To participate in an Ironman, you have to be physically fit. If you already have a high level of fitness, you should begin by focusing on training routines that will compliment each of the disciplines involved when taking part in the event such as swimming, running and cycling. Here are 5 simple tips for training for an Ironman:
1. Adaptation period
The first four weeks of training will allow you to get into the routine of progressive training. At this point in time you should avoid thinking about the challenge you have set for yourself over the course of the next 24 weeks as your training will vary depending on how much progress you’ve made along the way. More of the high-intensity training and mental preparation necessary to complete an Ironman won’t be implemented into your routine for another 12 weeks or so.
Here are some guidelines below:
- Predominance of the easy rhythms in the three sports, alternating progressively a work of strength and speed.
- The training alternates between the different disciplines throughout the week. In this adaptation period, sessions must have a minimum duration of 40 minutes and a maximum of 2 hours and 30 minutes.
- Sessions are distributed in such a way that you never do the same activity two days in a row. It is indicative, so play with your time and availability to adapt the sessions to you and not the other way around.
- This period will allow you to lay a foundation at the physical and mental level (automate routine training), which will give you sufficient resources for the following periods
2. Mental and nutritional preparation
The Ironman is the hardest triathlon there is, so when you start training for it, you should be aware that you will need to dedicate many hours a day to it. Taking care of your mind and body during this period of time is crucial to your success.
3. Rest is key to Ironman preparation
Before going into detail in practice, it is important to clarify that rest is a key part of preparing for an Ironman. Rest, water and daily stretching are all extremely important.
4. Sports preparation
As far as physical preparation is concerned, you will have to reinforce your strengths in each of the Ironman’s disciplines (cycling, running and swimming). Therefore, the weekly training plan will include a combination of the three.
The amount of time you spend on each sport will depend on your fitness level, but the goal is that three weeks before the event you can train the next session:
- 3 hours of bicycle.
- 1,500 meters of swimming.
- 2 hours of running.
- Intensive training plan
This is an appropriate training plan to prepare an Ironman. Of course, it can be modified to each individual depending on your strengths and weaknesses.
- Monday: Bike + running.
- Tuesday: Swimming + power exercises in the gym.
- Wednesday: Bicycle + endurance exercise in the gym.
- Thursday: Rest + stretching.
- Friday: Swimming + running.
- Saturday: Bicycle.
- Sunday: Swimming + running.