The Ironman Training 2021 Thread

I did a TR plan for my last IM. It just wasn’t for me and I failed miserably. This year I have gone more traditional and based my training on Joe Friel plans, although I do still use TR workouts when appropriate.

Note though, this was me and others have had success on the TR plans. It just doesn’t work for me

Keep looking at the Full Distance Plans. You’ll find plenty of long sustained efforts!

edit: accidental send

Anyway, there is plenty of sustained SS/Tempo as well as long endurance in the full distance triathlon plans. If you don’t like the idea of VO2 or 20s efforts :man_shrugging: Unless you try the plan, you can’t really knock it.

As for the running, do your own running. Same for swimming if you don’t agree w/the plans. I did my own running w/the half and full plans. Many on here do the same regardless of low/mid/high volume.

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To finish an IM well you don’t necessarily have to mimic race day efforts all the time. Building your fitness touching on different energy systems can be very successful. There are plenty of very fast people around this forum to prove that. TR plans typically pursue FTP gains early and transition to more specific efforts later on. Specialty phase has a lot of tempo and endurance riding.

I agree that the run plans are less sophisticated than the bike workouts and for that reason I haven’t followed them either. But again, I believe plenty of folks on this forums have had very respectable results just sticking to the TR suggestions for SBR. In general, running often, short and slow seems like a solid strategy to add volume and still maintain quality in key workouts.

If you’re pursuing a specific time goal you might try bestbikesplit to get your bearings where your bike fitness has to be. I believe Klagenfurt has a fair amount of climbing, so it’ll become an interesting problem to solve between weight, aero and power.


So easy for your fitness to fall off a cliff.
A bit of rest over the holidays - Than a back problem flair up :frowning_face:


A reminder that we have Whorl scheduled as a group workout at 1100 EST on Saturday Jan 16th - I see some people have already signed up which is great! RSVP link below.

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I felt like that with running. Had to take time off because of an injury; went from “just ran 10k PB” to “there must be something wrong with my lungs”. Finally feeling less awful and like my body has remembered that it can actually do this.

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So I wonder whether you are not appreciating what an i Ironman is and what its about. its not all about smashing yourself into smithereens.

More specifically you are training on a indoor trainer and so those workouts are efficient.

Image your FTP is 200, holding 100watts is easy right? now imagine your FTP is 400, holding 200 watts is easy. when you start looking at the analytics you want to work on the strength at the beginning of the programme so a stronger set of legs when you start to build endurance as its hard to build power on tired legs.

Another way… if you are strong you can endure lighter efforts for longer?

When it comes to the run as with you the run sessions are along the same line if you look at the plan you have intervals at the beginning of the week, ( same for the run) tempo ( same for the Run) long base ride ( same with the run so the principle are the same but I assume the volume is paired down to account for the difference in distance. The difference that I feel is overlooked is that the running isn’t a paired down version cycling as the resistance and loads are very different.

I use TrainAsOne for the run workouts, its free-ish and I plug in the session days that I want and then use that run programme as its created: Referal link

Now that sets reasonable sets but it also watches the bike and swims and then on a Saturday it calculated an 11 minute run as its seen the TSS for the bike and the other runs and decided that I need something easy. the more you run the more it learns about your recovery and then the more effort it assigns you.

I can tell you that the plan works and compared to bought in coaching its a bargain and the cycling is geared around a ramp test so little margin for error. if you want to get round the course this will be fine. if you ultimately want to nail a kona slot and you are in good shape then I would start looking at commercial coaching arrangements because volume doesn’t equal performance at Ironman. its more about learning to recover :slight_smile:

I feel you bru. Two week rest followed by forced time off due to injury and my fitness is completely down the tubes.

But if we got there once, we can get back there again. :muscle:t2:


I think that’s pretty conservative?

I’m 330-340w ftp (95% of 20min) at 68kg. and I’ll hold ~250w in an ironman. 280 ish for a half.

Although I tend to ‘race’ the half and ‘pace’ the ironman.

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Could be a bit conservative, but I’ll know more closer to race and more race like training.

Fueling strategies would shed some light. Last year I did a few centuries at 240w and got real crampy towards the end, but I wasnt consistently eating and drinking like I would in a race

I hate you.



I’m a crappy swimmer if that’s any help?


Question to anyone following the FD plan regarding the long ride of 4/5 hours every other week.

I have a 4/5 hour trainer ride in the calendar every other Saturday that feels like overkill given that my A event is in late August. At the moment, if the weather is poor (as it is most of the time in the UK), I tend to swap the long ride for a 2 hour sweet spot set (e.g. Antelope +5) as 2 hours seems much more manageable than 4/5.

I’d be interested to get thoughts on how other people manage this? I can’t imagine that everyone is doing this 4/5 hour trainer ride this far out from the event. I completely get the need for long rides closer to the event but swapping for sweet spot seems a good way to avoid spending such a long time on the trainer.

Precision hydration was a game changer for me.

I’m a heavy salty sweaty person… and indoor training would cripple me at times.

Serious game changer. But cramp can be caused by lots of things of course.

Ha ha, you’ve struck on my main reason for starting these threads - I just couldn’t cope with them :slight_smile:

It does seem early, more like Build phase - what plan/volume are you on? Are you going back into base after Build?

Kind of. Triathletes make me look like a good swimmer. :+1: Unfortunately they also make me look like a terrible runner, which is a real downer given the order of events. :cry:

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Haha, I’m not sure when the weather in the UK will have turned enough to get outside again.

I’ve done Base, am in Build at the moment then doing some Speciality before dropping back and doing the full cycle again. I put IM Copenhagen into Plan Builder back in October and have been following what it churned out since then.

Yeah I’m ever riding that long on the trainer that far out.

I’d rather spend the winter on run volume

Yeah, I only swim to get to my bike! I think I’d need to find at least 6 or 7 minutes on my swim for it to be on par with the other disciplines.

I like to tell folk that I enjoy having people to target on the bike leg…

And I hate people who can swim. So right back at ya!!


Do you guys use the full trainer road training plan? How about the swim workouts? Just skip them?