A lower volume Half Ironman plan

Hi, apologies in advance for the newbie question but I am clueless with all of this.
To date, I have followed low volume Sprint triathlon plan (1 year) and more recently low volume Olympic TR plans (approx. 2 years) and they have worked fine for me. Realistically, I only have time for 2 rides a week and tried the 3 rides a week plan for a block previously and felt burned out.
I now want to aim for an Ironman 70.3 but the low volume TR plan has 3 rides a week. Maybe there is no simple answer but would anyone know:

  1. If I was to reduce the 3 rides from this plan to 2 rides a week (from same plan), which workout would be the best to drop each week?
  2. Would I be as well to continue with the Olympic low volume plan (2 rides a week) as I read before that TR workouts pack 1.5 to 2 times the distance/effort into their plans - perhaps this would get me through the 90km if I was to incorporate a number of outdoor 90-100km rides during the plans?
  3. Does anyone know of any other options? I mainly use turbo for training.
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Your first 70.3 on two rides per week is asking a lot of yourself. The new adaptive training should pare things down if they are too hard as you go through the plan.

How many swims per week, and for how long?

How many runs per week and for how long?

Is this on top of the two TR rides, so you can actually ride 3/wk?

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If time is the problem and it is just the amount of workouts per week, I‘d reduce swimming to 2x/week.
If it‘s time and logistics, cycling 2x/ week will work, if the volume is high enough (like 2x 2-3+h Z2 in the 8 weeks before the race).
Half and full distance races need some volume to finish them. I wouldn’t go below 8-10h/week (all 3 sports). If that’s too much time for your schedule right now, don’t put yourself under pressure.
The beauty of triathlon doesn’t increase with longer distances. For us amateurs it’s sometimes the opposite.
(I tried all distances).

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I’ve completed three 70.3 races on 2 swims / 2 bikes / 2 runs. TrainerRoad doesn’t offer that option and I wouldn’t trust just dropping one of each workout. I’d recommend looking at Training Peaks for a plan.

Thanks very much for the replies all. I really appreciate the advice given.

@JoeX I can only manage 2xRun, 2xSwim and 2xCycle due to work and family commitments. Apologies, when I mentioned incorporating long outdoor rides, I should have mentioned that this would probably only be 3 or 4 times throughout the 3 training blocks.

@Amnesty Yes, I can do longer rides in each of my 2 cycling sessions as it simply means getting up earlier but cant fit in a 3rd session. That last comment is very well said, I enjoy the shorter distances immensely but would like to complete a 70.3…however it’s all about balance for me and if the training volume costs me my peace and stresses me out, I will simply bin the idea.

@bfrostieone That is what I was thinking…I don’t understand the workouts enough to know which ones are the most beneficial each week and am not comfortable dropping one. I have been looking at training peaks and in particular the 80/20 low volume 70.3 plan which has 2x sessions for each discipline. There is lots of long zone2 workouts in there as per @Amnesty advice.

If I was to go the route of the training peaks plan and import the workouts to TR…would the ftp result from the TR ramp test work ok against those workouts? I would be using TR and my turbo trainer for all the workouts so it would probably make sense to use the TR ftp ramp result rather than one from an external ftp/v02 max tester?

Thanks again for the replies. I really appreciate it.

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Thanks for sharing, and how much time for each session is available generally?

I think that completing a 70.3 is possible, depending on your fitness, olympic history and performance. Generally, most people would say that there isn’t a great deal of difference between olympic and half training, but if you are at your limit finishing an olympic on your current training volume then finishing 70.3 will be a struggle. If you’ve got several olympics under your belt around 3hrs then it’s more about increasing the long ride and pacing the race.

Thanks. Good info. I can afford about 1-1.5 hours for swim, 2 hours for run and cycle and with a bit of planning 3 hours for a cycle. Using the low volume TR Olympic plan, I do relatively ok…under 2.5hr…hence the reason I was wondering if the Olympic plan would suffice for the 70.3 if I paced the cycle at the top of Zone2. I would only be using the swim and cycle part of TR plan. Doing the distance for swim and run are not an issue. Leaning towards the 80/20 plan at present…if the TR ftp from the ramp test would work ok with it.

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TR ramp test should work for the 80/20 plan, at least it did for me.

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Great. Good to know. I don’t want to be following a plan and find out I have been wasting my time. Thank you.

Honestly in my experience, as long as you have a decent aerobic base, 2x all 3 disciplines is fine. I would look elsewhere than TR personally for a suitable plan rather than adapting what they offer, but that’s just me. YMMV.

Obviously if you are looking for a great time it’d a bit different, but a handful of longer outdoor rides is fine too in my opinion.

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That’s cool, I’m about the same for Olympics, what I did this year was high volume Olympic did several short course races then switched to Full Distance Speciality. It was an experiment and I have plenty of long course experience, but it showed to me that I could “build my fitness” in shorter sessions, and build out to endurance pace and distance fairly easily.

I’m trying to think how I would do what you’re suggesting, and I think I would try a similar approach; LV Olympic base/build/speciality, then a few weeks of build and speciality LV Half Distance which will have those few longer rides/runs you are after.

If you like the idea of this, you can use plan builder select LV but for an Olympic as your A race day six weeks out and you 70.3 as a B race and it should figure it all out for you.

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Thanks a million. Good to know.

Quick question if you don’t mind…did you export the training peaks workouts as Erg or Mrc? Just wondering which one works best with Trainerroad and my TR ftp.

I did all the TrainingPeaks workouts in Zwift. If you connect your TrainingPeaks and Zwift accounts the workouts just show up as the workout of the day.

Now you can connect TrainingPeaks and TrainerRoad.

Hopefully this helps.

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