Here is an outline training plan tailored for Chorley Athletic and Triathlon Club members to prepare for Ironman Bolton 2020.

The plan is split into the periods, Base 1, Base 2, Base 3, Build 1, Build 2, Peak and Race. These follow Joe Friel’s periodisation method from his book Triathlon Training Bible.

imuk 2020 annual training summary

Base 1

Each period is split into four week cycles consisting of three weeks where the duration slowly increases and then 1 week recovery. Base 1 is all about building a base level of fitness before you add intensity. The focus is on strength and conditioning in the gym, aerobic endurance bike rides and runs and speed skills such as single leg drills, strides or cadence work.

Some examples of the cycling workouts can be found here.

Short Aerobic Endurance Ride

Cadence Drills

You can find more cycling workouts like these on the British cycling website here

You can find guidance on improving running form here

A simple but effective strength and conditioning programme can also be found here

Below is an example of a weekly routine during this period.

Base 2

During this period force drills are introduced. The intention here is to transfer some of the strength and conditioning work from the gym into the specific disciplines.

For swimming, one of the swims each week should include a section using a pull buoy and slowly introduce the use of paddles. This will strengthen your stroke and improve muscular force.

For running and cycling, hill reps and undulating rides and runs are good workouts to improve muscular force.

As more force workouts specific to each discipline are completed reduce the volume of strength and conditioning workout to one per week in the gym.

Below is an example of a weekly routine during this period.

Base 3

Traditionally base 3 introduces threshold efforts such as cruise intervals and under overs. During the build periods we would then introduce anaerobic endurance intervals.

For Ironman training it is widely recommended to switch these two areas of focus. Anaerobic endurance workouts include short intervals above threshold heart rate, pace or power. For running, the Monday or Tuesday night interval sessions work well during this period.

For cycling the following workouts are good examples of anaerobic endurance sessions.

Intensity Slide

Russian Steps

For swimming, include a mix of short interval swim sets such as 20 x 100m with 10s rest and 5 x 400m with 20s rest. All swims start with a warm up, then drills to improve technique and a main set like 100 or 400 repeats. Distances should increase over 3 weeks period and reduced during the recovery week.

Chorley offer a swim session each week at Brinscall baths and at least one other swim session each week is recommended.

Below is an example of a weekly routine during this period

Build 1/2

By now athletes will have developed a good base fitness, gained strengthed and developed there Anearobic capacity. Now is the time to prepare to race.

During this period bike sessions should swap from anaerobic workouts for sweet spot and ftp efforts. Workouts such as the following are good examples.

2 x 20min

Under Overs

Short high intensity interval runs should now be switched for longer intervals at sweet spot or threshold. Workouts such as 3 x 6min at threshold with 2min recovery. Time spent running at threshold should be increased over the 3 weeks during the build period.

For example,

Week 1 – 3 x 6min,

Week 2 – 3 x 8min

Week 3 – 3 x 10min

During the Build period try to introduce open water drills and start open water swimming when water temperature allows. Some example of open water drills for the pool. An be found in this article. Open water pool drills

Below is an example of a weekly routine during this period

Recovery and Testing

Every four weeks a recovery week is recommended to allow the body to absorb the training stress and reduce fatigue. At least 2 consecutive rest days during this week should be included. We should also use this week to test for any improvements and check our threshold pace and power. Good workouts to check for improvements are a functional threshold power test, a ramp test, a park run, mile reps and the swim CSS test.

An example of a recovery and testing week can be seen here.

Peak (Taper)

During this period intensity & workload should be slowly reduced leading up to race day. In the first week, volume should be reduced to 75% of your build 2 weekly workload. In the second week of the taper period volume should be reduced to 50%.

Short taper intervals should be used to replace the threshold intervals. The intervals should last no more than 60-90s and the quantity should reduce as the event get closer.

Race Week

To be continued………