+4hr Rides and +2hr Runs During Half Iron Plan


I’m targeting a Half Ironman as my “A” race for the year and have been looking at the Half Distance, High Volume plans. During the later part of the Build and Specialty plans the number of +4hr rides and +2hr runs caught my eye. I’m in the fortunate position where a number of these rides will (hopefully) be longer than my entire race and the longest of the long runs will be approaching my time spent on the bike during the race. In this case, is there a use in performing these as “written” or would I be better served by substituting shorter (3-4hr rides and 90-120min runs) but higher intensity efforts?


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The length of these workouts is because of the High Volume plan; if you examine the Low + Mid volume versions you’ll find the workouts aren’t nearly as long. However, if you stick to the HV level, you should do them as prescribed:

There’s definite value in training durations longer than your target event. The best way I can explain it is that you want to be strong enough to go as hard as you plan to race for longer than the race duration. If you only trained with rides up to your race length, one small difference in pace or a setback could make the race a lot harder to complete.

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Long aerobic rides have huge physiological benefits, so no I wouldn’t drop them.

What makes you choose High Volume over Mid or Low?

And what’s your training/racing background so far?

It’s not just about training your legs, but about your brain. It is inevitable during a decent length race you will get bored. My experience of the base IM was that they typically paired a long cycle with a short run or a short cycle with a long run. I don’t recal the total mental time ever having exceeded expected triathlon time.

I wouldn’t personally up the intensity because you want to know your brain can keep pushing for the entire race. For the long workouts I very gradually increase the IF to near race pace. But it’s so gradual the increases are almost imperceptible & there’s no big change in cadence or HR. I still do the full length though.