Maintain Intensity
While the duration of your training sessions are progressively decreased, keep the intensity the same. Your hard workouts are hard and your easy ones are easy. You want to keep your neuromuscular system conditioned to your race pace.

Maintain Frequency
Over the preceding weeks, your body has become accustomed to a specific routine. Keep the frequency of your swim, bike and run sessions the same during the taper. If you trained six times a week in each discipline, train six times a week during your three-week taper.

Enhance Nutrition
Your body needs to recuperate from training and the taper is designed to give your muscles and joints the chance to recover and rest. Make sure you are eating nutrient-dense foods and are consistent with the eating regimen you used during the previous months of training. Your appetite may slightly decrease because you are not working as hard, so make certain what you are eating is still high-quality food in the appropriate ratio of protein, carbohydrates and fats. More at How to Taper for an Ironman Triathlon

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Ironman Training Program

The Minimalist Ironman Training Program

“An Ironman training program for the minimalist in you. Read about it below!”

Ironman Training Program

Ironman Training Program

You can prepare for a successful Ironman triathlon with a program that has an average training volume of only 12 hours per week and a briefly-maintained peak training volume of 16 hours. And by “successful” I don’t mean finishing alive. I mean covering the distance as fast as your genetic potential allows. In fact, I believe that many triathletes can race a faster Ironman by following a well-constructed 12-hours-a-week program than they could with a higher-volume approach.

There are five specific reasons a minimalist approach to Ironman training can work just as well as, if not better than, a higher-volume approach.

1. Swimming performance is all about technique, not fitness
Very little improvement in swimming performance comes from building swim fitness through hours of training. Almost all swimming improvement comes from technique refinements that often occur instantaneously. You should swim-train for an Ironman in a way that encourages and accelerates technique refinements instead of in a way that concentrates on building fitness. Get one-on-one stroke coaching from a qualified swim coach, study freestyle technique ( is a good source of technique videos), fiddle with your stroke, use swim aids that encourage technique development and perform technique drills for body position, rotation, efficient breathing, a strong pull and efficient kicking. Use intervals and sustained swimming primarily to ingrain technique and secondarily to develop fitness.

2. The swim just isn’t that important
To complete the swim leg of a Hawaii Ironman as fast as your inner talent allows, you would have to train in the pool two hours a day, six days a week, or thereabouts. That’s what it would take to shave off every second possible. But the swim accounts for only about 10 percent of the time it takes to complete an Ironman. And you can get at least 90 percent of the way toward your fastest possible Ironman swim split by swimming just one hour a day, three times per week. So why not do that?

3. Cycling fitness crosses over well to running
When I trained for my first Ironman in 2002, my run training was severely compromised due to injury. My race took place in mid-September. Through July I averaged just 15 miles of running per week. Not until five weeks before the race was I able to do my first “long” run: a 12-miler. I squeezed in a 16-miler and a lone 20-miler before race day.

Despite these limitations, I was able to run a 3:23 marathon at Ironman Wisconsin—not as fast as I could have run with better training, but faster than all but 42 other participants in the race nevertheless. The reason, I realized, was that my excellent cycling fitness carried me through the run.

You can count on the fitness crossover from cycling to running to trim back the amount of run training you do in preparing for an Ironman. One long run, one high-intensity run and a moderate, steady base run (to which more advanced athlete’s can add a threshold progression or a sprinkling of fartlek speed intervals) each week will suffice. You may also do one- or two-mile transition runs after bike workouts to prepare for the specific challenge of running off the bike.

4. High-intensity indoor cycling is time-efficient and effective
Cycling predominantly indoors can be an effective means to develop a higher level of cycling fitness with a substantially lesser time commitment to training than cycling exclusively outside. Riding indoors requires less set-up time and entails fewer stops than outdoor riding. It is also more intense—heart rates are always higher on an indoor trainer because there is no momentum and there are no downhills. Finally, the indoor cycling environment is more controlled and more conducive to high-intensity riding.

There is a small trend of predominantly indoor bike training at the top levels of triathlon these days. Andy Potts, the 2007 Ironman 70.3 World Champion, typically rides outdoors only once a week. His five or six other rides are indoor workouts featuring lots of lung-busting interval and threshold efforts and lasting only 45 minutes each, on average. Tyler Stewart, who has the fastest women’s Ironman bike split in history (4:47:59 at Ironman Florida in 2007), gets most of her bike training in the form of 90-minute interval-based indoor workouts that she teaches for other triathletes and cyclists. Like Potts, she rides outdoors just once weekly and she completes only a handful of rides longer than four hours before racing an Ironman.

I’ve recently adopted a similar approach to my Ironman bike training, and with excellent results so far. Each week I perform five rides on a CycleOps 300PT indoor trainer. Each of these rides is 30 to 45 minutes long and two feature very challenging high-intensity work. On Saturdays I hop on my Kestrel Airfoil and ride long. My power numbers are as high as they have ever been, but my time commitment to bike training is much smaller than it has been in the past. Try it and you’ll see. More at Minimalist Ironman Training

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