This training plan is designed for an experienced athlete looking to race a full distance triathlon consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run.
Before starting, you should have at least 12 weeks of consistent training with volume no less than 12 hours a week.
The plan will begin moderately for the first 4 weeks and progress in volume and then intensity. The final 4 weeks will include a large three-week block maxing weekly volume at 25 hours before going into taper week.
Upon completion of the 16 weeks, you will have improved your efficiency, focus and feel for perceived effort, especially around your Ironman race pace.
You can continue to use power meters, gps and HR to monitor efforts but this plan encourages you to learn yourself without needing the equipment.
We've all heard, "You're stronger than you think," but most don’t find that strength. Most think they're strong but remain in their comfort zone. You don’t find strength in comfort.
At some point, training can get uncomfortable. Discomfort is not a number, it’s something we feel. Training for an Ironman using feel allows you to control your level of discomfort and find your strength.
To keep you safe while you're uncomfortable, this plan will work off five zones. You will spend most of your time during this plan in the middle three zones.
Five Training Zones
Easy: Embarrassingly easy. If your friends don’t comment on how slow you're going...you're not going easy enough.
Mod: Moderate effort. RPE 3-4. Swim max effort for 40–70 min, bike max effort for 3–5 hours, run max effort for 2.5–3 hours.
Med: Medium effort. RPE 5-6. Swim max effort for 20–40 min, bike max effort for 90–140 min, run max effort for 75–120 min.
Mad: Mad effort. RPE 7-8. Swim max effort for 15–20 min, bike max effort for 45–70 min, run max effort for 20–60 min.
ALL OUT: Always max effort for whatever the duration is. If your friends don’t comment on how ugly you’re looking...you're not going hard enough.
The guidelines above will allow you to work off of feel without burying yourself or holding yourself back. When you have the energy, push yourself towards the harder limits of the zone. When you're not feeling it, pull back and work the easier side of the zone.
If you are unable to match pace or volume and are sick, tired, stressed or dealing with GI issues, still do what you can and go 100% by how you feel. If you’re injured, go easy and with caution. So long as you're working the feel. the feel is real.
If you can’t do a workout, don’t try to make it up. Work out how to avoid missing another one and move on.