Setting up an Ironman training timetable – Part I: Identifying my training blocks


With 40 weeks to go to Ironman NZ 2011 I need to start thinking about the training. First consideration is that our 4th baby is due 25 weeks prior to the race. Previous experience has shown that I’ll get little training done for about two weeks before and 4 weeks after the birth. So I’ve got two distinct chunks of training time: the first chunk is 15 weeks from now till the baby, and the 2nd chunk is 20 weeks from post-baby till the race.

A 20 week training block leading into the race fits pretty well with most Ironman training plans which seem to last about 20 weeks. I’ll be using Joe Friel’s “The Triathlete’s Training Bible” to plan the weekly periodisation. And I’ll probably extract specific sessions from random training plans off the net, like Scott Herrick’s “Preparing for your First Half Ironman” plan, which I enjoyed using for my half ironman training.

I’m coming off six months of interrupted, inconsistent training thanks to these dodgy calf muscles. So my idea is to use the first 15 week block of training to establish a regular daily routine – something I can easily hit week after week, and something that will give me a solid foundation to hit the 2nd training block with. The 2nd block will use the exact same daily routine as the first block, but with some longer sessions, and a few extra sessions thrown in. But the goal is to have already established the routine in the first 15 weeks so that the increased load is not such a shock to the system!

Of course, taking 6-7 weeks off between these two training blocks is not ideal, but c’est la vie! Hopefully I’ll be able to tick things over in there and keep the basic routine in place – but family will be the priority and I won’t be stressing if I can’t train (Gosh, that was easy to write; I suspect it will be MUCH harder to enact!). With the previous babies I’ve been able to ease back into it after a week or so. I’m hoping this will be no exception…


The next step is to structure my basic weekly routine. That will be Part II.

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2 Responses to Setting up an Ironman training timetable – Part I: Identifying my training blocks

  1. Great post! Thanks so much. I’m reading as much Ironman training info as I can right now. I’m entered in IM Aus 2012 and am starting from scratch. Heading over to Part II right now… Thanks again.

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