Triathlon plan or cycle

Going to sign up next week. Look forward to using the plan builder to structure the next 30 weeks to get ready for my first ironman.
Been watching a lot of videos and reading a lot of reviews and one thing I’m wondering is should I inertial the ironman training plan or a dedicated cycle plan and add the swim runs to the calendar manually?
My thinking behind this is that I’m already a fairly accomplished runner and I know the weekly swim workouts that will be required so would I benifit from just implementing them myself?

What I need from the plan is more of a template structure from the swim and runs and then utilise the bike workouts given by trainerroad. Which option would best suit my needs? I’m thinking of addining longer sessions throughout the plan as and when tine allows but hope this won’t have a negative effect on the plan?

Hope this makes sense


The general consensus here is to add the triathlon plan to your calendar using plan builder and then you can sub in your own swim and run workouts for the ones in the calendar. I think adding a cycling plan and then adding swim/run on top of this could lead to burnout as the cycling plans aren’t designed with this in mind and the load could be way too high.


Sounds like a good idea. I’m coming to the end of the zwift 12 week build me programme which I’ve also been including a decent amount of running and swimming alongside it as well as strength work . Obviously the plan isn’t designed to be used in this way and although it’s mostly been manageable there have been times where I’ve been close to if not burning out completely. I’ve powered through to the end of the plan like I always do but can’t help but think that the mount of intensity alongside all the other activities will probably have had a negative effect on my performance, the effectiveness of the workouts and how my body has responded to the training load of the past 3 months. I can honestly say that the past 12 weeks have been my most intense and difficult training weeks since I started endurance training. It’s for this reason that in excited to be joining trainerroad next week to get bettet structure overall and identify when I’m doing to much or too little.

There is a fair bit of intensity in the stand-alone cycle plans. Combining that with intensity from running and swimming certainly does risk overdoing things. The tri plans probably better balance things. You can always move to the +1 and +2 variants of the cycle work if you want to increase the workload, while keeping the overall balance of the plan.

But the lower volume cycle plans may make sense if you want to focus on a cycle block of training for a while, with your running and swimming in more of a base/maintenance phase with less intensity in those sports.

+1 to this advice. Use the tri plan and sub in your own swim and run sessions (which is exactly what I do). My understanding is the tri plans are designed to get the balance of stress between the 3 disciplines right. A cycle only plan assumes you are not doing hours of swimming and running on top of that each week so there’s a serious risk of overload if you use the cycle-only plan for IM training. As others have said above, there are plenty of ways you can add cycle stress/volume on a given week if you are feeling good.