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The Ultimate 70.3 Ironman Training Plan: A Comprehensive Guide



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The Ironman 70.3, also known as a Half Ironman, is one of the most challenging endurance events in the world. It requires a unique blend of speed, strength, and endurance, and a training plan that can prepare you for all three. In this article, we'll provide you with a comprehensive 70.3 Ironman training plan designed to help you conquer this demanding challenge.


Understanding the 70.3 Ironman

Before we delve into the training plan, it's essential to understand what the 70.3 Ironman entails. The event comprises a 1.9km swim, a 90km bike ride, and a 21.1km run, all completed consecutively. It's a test of physical and mental strength, requiring months of dedicated training.


The Four Pillars of Ironman Training


Our 70.3 Ironman training plan is built around four key pillars: endurance, strength, speed, and recovery.

Endurance

Endurance is the backbone of any Ironman training plan. You'll be working out for hours at a time, so your body needs to be able to withstand the strain. Long, slow distance training (LSD) is crucial here. This involves performing your chosen activity (swimming, cycling, or running) at a slow pace for a prolonged period.

Strength

Strength training is also essential for Ironman athletes. It helps improve your power output, reduces the risk of injury, and aids in maintaining good form even when fatigue sets in. Incorporate at least two strength training sessions into your weekly schedule.

Speed

While the Ironman 70.3 is primarily an endurance event, speed is still a critical factor. Interval training, where you alternate between high-intensity and low-intensity periods, can help improve your speed across all three disciplines.

Recovery

Recovery is just as important as training. It's during these periods that your body rebuilds and strengthens itself. Make sure to schedule rest days into your training plan and listen to your body's signals.


The 70.3 Ironman Training Plan

Now that we've covered the basics, let's move on to the training plan itself. This plan is designed to be followed for 20 weeks leading up to the event.

Weeks 1-4: Base Building

During these weeks, focus on building a solid endurance base. Include at least three swim, bike, and run workouts each week, with one longer session in each discipline to build your LSD.

Weeks 5-8: Strength and Speed Work

Start incorporating strength and interval training into your routine. This could be hill repeats on the bike, sprint intervals in the pool, or weightlifting sessions at the gym.

Weeks 9-12: Race Specific Training

Here, you'll start tailoring your workouts to mimic the demands of the race. This could involve brick workouts (combining two disciplines in one training session), or practicing your nutrition and hydration strategy.

Weeks 13-16: Peak Training

This is the most intense phase of the training plan. Your weekly volume will be at its highest, and you'll be incorporating all elements of endurance, strength, and speed work.

Weeks 17-20: Taper and Race

In the final weeks, you'll reduce your training volume to allow your body to recover and peak for race day. This is known as tapering. The final week should be very light, with a focus on rest and preparation for the race.

Remember, this is a general guide, and your individual training plan may vary based on your fitness level, experience, and specific goals.


Conclusion

The 70.3 Ironman is a monumental challenge, but with the right training plan, it's a challenge you can conquer. Remember the four pillars of Ironman training - endurance, strength, speed, and recovery - and follow the 20-week plan we've outlined. With dedication, discipline, and hard work, you'll cross that finish line with pride.

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