The Ironman in 2019 thread



congrats on finishing Traditional Base 3, solid work. I haven’t followed it myself but it looks daunting. And 5 swims a week is :muscle: well on the way Sir! :christmas_tree:


Hi all. 24 years in triathlon and seen a lot of changes but still looking for a good 140.6 so competing at Outlaw.
The first time using TrainerRoad plan but great to see so many others using it. Looking forward to following everyone’s journey.


Hello everyone!
I’ve been using trainerroad a couple of months every winter the last couple of years but this year I’m thinking of doing Ironman South Africa in April. I just need to register and buy some planetickets…
So now I’m trying to complete the long distance training plans. I’m two weeks into the build phase, and it seems to work just fine so far. I’m only doing the bike workouts and plan swim and run workouts by myself. As I live in Sweden, biking outdoors is a little difficult during winter. Right now I’ve backed down to two swims a week and all my runs are at a slower pace, just trying to average around 50km per week. Will add a faster run every week in january and plan to add a third Swim two months prior to the race.

This will be my 7th Ironman, but the first one during winter. This is kind of an experiment to see if I can cope with mostly indoor biking and be in good shape already in April.

@JulianM, I saw that you did really well i South Africa 2017, well done! I actually added you on strava a couple of days ago. Do you have any recommendations on a good hotel? I’ve heard that the roads are not that good? Anyhing else thats good to know beforehand?

Thanks in advance, Patrik.


Thanks Patrik. Hope it goes well for you too!

I had a decent race although a poor swim, and that may be the biggest issue for you too. I was swimming OKish going into the race but as you might find as well, the first time I swam in a wetsuit that year was in SA a couple of days before the race which wasn’t ideal. Add to that it’s a swim in the open ocean with some really big swells the year I did it and it was really hard work, for me anyway.

I imagine you’ll be fine riding, all of my build was indoors on TR - my first ride outside on the TT bike that year was again in SA a few days before the race and I was in decent bike shape - I’m sure you will be too :grinning:

Looking back I went through Sweet Spot Base, a slightly modified version of the Sustained Power Build and then a 6 week block I put together myself to peak for the race. The other good thing I found was that training over the winter there aren’t any other races to distract from training. I race a good number of TT’s and while I do them because I ‘enjoy’ them, they can disrupt a good training block. That wasn’t a problem in the winter!

I think the bike course has changed for this year although uses some of the same roads? They are decent I would say. Nothing like some of the fast roads from some Euro IM’s but they aren’t too bad, just a bit grippy and slow. My avatar picture is from riding along Marine Drive from that race.

For accommodation we went self catering and booked a house in Summerstrand. There were 6 of us, 3 racing, so that made sense, and is close enough to the race centre to walk to register and rack and so on. It was also virtually on the run course so my wife could easily pop back during the event. Anywhere in Summerstrand would work I should think and is within walking distance of pretty much everything and only a few km from the airport. If I went back I’d definitely do the same again.

Overall I thought it was a good race to do, maybe because it’s the only one in the region it was well promoted and put on and did have real ‘big race’ feel to it.

Hope that helps - feel free to ask anything else that I might be able to help with :+1:


what ratios are you mixing towards? I have played around with the idea of making my own, but for convenience always fallen back on their pre-mixed stuff. been using MyProtien’s Whole Fuel, find the protein a bit too much, would like to cut it with a bit more carbs


Thanks for taking your time to reply Julian, I really appreciate it!

I guess swimming might become a bit tougher than normal as I wont swim outdoors until I get to SA. I might do a couple outdoor rides with my TT-bike at home before the race depending on the weather.

The bike course is partially new, on the way back to town you ride more inland I belive.

I will get back if I have more questions!

Thanks, Patrik


Haven’t committed to another Full yet, but might sign up for Hamburg again. Still bummed that 2018 the swim was canceled. Now I’ve got a sub10 in the books that is worth nil.

Only commitment so far is trying for a BQ in April and the Mont Blanc Tri in August. Things I consider, but haven’t committed to are Cascais 70.3, a few local Halfs and maybe maybe maybe Hamburg, Copenhagen or Challenge Almere. Whether or not I’ll do another Full this year hinges on how work develops.


Slightly less than 1:1 protein to maltodextrin. It’s a drink that I haven’t changed for long time so presumably I must have a reason for it being the way it is! I did research it at the time although that was when I was using it largely after weights sessions rather than endurance stuff. Obviously by making it yourself you can play around with the ratios and maybe I should look at it again.

Per 100g portion

50g Maltodextrin
40g Whey Protein
7g Glutamine
3g Beta Alanine

I make it in a big batch of around 20 servings and add a couple of small scoops of sucralose as well and then add some other flavouring drops when I mix it up.


Thanks, really interesting. will give it a try!


Only two and a half weeks left of base but so little achieved it’s hard to feel positive about moving into build. I’ve enjoyed the good weeks though, definitely feel better than if I’d stayed off plan. Swimming good, running good, bike not so much.

No entry into Ironman in my stocking this year either…Lanza starting to look unlikely!



What’s been the issue with the bike if the swimming and running is ok? TIme? Motivation? Illness?

Was Lanza the only IM you were looking at this year?


Okay, those were my feelings about fitness but I’ve done a little analysis.

The first five weeks of the plan were good.

Started with an FTP increase. I had planned to concentrate on run and swim, and let a few bike sessions slide which I had but that was okay. Culminated in my PR 10k run so all good.

The second five weeks…well it started with the family getting ill with me nursing I couldn’t train, then I got sick, lasted ages, got a bit better, got sick again, slow recovery…then family arrived for the holidays, no training at all last week. I still have a vestigial cough.

So if you take the last five weeks it’s only 3hrs bike, 5hrs swim, 4.5hrs run in total.

I’ve got to build back into it the next few days so I benefit the next two weeks but there’s no way I should put the planned TSS in.

If I can execute these last couple of weeks well Im hoping I might still have a base good enough for a build phase, if not maybe I’ll consider Low volume build.

Boy I was not expecting to lose five weeks to illness!

A bit more analysis and I still have two or three ‘spare’ weeks, and May is a fair way off, so perhaps not as bad as initially posted.


man that is a setback for sure! but there’s nothing to do about it, only to adapt the plan, re-test and move on. good luck with getting back into it! :muscle:


Thats really very disappointing. I feel with you!

But you know what? If you still love the sport and you don’t want to qualify at IM Lanza, then why bother at all?
I mean, sure, as Triathletes, we fight for every single watt. But a good finish is still possible and with “good” I don’t mean a personal record but a nice swim and ride and a marathon with only little to no walking break.

With training I wouldn’t cut Base too short. Don’t build up the weekly TSS too fast. This could be possible now, but you might break down in Build or Specialty.
A friend of mine (coach) said to me a few weeks ago: After Base you should be able to finish an Ironman (somehow). Build and Peak (different system then TR) only give you the speed.
So maybe cut Specialty short and do enough Base and Build?

Anyhow, don’t be too disappointed. If you still love the sport, continue with your Lanzarote Preparation. You started this thread, so you are kind of a leader for us. We won’t allow you to quit already in December… :wink:



Quite right, perhaps I needed a kick in the butt! Cheers.

Here’s more motivation - GTN crew in Lanzarote posted just last week:

Also pulled this off their Ironman Pacing vid:


I always thought the race winners exertion levels looked high, but are they really going at such a high % of FTP?



Illness always seems a little unfair despite knowing it’s inevitable for all of us. Out of interest, was it a significant FTP increase?

IIRC you were increasing your run paces as well after your 10k performance. Do you think that may have played a part or is it purely down to family illness?

What’s gone is gone though and making up training is never a good idea. Accept where you are and if you’ve not long had a big run PB and a bike FTP increase things can’t be too bad :grinning:


I always take those figures with a pinch of salt TBH. They might be a useful rough guide but the nature of each course can make them essentially useless for pacing in some places.

Take Lanza for example - there aren’t many places on the course that you’ll be actually riding at the average you’ll end up with. You’ll either be going uphill or into the wind and riding at a higher power or coasting downhill or riding downwind all of which will affect how best to ride the course in the fastest time within your own limits.

It’s better IMO to have a number of rough power targets based on terrain. For example, I’m going to ride around X Watts on the flats, try not to exceed Y Watts on longer climbs and Z Watts on shorter climbs and the average will end up where it ends up. The average will almost inevitably be lower on a hilly course like Lanza than a flat course.

Weather will also play a huge part in what you are capable of. Most everybody will go slower in heat and humidity than they will in temperate conditions and those who don’t revise their targets downwards in those type of conditions will usually end up suffering at the back end of the race.

Whilst you obviously don’t want to give up time time the bike the key is to ride the course efficiently using as little energy as is needed to get the outcome you want. There are times, most evidently on the downhills or riding downwind where the time returns on pushing extra power just isn’t worth it for the extra effort, unlike riding pure TT’s for example. Save the energy for the run which is where you can gain or lose significant time very easily. It’s chasing those average power numbers that you feel you ‘should’ achieve that can very easily lead to a very long walk!

FWIW I do display power on my head unit for races but ride to feel depending on the conditions and terrain and ended up with an IF of around 0.77 before my mechanical at The Outlaw this year, around 2/3rds of the way though the bike, and rode Maryland at an IF of 0.74


Good points, originally when I first raced with a PM I tried to keep to the average which didn’t work at all. I think there are flatter IM courses outside of the UK where it might make sense but at IMUK it was almost comical. Now Im focussed on having an upper and a lower limit - in TR terms I want to be in the Endurance and Tempo zones for the vast majority of a race, go into Sweet Spot for the tough climbs. But, in my last half for example, I managed to keep time in Anaerobic and VO2max in seconds, with only a couple of minutes in Threshold.


This could be helpful, too.
Red means youll probably walk during the Marathon.
Most important Message of this chart: The difference between walk and run can be only 2%.

For pacing it really is difficult. For hilly courses like Lanzarote it is useless. But even on flat courses it is Not that easy to hit a powertarget within 1-2%.
How would you know your bike split Time in advance?
How would you know your exact FTP at that day (remember these 2%)…
So for me this numbers can help to not overpace, but RPE will be most important for me on that day. (RPE educated by all these sessions in different Watt Zones during training)


I guess there’s two things here I was interested, how we pace our own race but also how race winners are pacing.

I’m usually looking around 69% of FTP, which is fine, but that’s a very different kind of race to someone who can put out 79-80%. Frankly it must be a lot more fun to be at 80%, feeling like you’re working hard where people like me are pootling along hardly breaking a sweat for over six hours :wink:

One of the big ‘problems’ of Ironman racing is that you likely only get one shot per year at it. These theories on pacing help you to be in the right ball park.