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First Ironman

Hi folks,

So I live in Wales, the land of rain and wet times.

So basically I've decided to start training for Ironman Wales after my friend bet me I could never do it but have very little Tri training so basically I need all the help and advice I can get with training and diet!

My current times are (in my terms)

1 mile swim - 30 mins or less 

Cycle and run I haven't timed but I want training advice for them before timing! 

If someone can give me basic training schedule and diet advice I'd be so greatful!



  • Hi. 

    to improve in a disipline you will need three sessions in each per week. assuming you are not super fit (no offence) i would suggest:

    - One easy (run 30-45min, 60-90min bike, 45min swim) finnish off with 15 min core and legg stability for injury prevention.

    - one long: (60min+run, 120min+bike, 60min swim)

    - one high intensity (4*4min run, 5*5min bike, 10*100m swim,  + 20min WU and CD)

    stay away from threshold intervalls. This will not benefit you before you are training 18h+ per week. stick to high intensity. 

  • Im in the same boat Ryan, but not with a bet just decided to do an Ironman after being inspired in May watching it in Lanzarotte.


    Its a minefield to be fair, your swim time sounds good already, same as me, Ive always been a swimmer, leisure mountainbiker but havnt run since school, Im 52 now doh! .

    My plan is to work hardest on my weakest discipline, I started swimming once or twice a week, one distance session 2k min and one where I do speed work, shorter distance with brief breaks, I used a few training programmes I found on the net.

    I try and cycle twice as well, a short hard pre brekfast workout of around 18 miles and around the hour mark and a distance builder, but with plenty of hills, as Im assuming youll have a lot of climbing in Wales, the same as in Lanzarotte. look on the Ironman website and you should find the course, go and practice on it when your up to speed on your road bike.

    As running is my weakest discipline, I try to run 3 times a week, Park Runs are good for starting if your also not a runner like me, Im up to 10k now, but nwant to be at half marathon in 2 hrs speed by Christmas.

    Ive set myself certain goals as well with a plan to work towards Ironman firtness, my plan included things like swim 3K in an hour in the pool, do a Sportive on the bike, starting at 62 miles, then another at 100 miles, then I rode the Ironman route in Lanzarotte, I had a target time of 8hrs, it took 7 hrs 58 mins lol, but I know its achievable now before im at ful fitness next May. plans also include sprint triathlon, Olympic distance Triathlon and a 70.3 possibly before the big one, running 5K was a milestone, then 10K another, now Im looking to run those faster to obtain next goal of half marathon in 2 hrs. Dont make big steps, just little ones week in week out, I find it helps my confidence and enthusiasm as you get closer youll feel more like training hard as your goal will be in sight.

    I had no nutrition, so looked up stuff on the internet and bought a few books on nutritional meals snacks drinks for athletes, theres some very tasty recipes out there, Ive shed weight and continue to gain strengh speed and stamina.

    One thing I will say is, in no way under estimate the task you have taken on, your life will become training and aiming at that one goal, dont skimp on kit either, read reviews on stuff and search the internet for the best price, it will cost a fortune, but better you buy once and buy right and not buy the cheapest to find its not made for long distance or is uncomfortable.

    Another tip Ive picked up is try and train a few times in the conditions you will experiance in the race, my recent trip to ride in Lanzarotte I discovered for instance that my socks are to warm and half way through the ride my feet felt like they were on fire, no good if your half way through the actual event, same with my wetsuit when I get one, Ill do open water swim practice and sea swimming and try to do a distance swim, as I know neck chaffing can be an issue from the wetsuit. it gives you time to iron out potential problems, its gonna be hard enough without equipment issues.

    Good luck with your venture Ryan and finaly 220 magazine has been an excelent source of information for me  

  • I did a 70.3 last year and currently training for full course this May. My learnings so far:

    1. Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition - training 3 sessions per week of each is going to need a lot of energy.. I have found science in sport excellent, use their Energy powder and gels during, Rego post exercise and whey protein and overnight protein. At the moment I track everything that I eat and the calories burnt during the day to ensure i???m Getting enough carbs/protein.

    2. Regular massages - you???re going to get sore training on tired legs.. helps free up and tightness and reduce chance of injury

    3. Bike trainer at home - even a cheap fluid trainer means you can train easily at home, plus it???s more effective at doing interval training as it???s a constant load - I eventually went full hog with a wahoo kickr and it???s great but hard, meaning I can exercise at very specific watts during intervals.

    4. Training plan - for 70.3 I followed a free plan that was ok for that distance. Now following 80/20 endurance plan, so makes the training much more structured and actually makes me more motivated as every training session has a specific objective which makes me feel like i???m not wasting any time.

    5. Allow for sickness - allow some contingency in your training duration for either sickness or other unexpected weeks where you might not be able to train. if you have a training plan that is 23 weeks long then would suggest starting 25-26 weeks before event.. during a 6 month period it???s guaranteed that you???ll probably get sick once and therefore you can rest in the knowledge that you can pick up training plan again with enough time to continue full program!

    I didn???t take nutrition seriously during first 12 weeks and got pretty sick.. now with good nutrition plan am recovering faster and feeling overall better.

  • Hi Ryan, if you head over to my site I have a free plan to download, if you sign up to my mailing list. As far as nutrition goes, make sure you eat a balanced diet and to maximise muscle growth and recovery you can supplement with protein after long/hard sessions. (It doesn't have to be in shake form though, there are other options eg nut butter, yoghurt, lean meat etc) Make sure you practice your race day nutrition in training, you can train your stomach to tolerate food on race day if you practise. You need to find out what works for you as far as this goes. Hope that helps, Celia

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