The Ironman Training 2021 Thread

Hmm, sounds like a group ride. Which is why I’ve only done a few locally, I get a bit antsy when we’re always stopping, then sitting around in a cafe. Great if you’re socialising but understandably frustrating if you’re training I think.

Actually it highlights something I don’t think is fully covered by TrainerRoad. If I’ve got a 4.5hr workout and I take a bunch of breaks then Adaptive Training figures this is a failed ride. In reality, I don’t think there is much science to say you aren’t benefiting as much by taking breaks. Take swimming - rest breaks are standard and improve form and overall quality. A 1.5h break in an endurance ride might seem huge but I’ll bet the physiological adaptations might even be better for some with a break in between.

Not really tried to because I don’t think the principle is any particular revelation, and it lacks detail. I came across it through running podcasts and long distance training before I’d ever heard of the popular names you here these days. You have to have plenty of aerobic work in any Ironman training plan anyway!

You’ve been added :slight_smile:

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I’ve used the 80/20 plans. Both running and tri. A like them and found them a good starting point.
Although I normally mix it with Joe Friel type plans


Hi Team
All signed up for my first 70.3 in Dec - Taupo, NZ
Just wanted to check in and ask about using the plan builder… my longest ride in the plan is 90 mins, does that sound right? I thought i would be in the saddle a lot longer (i’m a complete noob at cycling)

Thanks for any advice

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I think it also depends on which volume you choose. I checked the low volume and the longest ride is 1.45min from what i can see

I have never done the plans myself so cant comment as much on that. In my personal experience. I did a few longer rides between the 3-4 hour mark and that seemed fine for me

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As Andrew says I think the longest indoor rides are a touch longer than that, but they are designed knowing that a lot of people do group rides and other outdoor rides as well.

If you’re a complete noob the plans will get you round a lot better than some of the field you will see on race day :slight_smile:

You also want to put in some shorter triathlons a sprint and Olympic if you can iirc at the end of Build and halfway through Speciality.


I’m doing my first half-Ironman soon. Any advice for determining my swim start ‘seed’? My time trial efforts at the 1.2mi distance have been about 1:37/100yd, but I want to swim slower for the race and I’m also not sure how much open water will affect my time (due to not swimming perfectly straight, slight current, other people, etc.). I’ve done a number of open water swims but not with any clear distance markers (and my watch hasn’t tracked perfectly), so I’m not really sure how much my time will be affected. Any advice is appreciated!

Best advice I can give you is to get really comfortable swimming in a group and learn to draft blind. It doesn’t take much to feel the draft in your catch and it saves you a lot of looking up. Embracing the chaos of swimming in a group and committing to a good draft has probably been the biggest step I’ve made forward in competition. You are fast enough to hang with a random group somewhere middle of the pack where someone will be able to sight properly. With a good group and a wetsuit you should be able to swim significantly faster than a non wetsuit solo TT.


The trick is being comfortable with the possibility of being kick in the face and getting your goggles filled with water… Or having people swim over you…
All are real possibilities that if you are comfortable with your swimming will help a lot… If you are like me… Then you start at the end and avoid everyone… And do a solo TT


Thanks for the replies and advice - very helpful.

I’ve had a couple of mass starts at shorter distances, so I’m generally quite comfortable with the mayhem (though this may be a larger field than I’ve encountered and it’s been a couple of years due to the lack of races). I think I’ll go with a 1:45 or 1:50 estimate for my time in order to place in a comfortable start group and account for some zig-zagging.

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Anyone racing 70.3 Oregon this weekend? I’m headed down tomorrow and would definitely enjoy meeting up with some fellow TR users for a shakeout ride or run. If anyone is interested send me a message.


After using low volume TR plans for 3 years, this year I switched over to 80/20 level 1 plans, first for an early Olympic distance race, now for my first Ironman. I agree that the structured runs and swims are much more satisfying (especially now that I have a watch to record my swim workouts in detail). I was getting burned out before I switched, but now I feel better overall. It’s possible the 80/20 plans will leave me a little slower on the bike, but they fit into my life better.


This is also my impression. Last year was my first year with TR. My bike fitness soared through the roof, but by November I felt completely burned out, even though I was using the LV plans.

From what I can say from this first impressions of the 80/20 plans is that they are much lower intensity, even doing the level 2 plan, which like you say, fit my life much better. I can do higher volume without feeling wiped out.


Bout 33-35 minutes or thereabouts (objectively speaking)


Ive mostly use LV full distance over the years without problem, I burned out on an ill thought out MV/HV Half Distance combo in 2018 but Ive been fine ever since.

I’m actually doing HV this year, olympic and now full distance, which might have been tough but particularly since the plan changes a couple of months back it’s been fine and now I’m on AT anyway. There’s been maybe one really tough workout all year. Certainly no chance of burning out.

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Do you also follow the run and swim workouts in the TR plans? After completing Holkham a few weeks ago I am contemplating signing up for Outlaw Full next year but have not decided whether to follow the TR Tri plan to the letter or incorporate other swim and run plans.

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As TR expects me to use them I think - So broadly yes, but not in detail.

So I think TR gives me four swims per week; base intervals, threshold intervals, speed and endurance sessions. So I stick to that structure with one of them replaced by a club swim. I do drills specific to me instead of those prescribed.

Runs I have tempo, speed, brick and base runs scheduled by TR and I will replace the tempo run with a club run at easy pace. Speed will be at paces Garmin tells me are suitable.

I’m in build phase of HV FD.

Plenty of people use alternate swim and run plans, I’d just advise using TR plans that fit with them so you don’t have too many hard days.

Personally, the only big issue is that I think the run details have far too many sprints (eg any!) and I kept picking up injuries with them a few years ago. On the whole I think you need to prioritise run or bike in IM training and tweak your plan accordingly.


I think it depends on the training background of the athlete. I was a complete noob when I started TR, less than 2 months after buying my first bike and deciding to do a Triathlon. And even my running experience was only about 2-3 hours a week. Probably that was part of the issue.


Whoa, so I am actually going to do the IM Boulder 70.3 in less than 3 weeks. My registration was deferred from 2020 (event cancelled), where I was much more fit; pre-quarantine, pre-newborn baby). As this is my “off-the-couch” fitness level, I won’t set any land-speed records but I think I can get it done. Can do the all of the legs on their own, but will see how it all ties together. I’ve been doing all of my workouts in the heat, since I am certain to get the worst of it (expecting ~6hr to finish, running between 12-2PM). I was doing a TR low-volume olympic triathlon routine, but last week jumped straight to week 16 of the low volume 80/20 Triathlon half IM plan just to accumulate more of the low-intensity hours that I obviously need. None of this is ideal, but will be happy to finish. Can try for time next year. This is my first half, so please wish me luck. Good luck to all the other IM racers this season!


Pace yourself on the bike, drink and eat plenty, get your bike serviced and you won’t need luck :slight_smile:

But good luck!