The Ironman Training 2020 Thread

The mad people in my club have tested the water in the pond. At 14.5 it’s still horrible, but if the weather continues the current trend I might have a shot at swimming again end of the month. If the weather allows for it I might go for a self supported 70.3 on May 1st.


The Fred is a beast, 2021 sounds punishing for you

It’s not the Fred that worries me the most. It’s that evil marathon :smiley: I’ve never finished one feeling anything less than destroyed! Well, except that short, flat Ultra I ran last year which I took super-easy! I got an email from the organisers of the Mt. Blanc today and they’ve announced they’re postponing this year as per Macron’s announcement (bit late, tbh, when you’ve known for weeks that the crucial training season has been squashed by lockdown measures). Postponing until when exactly is the question, they haven’t decided and/or negotiated that yet. Might still happen this year but I’m not trudging up an Alp in October :expressionless:

Transitioning to build I’ve noticed that plan builder has created a pretty bumpy progression. My vo2 workout went from Baird-1 to Shortoff+1, that’s 1min / 120% to 3min / 120% within two weeks with a semi-recovery and retest in between. Same for the tempo workout going from Cumberland to pioneer+1. Both workouts are fairly tough on their own, especially after a retest. Given how Chad is going on about gradually progressing workload it seems like a big kink. Anyone went through this? The weakling in me is already making plans to replace the workouts with easier versions - it seems the standard plans are so carefully progressing that this can’t be right. Or shall I just htfu and get on with it and trust the plan?


I know what you mean on the jump on vo2 work but you may surprise yourself on what you can do. I do not find shortoff+1 to bad but am seriously off put by Owens which is the next vo2 workout in my current plan and seems like such a big jump from shortoff+1. You could add something like dade-1 which is 2 minutes at 120% and then try shortoff+1 the following week so it doesn’t feel like such a jump?

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I’d call it out to support - there are bound to be inconsistencies with plan builder mixing and matching, especially with tri plans imho.

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I think you’d surprise yourself, it’s quite possible. are you on some olympic plan?

I was given a similar thing from plan builder this year after an injury: Bird -1 (3 sets 5x1min) into Mills (3x2min fading) into Gemini (5x3min).

carb up, put the intensity at 97% for starters, start breathing well before the interval starts, and see what you can do. (same for pioneer)

if you dread it too much, just adapt the plan so you feel good with it :wink: won’t make a huge dent in your fitness.

After going through the full Tri plans a few times and some ventures into some other other plans I’m now building towards another IM.
I’ve gone through base and build according to the plan builder, which has now inserted 5 weeks of Base, from the beginning. While I see some of the benefits of going back and building more base. I’m having trouble with seeing how dropping so much of both volume and intensity in all disciplines can be beneficial. Specially on the run, but also the swim, and then jumping into the specialty phase with a pretty big jump from base. Should I stay the course or work around it some how?


@schmidt @Olly @JoeX

Cheers boys, I guess some encouragement was all that it took. I just got through pioneer+1 without too much trouble and am gonna take on shortoff+1 next.
Trust the process, trust the Chad!


For those of you who are doing the full IM plans, are you doing all the v02max workouts?
I’m doing the full IM plan low volume (base) right now, and there is a v02max once a week. I can finish the workouts, but I feel like I never recover. Especially when I follow up with a run the next day. I don’t see a need to do v02 every week for 28 weeks. I’m thinking of just swapping in a sweet spot/threshold for a few weeks and then adding v02 workouts as the plan progresses.

Currently on week 2 of full IM low volume build. I’ve been doing all the VO2max workouts (with varying degrees of success - Spencer, Kaiser & Midway kicked my butt). I haven’t had problems running the next day but I haven’t been to the pool in 4+ weeks so that helps reduce the load.

I’m pretty militant about re-fuelling and getting enough sleep - it’s pretty obvious in my RPE when I don’t.


That sounds about in line with what I had in mind so I’ll stick with that and see how it goes.

I was on the fence between SSB 2 LV with extra thrown in or MV, I decided to go with MV to give me the structure with the option to replace the last ride with a steady state outdoor ride on the TT at a similar TSS. When I give myself the open option of extra it usually goes horribly wrong :man_shrugging:t2:.

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A couple weeks into full distance build, and finding myself wondering…

Base was usually VO2 on Tuesday and sweet spot on Thursday. With my interval runs on Fridays, that worked pretty well. Now in build, the sweet spot rides have become threshold/over/unders. I have completed the workouts so far, but I have to wonder if it will be too much intensity as the weeks pile up. Has anyone experimented with swapping some of the threshold workouts for some sweet spot during the build phase? I can’t decide whether to just htfu or modify. Another consideration is that my long rides on Saturday will inevitably include more and more intensity as the weather improves, as I’ll do more and more on the roads and mountain bike trails. Hope you’re all staying safe and sane!

As many of you know, my original goal this year was a top-10 finish at USAT Nationals in the Olympic distance as a way to build up some of my speed before a 2021 Kona attempt. Well time to switch up plans I think :smiley:

So what I’m going to do is keep up my training as if I was still targeting that race in early August, but I signed up for an October marathon (Twin Cities Marathon) in Minneapolis. My training plan was going to get me up to around 90km/wk anyways, so I’m going to take that and switch it up and target then a sub-3 hour marathon. My PR is 3:14, (and 1:27 for a half) but that was around 5 years and 10kg ago, so I think I’ve got a real good shot at that. Plus I’m still targeting another 2-3 kg to drop. I think that if I’m going sub-3 in an open marathon, that would be a really wonderful sign for my Kona goals.

As for that run training, my long runs have been up to 15km so far, and the last one I did I ran at a steady z2 pace that felt pretty easy, and held a 4:36 pace on a pretty hilly route. I’d need 4:09 for 2:55 at the marathon so I’m thinking that is absolutely doable. But we’ll see how the training goes as the weather warms up and I keep upping the distance, all the while trying to grab a few more bike gains and notch up my FTP a bit more.


You can definitely set a new marathon PR. Did you figure out your IT bands from the other day? Unless it happens again and again, I’d consider it random. I’ve had similar issues and foam rolling my glutes and piriformis work for me.I do not foam roll the ITB.

Planning 90k per week on Barry P?

What are/were you doing for your cycling?

With this new marathon goal, any plans on dropping the cycling and/or swimming in Aug or Sept?

It will get easier as your overall fitness progresses, but there might be times it becomes too much. I guess there is no right way of dealing with this, it depends on how you respond to different training stimuli. Personally, I would keep the VO2 and replace other threshold or sweet spot workouts with something more aerobic. Personally, I feel like doing VO2 and tempo / endurance covers the intended effect of the sweet spot work in between well enough. Neglecting VO2 altogether would leave me with no other option to get my high intensity on the bike going. That probably limits my potential FTP growth and it blunts my already greatly diminished pop on the road or trail even more to make outside riding even more boring. Also, and again this might be personal, I can’t get much high intensity running or otherwise I’m heading for injury, hence vo2 on the bike is important for me to keep the juices flowing.

Thanks for the reply. I took yesterday off entirely and foam rolled the last 2 days. Everything felt perfect by yesterday afternoon so I’m going to give it a go today again to run and bike at an easy pace.

For the BarryP program, it’s all about high volume z2 running. Following a 3 “short”, 2 “medium” and 1 “long” run a week, where the long run is 3x the short, and the medium is 2x the short. So for the 90km week, my short runs would be 9k, medium 18, and long 27. It is a bit much for just Olympic training but I don’t think it’s out of the realm of usefulness, especially building it up slowly. Also since I am keeping an eye on 2021 I wanted to put some extra miles on my legs this year.

For cycling I’m following the Olympic Triathlon High Volume plan until August where I’m dropping down to general build low volume. That takes me from around 6hr/wk to a little over 3hr/wk right as I really start going long on the running, building up to 115km for my longest week.

How about you? How are you switching things up this year?

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First home swim of the year.
Just over 40mins (about 2k)



I’m familiar w/Barry P. I’m a believer. Whether coincidence or not, it got me back from achilles tendonitis.

I had twins in Jan 2019. I haven’t “trained” since then. I do what I can to stay relatively fit and maintain sanity. I might target a half marathon in the fall. I haven’t raced a triathlon or bike race (not counting Zwift) in forever.

That said, I do love to train even if not racing. But my training has taken a back seat to the twins.

Again, try the foam roller on the glutei and piriformis.


I seem to have developed a pea-sized ‘cyclists nodule’ out of nowhere over the past week or two, so it looks like I get that running I’ve been pining for, and then talk to a doc if it doesn’t go away by this time next week.