Ironman Training – The Beginning

After taking 2 weeks off where I basically just did a few workouts to keep active, my Ironman Arizona training starts on Monday.

I plan to use the Be Iron Fit book. The book contains 3 different plans, each 30 weeks long. After reviewing the plans, even though my goal is to just finish the Ironman, I plan to follow the Competitive program for the running and cycling. In looking at the volumes, I am comfortable in how they start off and also with the peak weeks. I also figured that if life gets too hectic or the load too much, I can always drop down to the Intermediate or the Just Finish plans as they all follow the same phases. In the early weeks, I may also run or bike a bit more than the plan as the plans start off with rather low volumes. For example, the first workout is a Z2 run for 30 mins. I may run 45 mins (4 miles) instead.

The swimming is where I will deviate. For the swimming, I will be following the Just Finish swimming plan. In looking at the swimming in the Competitive plan, it is just too much too soon, especially with the drills. Now, I know the swimming alone in the Just Finish plan also will not help me in my Ironman, especially after the rude awakening I got in my 70.3. So, I plan to supplement the two-day-a-week swim sessions with a 3rd swim session where I just swim continuously and also with Saturday open-water swim sessions with PlayTri at least 2 days a month.

So for the plan’s swims with the drills, I will do those without using my buoyancy shorts. For the continuous swim, I will use buoyancy shorts and for the open water swims, I’ll use my full wetsuit. I would thus be swimming 3 or 4 days a week and in a mixture of with and without buoyancy help.

The one part of the Be Iron Fit plans is the focus on Z2 training. It is a type of training I love to do and it is what I think would best serve me in my quest to complete an Ironman. I will use HR for the Z2 running, but for the bike, I will use power for the Z2 cycling.