The Ironman in 2019 thread

oh man I agree these RPE descriptions are damn unclear!

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Dropdown RPE 3 of course :wink: Joking aside, I tend to go with what is in the workout description.

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For a run of that length the RPE will change dramatically throughout the run for the same pace so…just run!

Start comfortably and let the run come to you rather than chasing any pace or effort level, the feedback you get from your body as time passes will govern everything else. All my long (and easy) runs I put my Garmin on the map screen so there’s no pressure from looking at pace or anything else as all that can vary depending of what the previous few days of training have been. I’ll only look at the data from the watch later to see if my perception of the run varied from the reality!


I estimate mine using 4. I’ve been logging my strava relative effort scores as my TSS for my runs, and those are usually even lower than the estimated TSS. Since I will eventually be adding in off-road runs where pace is way off any kind of threshold pace, trying to use grade adjusted pace just doesn’t work for those. The TP style of running TSS calculation gives some really big scores to longer runs. Funny thing is, most of us run in zone 2, that is roughly 80% of threshold pace, nothing like in cycling where 75% of threshold is the cap and all the way down to 55%. 55-65% of threshold in running is typically considered recovery. Extended endurance pace is often prescribed as marathon pace + 1 min/mile.

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Yeah, probably going with the marathon +1min thing although I’ve been feeling weird all week so will play it by ear.

Incidentally I ignore the text of run workouts these days, I was just interested to see what everyone else does…and a little bit annoyed the texts are still out of date(!)

Hey fellow TR buds,

So I sneaked in a question on the podcast today but it got misinterpreted (bummer :confused:). After a limited performance at IM Lake Placid in '17 (was hit by a car couple weeks before the race) I hope to be back there next year (summer 2020)!

Coming into next season with a very large base (6 weeks riding across America this summer) I’m going to do a full BBS cycle leading up to a 30k state time trials (“A” Race early April), then will have enough time for full re-build and specialty prior to IMLP (mid-end July).
My question is the choice of training plan… I looked around and couldn’t find info on what to do for changing discipline “mid-season” after establishing base.
Currently, I can follow low volume cycling plans w/ endurance spin (usually Pettit in specialty phase, but in base I can total 6-700TSS weekly total for 3 straight weeks) and mid volume tri plans (have only used this past summer for monthly sprint distance series, won AG :wink:).

Note the A race time trial at 30k is about 45min.
Options I thought of (don’t really know volume though, maybe can up stress first part of season; road option to mid and tri option to high):

  1. BBS of standard 40k tt path would be great (SS1&2,Sustained,40k) but would have to put in swim and run workouts, followed by full distance build&specialty (low or mid vol).
  2. BBS of either Olympic or Sprint then sub in 40tt plan workouts as I see fit in latter half of Specialty especially week 7&8, followed by full distance build&specialty (low or mid vol).
  3. ?

I tried to include as much info without blabbering too much… any input would be greatly appreciated as I am in quite a dilemma/confusion.
Happy Training,

ps. I’m 20y/o 5’9 143lbs @4wpk

In my understanding these are two different RPE Charts.
The RPE Chart of the description is the one here:
The slowest Running RPE in the plans is not below 6 in this chart. Probably because running is never “easy” for the most of us as cycling can be.

They use a different ranking for the TSS estimation. 4 equals 6 in my opinion.

Kind of annoying anyways. RPE is unclear enough. Two different charts doesn’t make it clearer…

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Hi Moshe and welcome! That’s a bummer on your 2017 effort - how did you plan to train for that?

If I can summarise:

Jul/Aug 2019 Cycle across America
—TR Base/Build/TT Speciality?
April 2020 State 30k TTs (A race)
Change discipline
Jul 2020 IMLP (B race)

If that’s correct I’d think your focus to April 2020 is relatively short events, but your aerobic base will be high from the TT training. And your bike leg, although favouring shorter distance, will be excellent.

You have around 12 weeks from the State TTs to IMLP?

Your problem is going to be swim and run distance, to my eyes. And you could really hurt yourself at IM if unprepared. But if you start significant run/swim earlier you compromise your A race…

Ok, my advice is to drop IMLP and pick a 70.3 instead.

I just think you’re going to have a far more successful half - really ripping up the bike course too. I would keep a little easy run & swim cross training going but nothing that affects your bike training, RPE 2-4 stuff. Building that into a half marathon run should be doable.

Finish State TTs → MV HD Tri Base (to get your swim and run up) → MV HD Tri Build (Weeks 1,2,7,8)

Thanks for taking the time to respond @JoeX

2017 was prior to me finding TR and I was relatively new to the sport (still am and will always be lol)

Both races are going to be A races, I’ll probably supplement with C races (short course tris) leading up to IMLP.
And yes just dropping the IF a bit for Ironman distance shouldn’t be a problem with the base I’m going to have.

I will have 14ish weeks (+/- a week) from A race to the next.

That is exactly my dilemma… Thing is I can’t (don’t really want to drop) the IM but perhaps like you said 2-4 RPE throughout the BBS for the tt would be the best way to go. Maybe pluck out the swim and run workouts from a base tri plan and go on repeat.

Why do you think it’s best to return to base (12weeks) and then do build instead of riding the fitness wave and do a “re-build” and specialty working backwards with however many weeks I got

Only because it’s going from bike-only to tri. Half Distance isnt so bad, but still Build expects you to have built up VO2max run intervals and swim distance, for example.

The way I see it, you’re refocusing bike, but basically starting fresh with run and swim which sounds like base to me…but, I’m no expert and you know yourself better than I do :slight_smile:

Going Full Distance is worse though - MV FD Build assumes you have a run Base and a swim Base, I think the first week has a 2h20 run and a 3300m swim…even on the bike you might not be fully prepared for 3h45 on the trainer! :grimacing:

In contrast, I’m doing BBS in FD at the moment then have a half later in season, so I’m going BBS FD then HD Speciality as I’ll already be maxed out in all disciplines it’ll be a step down in TSS and volume, but an increase in intensity.

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Okay, another question for the TR Ironman crowd…run/walk. Everyone says it works, everyone assumes it works…but does it and how does it?

Basically what’s happening physiologically when you’re walking that makes the next run interval easier to do?

(Yes, I am panicking about doing a marathon)

Dunno. I did a half marathon once where the pacer was doing run-walk and it drove me up the wall because it kept killing momentum and that wasn’t how I had trained.

Maybe it helps your HR from topping out too soon?


I’ll definitely look into it, maybe I’ll do two rounds of base FD low volume swim and run workouts which should end a couple weeks for the tt then dive into build… do the BBS tt on low/mid with low tri swim/run, then move over to mid FD build and spesh… how big of a difference is there between low and mid for the FD plans, what’s your history with choosing those, the last thing anoyone wants is a plan being too much stress (“an effective training plan is one that can be followed” said no one ever)…
I’ve got a better idea what to do now , thanks :pray:t3:

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Personally I ONLY do Run/walk
Lessening chance of injury (I have osteopenia and have had hairline fractures in shins from running) and half mini intervals, at least for me I’d rather threshold intervals over upper sweetspot for 90+min straight (Leavitt +3)

I do Run4min/ walk1min as it’s probably the easiest to mentally and with a watch and all

Highly suggested to try it out for a week, also you’ll probably see a quick fitness pump (in RPE at least) because of the interval-like nature. It also makes harder workouts more enjoyable (yeah that makes no sense :joy:) because of the built in recovery breaks.

Anecdotally the above is true for me

Search the Jeff Galloway method… I assume he’s the one who really exposed the Run/Walk method

It works for the vast majority of people and doesn’t have to be a slow strategy either. I read a blog a few years ago from one of the top AG athletes who ran/walked to 3:15 marathon in Kona one year.

There are more aid stations than you can shake a stick at during the IM marathon so are ideal for a run/walk strategy. It allows both a physical and mental ‘reset’, lets the HR come down and you to get nutrition on board if you use the aid stations to walk. It should be a brisk and purposeful walk not an amble!!

There is a world of difference between walking as a choice early on in the run and walking later on because you aren’t able to run any more. Once you are walking because you are struggling to run the chances of getting going again are slim, but a run/walk strategy from the start can potentially delay or even eliminate that scenario altogether.


Hello everybody. I’m doing IMFL this year so I’ve got a ways out compared to a lot of you, but this is the first time I’m training with TR so I’m excited to see what this does for me. Just did my ramp test and an easy spin one. FTP of 303 so 3.3W/kg. Last night was Mount Field, so played with some sweet spot as well.

I also wanted to mention that I track my bike TSS, run “relative effort” and my swim “manually entered effort” separately. So I have a CTL and ATL for all the diciplines, then I try to combine them with some scaling factors but it’s a very inexact science. But the separate nature of them is really helpful, but I have yet to see an app that does it so I have a spreadsheet and make my own graphs.


Hi Michael and best of luck with your IMFL project.

Since this week there are separate time and TSS on the TR calendar for the disciplines. just putting those in a spreadsheet should be plenty good! it’s pretty straightforward to have some rolling averages (CTL) and the week (ATL) speaks for itself of course.

I’m with @JoeX… be aware of the run and swim load. the plans progress extremely well from base to build, just dropping in late is a recipe for disaster.

coming off a long bike development, I think you could design a plan for you to allow more development in swim/run while you try to maintain your bike and maybe build with a long ride every two weeks only. maybe you can get in one or two extra run and swim sessions this way! this would allow you to spread the volume over more days, less chance of injury, etc.

note that my background is HIM and I have no IM experience.


That’s how i learned to run.

That’s also how i learned to get used to go faster for longer distances.

Couch to 5k works like that, they have programs that run longer distances like that too and at the end of the program you’re able to run for the whole distance.

You also have a better chance of concentrating on good form without it falling apart as fast. Another thing that helps with form are hills sprints. Maybe in a tabata form every few regular run sessions

Once you get to a certain level, you will be able to just keep running non stop (eventually i was able to do intervals where i run fast for say 200m and jog/run slow for 400m).

Now i’m pulling stuff from what i was doing years ago… i’ve lost most of my run fitness since but i intend on getting back on there in spring.

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John on IM talk swears by it and he’s a sub 9 ironman and I remember from an episode of IM talk that Gordo Byrne (pro ironman) ran walked something like a 1.15 HM.