The Ironman Training 2021 Thread

Ah ok, I’m with you now. After hearing everyone rave on about the polarised plans, I might just cycle them through my next 2 events (6hr + mtb and an everesting) then go back to the base HV and build HV plans.

Be interesting to see what happens at least…

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It’s a journey!

Just done the same for IMWA, again - originally a 2020 entry. As a UK based athlete the prospects of getting there are looking grim. Will be going in to my 3rd year of training next year!


could that mean in theory that your FTP is set too high? Or did i miss the whole variability element of the progression levels thing??

Well… Remember you are not just a cyclist…

There is the running component as well… If you do you own cycling plan, you have to watch out for over/under training if you start adding you own running…

Fwiw my biggest gains in ftp came after doing a half distance plan in 2019 and 2020…

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Mine arrived as I was going into Build phase, but all my levels are reset? Do you think that’s right?

Plan builder question.
I’ve been adjusting my plans around and noticed something I’m surprised I missed before: When building out your events, plan builder asks for the intensity of the event. Well, these are races, so presumably you’re going as hard as you can for the duration of the event (9/10), buuuuut these are long course activities where the actual effort level is what, a 6 ish through most of it? So which do you choose?
Perhaps @IvyAudrain ?


Yeah this is true. For the next little bit it will be primarily cycling with a couple runs and swims thrown in each week just so I dont have to start from ground zero again.

Unfortunately garmin doesn’t recognise the TR sets in the training progression part that tells you if youre overtraining etc, only road rides. Unless you wizards know how I stuffed it.

Don’t worry about Garmin… It’s all bullshit numbers anyway


Exactly. Yesterday I ran with my training partner at her normal pace, for me it was areal easy 45-50 seconds slower per mile run. Garmin says 48 hours of recovery time :rofl:


I have no clue how they make the numbers…
I do a bike wo… it would say…good job…
I would do an easy ride… It will say… fuck you… I will take 50 point of vo2max…

I’m looking forward to seeing how you go in the next year. Whats your heaight/weight? And length of training history?

I’ll also leave you with a few thoughts. That timescale WONT happen, but I wish you the best on your journey to try and prove me wrong. I love it when people on the internet tell me i cant do something.
I have nothing left but hard gains sitting at 5.3w/kg 350 ftp
first recorded ftp is Dec 2017 @ 229w and got to 275 in May 2018 (old tri plans that were burning me out). I feel that with the right coaching/plans/knowledge going in you could remove a year or 1.5yr max off that rate.

I’m no coach but this is a summary of what I have done.

RULE #1: REST, my god rest is absolutely key here. TR high volume plans are not great at that.

IMO - your best bet is block style training
Extensive threshold progression - where you increase time at very close to threshold. Think Donner and Darwin workouts. It’s much more sustainable to stay under threshold than over. You’ll know you are done when you can do 3x20min and 5x15min. Over unders are great too(the type with 15-30s bursts)
Drop the watts even further for even more extensive SS work. Think 3x40min at 90%, also over unders here too.
You could probably do 3 quality days of this per week. back to back or spread in the week. usually when you plateau increasing density helps. I do 2x week due to triathlon.
Everything else is z2 volume. And by zone 2 I mean fealing easy like zone 2, not 60% ftp. your real power will be much lower most likely.

You will find extensive work happens fast. Once you’re past 2hrs at SS and over and hour of work at threshold, its time for some rest and then a vo2 block.
Twice now I’ve done 2 week blocks of VO2 work. THEY SUCK and are very painful. I did 4 days of vo2 work per week and it shelled me. You’ll need rest again after this with easy riding. Give a listen to Empirical Cycling on his vo2 methodology.

Rinse and repeat until you reach the pro tour lol

Why did I write all this? IDK maybe work is boring today. :laughing:

Good Luck


Pre race bike check… drivetrain cleaned to brand new… now checking all the bolts. Don’t want to do a @Nate_Pearson

Edit… 2 offending bolts were found one from each arm cup had backed out completely (probably too short to begin with) which could have ended badly. Longer bolts have been installed


Good luck at Celtman

The pictures online look cool - those rocks to travel over on the run look crazy


Thanks. Sadly life stress has been amped up to a level 10 this week, particularly today. Not the ideal run in but I guess getting to the start line is half the battle

One of the things that MTBers do a lot “better” than us Roadies is bolt checks. I’ve tried to check torque a lot more often and it’s not infrequent to find one is loose. Coincidentally, arm cups are a frequent for me too.

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If I can keep it up it will be interesting for sure.
Sitting at about 78kg at 186cm, puts my ftp at a touch over 3w/kg and f3hp (functional 3 hour power, I just made it up) at about 2.5w/kg so a fair way to go. I’m guessing f3hp at 300w (3.8w/kg) would need my ftp to be up about 375w (4.8w/kg) based on around 80% utilisation.
Training history - poor. Usually do 6 month lead ins to big races then sit on the couch for a bit and do easy bunch rides here and there, which seems almost like a good thing as there may be un-tapped potential haha.

I do like when people say something isn’t possible, it truly does give you motivation. Whether it is actually physically possible to add about 56% to your current output in a year… well… I think most people average about 10% right?

I know rest it basically the no.1 factor for me. I need to get better at getting better/more sleep. I really felt the difference a better sleep made in terms of daily recovery. Some of the big weeks in this build had me on the ropes and I was pretty burnt but managed to get on top of it for the most part. I had a few failed sets but luckily only a handful. Is this what you mean by a 3x20? - TrainerRoad or were you meaning closer to the Donner workout but for 20 mins.

I’ll looked up Donner and Darwin, they look super painful… I’m still pretty new to coaching myself, however it is cheaper than paying someone and I learn way more. I’ll look up Empirical Cycling too. Not sure I like the sound of your 2 weeks Vo2 blocks though, they don’t sound fun at all.

Your 3x20 workout listed is almost what I was taking about. but try to increase the the power. 3x20 @86 should be real doable and maybe even a baseline. I bet you could quickly increase the interval time or more time in zone. towards the end of the build you would want to do something like this - TrainerRoad
TR has workouts of this style but I just cant find them atm.

But to answer your question. I was referring to 3x20 at the intensity of Donner. I like sets that have varying power instead of flat. If you find 4x10 at threshold too difficult, then your ftp is probably too high. Bare minimum 3x10 should be doable, Maybe start with 8 min if you really arent used to the discomfort, but 30min should be really achievable…

Also, Give the SS progression thread a read. Maybe even the whole thread. A lot of good info in there

Ah ok, I was using this based on keeping a relatively low HR to increase my actual functional race power for 70.3 distance at a lower HR than 180. Ended up average 157 for the bike which was nice.

I’ll see how I go with Donner in a while, for now I’ll just run through the 6wk POL plans twice as they work well for the timing of my events. After that I’ll see where I’m at and go from there. Main reason for sticking with POL training is that seems to be where the scientific evidence is saying the gains are best made, that and if I’m being honest with myself, I could really use the base training. I’m also lucky to have a few days a week where I can put big rides in (time wise) without impacting how I balance family commitments too much.

I don’t think it means anything yet, I ramp on Monday then after a week or two of workouts it might show my relative strengths.

At the moment all it’s says is “you’re only doing vo2 workouts” really.