Integrating TR with marathon and Ironman Training

I know there are a few similar threads and this has been discussed occasionally on the podcast, but I’ve enjoyed reading each of the individual ones (and the different discussions that take place) and since we get a lot of traffic on the forum, I thought I’d post up my situation.

Week of 12/3 - Entering week 6 (last/easy week) of SSB1 LV - this was my first TR training block and have loved it!
January 20 - Houston Marathon (6 weeks out SSB1 finishes)
March 02 - New Zealand 70.3 (12 weeks out SSB1 finishes)

Trying to determine which TR plans/training styles are most appropriate for the following blocks of time. I’ve got time/capacity for 3 rides/week, sometimes 4. SSB1 LV was manageable and I feel like I have made some major gains on the bike while still keeping my running up. My run and swim workouts are already pretty well set, so for this block of time I’m just using TR for the bike workouts (will likely utilize the TR Full Distance plan for my IM later in the year)


  • Do I start up/complete SSB2 for the 6 weeks leading up to the Marathon? I know there is more of a VO2 focus in SSB2 vs. SSB1, which is maybe not the most productive for marathon training. What would be the recommendation for the 6 weeks between the marathon and the 70.3 then?
  • Set the Half Distance Triathlon specialty phase (8 weeks) to end for the 70.3? What would make sense to fill those first 4 weeks given there isn’t time for a full build phase (8 weeks)?
  • Utilize a different specialty (Rolling Road Race?) for the bike side prep for the 70.3 again, what should fill the 4 week gap between SSB1 and the specialty phase?
  • Does getting into one of the Build Phases make sense at all in these circumstances given that the timeframes are pretty short?

A lot of questions and considerations I know, just looking for input/experience/opinions on it. Love the discussion that takes place on this forum and looking forward to people’s thoughts.


How many marathons and how many HiMs have you done?

Are you going all out in the mara for a PB or is the HIM your A race?

If you’re training SBR it makes sense to do a tri plan, with your schedule you’ll have the marathon in week two of Soeciality phase, which is not ideal. You’re not going to want to run much after that, and taper before.

I’m considering a half and a full…with a marathon in between. It means compromise - don’t expect PRs.

So here’s some ideas;

Low volume half plan.

Do Build from now until the marathon, but taper the final week. It’s holiday season so make sure you’re getting the runs in, and all the swims (low impact), bike lowest priority (if you have to miss a session miss a bike).

Week after the marathon no running, three low intensity bike sessions, three swims. The Sunday if you are desperate to run, do a 5-15min jog, see how your legs are. They’ll be fecked, but you’re only doing this run because you can’t sit still.

3 weeks of Speciality. You can focus on bike now, knock off any intensity in the runs completely. Only run easy, and as you can handle it. Swim hard for these three weeks, see how the bike sessions go. It’ll be more important to finish the sessions than hit the power, so take off 5-10% liberally.

Last 2 weeks of Speciality. You should be feeling bike and swim fit now, run will simply depend on how easy you take it to this point.

Good luck.

(Several edits because I misunderstood the timeline, I think you have 12 weeks total)