Training > Long distance

8 Essential Ironman 70.3 Training Sessions

The mandatory lunchtime and long swim, bike, run and brick sets to increase your speed and stamina for the middle-distance or half-iron triathlon…

1. SWIM SPEED

A race-pace threshold set that highlights the need to recover quickly and maintain the quality of each swim. Swim pace should be constant through the session as you fatigue...

Distance: 2,400m 
Location: Pool 
Kit: Pull buoy, fluids, stopwatch 
Nutrition: Eat a light meal up to 2hrs prior to swim and have a post-session protein snack ready

Warm-up
200m to include variety of strokes

Main set
 150m as catch-up with pull buoy
 150m as polo sighting every third breath
 4 x 200m @ PE* 8 off 20secs rest interval (RI)
 4 x 150m @ PE 8-9 off 15secs RI
 4 x 100m @ PE 9 off 10secs RI

Cool-down
 100m to include variety of strokes

2. SWIM ENDURANCE

Preparing for the distance and for changes in swim pace will help once you get into open water. This session has a bit of everything...

Distance: 2,500m
Location: Pool 
Kit: Swim aids, fluids, stopwatch 
Nutrition: Eat a light meal up to 2hrs prior to swim and have a post-session protein snack ready

Warm-up
200m to include variety of strokes

Main set
150m as fingertip drag with pull buoy
150m as hypoxic (reduced) breathing on 4-5 strokes
2 x 800m @ PE 6-8 off 40secs RI. Complete first 200m using pull buoy and include an increase in speed for final 100m.
6 x 50m @ PE 9 off 10secs RI

Cool-down
 100m to include variety of strokes

*PE = Perceived exertion. 

3. BIKE INTERVALS

A 1hr session to combine both race pace and strength by training above race-pace threshold. It also focuses on the importance of effective cadence...

Duration: 75mins
Location: Turbo or gym 
Kit: Fluids, stopwatch
Nutrition: Eat a light meal up to 2hrs prior and have a post session protein snack and 1ltr of electrolyte-based fluids ready

Warm-up 
5-10mins gradually building in cadence and resistance

Main set
2 x [12mins @ PE 8 race pace; 3mins @ PE 6]
6 x [2mins @ PE 8-9 increased cadence by 10rpm; 1min @ PE 9 standing climb; 2mins @ PE 6]

Cool-down
5mins easy to finish

4. BIKE RACE PACE

It’s important to include some race-pace efforts into your long rides, otherwise the intensity can become too easy and one-paced...

Distance: 90-100km
Location: Road. Try to create a route that replicates your chosen race
Kit: Fluids, energy foods, GPS watch, tyre spares
Nutrition: If doing the session in the morning, try to replicate your race-day breakfast. Take approx. 700ml of electrolyte fluids per hour and 180-220kcals per hour during session. Recover with post-session protein and meal within 2hrs.

Warm-up
 5km gradually building in cadence and resistance

Main set
80-90km that includes 3 x 15km at 10% faster than your desired middle-distance race pace. To improve strength you should also include hills.

Cool-down
5km easy to finish

5. RUN INTERVALS

A speed endurance session to improve aerobic race pace working at the threshold of what’s comfortable…

Distance: 11km Location Treadmill or road
Kit: Fluids, stopwatch/watch
Nutrition: Eat a light meal up to 2hrs prior to session and have a post-session protein snack and approx. 500ml of electrolyte-based fluids ready

Warm-up
1km with increases in pace up to sprints

Main Set
8-10 x 1km @ PE 8-9 aiming for 30secs per km faster than race pace
45secs RI between sets

Cool-down 
500m easy to finish

6. RUN RACE PACE

Running close to the 70.3 race distance and knowing that you can work faster than your race pace is a proven confidence boost – and it’ll also improve your race-pace threshold…

Distance: 16km
Location: Road/trail. Try to create a route that replicates your chosen race.
Kit: Fluids, energy gels, GPS watch
Nutrition: If doing the session in the morning, try to replicate your race-day breakfast. Take approx. 250ml of electrolyte fluids per hour and 1 x energy gel per 45mins during session. Recover with post-session protein and meal within 2hrs.

Warm-up
1km with increases in pace up to sprints

Main set
14-15km that includes 3 x 3km at 10% faster than your desired middle-distance race pace. To improve strength you should also include hills.

Cool-down
500m easy to finish

7. MULTI BRICK

Preparing to run off the bike is crucial and this session really gets your legs ready for that feeling – aim to run this at race pace…

Duration: 75mins
Location: Turbo/gym/treadmill
Kit: Fluids, stopwatch
Nutrition: Eat a light meal up to 2hrs prior and have a post-session protein snack and 1ltr of electrolyte-based fluids ready

Warm-up
 5-10mins bike or run gradually building in pace

Main set
3 x [Bike – 12mins @ PE 7; Run – 6mins @ PE 8]
Maximum 1min RI between sets

Cool-down
5mins easy to finish

8. ENDURANCE BRICK

This session is necessary to allow you to feel exactly what race day might
feel like – learn how to pace yourself in order to execute a strong run…

Distance: 70km bike/15km run
Location: Road. Try to create a route that replicates your chosen race
Kit: Fluids, energy foods, GPS watch, spare tyres
Nutrition: If doing the session in the morning try to replicate your race-day breakfast. Use the same nutrition plan that you’ve used for long bike and run sessions. Recover with post-session protein and a meal within 2hrs.

Warm-up
Use first 5km of bike to gradually build up pace

Main set
70km bike @ race pace; 15km run @ race pace
Consider walking once during each 3km for up to 1min to recover and refuel as practise for race day

Cool-down
500m easy run to finish

Click here for the middle-distance triathlon training plan that accompanies these sessions


 
 

Daily deals from top retailers

We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member

Back to the top