The Ironman in 2019 thread



The ol’ EagleMan triple for me this year - EagleMan 70.3 in June, then EagleMan backwards x2 (kinda) at Ironman Maryland in September. This will be Ironman #8 for me and 3rd time doing IM Maryland. Have used a coach for years but decided this year I wanted to go back the self-coaching route. Plan on using the mid or high-volume plans since they seem to more or less line up with what I’ve done in the past. Plus they keep me out of the house :slight_smile:


My preference is the Triathlon plans as they take account of the swim/run fatigue as well. In any case, half distance low volume has a fair amount of sweet spot work.


@JoeX is on the mark. Indoor rides tend to be ‘worth’ more without the somewhat inevitable stops and coasting.

If you are concerned or psychologically feel the need to ride longer you can always do those longer rides outdoors and make them longer, or maybe alternate an indoor and outdoor ride strategically throughout the plan.


There are lots of ways to skin the cat depending on what suits you. Up til now I’ve used the cycling plans rather than the triathlon plans but I’m thinking this year of largely following the rides from Tri plans with my own swimming and running.

There’s not a huge difference between the two plans in terms of TSS or type of workout you are referencing but it’s worth noting that there is a 4 week difference in length which might sway your opinion. For me I don’t think I’d need the longer rides that are in the Base plans that early in a training cycle and I might replace those with harder, more sweet spot type sessions that are slightly shorter, but it depends on what you feel you stand to gain more from.


Good luck! I enjoyed Maryland last year.


Did IM Switzerland 2008 and 2017. Great bike course, got a bit of everything. Did on full TT set up with disc and tri spoke front as the flat is seriously fast, in fact you have to be careful not to get carried away early as the flat bit around the lake can suck you in.

Into the hills is testing but great. I ran 53/39 oval front with a 28 block on the back with no problems. Did it with a mate in 2017 who has raced 13 IMs now, and he said the bike was tougher than he expected.

I have family in Zurich and go over most years, great riding all around there. I highly recommend it!


Hey guys n gals

My ‘A’ this year is IM Hamburg in late July.

This will be my third long distance triathlon after IM UK the past 2 years.

I used the TR Full Distance - Mid Volume last year which served me well, although I found it difficult to reconcile quality outdoor rides on the TT against the planned workouts once the weather had improved in the UK spring as I would prefer to be out in the fresh air.

Have been doing Sweet Spot Base 1 and 2 over Winter and start the Full Distance - Mid Volume Base this week.

I am keeping the basic structure but replacing the swims with SwimSmooth IM plan and adopting a little more running based upon Jack Daniels.

Looking forward to reading how you are all getting on this season. Good luck.



Thanks for the info!! Regarding the climbs: long and slow or short, steep, punchy climbs? descents: straight down or technical switchbacks? not much opportunity around here for training for the latter. I will be renting a high end Trek Emonda SL8, dura ace
with Mavic Carbon Cosmics. Sub 14 pound bike



How are you dealing with the fatigue?

Going to bed early, eating very well and the art of short naps.

Don’t worry it’ll be alright. Plenty of people here myself included can ride well below 2:45 on the low volume plans. It’s unnerving in the beginning, but the key here is pacing - your average intensity in training is much higher than anything you would race at, so when race day rolls around the corner you will be ready.

That said, it doesn’t hurt to just replace the endurance rides on the weekend with outdoor rides. Just make sure to either hit the intensity outdoors or just add another hour or so to make up for all the coasting.

You are in for a treat, Hamburg is such a fast course! But you also hardly get an excuse to sit up which is why I replaced a fair share of TR rides with longer outdoor rides. I did SSB1&2 LV, LD Tri build and base LV and replaced the Saturday rides with outdoor rides of 3.5 - 4 - 5+ hrs leading into each recovery week.


Hi everyone! First ever post!

Signed up to ironman Wales 2019 and using trainer road for the first time. Been in triathlon for 3 years doing mostly sprints and Olympic.

My question is this: Wales is a notorious bike course where you seem to either be going up or coming down and is regarded as a tough course. Is the full distance low volume a good plan for this type of course? As a newbie to trainer road I’ve no experience with applying their plans to races. I have a swim coach so wouldn’t follow the swim workouts and I also have access to a run coach so may not even follow their run plan so would there be a better plan to follow for the bike?



Congratulations and welcome!

I was just watching a replay of I’m Wales ‘18 last night - should be lots of fun :wink:

Yes the plan will build you bike fitness, nearer race day I work on execution; keeping the power down uphill, keeping the power on downhill, worth doing the bike course beforehand too if you can.


The climbs on the opposite side of the lake from the IM village are mostly long and steady. Get into a rhythm and don’t go into the red. There is a drag out of Egg which seems to go on forever. Make sure you are well hydrated at this point. When it is hot (most of the time) it always seems to get me there even on training rides as there is no cover.

There are some fast descents which, one of which has a no aero bars section. If you are a confident descender these are great, and not particularly technical so keep the speed up. Just checked and I hit 54 mph on that fast no aero bar descent.

Heartbreak Hill is at the end of each lap and is the hill with most support. This is short and sharp, think about 3 mins 30sec for me. I’m not the fastest up hills but can hold my own (train in the Peak District where we have lots of hills).


Excellent! Sounds tailor made for me since I’m all of 52kg. Might have to grab an extra bottle for some added weight on the descents : ) Looking forward to the race, and traveling to Interlaken area afterwards


Hi all!

I’ve signed up for IM Kalmar in Sweden. It will also be my first Full Distance Triathlon.
Last year I did a half distance triathlon and Triathlon Alpe d’Huez.

I’m starting next monday with the medium base plan for full distance triathlon and will continue with build and specialty. I planned two weeks extra as backup in between. 7 months is a long way to go!

Now, I’m least experienced with swimming. I know how to define my zones for cycling and running and now I’m looking into swimming.

It seems you have something like CSS (critical swim speed) and can do a test to determine your CSS (link with info)

I got a CSS of 1:48/100m. This means I should be able to swim a 1500m in 27min.

I also find a calculator to calculate your different swimming paces depending on RPE. (link)

This is my result:
1 (RPE 1-2) Easy 02:01
2 (RPE 3-4) Steady 01:58
3 (RPE 5-6) Moderately Hard 01:53
4 (RPE 7-8) Hard 01:48
5 (RPE 9-10) Very Hard 01:43

Would it be okay to apply these paces on the TR swimming plans?? Not sure if this shouldn’t depend on the length of the sets?

As example for the first swim training. It says: “7x100m Easy-Moderate, RPE6 w/ 5s rest between intervals”
Do I do this at pace of 1:53?
I did today 7x100 at 1:45. I found it hard to say but I think it felt harder then a 5-6 :slight_smile:

A bit noob on this part :slight_smile:

Any insights or feedback would be welcome!


Welcome to TR.

Low Volume will be fine, if you can get some outside rises in with some decent climbing then you’ll be even better setup for the big day.

If you haven’t rode it in the past then try and get out and do a recce of the bike course, it’s technical and a little sketchy in aces (which my broken hip can attest to ( although I suspect you’re local, so apologies if you’re already plenty familiar with the course).

The other too is gearing, gear up so you can spin up the hills at a reasonably low power IF, I ended up fitting a 32t on my Tri bike and even though I didn’t make it all the way around in race day, was glad I had it when I recce’d the course. You can manage without going so high a gear but your legs will be grateful come run time… Again apologies if I giving you eggs to suck on!


Woot! :muscle:t2:

Cool I’m something similar, I think as I haven’t tested in a while 1:45-1;50.

RPE10 It’s all out effort, you can’t go any harder so whatever pace comes out is whatever it is. For me that’s about 1:20/100. pace for 25m reps, for 50m maybe 1:26, etc.

RPE7/8 These feel hard, but aren’t killing you. Maybe for 100m +10s rest intervals I’m just under 1:40 to just over for 12 reps.

RPE6 I think of this as “all day” pace. Whatever the intervals it’s not going to be hard to maintain pace and finish the set. Around CSS so 1:45-1:50, and the rest isn’t desperately needed, you’re breathing fairly calm.

RPE4 Warm up/warm down, feels slow. Anything 2:00 and above. Need to be careful you’re not losing form.

That’s my opinion anyway! Happy to be corrected :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks for the advice! Much appreciated! I plan to recce the course at least twice prior to the event, using these as my long rides. I’m local to South Wales but not Tenby so I can’t get down there as much as I would like. I live near the Gower and as a place to ride it’s an excellent replica of Pembrokeshire (I’m told!) so I hope you utilise this fully on outdoor rides.


Thank you for your reply!! Much appreciated!!


TR family, need a little advice on plan rearrangement. My plan is going to be a little shifted (from one of the best things possible for a triathlete) - I should be getting on a tribike this weekend! I am just finishing week 1 of half-distance mid vol, but I know I will need to retest my FTP. My plan was to do that on the first workout next week and continue on, however, I will also be missing >50% of the workouts due to travelling for interviews.

My current plan has me getting through base, build and 5 weeks of speciality before Wisconsin 70.3. A couple of options I had in mind are to:

  1. Do the ramp test to start the week, miss the next 2 days, come back and hit Mount Fields, then miss my Friday and saturday workouts. Then I would just repeat week 2 and get through 4 weeks of specialty in the end instead?

  2. Just do what I can in week 2, and move on to week 3 when I return and get through 5 weeks of specialty?

After typing this out, the first option sounds like the best idea, but wanted more thoughts. Thanks all!


I think opt 1.

If you’ve not done TR in aero before you may have to give yourself some leeway particularly during high intensity intervals.

Can you double up rides on Thursday, and run/swim while away Fri/Sat?