Ironman Training Routine Options 

The key variables within any training program are volume, intensity and recovery.  Often for the sake of convenience we plan around a seven day weekly cycle when factoring these variables in. 

When I put together a training plan for an athlete that incorporates our squad program I take into account a number of issues including training history, age, goal event, occupation, family commitments and even their personality type. 

Some athletes would rather sit in a dentist chair than do a long aerobic ride of 5-6 hours but give them a 4 hour ride with specific intervals and they thrive on it. Both produce a similar training effect but the athletes personality plays a part in which one I will often prescribe. 

As does the amount of time an athlete has. A time crunched athlete may just not have the available time to do a standard 15-20 hour week training program so I will set them a 12-14 hour week. 

I have included in this article examples of a shorter more intense program of 14hrs per week and a more traditional program of close to 20hrs per week.  My experience tells me that to race a long course event well then you should be consistently aiming for 12-14 hrs per week as a minimum. 

If you’re able to get in closer to 20hrs per week you’ll get greater training adaptations and it turn a faster performance.  But to train for close to 20hrs per week is very demanding and it may have impacts on other areas of your life such as family and work. 

All this needs to be weighed up prior to starting any program and discussed with the athlete. 

You can see there are a couple of different weekly options with both the shorter program and the longer program. This gives the coach and the athlete flexibility to adopt the best routine for them. 

Our core business is squad training so the majority of the programs I write incorporate squad sessions into them. However these squad sessions are always appropriate for the athlete. 

These options are there for those not on program and who are part of the squad.  They can be used as a guide to help with your planning towards the key events. 

20 hours ironman program