1 Year to Ironman


I am planning for my first full ironman in July 2020. I completed a half last year but training has been a bit hit and miss since January when my baby came along. Looking for some advice on how to plan my training given I have so long to train. I could do a full 70.3 Base-Specialty then follow it with the same for full, but that seems like quite an intense approach. Looking for opinions.


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I would ramp yourself up. You have time to get yourself into shape for all three disciplines. During this time, ramp up your TSS so you will be able to handle the structured volume of the plan you pick on week 1. Don’t pick the high volume :grimacing: Then plan for the training with a week or two break between the base, build, specialty phase. Life will throw you some curves and this will help entertain them. If it doesn’t, then you can extend the specialty phase. Also, I would suggest not having another kid during the time. Not a joke. If you are planning on it, another 70.3 is probably in order.

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Thanks. One of the reasons I am focusing on 2020 is there will be another baby following at some point, but not before July 2020!

Hi there!

Continuous structured training is not ideal, you need breaks, you need variety, you need social time, you need family time. Oh, and work. :wink:

The FD Base to Speciality is enough, until the started date of that cycle I would plan other things, maybe put a B race in for this autumn and do a SSB/SPB cycle up to it. Then have a break. A holiday maybe, some off-road fun. Then knuckle down into the FD plan.


You should actually take into account the 9 months preceding the birth, so if you think the next baby will come somewhere by the end 2020, maybe you should target something in the very beginning of 2020. Talking from experience here - I have my Ironman next Sunday and the next baby is expected for end of August.

This was all planned, so we were OK on that, but each pregnancy is different and this one proved to be much more difficult for the mom. She is helping me as much as she can and she did a great job, but I quite often felt guilty for spending so much time on training instead of taking care of her and kids (we have 2 already).

Also, I felt like a high speed robot sometimes - running back 15km from work instead to save time on commute, then straight into kitchen, make dinner for kids, prepare food for next day, put them to sleep, then only 2 hours later get a shower… This was actually harder than the training itself (but still loved it :slight_smile: )

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Haha, I know the feeling. My third was due two weeks after IMUK, so I travelled up alone worrying about an early birth…

Originally the plan was the might be my last full distance but we’ve found #3 much easier than #1&#2

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That’s what I’m hoping for !

Schedule a full Base-Build-Specialty that takes you to your race (maybe plan to start it a couple of weeks early to allow for any unplanned disruptions). Use the time between now and when Base starts to work on your weaknesses.

E.g. if swimming is your weakest discipline then go into maintenance mode on the bike/run for a few months and put some serious volume in at the pool, masters swimming, coaching, etc. If running is your weakness, particularly if you’re prone to injuries and niggles, then get in some really good base volume by running 5-6 days/week at fairly easy pace, starting as short as you need to and building up the distance.

If cycling is your weakness I would do a Base then Build to build your aerobic base and FTP, not worth bothering with Specialty if there isn’t a race at the end of it. Also for cycling bear in mind that during the IM build you’re going to be doing a lot of solo indoor and TT rides which can get very tedious, so it’s a good time to do some fast group rides, get hammered and dropped a few times, and have some fun on the bike. Or MTB or gravel rides, just get out on the bike, the specificity can come later.

I’m in the same boat, am aiming for first full ironman in September next year and is my only A race for the year.

Been weighing up what to do and think I’ll do blocks focussing on each discipline, with an event for each at the end of the blocks, before then rolling into base, build and speciality of the full distance plans from ~28 weeks out to race day.

My plan is also to sprinkle in some longer rides to get miles in the legs outdoors and just do some climbing for fun. Also on the running front will do some trail running to make that as fun as possible and to keep things a little fresher. Swimming is swimming and I’m just going to struggle through with that part.



First tick in the box is to have planned the time to train, and not leave it until ‘the last minute’. So we’re good there.

I’d just repeat my post above, I’m guessing you’ve done other tris before - so again, put in a couple of sprints or an oly this season, and work on the swim and run, wherever your weaknesses lie. Settle on the tools you’ll be using etc.

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