Long runs for Triathlon full distance plan

Just about to start the Full distance triathlon mid volume plan. I just had a quick look at the plan and during the build phase it has a long run every other week. I’ve generally done a long run every week so wanted peoples opinions on this?

I was thinking maybe do it as planned and the shorter 1 hour sunday runs it gives me on alternate weeks I could do at marathon race pace.

Hard to say. Is this your first Ironman or 10th? What’s your run volume been like to this point?

Alternatively, what’s your bike volume been like? You could use that extra time to get some more volume on the bike.

My point is, there’s too many unknowns for anyone to provide any meaningful suggestions.


Fascinating there is no ability to account for this in these plans.

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I have done an Ironman although many years ago, run many marathons and now just TT. My take would be that the long run is the least important part unless you are a poor runner. I would focus on building up bike mileage as it’s good conditioning and there’s less injury chance. Same for swimming, you need to get out of the water in good shape for the bike and get off the bike in good shape for the run, otherwise it won’t matter how many long runs you have done. I would do a long slow 2.5-3 hour v easy long run every 3rd week. Then on the second week do a 1.5 to 2 hour run with 45mins at race pace in it and treat it as a speed session. On the third week do a 4-6 hour easy ride with a 45-60 min brick run straight off the bike…that is the session that really benefitted me come race day…although it was 40 odd years ago! That said I ran 2:47 for the marathon with a long run every 3rd week. You only need 5 20-22 mile long runs for a decent marathon, and with plenty of bike miles then probably 2-3 will do provided you get off the bike in good shape.

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It’s one way to approach the volume challenge of Ironman training, some other organisations take other approaches. If you’ve never done it this way, then you may find the change beneficial.

Personally I found the old trad way of long bike Saturday, long run Sunday painful and demoralising.


This would not dove tail with FD MV at all, so counter productive for the OP.

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First full distance but I have done a few 70.3’s. i tend to run 4-5 times a week and total weekly volume around 40km at the moment. But will slowly ramp that up.

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Ye I think I will try it at least.

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In experience going long every second week is fine and was suggested by many coaches. This was also true for bike btw.

@JoeX there’s a lot to be said about order. Running with fresh legs and cycling the day after is probably better for the run quality and less injury risk. Did this with great success.
On the other hand, I’m convinced that there’s some value in running with tired legs, for race specificity.

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I’ve done both. I tend to base it on the weather more than anything. Don’t mind running in the rain but cycling in the rain is horrible and something I will avoid if I can.


I followed the TrainerRoad plan for my Ironman. I was skeptical of the run volume. I ended up running just fine. I wished I had a little more bike volume. (Not really trainerroads fault. I missed a couple of long rides due to injury and family stuff).


maybe but just trying to offer some advice that worked for me - TR plans don’t have to be followed to the letter.

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Good point…many people will say “oh, you don’t need to ride a century before you do an IM”, but that is short-sighted, IMO.

No, you don’t need to do a century prior to a 112 mile bike ride…but you are training for 10-15 hour day, not a 112 bike ride. Long endurance days are beneficial towards that goal…


for context: 8-time IM finisher, never sub 9-hour, best AG place was 6th and 13th OA last month at IMWI.

swim: if you’re sub 1hr swim, you can wing it with 1 swim every other week. if you’re 1-1:10 swimmer, then just 1 swim per week. save energy, time, (money?), and ride more

bike: no you don’t need to do a century–but it sure helps. either do a century or ride for at least 5hrs on a few long rides. add in more rides if you’re going to add in anything.

run: no need to run more than 20mi ever training for full IM. but really nail the bricks with just above base pace.

Long Rides are much more valuable than Long Runs for full distance training.