The Ironman in 2019 thread



There are, on the mid volume base, build and specialty plans, 4x4:00 rides, 2x4:15 rides, 1x4:30, 1x4:45 ride and one five hour ride. I am not doing that indoors :rofl:

I was advised in a different thread that if you want to go outside (which is a Good Thing :tm:) then pick the least intense rides, which is what these are. Do you have a power meter? Just try to aim for a similar duration and intensity factor, or add in a quick TSS filler if you come up a bit short. I was struggling with keeping the TSS of my outdoor rides down as the clubmates who go out on group rides in the winter are the ones at the pointy end and I’m too weak to keep up :sweat_smile:


And @EagleAllan and @Amnesty

So yes, it’s a bit daunting, and we’d all rather be outside…however!

I am planning to do these indoors.

Starting with Why do 4-5hrs on the trainer?

  1. I want to be able to lay down consistent, endurance power in races, and if I can’t do it in training…
  2. Look at the race winners motoring incessantly around Kona, I want that :slight_smile:
  3. It’s freezing and hilly out there, are century rides really going to be more enjoyable?
  4. I don’t think we’ll get the same benefit from an outdoor ride

How am I going to do it?

It’s ohysically and mentally demanding, so;

  1. Motivation; we will use things that will encourage us to a) go in there, and
    b) stay in there

  2. Fueling; we will fuel these properly, it’s not a session you can do fasted or with just breakfast

Okay, so What am I actually doing then?

  1. I’ve put a tv in the paincave, plus Apple TV
  • My rule is that if there is something I really want to watch or listen to I can only do it in the pain cave
  • YouTube account subscribed to GTN, GCN, Ironman
  • Youtube race videos/inspirational clips
  • NetFlix (I’ve not been successful riding watching movies yet, but I’ll give it another go
  • Redbull TV has point of view vids to simulate actual riding
    Regular Breaks
  • get more real food
  • toilet
  • stretching/walk

Discourse chat
I’d like to see if people are interest in making the long rides a virtual group ride similar to the Disaster Day event

  1. I’m setting up the fuel I want, a little more flexible than race day
  • Yes, Powerade seems to work for me
  • Leftiver Christmas cake
  • Peanut butter sandwiches
  • Gels for simulation
  • Water with and without electrolytes
  • Lemonade

These are my thoughts, not fully formed, so I’d like everyones input!


@JoeX @rjessop @Amnesty @EagleAllan

I think you are all right! It depends on your needs, how much riding and racing you’ve done and what keeps you motivated.

Firstly a training programme, whatever it is, is only any good if you can stick to it and be invested in. If you can’t face long trainer rides do them outdoors - to race IM distance races takes the ability to ride long, and it matters far more that you do it than where it gets done.

Unlike @rjessop I find it really difficult to get the same amount of TSS outside than inside with the inevitable stops and coasting on training rides so for me I wouldn’t necessarily try to get the same amount of TSS, although I’d want to be reasonably close, I’d more look a duration for the long rides.

Not necessarily. IMO duration is more important than distance in this regard. Distance isn’t a great metric for training rides as the areas you train in may be very different in terms of terrain that your race and there tend not to be many stops due to traffic or roads during racing. I’d base the progression you choose for your long rides on the time you anticipate your IM bike leg taking over most other metrics. Especially if you are relatively new to long distance racing the longer rides are about building endurance and getting time on the bike, the other sessions are for improving strength and power.

My personal strategy for the last few years has been to train exclusively indoors and it’s served me well but I do race a good amount of Time Trials which often have been my key sessions. I don’t train in the TT position indoors but have no problem riding TT’s (up to a 12hour) in aero and I think it’s important to remind the body about producing power both in the TT position and also go get used to the constant over/under efforts of riding outside as opposed to maintaining even power indoors. Last year my key session was one particular 100mile TT with a 5 mile run off the bike quicker than my IM run pace.

I rode 3 100 mile TT’s last year which gave me the outdoor race pace efforts and I think I’ll end up doing the same this year but aside from TT’s all my riding will be indoors. I did race 2 TT’s a week of various distances last year and one of my objectives this year is not to race as much although I will maybe race most weekends if I can with a few 50’s and 25’s as well as the 100’s but I’m not intending to ride the midweek 10’s I did last year. They are good fun and a short blast but not necessarily the greatest training sessions for long distance racing.


Totally agree, and to be clear my post wasn’t trying to say other are wrong but just that this is going to be my approach.

I need variety, and I want outdoor rides, and watt bike rides in the gym to provide that so that when 5hr-in-the-garage-day comes around it feels like a change rather than Day #32 in the garage again.

I also need, and this might not be for everyone, to train my execution outside. I had the perfect opportunities last year, living close to my race’s bike course, but failed for a variety of life reason’s to do so and saw on race days that I was simply putting in too much TSS on the bike from the way I rode rather than simply the wrong average power.

…Which is a long way of saying I’m swapping midweek sub-FTP interval sessions like Seneca Rocks or Spruce Knob for a hilly 45km commute rides.

Also, I never ride with my bike club so one ride per month I’d like to take on their long distance ride.


I replaced the handlebars with bull horns and put aerobars on a road frame, and did my best to balance my for with a more aero position. Plus a TT saddle.

It kind of worked, and was okay over 90km in a 70.3 but after 180km at IMUK I dismounted and my legs gave way - I only just caught myself in time. Around my hips was super tight, and running was painful from the start.

In retrospect I think it was predictable. The angle at the top of my pedal stroke was too acute, I needed more clearance that you couldn’t get on a road frame. I’d just taken too much confidence from the 70.3 result, and hoped it would work at the full distance.


Hmm. I only ask as Santa bought me some aerobars I could attach to my Canyon Ultimate… I’ll keep tabs on how things feel in the bricks.


Ah, mine was more conversion than that. You’ll be fine over short distances but I would avoid trying to get low.

Here’s my old bike; reversed seat post too. Not bad for my first self build :slight_smile:

Read a lot about bike building, settled on Zinn’s books primarily, plus stuff I learned from Slowtwitch and other forums. Built a month before my first 70.3, and two months before my first IM.

It was an interesting journey, but really glad I went for a tri frame the next year. It just feels better and faster. And looks better too!


I’m a fan of the dual trainer tyres :wink:


@Amnesty @rjessop @JoeX @JulianM

Thanks for the all the thoughts - it’s interesting to see the different approaches.

I’ve been reflecting and I do keep coming back to the same couple of things when reflecting on doing the training plan as written…

The progress I’ve experienced with the mid volume base plan, must be down, in part, to the longer indoor rides I’ve already done. So I do feel like I should stick to that structure.

And as part of last year’s Kona Specials (#2), I remember the reaction of Chad, Nate and Jonathan to @dpnicholls saying he finished the majority of the long rides on the TR plan including the 5 hour ride. They were distinctly impressed, almost to the point of surprise, that someone actually did those workouts! Maybe just my interpretation, maybe I’m easily susceptible to marketing, but if it is truly effective, again, I should stick to it.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t consider myself Kona-worthy, but I do want to get the most out myself from the training I put in. So all this is a bit of a rambly way of saying, for the build phase, I’m going to try and complete all the loooong rides indoors. It’s ­only 8 weeks after all!

It may take a lot of compartmentalisation, but I’m just going to focus on a week at a time, and I am, under no circumstances, going to look forward at the specialty plan…

There were a few other things mentioned that made me think, breaks…

I’ve never really considered this, but do people break during these long efforts? How long and frequent do people stop for?

And, something that feels a bit stupid to ask, but based on these long rides, is the best race intensity for an ironman bike 0.67? This seems lower than a lot of the other received wisdom out there, but I guess the answer it depends on the individual and their experience.


I’m jumping on this thread too…

Last year I crashed out of IM Wales early in the bike leg, resulting in a fractured neck of femur (hip). As we were expecting our second little one, this was supposed to be my one and done IM for a while (two previous attempts to get to the start line were thwarted by a calcaneal stress fracture and then a herniated cervical disc). Whilst waiting to be treated in hospital my wife suggested I should re-enter for 2019, I wasn’t going to give her time to reconsider that suggestion!

So here I am, I’ve started Full Distance Mid Volume today, but will be just brbuisng the bike workouts. I’m planning to build run volume slowly using BarryP protocol as rehab continues, and will be swimming with a SwimSmooth squad in Lancaster (UK). Oh, I’ll also be doing dad duties for our 2 week and 4 year old, thankfully I’m on 6 months parental leave but it will be interesting balancing recovery vs putting family first.

Wish me luck!


Ouch. That is some bad luck right there!

SwimSmooth is what my club teaches, owing I think to them being an official partner to the British Triathlon Federation and producing their CPD training courses for coaches. Does your squad have coaches or is it a group without them?


It’s the ActiveBlu squad coached by Emma Brunning, she does a lot of the BTF CPD.


“Makes sense” as Jonathan might say :wink:

You haven’t looked at Speciality yet then! :yum:

Yeah I remember the same podcast discussion.

I’ll be stopping before I’m forced to stop. And structuring it to make me get back on until the next break. So I think I have a 4:15 ride on Monday, I’ll aim to break every hour. Hopefully just get off and stretch, but deal with whatever I need to.

Yeah intensity on the bike leg is entirely dependant on the length of time you’re out there - this caught me out a few times. I’ve done really fine at the “right” intensity, but taken an hour longer than expected to finish and you’ve blown your TSS target out of the water. Bye bye run. This is why I’m training my outdoor rides to a TSS target - both upper and lower limits.

Guesstimate your time, and cross reference intensity.


Welcome and good luck!

Sounds like you’re good friends with suffering already…


Got sent an email that I was tagged in this, I can add that:

  1. Doing long rides indoors was absolutely key to me, as convenience/physical benefits aside, it meant I could practice both (i) holding a properly aero position for a long time and (ii) my race day nutrition. Both of these are unrealistic/impractical outdoors and very important for anyone in my view.

  2. I only had breaks to go to the toilet / make more sports drink (the drink that would be on the course), so 2-3 quick breaks over 5 hours.

  3. I think 0.67 IF is a reasonable number. Have a look at Best Bike Split to see how much quicker a few more watts would be (not much) vs the potential of blowing up on the run and losing 20 mins+. I also have a feeling that solely following “time-crunched” programs like TrainerRoad means that we don’t always have the aerobic engine to fully express our threshold power during 5-6 hour rides, which also suggests a lower number.

  4. I actually did three 5 hour indoor rides before my qualifying race, largely as I was worried about nutrition. This was the main thing I drew on mentally in the week before the race and meant I was very confident on the start line.


Can I ask how you went about this?

I’ve been thinking it over and I can’t remember anyone advising on how to progress to a point where you can bike in aero position for hour after hour. There’s lots of piecemeal advice; test in aero position, core exercises, bike fitting, etc. But no progressive plan to get you there…maybe I’m over thinking it but two and a half years training on/off in aero, I’m ‘comfortable’ but I can’t stay there for that long really.


Sure, I agree there isn’t a single good reference for this, though I suspect its very personal based on physiology etc.

First I got a good bike fit and really focused on understanding what a proper aero position is (This helped me visualise it). Then it was all about being as disciplined as I was with general training about gradually phasing it in. It looked something like this: .
Month 1. 5 minutes at the start of each SS interval and as much as I could during long rides.
Month 2. 5 minutes on, 5 minutes off during each SS interval and trying to make the majority of my long rides aero.
Month 3. 100% of SS intervals and endurance rides in aero.
Month 4. As above, but with an obsessive focus on making sure I had the “relaxed shrug”, with my shoulders as narrow as possible and head low, though making sure I was as relaxed as possible.
Month 5. As above.

I was doing a lot of core and stretching at the same time, which I am sure also helped.


Unless I need a toilet break I ride continuously.

As the chart @JoeX posted that really depends on the time you anticipate riding for. If I’m riding a hard, hilly IM, like Lanza or Wales, I might well be riding for 45mis-1hr longer than a flatter race and the approach should be different for these races even for the same rider.

Whether 0.67IF is a good number for you will depend on how well you run off a bike of the duration your IM takes. You’d be better reframing the question from what IF should I be riding to what IF do I need to ride to run a marathon well. I don’t know whether it’s your first IM but if it is you should begin to gauge how the running feels from brick runs as the race gets nearer if it is.


Good luck!



Florida for 10 days during the holidays. Ended up getting a tooth abcess right before (went to the medical clinic during our layover), antibiotics don’t work well with training… :frowning:
Then there was a big wind storm and sideways rain.
Now back home, but dealing with seasonal affective disorder & severe anxiety, making getting in morning workouts difficult.
My training officially starts on January 15th, so far I’m not able to get all the low volume workouts in. I did the double workout on Tuesday back to back (TR & then swim, but only part of the swim b/c I was late) and was not feeling recovered enough to handle the run the next day.
Aiming for working up to getting something in earlier tonight so I can up earlier tomorrow & train.

Just keep at it, everything counts! Even if you only can get in part of the workouts, it’s still something.