Structuring pre-IM training plan time for a late year race

Hi all - new TR user here, hoping to get some insight on how best to structure the 11 months I have leading to IM Cozumel 2019. For background - I am a few years removed from active triathlon but have done 5 half IMs and Ironman Arizona in 2014. Stay in fairly good shape, but certainly don’t have the base fitness I used to.

In any case, in my previous IM I did Don Fink’s 30 week program and it served me pretty well. Leading up to that plan I was mostly doing bike and swim workouts, but in a fairly unstructured way. My training was almost exclusively HR based and not power based.

As I evaluate the IMCZ plan, I am thinking about the TR IM medium volume plan (base, build, specialty), with Atlantic City 70.3 thrown in for September as a test run for the full in November. Seeing as how that plan doesn’t start until late April, what is the best plan to follow in the lead up Jan-April to (a) establish a base of fitness, (b) avoid burn out with 11 months of structured work outs, and © arrive healthy to the start of the actual IM plan?

Thanks in advance for any guidance!

Hey there!

Definitely following the TR Triathlon plans is the best way to go come April. In the mean time, I would recommend going through a SSB and build phase before you start your Triathlon base, build, specialty phases. This will boost your fitness going into your base build specialty cycle and thus increase your fitness even more at the end.

As I said above, I would recommend SSB and then do a build like Sustained Power Build. :slight_smile:


I’d agree with @Ian aside from one suggestion. If you’ve got the time to go through a full Base, Build and Speciality for the IM it might be worth doing a build other than the Sustained Power Build the first time around

While that build is the most appropriate for you looking at the IM, a full 28 week build for one race is more than enough specificity. I’d be tempted to suggest that as you’ve got the time, do a Short or General Build after the first SSB.

That would keep your training year moving from more general to specific, target some different abilities and energy systems, and keep a bit more variety in your year overall.

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Thanks @Ian and @JulianM really appreciate the guidance. I will look at the SSB and then a build going into the April plan start.