The Ironman in 2019 thread



Hmm, the Half plan (Base Build spec) is 24 weeks if it were me I’d start that now and allow for a couple of weeks slide Christmas and February half term for example.

Julian has more experience with SSB though, could be good to mix things up too.


Thanks both, I definitely need to look at what I could expect from these other options. Basically I’m just through a base (although it wasn’t TR plan I have been using TR sessions) so I suppose I’m wondering if base - base - build - spec is preferable to base- build - build - spec. The only difference will be my next 8 to 10 weeks. And I suppose it’s whether I just use the bike part of the TR triathlon plan with my own runs and swims, or use a bike specific plan plus my own runs and swims.

Lots to think about, thanks :smiley:


Seeing a lot of love (maybe in inverted commas) for Outlaw :slight_smile: I’m signed up for the 70.3 at Holkham at the beginning of July and the full at Nottingham later in the month. They’ll be my first at either distance.

Currently I’m following the TR advice and working in an early round of full distance base but being a bit lazy about it in that I’m going to my usual club sessions for the swims and doing their sets rather than those prescribed (and skipping the third swim per week). My reasoning there is that my swimming form is worse than my fitness and I need to concentrate on drills under the eyes of the club coaches. Also, being the club secretary I need to keep in touch with the members :laughing:

I’m also finding that the ‘big Sundays’ in the plans are demolishing me, especially if I swap a group ride for the long indoor ride. It’s winter so there are fewer slower riders going out so I end up clinging on to the tails of stronger cyclists and this means I get home in no condition to do a two hour run afterwards :sob:


Definitely love from me for the Outlaw, it’s a great race. I might see you at Holkham, I haven’t entered yet but it’s one of the half’s I’m thinking of doing over the summer.


My plan for 2019 is 2x 70.3 - one in August (Ireland) and the other in October (Lanzarote)

However I am in the process of deciding whether or not to sign up for IM Lanzarote in May. My original goal was to do the two half distances in 2019 and then build up to full distance Lanza for 2020; within that the goal for 2020 is to go sub 12 hours - but that will be my first IM and I don’t know how realistic sub 12 is at first attempt so recently i’ve been thinking about doing it in 2019 as well just to complete it without any specific time goals in mind. Purpose will be more to do the distance, understand the physical and mental aspects of both the training and race, and if possible even enjoy the race so I can be more focused and competitive the following year

What do you think, should I wait until 2020 and build up to it with a couple of 70.3 under my belt or do I just go for it now and look simply to finish and then build on it the following year?


I foolishly decided to try my first 140.6 in 2019. I’ve done a number of 70.3s. Mostly just Oceanside 70.3 (I’ve done that one 5 times now, I think). However, in 2018 I did step out of the box a bit and I did Superfrog 70.3 and Indian Wells 70.3.

I think in 2019, I will plan to do Oceanside (already registered) and Superfrog again, then finish off with Ironman Arizona (already registered).

I was set-up for the high volume base plan, which ends this week, then I stepped it down to the medium volume 70.3 build plan and will stick with the medium volume plan when it rolls over into the specialty phase. I was having trouble getting all of the high volume workouts in, but I think medium volume will be much easier to stick to for me.

After Oceanside, I have a few weeks that I don’t have anything planned, but I’ll probably throw in sweet spot base work. Then, I’ll go into the medium volume 140.6 base, build, and specialty phases.

I’ve thought about trying to keep a vlog going. I tried a few years back for a big mountain bike race and I still enjoy looking back and seeing what I was doing training wise and how I was progressing. It gets me through a lot of tough workouts.


Lanzarote isn’t far off in Ironman training terms, I started six or seven weeks ago with that date in mind, but it depends on your background…sounds like you’re pretty good on bike and on foot already?

Most people would advise taking at least a year to train for your first Ironman - you sure will enjoy it more the better prepared you are…or suffer less anyway :slight_smile:


Is this a Ship of Fools or a Band of Heroes? We’ll only find out in the coming twelve months!

Having 70.3s under your belt is great experience. They often say a marathon is like three half marathons, I say the same can be true for Ironman being like three 70.3s, especially if the weather and your health is against you.

Good luck!


Thanks JoeX

Well done for signing up and hope it goes well for you. I’m suppose it’s hard to assess current fitness level to know where I would be starting from in January if I do sign up but I would be confident I could do complete a 70.3 at my current fitness level - it wouldn’t necessarily be quick but could complete it within allotted time

I think one of the biggest problems I have with it is my perception of reality; hence part of me wanting to sign up with no time goals initially. Reason for this perception stems from having lived in Lanzarote for 15 years previously and regularly seeing friends and members of the community signing up and taking the plunge to tick it off a bucket list - some of them would go from absolute beginner to completion with a 6 month training plan.

With my main focus being 2020 I guess I am thinking experience the suffering and make the mistakes that will inevitably be made now so I can be in a better position for 2020 - however I have made the mistake of over estimating my capabilities in the past so this is one thing that is holding me back (along with figuring out the best way to approach my wife and getting her support :wink:)


Man, I just can’t face it. Back from illness and motivated but it’s 2°C in the garage after work, I just can’t get myself in there!

It’s going to be the same tomorrow morning, so it looks like a swim instead. Maybe do some watt bike in the gym.

Okay so I did the swim, but brought the trainer into the house for the first time and got the session in at lunchtime (wife out, baby asleep, now I have to tidy up so there’s no trace of the crime).

I can see why people prefer setting up in their houses rather than cold, dark, overfill garages now. Oh well. Will make the garage sessions that much harder to do :slight_smile:


Oh man. It was so cold (relative for the south of the UK) yesterday that I was doing my workout in my living room with the patio door open and it was too cold for me to put the fan on. I do not envy the garage/shed pain cave folks right now :laughing:


quick update: I am wrapping up SSB II and after a week of christmas break I am commencing on the next plan. originally, with a bike focus this winter/spring, I wanted to

I am now considering to do HIM Base instead of SPB to stay consistent and not burn out with 2x build.

  • In comparison to the SSB2 VO2max, threshold and over/under workouts, HIM base seems a bit “easy” in intensity. On the other hand, the intensity is better matched for triathlon compared to a more TT focused SPB.
  • I am rather restricted by the number of times I can train, less on volume/time. I would have gone with SPB LV + adding run/swim workouts (each 3x), and now opt for HIM Base MV.
  • I would switch long aerobic rides in the weekend with sweet spot rides until the weather gets more pleasant (realistically during build).

any thoughts on pro/con’s?

hope you’re all doing well! don’t forget to update us!


I think either look OK to be honest.

How long is the time between the two builds you are planning? That might sway you one way or the other as to whether the two builds would work (obviously it depends on you training background and capacity for recovery as well).

Personally I’m a big fan of the Sustained Power Build for long distance triathlon. It may not suit everyone but it’s worked well for me in the past. There are a lot of similarities though between the SPB and the HIM Build though.

Again it’s a personal opinion but I wouldn’t worry too much about being too race specific a long way out from the race. I find that more than 10-12 weeks is plenty and I’d get stale from repeating race like training throughout a whole training block. The ‘Base’ part of the plan doesn’t need to be race specific IMO and in some ways would be better if it’s not.

If you can do longer sessions but are limited by the number of times you can train (if I’m reading it correctly?) you could follow the SPB LV template but use the workouts from the Mid or High Volume Plans and get more volume in in the same number of sessions that the LV plan has. Again, this depends on the kind of training volume that has gone well for you in the past and how much work you can recover from.


Hello! :wave:

I am a runner, and picked up my first bike since I was a teenager at the tail-end of the summer.

I did one super-sprint duathlon and decided to enter Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire :grimacing:

I think I was supposed to enter the first weeks of the half-distance plan this week or next, but I was quite happy to drop the first couple of weeks so that I could finish Sweet-Spot Base II.

Got no qualms over the bike or run, but swimming is my real limiterweakness.


If you haven’t already then definitely invest in some swimming lessons, currently going through them myself and it is definitely helping.
I fell into the same trap as a lot of new swimmers in that I did my research and thought I was doing well with my technique but only once I got into some coached lessons did I realise just how bad my technique was before
Good luck with Staffordshire, nearly signed up for it myself and then realised it was the day after my wife’s 40th birthday so probably wasn’t a good move!


Aye, my front-crawl is super-sloppy, so will be working on that that hard over the next few months.

Then come the outdoor swims: I suspect I will have to join a tri club to find some folks to swim in the local reservoir with. No way I’ll be doing that on my own…


Good advice so far :smile:

Swimming is almost all technique. What worked for me was lessons, focusing hard on drills and if you can manage them aim for multiple short sessions a week. Until you have your technique dialled in doing long sessions (But I’m a long distance athlete! But I already have an engine! etc.) will just ingrain bad habits.

Definitely join a tri club to get some open water swimming in. Keep these sessions short & aim for acclimatisation and practice sighting.

My swimming isn’t anything to write home about but I was awarded “Most Improved Swimmer 2018” in my club just last week which I hope counts for something!


Congratulations :tada:


@schmidt as requested a pre Christmas update!

On the bike I’ve just finished Traditional Base 3 and am moving on to a modified version of Sweet Spot Base in the New Year. It worked really well for me I think. The first few easy weeks gave me a break from hard training after a solid year ending with IM Maryland. Despite thinking it would be an easy plan to follow it got progressively harder and there are some tough sessions into the 2nd, and especially 3rd, blocks. Long and easy it most certainly isn’t. I’ve also discovered the dark side and Zwift racing in the past few weeks - that could get messy :open_mouth:

The ‘Disaster Day’ coincided with my last week of Traditional Base 3 so I made a last minute decision to join in with that and had a solid ride. I ended up with 4hrs 20 minutes with only a 10 second stop as I’d forgotten to plug the laptop in (doh!) and ended up with a NP of 219 and over 3.4W/kg for the duration. I was pleased with that effort.

I’ve been loosely following a 5k run plan which has been OK - only one 5k raced and my targets weren’t hit so I’llI try another couple in the New Year. I’m targeting a half marathon in April and my 12 week build to that will start towards the end of January. In the period I’ve been doing the Traditional Base on the bike I’ve averaged 48km running per week.

Project winter swim is well under way - improving my swim will I think have the most effect for me on my racing next year. I’ve hit my goal of at least 5 swim sessions per week and for a good number of those weeks have managed 6. My tImes are gradually coming down and although I find swimming hard work at least there seems to be a small return for the effort. I’ve averaged 14.5km per week. I’m aiming to keep to that swim volume well into 2019.

Overall I’ve managed just over 14hrs training per week in the last 11 weeks.

So a solid start to build on next year - hope it’s going well for everybody else and hearing how it’s going - have a good Christmas all :+1:


thanks for offering your perspective! I have 2 weeks in between, that’s why I was now holding a small inclination to favour HIM base. SPB with HIM base HV swim/run was my primary plan, HIM MV would be a step down in terms of run/swim from what I do currently. I sense that I could probably do the SPB/HIM MV or HV setup, it would follow nicely from the work from SSB II, but I would need to be conscious about run quality after the hard sessions and good recovery before I embark on the HIM build.

maybe I’m just a little stuck because it’s possible to go either way.