Which plan? Triathlon or other other

Probably been asked a few times but maybe not since adaptive Training I don’t think.
When I get going I’m considering doing a bike plan for my ironman instead of the long distance tri plan. But which plan should I choose?

My reason for considering this is that I’d like my training for the ironman to be bike focused. And if I undertake the long tri plan I wouldn’t necessarily do the swim run workouts and would just use the plan as a template while sticking with the bike workouts.

Interested in the answer here too. I think you go after the sustained power/time trial approach, and possibly add some long, steady, aerobic rides. You can try using Plan Builder and adding an A race that is a five hour TT.

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In 2019 I used the triathlon plans for a 70.3, I followed mid volume and completed the vast majority of the bike workouts but dropped 1 run and 1 swim from the set plan each week. I got through this well and saw good improvements and good consistency week to week.

In 2020 I wanted to try something different so planned Sweet Spot Base Mid Volume 1 and 2 and then sustained power build. I completed SSB 1 and 2 manually adding in 2-3 runs a week, I got through it but it was tough and I was starting to fail workouts towards the end. Moving in to sustained power build I had to drop to low volume as there was just too much intensity on the bike with running regularly as well. Adaptive training may change this as you will get a much more bespoke plan and the higher level of fatigue will likely be mitigated based on survey responses and progression level changes.

This year I stuck to the triathlon plans and have been able to be much more consistent in the training. If I was going to try and make the plan more bike focused again I would probably go with Sweet Spot Base Mid Volume 1 and 2 and then go to low volume for the Sustained Power Build and add some longer endurance rides in if I was feeling good and still managing the run and swim training.


The TR full distance plans are bike focussed, but there has been a cadre of people using sweet spot base and sustained power build in the Ironman Training threads over the years with some success.

If it’s your first Ironman or first TR plan then I would recommend sticking with the Tri plans though.

How has your training progressed since October?

It might be worth reposting in the Training thread as unfortunately you posted before on roll call day, so your question got swamped by everyone posting about the monthly training :slight_smile:

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I’ve done both chose your own adventure of bike specific for base build sprinkle in my running and swimming, then specialty mostly just following the cycling workouts but using TR framework for balancing days.

For 2021 I have just done a bike plan through end of the year, not run at all until last week (day before ramp test because I’m an idiot) and started swimming 3 days a week once my pool re-opened back in feb. Jan 1(ish) I start 70.3 specialty through my race in June. Swim volume isn’t enough for me so I do my own thing, I hate running so I plan to try and use it to get me to stick to some running and not just my “I’ll just go do a quick 5k”

At the start of the last build phase I bumped it up from low, 3 rides a week, to mid volume which is now 5 rides a week. This isn’t something that I had noticed before when doing mid volume tri plans which are usually 4 sometimes 3 rides in my experience.

I think my 2021 plan of focusing on cycling as well as being one of the very early AT beta groups (march) has made me a much more well rounded cyclists than in years past. SS, threshold, v02 max stuff I would have skipped in previous years I’m more motivated to do and I’m completing it. Not sure how much is cycling focus and how much is AT. But the volume once I need to get serious next year I think will just be too much and going to the Tri plan made more sense to me for the final months leading to the race.

I say build a bike only plan and build a tri plan in plan builder and see if the bike plan works around your swimming and running. Remember while the tri plan might be less bike focused it is taking into consideration your fatigue from the other events, the bike plan isn’t. Trying to work around 5 days of cycling right now gives me no real day off and one day a week doing all 3.