The Ironman in 2019 thread



Hi everyone, I had created an individual thread but was advised that this is the place to be for all Ironman type questions.

I’m currently training for my first Ironman (IM Canada in July 2019) and 11 weeks into the High Volume of the Base Full Distance Triathlon plan and intend to do the Build and Specialty afterwards.

I believe it’s known to be quite a hilly course and was wondering if I should be including some “hill type” workouts on top of the default Full Distance plan workouts? Or should I potentially just swap out for example one prescribed workout a week for a hill training type workout. Or should I just stick with what the default workouts are for this plan?

For the base plan so far, I added a 5th bike (would do the Thursday workout on Wednesday as well). I was wondering if I continue to do this extra bike, would it ultimately benefit me as a biker or would it hurt me more because I’m having to recover more. I have completed every single workout with the exception of 2 over the last 11 weeks. If I’m able to complete all the workouts @ a decent quality, does this mean I should continue them?

Thanks, very much appreciated!


Ok, so if your son hasn’t learned these in his studies, impress him and the incoming kid with
a) den den mushi mushi katatsumuri omae no atamawa doko ni aru … (just sing that part and you’ll knock the kid’s socks off… it’s a japanese nursery rhyme about a snail and where its head and eyes are at)
b) nama-moogi, nama-go mey, nama-tamago (practice saying it as fast as possible as its a japanese tongue twister. that a geijin – non-Japanese/foreigner – knows this will surprise him)


The real question for @JoeX is how much does he trust @mountainrunner, before he ruins Anglo-Japanese relations :stuck_out_tongue:


Hi and welcome to the party! Doesn’t look like much flatness to me:

I’ve found hilly courses tricky to execute well on, weather hasn’t helped either, but I believe training on a hilly route will help you execute both in keeping the power down but also on keeping the power up, especially when flat is not a significant element.

Practising on the course is ideal, but finding a similar route will do. It’s not about the total elevation gain either, just a route that is always up or down.


I’ll refer you to the answer I gave in your original thread :grinning:


Hey folks long time first time here - curious on which plans folks are following when they race cycling (mostly crits) early in the season in the US (Mar-May) and then do half-ironmans mid-summer and beyond. I was thinking of going through the mid-volume bbs for half ironman (since my first will be in July, with an additional one in Sept) and maybe swap out the VO2 work for crits. I have 10 years of tri background and one season (last year) of soley bike focus. Decent runner, poor swimmer (never put enough time in due to bang for buck).

I’d love to hear what others do - thank you.


Off to visit the physio tomorrow for assistance with whatever is playing up in my ankle. Had two weeks off running, and while it didn’t flare up in yesterday’s short brick, I feel a little tenderness today.


Hi mmcpa, I’m afraid I’ve never done a crit so can’t advise you. Would love to try the nocturne in London but always seem to miss it.

Good luck!


Hey guys, My A race is 70.3 Traverse City, Michigan end of August with some sprints and maybe an Olympic thrown in through the summer. it’s my first season of Tri training and it’s going well. My one concern is that it seems I’m spending a lot of time in Zone 3 HR during all my TR rides. Threshold work puts me right around 80% max HR and VO2 work will get me to 90% towards the end of a session. Should I be concerned about not spending enough time in Z2 during this base phase? Most of my running and all of my swimming is Z2 so maybe that helps balance things out.


Julian M - what’s the aero bottle on the down tube?


hi there! how did you set your HR zones? this is quite important.

I have tested by the Friel protocol for my threshold bike HR at 167. I get there during extended threshold intervals and certainly over/under workouts. SS is 156 and upwards, fits as well with my TR experience. the first few intervals may be a little lower and at the end a little higher.

really one should be training to power and not HR, so it doesn’t matter. if you consistently stay very low in HR that may be a sign that you have a too low FTP setting. but unless the effort feels off or you don’t progress with fitness I wouldn’t care about it much.


It’s an Xlab aero bottle


Sounds like we have similar numbers. That’s what I was thinking as far as power compared to HR. I’d much rather trust the TR plans. I am seeing progress and find the workouts just the right amount of challenging. Thank you for the response!


One for my birthday wish list. :slight_smile:


Sweet christmas, after bragging about my progress last time I really put my foot in my mouth now. I dug a hole for myself the last weeks. Had to do an extra recovery week in SSB w4, almost no running and still had to take the weekend completely off. Now easing back into it, hope I didn’t do too much damage.

And all that in SSB1 LV and a minimalistic marathon plan around 55 - 60km per week. How do you beasts handle HV plans?!


Thats something I can only admire, too… But one part of the answer could be, that with increasing volume, intensity goes down in the TR plans.
Intensity is quite high in the SSB cycling only plans. If you add a running plan which has its own recovery cycles (without any cycling intensity) it can double up quite fast.
I wish you a good recovery from your hole!


My last triathlon was Vineman 70.3 back in 2015. I am 53 years old (ok closer to 54 now) so I am easing back into triathlons again with only Olympic’s this year (both on and off road). Next year I plan on several half’s, then in 2021 I plan on my first ever full distance. Having had good success with Fitzgerald’s 80/20 running plans for both half and full marathons, I started out full bore with his Triathlon plans.

However, after focusing on road racing for 2016 and 2017, I was not happy with cycling portion of the 80/20 plans, my overall cycling fitness was getting worse, not better. I am currently experimenting with using the TR Cycling Plans for the bike but substituting Fitzgeralds 80/20 workouts for the swims and runs. So far I am happy with the results. It has really helped me ease back into swimming and running while remaining injury free.

I am looking for input on this approach as I move into the Half/Full plans, anyone doing/done anything similar, what was your experience? Did it help you manage your fatigue overall, but still have solid swim and run results? I am convinced that following TR plans will help build a solid bike leg for my events!

Thanks for your input!




Just wanted to check in and thank everyone who has helped me so far! Been browsing the forum a little less lately, but training is going fantastic. To whoever told me not to depend on the tempo trainer…absolutely right. I think it was @mountainrunner . I’ve been hitting the pool 3x/wk the last 2-3weeks and swimming 2400-3200yd per time and noticing a large gain in how comfortable I feel in the water. Don’t feel as if I’m just plowing through for the first 20 minutes like I did last year with half that volume.

@JoeX I noticed the free SwimSmooth CSS calculator doesn’t take the first 100yd split into account, the guru sub does, they offer a free trial for it…just if you were curious. Not sure it changes their calculations.

One question, though, do you ever make adjustments to your FTP mid plan? Just coming off of recovery week and my tempo ride/brick felt much easier than I was used to so I bumped my FTP up 5 to 225 from 220. Completed Baird -1 for my first VO2 session of the plan all in the TT-position and ended up bumping the intensity up 1% for 2nd set of intervals and 3% for final set.

It probably sounds drastic to add 2% to my FTP based on a hunch, but I used TR for about 3 months or so last year, then took 6 months off the bike and just ran/lifted. Completed SSB MV1 before starting the HDMV base so feel like I have a lot of “rookie” gains to be had and main worry is to be selling myself short by not making incremental adjustments and continuing to push myself.


That’s pretty normal that your workouts feel easier after a good reco week. It’s the whole point of recovery! As long as you can complete your workout with good form there is no harm in bumping up the intensity. I do this too, sometimes. Now with the ramp test being much less painful than the 20min test however I often just enjoy being ahead of the curve and retest sooner than planned.