The Ironman Training 2021 Thread

Well, one change…I have transferred my registration for IM FL 140.6 in November 2021 to IM FL 70.3 in December 2021. While this negates my chance to break the elusive 13 hour barrier for a full, this fits better with work and life over the next several months, and it gives me the opportunity to do a bit more intensity on the bike so I can do some cycling races this fall.

With almost a full 24 weeks to train, I’ve opted into the Adapted Training Beta and will be doing almost a full cycle of HIM HV Base, Build, and Specialty. I’ll probably swap out one of the swims for an additional bike each week. Will see how it goes!


I don’t use SIS but the day before I use a 1500mlg Precision Hydration tab. Then when racing I use 1x 1000mlg Precision Hydration tab per hour. But, it’s important to note it depends on your own physiology and the type of conditions you are racing in.

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Thank you for this. Out of curiosity in the race with the tablet what do you take as your carb source ?

I used Maurten gels, some of their 320 drink mix and a few packets of Cliff Bloks.

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Ah thank you for your insight

I don’t pre-load but I do drink the electrolytes provided on course.

I understand the rationalisation for electrolytes extrapolated from medical science but I don’t think the science backs up precision hydration in healthy athletes. Not saying it isn’t beneficial, just that it’s unproven.

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2 300mg nuun tabs + 2 scoops of base salt in a 12 oz bottle of water. One the night before. One the morning of. Just under 1200mg total. Last few faces I’ve done this have been hot ones, and I have not had cramping issues.

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Hi All! I’ve done my best to read through the thread, but wow 1,500 comments can be overwhelming to catch up! Looking for some advice -

I’m training for my first 70.3 (registered for the Alpha HITS Palm Springs event on 10/23/21). Just as background, I am about a week into the Build LV plan after completing Base LV (no missed/failed workouts, plus longer, outdoor weekend rides) for the 70.3 plans. I have also completed SSB LV 1 & 2 earlier this year. This will be my first organized race as the Olympic I trained for last year was cancelled. I completed the distance on my own (set up own course, transitions, etc), but haven’t done a formal race.

Would you recommend signing up for a sprint or Olympic prior just to work out race kinks or just go for it on the 70.3? My only option at this point would be an event locally (San Diego) on 9/11. My plan has a recommendation of a possibility of a B race the weekend before, but is this getting too close to the actual 70.3?

Just looking for some advice from what looks like a very well experienced and knowledgeable group!


Sounds like you’re doing well, and well done on the self supported last year. :+1:

Yes, shorter real world events are always a good idea, every season, to get your race kit and race routines together. Both for the things you forget, but also in determining the things that aren’t really necessary.


Thanks! I think I mentally knew this, but was just looking for some outside confirmation that it wasn’t too close to my A event. With it being six weeks out from the 70.3, would you suggest sticking with the sprint? I don’t think the Olympic is too challenging if I go into it with the mindset of it being a shake out, but I also know my inner competitive myself and it being my first real race, may have difficulty holding back. I guess I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot for the 70.3 based on the work I’m putting into it, but the sprint feels a little short to work out the kinks.

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Nice work dude!
You can’t have too much race experience, so if that option is available I’d definitely go for it!
Dealing with busy/crowded transition areas and mass swim starts can also be pretty overwhelming, so I think getting used to those kinds of things in a smaller/lower-priority race is good practise for when you’re really under pressure. (I’ve got a tendency to freak out and go full lizard-brain so one of my goals is just to race more, but even if that’s not you I think it’s worth removing what stress you so you can enjoy the experience more!)

I think you’ll be fine either way, it’s more about getting used to the environment than anything. I’d personally go with the sprint because they tend to be a bit less disruptive recovery-wise even if you do go really deep (consequently also super fun), but ultimately it’s all about what gets you excited. :slight_smile:

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Many moons ago now but when training for a 70.3 I used to put a sprint in about 3-4 weeks out from the big day. Sprints in the UK are normally at silly o clock in the morning too which is always good practice like everyone has mentioned. Something that worked for me though was to put in a 2 hour ride in the afternoon after the race just to top some hours up. I always felt better the following few days after doings this.


Been following nicely since my last posts back in the 2020 thread and I’m after a bit of advice really. Bear with me because it’s one of those ‘should I stick with a coach’ annoying questions… :joy:

I got in touch with a coach about 1.5 years ago now to help me get over the line at an Xtri event. The plan was to get me over the line a year later and then I’d quit tri for good and just do my first love (running). Unfortunately Covid then hit and put the xtri back another year and then some. The coach is at a fairly high level and well basically massively out of my league however I managed to secure a price point which for a period of time worked. (ie there wasn’t much in terms of communication other than every couple of weeks but the sessions were top notch and I did make very good gains from where I was at). However because of this price point there isn’t much room for manouvre. And maybe there shouldn’t be. My work over this period has become rather disjointed in terms of availability for me to train. For example long days where I simply cant fit in a bike and brick on the same day so I end up moving it etc etc. I think this has worn thin for both me and the coach. I guess I’m just not willing to pay a higher level press to get that everyday contact with the coach.

This has basically resulted in me questioning what I’m doing having a coach. I know that if i followed the program I’d probably nail my expectations of a good race but I just simply cant follow it. But i want to enjoy this process and enjoy the race but a big part of me is scared stiff about not being able to get over the line on the big day.

I should probably just chill the F out and enjoy running and cycling for a while and maybe pick an off the shelf training program to give me some structure as a base point and then chuck in some nice off the cuff the events I like to do in the build up.

I’ve probably answered my own question here but it’s good to spout. lol.

Anyone been in a similar situation it would be good to hear your thoughts.


I would say it doesn’t sound like you and your coach are a good match. If you really want a coach find one who is used to and likes coaching folk at your level and life stage.

My coach understands I’m a busy dad with a job and other priorities and is really good at knowing when to push and when to lay off. Sounds like that would suit you better.

Only you know if an off the shelf programme will suit you (or maybe you don’t know and should try it out). I prefer having a coach personally for loads of reasons.


I’d do the Olympic. If you weren’t racing you’d probably be doing a multi-hour ride and long brick anyway. Why not add a swim and transitions to it? You will be plenty fine.

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Just signed up for the full IM in Busselton after Cairns fell through. I suspect my coach will be happy…I think he’s been trying to nudge me towards longer stuff for a while :joy: I’ve got a loose goal for a KQ which should be pretty acheivable looking at previous years, but there have been some crazy fast times popping up here and there recently so I’m not too married to it. (There’s usually only one slot in my age group so it’s a bit of a gamble at the best of times)

Trying my best to train around some pretty gnarly wildfire smoke, which is tough as I’m swimming exclusively outdoors right now. Absolute hellscape in the water today and I’m not looking forward to the treadmill, but I sounded like I was on ‘my 600lb life’ taking my garbage out, so…good thing I like movies a lot. Hopefully things are looking a bit nicer for everyone else!

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Will you take your slot if you qualify with the uncertainty around actually being able to travel to Hawaii? My friend crushed it in Cairns and went sub 9 (2nd in his AG?) and would have got a slot, but couldn’t/wouldn’t take it because of the travel issues from Australia - - what a kick in the nuts that had to be!

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Last night I passed through the 50km point of my July Swim Challenge…

I now find 5k swims quite easy :swimming_man:



In your second or third season of racing Olympic distance would be preferable, but as it’s your first race I’d always prefer Sprint or shorter so that it really isn’t about the distance or performance and you can focus purely on execution. Sure, on race day race-brain will kick in but that’s part of the practice :smiley:

Agree with all the other points @toribath97 and @Tim_P raised.

Have a look a the Short Course thread when you get a chance;

I’ve never had a dedicated tri coach so I’m jealous :sweat_smile: but I have had swim coaches and run coaches and when I’ve had this problem I basically ask them, so what does your coach think will improve the situation?

My second thought is that this doesn’t sound like a coach problem particularly it sounds like a time problem (although the coach should be adapting to your changing circumstance). So there’s a couple of fundamental questions there - how much time do you have to train? Can you train consistently, e.g. the same time slots each week?

Last point - can you train for Ironman without a triathlon coach…well, almost everyone on this thread has or is doing that! :smiley:

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