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Ironman training which schedule to follow

Dear all

I have a number of various books on ironman training

(i) Your best ever triathlon (Friel)

(ii) From start to finish (24 week program)

(iii) Ironfit (30 week program)

Any suggestions on which is the best to follow for a wanting to complete within 17 hours first timer?




  • LancsRiderLancsRider Posts: 205
    I think from your list if you really want to simply complete the distance 'Be Iron Fit' is a good starting point. Personally I much prefare Joe Friels 'Going Long', but have also got 'Ironman Start to Finish' by Paul Huddle. The reason for this is I think they each have their place.

    'Start to Finish' at its core is a book which says if you have the pre-requisits i.e. you can do these distances already (basically around 70.3 standard), then you should be able to handle this workload, here is a training programme follow it. There is a bit more to it regarding tapering, race day prep etc.

    At the other extreme is 'Going Long' which outlines a lot of training principles and how to construct your own training programme. The strength of this book is I believe, that it gives you the tool year on year to analyse and develop your own training. What this requires is that you know your ambitions and want to take responsibility for your own training.

    'Be Iron Fit' kind of sits in the middle of this range. Personally it was not technical enough for me, rather the text is what I would call 'supportive', as opposed to 'directed' (start to Finish) or 'informative' (Going Long). There is enough in there to get you through your first event at this distance, and there is a sample training schedule. There is also a lot of stories from other athletes and how they manage to complete Ironman, as a result a large theme in the book is about time management.

    If you really just want to complete the distance and this is a great ambition, then start to finish might leve you feeling guilty if you miss more than one or two sessions, it is the nagging coach. Going long is about self coaching and trying to see the big picture, this is not really that important if it stops you from simply getting out there and working to your goal of finishing. As a result I think Be Iron Fit is a good choice in your position as it strike the right balance between what you need to know against what you want to hear when training might be hard and doubts start to set in.
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