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Outline of my ironman training plan.

Outline of my ironman triathlon training plan leading up to Ironman Lake Placid


The run.

I have broken the run into 4 key run sessions broken up as a track set, interval set, distance set and an additional brick session. Each set is not my own creation, I have taken reviewed dozens of articles, research and videos of the best athletes and sports scientists to create the most basic but effective efforts for a solid build to a half and full distance triathlon race.

Track sets are to be done 1x per week and rotated through each week. Listed below is each set with a progression to be added as the weeks pass which include either increased volume or increased speed. All sets include 2 mile warmup and 2-4 mile cool down. It’s also OK to take sets similar in time to the hills working hill repeats.

Mixed set:

  • 3x400m @ :15 seconds faster than 5km pace 1-2 min recovery

  • 1x1km @ :15 seconds faster than 5km

  • 4x200m sprint 200m easy jog between

  • Progression: add 1km each week

Yasso set: take your marathon goal time and convert hours to minutes and minutes to seconds per 800 (ie: 2:50 goal marathon = 2:50/800m)

  • 4x800m with 800m recovery

  • Progression: add 1-2 800’s cap at 10x800

Ladder set:

  • 400, 800, 1200, 800, 400 @ 5km pace.

  • 100m backwards sprints + 100m jog back to start *stimulates quads and glutes to simulate run off bike

  • Progression: increase speed if able or add 1600m in middle of set.

Interval sets are meant to simulate a race specific speed with recoveries to bring HR down and focus on form/reduce injury risk.

  • 70.3 specific: 12 at Z3 or goal race pace 3 minute easy jog x 3-6 build a set each week

  • Ironman specific: 20 min at low Z3 with 5 min easy recovery x3-6 build each week

Distance set is meant to be a very easy RPE of 4-5 based on feel with various terrain including hills and build either 1 mile/week or 5-10 minutes longer. Lastly, it is key to do at least 1 brick run off a bike set. The bike. I have broken down the bike into 4 main bike sets with intervals and the plan is to choose 2 of the 4 sets and alternate every other week. Additional riding is also important for recovery and general aerobic fitness. Play with these numbers a bit, track your progression. Keep in mind it is more important to finish a session and say you could have done more than finish feeling toasted. Include options 1 or 2 in your long rides and 3 or 4 in a punchier ride in the middle of the week.

  1. aerobic set: 15-20 min on, 5 min recovery x3-5 at high Z3/Z4 or 85-90% FTP

  2. Long set: 20-40 min on, 8 min recovery x 2-5 @ low Z3 or 78-84% FTP.

  3. VO2 set: 2 min on 1 min recovery @ 98-105% FTP x 10-20 (ex: 3 rounds of 2 on 1 off x6 with 5 min easy spin between rounds)

  4. Max power set: :15-:30 sec on 1-2 min recovery x 20 @ 115-130% FTP (ex: 4 rounds of :30 on 2 min off x 5 with 10 min easy spin between rounds).

Additional rides should include zone 2 aerobic rides with some interval pushes between 4-8 minutes with at least 1:1 ratio of hard to recovery. These rides can be sweet spot riding or over unders. For example a session might look like 45 min build to Z2, 6 minutes on at 95% FTP 6 minute recovery x 3, 10 minute cool down. It is important when riding to mix cadence and do some big gear(low cadence) efforts to build muscular endurance as well as high cadence to increase build fast twitch muscles. The swim. I have broken the swim sessions down to 1 key set that is race specific, 1 form based set, and 1 speed set. All sets should have 1000+ warmup to start.

  1. race specific: 4k-5k total. main set as 200 at take out speed into 400 steady state 1 minute rest 100 TO into 400 steady 1 minute rest 3x50 TO to 150 steady :30 rest. 3x 50 TO to 50 recovery. 500-1000 steady with paddle+buoy.

  2. Form based: 2k-3k total. main set as 4x250 alternating free to paddle + buoy. 3x100 favorite technique drills include kicking.

  3. Speed set: 2k-3k total. Main as 30x50 with :10 RIB or 15x100 :20 RIB, or 10x150 :30 RIB. Don’t go over 150 for speed sets.


I always add 2 strength sessions in that are triathlon specific to meet certain deficits that I find I have. Along with these key sessions there is always room for more volume if I can find the time. Stay healthy, stay hungry.


Dante Hatem


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