Periodised training with no races

Appoliges if this or something similar has been asked hut I’m struggling to find much information on this type of topic.

I’ve been training for my first ironman in July this year but due to covid I’ve made the decision to defer to next year.

How do I periodise structured training with my main goal now a year and a half away? No doubt there might be shorter events I’d like to do during the time in between like running or cycling e only events.

I love training and training hard but without a clear defined goal that’s a reasonable amount of time away im unsure how exactly to structure the training now so that I continue to improve at all displines while getting enough rest and recovery to prevent burnout.
I suppose one option would be to plan the training around time trials which could work but wouldn’t feel the same. I don’t need a race or event on the horizon to provide motivation to train hard every day its just how do I adapt to suit what could be a 52 week base phase?

Any advice is appreciated.

Maybe an opportunity to do some single sport focus this year? I.e. Do some blocks where you really focus on one of the 3 sports with the other 2 on the back burner doing just enough to maintain some fitness. Aim to make some significant gains in that sport that you can then hold onto. I think swimming in particular is suited to this - actually training like a swimmer for a while with fairly minimal running and cycling can help make improvements in technique, strength, flexibility, that can be pretty long lasting. Harder to do with running as most people can’t simply double their run mileage without injuring themselves.

Obviously also a good time to work on your weaknesses or limiters.

Other than that I’d go with your plan of having some events in the diary that complement your 2022 IM goal and keep you motivated and enjoying using the fitness. Then plan your training phases around those events.

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