Ironman Training

This week marks the first official week of our Ironman training plan with 10ironwomen. The plan is split into 3 phases with 10 weeks in each phase.

We were all recommended Be Iron Fit authored by Don Fink and Melanie Fink. The book is a super easy read and makes the Ironman distance feel possible. It describes the phases below and their top tips on how to train for an Ironman. Two of the most noticeable differences between this plan and others I have used for triathlons is that it’s all split by time and heart rate. There isn’t a single mention of distance which is a mindset change but I quite like it.

In the book there are three programs to choose from, Just Finish, Intermediate and Competitive. At first I thought Intermediate but the book encourages those who believe that they could do the Intermediate could actually do the Competitive so I am going big or going home. It also mentions that it’s simple to drop in and out of the different programs too as long as you are in keeping with the 10% increase rule to keep injury free.

So what does a typical week of Ironman training look like? I have added an example week from each of the phases and as you read this today I have just done my transition Wednesday slot.


Creating a base level fitness for the Ironman distance.

Week One

M – Rest

T – Run 30mins Z2 & Swim

W – Trans Bike 30mins Run 15mins Z2

T – Bike 30mins 100+rpm Z1 & Swim

F – Run 30mins Z1-2

S – Bike 1hr Z2

S – Run 45mins Z1-2

I will likely add another swim as I will be swimming Tues and Weds which means swapping the swim days.


Buildingu from the base phase and getting ready for the peak phase.

Week 11

M – Rest

T – Run 1hr Z2 & Swim

W – Trans Bike 45mins Run 30mins Z2

T – Bike 75mins Z2 & Swim

F – Run 1hr Z2

S – Trans Bike 2:30hr Run 30mins Z2

S – Bike 30mins Z1 & Run 90mins Z1-2

As you see here the weekend training sessions are both double days which is a step up from Base Phase.


The first week of Peak Phase includes a Half Ironman 70.3 race to kick things off. In the competitive plan the peak hours of training hit 20hours then it goes back down again the week after. As this week is a race week there is a bit of tapering.

Week 21

M – Rest

T – Run 1hr Z2 (@ 10min insert 5x1mins PU @ 1min jog) & Swim

W – Trans Bike 45mins Run 30mins Z2

T – Bike 1hr Z1 (at 15mins insert 5x1mins PU @ 1min spin) & Swim

F – Run 40mins Z1 (@ 10mins insert 5x1mins PU @ 1 min jog)

S – Bike 15mins Z1 (QC) & Run 20mins Z1

S – 70.3 Race – Swim – 1900m, Bike – 90km, Run – 21km

So this is what we have got ourselves in for, I will keep you updated with progress and tips I find along the way. Let me know if you are thinking about doing your first triathlon or even ironman!

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