Alpe D’Heuz triathlon - training plan

What are your thoughts on training plans for Alpe D’Heuz triathlon? It’s slightly over 70.3 distance wise however the bike course is 3500m + of climbing. HIM plan throughout or SSB & climbing plan? Background wise I competed at ETU & ITU long distance last year!

I did this race way back in 2013 and I was surprised by the amount of tt bikes on course. Personally I found most of the bike course was spent climbing or descending so I just had my road bike with aero bars for the valleys.

So I’d personally go with the sustained climbing which will likely incorporate a lot of sweet spot work to cover you for the sections of flat stuff. There were a lot of people going up the first climb like contador and then zig-zagging up the Alpe.
If it’s the same run course then I remember that having a solid little hill in it as well.

I’d also recommend giving yourself a few days up there prior to acclimatise. Even though it’s only 1800m I had a headache and nausea for the first 24 hours.

It’s an amazing race though!! Really well run.

I would love to do that race, but my understanding is that the water is insanely cold. What temp was it when you raced, and what did you wear (ie neoprene hood, thickness of wetsuit etc)?. I’m around 52kg, so me and cold water do NOT get along well

I think that for the vast majority of triathlons the specific triathlon plans work well…however this and other similar Alpine triathlons are the exception to that rule!

Given that you’ll either be climbing or coasting for the majority of the race I’d look at including rides with long sweet spot efforts, the likes of Wright Peak, Juneau or Eclipse and all their variations.

The distance is slightly over 70.3 distance but with the climbing IIRC most of the bike times are similar to a full distance race so it might be worth combining the rides from the long distance plans and the runs from the half plans if that works for you.

I think you’d do fine just following the triathlon plans but including rides like the ones I mentioned above in place of one of the more continuous effort rides might make the training that little bit more specific to the demands of the race.

It’s definitely one of my bucket list races one year so let us know how you get on.

Yep the water was pretty cold. 14deg celcius from memory. Although it’s usually really hot at that time of year so as long as you get in and get the initial breathlessness out of the way it’s actually a stunning swim. Maybe worth getting a neoprene cap though.

Such a good race so definitely don’t be put off by the swim

Yeah, I went totally hypothermic in 67deg water last year, so full wet suit and thermal cap would be a must. We have a natural springs pool here in Austin that’s around 67 deg all year, might have to give it a try again

I would also go for either a mountain ride oriented or the full distance bike plan.
The race might look like normal Half Distance, but it’s certainly not. You need quite some more time for the bike leg. I normally ride the 90k under 2:45, but rode around 5 hrs there IIRC. The run is also quite hilly, so you need to have something left if you actually want to run it.
It’s one of the nicest races I did. If the weather is nice, you’re up for a really nice experience. Train to enjoy it!