Setting up an Ironman training timetable – Part III: Find an online training plan

So I need a 20 week Ironman training plan for 18 Oct 2010 to 6 March 2011 (Ironman New Zealand).

First resource is to search the tubes. I found a few free candidates (free is good!):

  • “13 Weeks to a 13-Hour Ironman” from Gale Bernhardt. 1-2 days off a week, 7-9 sessions, and 6-13 hours pw. Each session is described by a duration and an intensity. No session details. Sample:
    Bike 3:30 E3
  • Trifuels 38-week SuperCoach Ironman Workout. Contains 24 weeks of pre-season training and 14 weeks of race training. Really REALLY detailed session information. During the final 14 weeks: 1 day off a week, 11-14 sessions and 12-19 hours pw. Each session is described in meticulous detail: warm-ups, zones, drills, rest intervals, cadence, cooldown etc. (see example below). This is what I imagine a proper coach-provided training plan looks like. At first I thought it was too detailed, but on further reading, it looks promising! (and on even FURTHER reading it looks too technical!!). Sample:
    BIKE 1:40
    WARM UP
    10:00 spinning @90-95rpm
    DRILLS
    4 x 3:00 Isolated Leg Training w/30 sec recovery after each
    MAIN SET
    We're putting more emphasis on longer efforts at the higher 
    end aerobic zone to better prepare you for the long bike effort 
    of an Ironman.
    2 x 30:00 @75% w/5:00 easy spinning between repeats- 
    hold 90-95rpm cadence throughout
    COOL DOWN
    Spin easy (small chain ring) @95rpm,
    allowing your HR to return to 50% for the final few minutes.
  • Beginner Triathlete Full Ironman Training Program from Scott Herrick. This is a 20 week plan that is very similar to their Half Ironman plan which I’ve used and loved. 1 day off a week, 9-12 sessions and 8-18 hrs pw. Each session is described in 1-2 short sentences – nice and brief! Each week is a separate PDF which is kind of annoying. Sample:
    B: 90 at RPE 3. Again, practice food and hydration timing 
    that you plan to use during race.
  • 12 week Ironman Training Plans from Hornet Juice. 0-2 days off a week, 14-15 sessions and it’s pretty hard to work out weekly mileage due to the layout, but it looks longer than all the others week 8 is about 22 hours. They do provide details on which sessions to drop for rookies, but it is laid out in 5 different tables so quite confusing. Each session is nicely described with a zone, duration and single line description. Sample:
    Bike Z1-3
    3 hours including long steady climb: 30-45 min

This gives me plenty to start with. I think I’ll be going with either the Beginner Triathlete 20 week plan, or the SuperCoach plan (using the last 6 weeks of pre-season training and then the 14 weeks of race training). More analysis required!

The key things I’ll be looking for:

  1. The volume looks about right (no super-crazy long weeks expected); around 7hrs for a recovery week, building to a maximum of less than 20hrs
  2. I can manipulate it to fit my weekly schedule
  3. Not too much swimming. I’m aqua-intolerant: 2-3 sessions per week is my limit!

To be continued…

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One Response to Setting up an Ironman training timetable – Part III: Find an online training plan

  1. jontsnz says:

    Not quite ironman training plan related, but you can win yourself a cool techy scale that hooks up to the internet if you check out dcrainmakers blog at http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2010/06/withings-wifi-scale-giveaway.html. It’s a pretty cool blog that does super-deep product reviews. In fact, it was this review that inspired me to get my Garmin 310XT.

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