The Ironman in 2019 thread



Respect, Sir, for this past way you mastered!
Your hunger to fight your way back into “the real word” is really impressive!

To your question:
You have time. That is very good for long distance Triathlon.
But I am afraid, your plans for the next year are a bit too ambitions. The Marathon in may will force you to a long recovery at a time, when you really should build for the Ironman.

If you really have time, you could go for the marathon, do some 70.3s next year and finish a strong Ironman in 2020, without the fear of exceed the cut of times.

If the middle finger to your sickness is more important than that, cancel the Marathon, go for the Ironman, but don’t overdue it. The risk would be that it could be possible that you won’t finish the distances in time before the cut off timers hit.

For the preparation of the Ironman, I’d complete the full distance base, build, specialty low volume.
Look at week 5/6 of the base phase and what you need to handle there.
Then you can gradually build up volume and intensity until you can do these requirements without excessive need of recovery.
That will take time!


Gdynia looks interesting! Could be a destination for me in 2020 let us know how it goes and the SSB. I’ve never done SSB but it’s a popular filler so I might try it June before going back to Full Speciality.


Good luck - that’s a really good point about leaving a few weeks for holidays and illness.

I know you’re supposed to flex the training week but sometimes a gap and time off the trainer is a good thing.


Sound like you’ve taken to triathlon well, how was your first tri and first half?

Nice is a very attractive venue too, Bon chance!


Seriously considering doing the savageman 70. It is not an official m. Race so can’t be called 70.3. This has been on the bucket list for quite some time, as there is a secondary goal included. Make it up the westernport wall without putting a foot down to get a brick added to it. 25% grade…

It’s either this or i do xterra nationals since it is around the same time and doesn’t seem too different in fitness needs.


First of all, kudos to you for getting through the last 3 years, they sound tough and you deserve huge credit for getting to this point.

As @Amnesty has said you’ve chosen a lofty goal and I’d agree largely with that post. A marathon in the middle of a build up to a triathlon is rarely a good idea - the recovery from a marathon can be huge so I would give this careful consideration. I would also be recommending that to start with shorter distances to build up fitness and confidence before thinking about an IM, but that is obviously your choice to make.

A number of things struck me from your post

These are key I think. IM Whistler might be a realistic target, it might not be. At the moment it strikes me that you don’t know that yet either. Give yourself a period to train consistently before making a definite decision whether an IM should be on your radar.

You might have time to train but your body may not be ready for it. After a long period of illness and not training whatever plans or races you decide on, you need to be extremely conservative in your approach. High motivation is a great thing but if the body is unused to training any goals you might have may end up out of the window because of injury and niggles.

Please don’t see the above as negative - it’s not meant to be. Coming back from a period of mental ill health can have many challenges in and of itself and while your goals have the potential to be very positive in your recovery they also have the potential to have a negative impact should things not work out the way you want.

This is the most important part I think. While recovering handling the day to day activities and life in general is more important than the training part, even if the two go hand in hand for you.

So, my advice would be

First of all kudos for being where you are now. This is huge in itself.

Whatever training you start, keep it low volume and train week by week without looking at your longer term goals. Whether you are ‘slow’ or ‘fast’ your body can only handle a certain amount in the present. Train for your capabilities at the moment rather than where you want to be.

Give yourself the flexibility to change goals depending on how the initial training goes. If it goes well and IM Whistler is in your view realistic, great. If it turns out not to be change those plans without guilt or regret. That can be a harder but braver decision for both your health and long term sporting ambitions.

Recovery can be a bumpy road so expect those bumps and make sure you have support around you.

Good luck!


That’s definitely good advice, it’s always worth leaving a little wiggle room in any planning. It’s rare to have a long period of training completely free from injury or life events that get in the way for a week or two


Hi Maki welcome, looks like your path to IM began some time ago! :slight_smile:

It’s great to be confident in the water, I was never competitive but going to the pool a lot as a child/teen and a fair amount of scuba diving means it takes me a lot to get flustered in a swim - as a lifeguard Id expect you’d be the same and that confidence can save a lot of time and effort over 3.8km!

Ironman and IM training is long and hard, and often demoralising. Mental strength is key, with your track record of coming back from a dark place and roughing out some long events should help a lot.

Two things I’d reconsider are the number and heights of your targets next year. I’ve tried setting targets, it doesn’t help! Now I go as far as choosing a pace, and try to forget the clock. Several missed targets have brought me quite low, now I recognise the outcome is the outcome and only part of it is within my control. You’re setting yourself several personal bests as targets in the year of your first Ironman, my tip is to shift them to after ;). After IMUK in 2016 I did little training and two months later cruised to a twenty minute PB at a local Olympic, after a 2hr ride to get there. It felt easy.

Structured training is the way to go, so it’s good that it suits you and hopefully here we can all support each other. I can’t speak for your physical and mental challenges, but in your place I would look at the low volume full distance plan as IM is you A race, and put all the other events on your calendar into the C category, or defer them if you can.

It’s great you have a “team” as well, wish I had a physio and trainer!


Thanks for the feedback and the kind words everyone. :slight_smile: It means a lot.
I’ve already paid for the marathon, so I think I might just set that as C priority and walk it again if necessary.

Whistler is priority, as I already deferred once & I’m at a place where I have time to sort it out.

I think I’ll go with the low volume full distance & do the standard, half marathon & marathon in “for fun”. I have a feeling that I’ll be needing time to adjust to training.

The goal times were made up because it was suggested in The Triathlete’s Training Bible to have several and then subgoals. I’m ok with ditching the goal times & having them as “just finish” races.
It’s tricky, since I’m doing an advocacy campaign, and our race kit gets a lot of attention at events. I want to do events to be visible… I love the race atmosphere.

Thanks again for the tips!
This is 6 of the 9 who raced at the tri in March last year. It’s my 40th birthday weekend, so this year I hope to have a few notable athletes on the relay team. I already have a former Jr World Track Champion (she podiumed at several of BC Superweek stages this summer) on board as my women’s relay cyclist :stuck_out_tongue:



Up until now, I’ve just been doing events just because I could. “Just finish”.
After reading the advice here, I think I’ll have another season of “just finish” for the races & focus on getting consistent training in.

I have been considering re-doing the half-iron tri (mid September) I DNFed at after IMC for redemption. We shall see how I feel. I’d have a month and a half, it’s a flat course after the first 20km. The weather usually insn’t so crappy that time of year.

The good news (bad news?) is that I’ll probably end up doing more than one iron distance tri, most likely in a few years. Eventually, I’d love to do the Ultraman in Penticton (3 day stage triathlon of ridiculous distances). But again, there goes my brain ahead of me. haha.

I have a 10k coming up on Sunday, haven’t trained for it really, but I can go on autopilot and cruise easy. Might go with my friend who’s 10k time is 1h40m (mine’s about 1h15m, Garmin race predictor says 1h but not sure how much to trust that).

As for choosing a pace, I guess that’s be getting faster as the training progresses. I just figured having a pace went hand in hand w/ goal times.

My HIM time included a 10min mechanical, another 5min mechanical, super slow T2 b/c I realized I didn’t make cutoff anyway and took my sweet time. So I probably would have been a half hour faster, but that’s still waaay past cutoff.

I feel a bit better, with this mindshift of not looking at races w/ goal times. As long as I get in the training consistently (which I haven’t been able to do), my times will be faster.



Lots of IM training here!

I am planning on doing:

IMNZ March 2019
70.3 IMOZ May 2019
70.3 IMSC Aug 2019
70.3 IMSydney Nov 2019 (backup)

Mainly would like to finish IM<11h and 70.3 <5h. This should translate into nice All World Athletes rank.

Hope to see you out there!


Same day indeed !

Yeah, basically I will do the full distance base / build / specialty for bike part - swimming and running I do a bit differently to fit my schedule. I got some knee pains recently and I have to limit a bit my running so the plan is:

Swim: 4 times a week now, sometimes 5 - it’s something I put special emphasis till the end of the year, since it’s my weak point. Doing at lunch time

Run: 2 times a week - running back home from work, between 11-15km depending on the path chosen + maybe the small runs after bike on week-ends

Bike: I will do the full triathlon mid volume. I hope I’m not too optimistic here - I actually started the low one, but I really love it, feel no pain whatsover in the knees, and I can workout in the evenings. So I’m switching to mid this week. It’s a bit too soon - as for you, but I start now, and I will just repeat the end weeks of the base, to fill the gap weeks between this and the build phase.

Good luck in your training !


I’m hoping to do a 70.3 next October ( North Carolina). Fairly new to structured training. I’m working on base at the moment. Traditional base for the bike, doing a skills swim class once a week and swimming for distance solo once or twice in addition to that. Run training is on hold while I work on an Achilles’ tendinitis flair up. I think my approach will be the sweet spot base, sustained build and century plan for the bike for sure. Haven’t figured out everything else just yet.


When you get into structured training, be smart with speed work for running. One suggestion with running is like cycling… know your zones. This will help you so much with not making every run too fast. Too much running at the same pace will create injuries.


I just finished Waco 70.3 this weekend, which has been my A race since deciding to get back in shape in February of this year. The swim was cancelled, so we did a TT start by bib numbers. I finished the bike course in 2:39 at 178 watts average, 186 NP. This was a pretty strong effort for me and I was overall very happy with it. The run was a bit of a mixed bag at 2:06 holding 9:44/mi.

For 2019, so far my plan is focused around 70.3 Texas in early April. After that I’d like to check out a few cycling races, doing a 40k TT in May and then the local Crit series in July-August. I’d like to find two 70.3’s to add to the calendar in late 2019. Maybe 70.3 Lake Placid in September and Oil Man 70.3 in November.

I have the low volume 70.3 plans on my calendar leading up to 70.3 Texas, I was mostly following the mid volumes plans through 2018, but finding that I couldn’t keep up with the stress, while coming from virtually no fitness base in the last ~5 years. Basically every time that I would ramp up and feel good enough to complete 2 weeks in a row of all the workouts, I would come down with various sickness or chronic piriforous pain. Then I’d have to take a slow week or a week completely off. Hopefully sticking to the low volume plan will allow me to avoid so much injury and excessive fatigue.

Overarching goals for 2019 is to continue raising my FTP. I last tested at 205 and I don’t think it would be unreasonable for me to hit 230 by the end of my build phase, while maintaining my ability to hold a high percent of FTP at the 70.3 distance.

The big focus however will be on my running, as that is now by far my weakest discipline. Mostly I just need to build my volume up slower to avoid injury and keep my training plans on track.


That’s a great schedule!


Hey, i’m doing IM STAFFS, IMUK and possibly Wales… Not sure how I will hold up for the last one though, I’ve not signed up yet!
In terms of training I’m following TR IM low vol base, I’m quite happy with the plan. I’m also following Joe Friel tri plan. Anybody got any experience of the Joe Friel plans? He states a lot about working in Z2 HR but a lot of my trainrroad workouts result in me working close to threshold, is this good or bad? My real plan kicks in 29/12/18.


Two full distance in a year? You must love suffering!

I spent/wasted a lot of time trying to combine philosophies and training plans - Id just pick one and go with it. Unfortunately I overthink everything I do, so I’ve mapped all different peoples zones and calculations trying to get them to work together but it’s not very useful in the end.


Joe Friel’s plan got me through my first IM and it got me through that fine. I’d agree with @JoeX, pick a plan which you like the look of and go with it.

A plan is pointless if you don’t (within reason) keep to it so pick something that is realistically achievable and something you can commit to and you should do fine. For the most part it’s more important to have a plan rather than which particular plan you choose.


I just signed up for my first Full IM Chattanooga Sept 2019 after completing my first HIM (Augusta) this past Sept. I’ve already laid out my next 48 weeks of training starting with:

  • Sweet Spot Base (low volume I & II) plans with the hopes of raising my FTP while also focusing on some strength training and getting my run speed back up.
  • Short Build Plan(low volume) to follow continuing to build on some much needed bike speed
  • Full Triathlon Plans (mid volume) will bring me up to race day

I was really happy with the mid volume Half Distance tri plans last year and felt totally prepared for my event, so I’ll be sticking with Coach Chad’s plans for this year.

Wish me luck!!

Pain Cave