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Kona qualifier’s weekly training diary

Age-grouper Liz Pinches prepares for Kona this October

London-based project manager Liz Pinches shares her weekly training diary, as she prepares to race at the Ironman Hawaii/Kona World Championship this October.

To read more about Liz’s tri background and her preparations for Kona, please click here.

My training diary varies through the year, and is tailored for where I am in the season, but at this time of year, peak season my weekly hours vary from about 14 hours to 23 hours.

My sessions are planned around my four non-working days and I generally use a one heavy day, one easy day cycle, i.e, Monday and Tuesday easy, Weds = hard, Thurs easy, Fri= hard, Sat easy and Sunday = hard.

So here is a typical week:


Swim 3km before work. Sometimes 30 x 100m as a mix of swim, paddles, pull, swim. Or a set of broken 800s: 800m warm up/drills, 800m paddles, 2 x 400m swim, 4 x 200m pull.

Weights after work: my typical set at the moment is:

Warm-up lift sets, skipping, mobilisation.
4 x 10 x deadlifts at about my bodyweight
4 x 20 medicine ball smash
4 x 10 x 35kg front squat
4 x 10 x cable push (upper body twisting movement)

I also do sprints with a weight on sleds called a prowler, usually 5 x 2 sprints with 30kg.



Commute to work and home again (about 1 hour 50 easy spin)


3km non-wetsuit lake swim.

4 hour ride with 6 x hill reps at CP20 power or above.

Track session: warm up 2km with accelerations and drills.

6 x 1km at 5km race pace. (Max sustainable) with 1 min rests.


Off-road hilly run, steady paced (talking pace) 1 hour before work.

Club swim – 3km including a main set of approx. 2km involving threshold intervals.


Swim: 4km pool swim –typical set might be:

Warm up 300m
20 x 50m alternate ALL out and moderate.
500m pull/paddles
10 x 25m ALL OUT
cooldown 200m

Interval run session:

Warm up 10 mins, with drills
5 x 3km @ maximum sustainable pace. Usually about 4:15/km so 10km pace. Rest = 4 mins jogging cooldown.

Total = about 20km

Some weeks I substitute a long run instead of the intervals. Usually 2 hours 15 at 4:50 pace.


3km lake swim with friends to push me! Maybe combinations of 400m intervals or 750m.

Strength session. Similar to Monday. May also do some yoga.


Long brick. Up to 100 miles ride into 10km running. The long rides normally involve Ironman pace (or just above it) intervals, so something like 3 x 45 mins at 155 watts (which is 2.8 watts/kg or 75% of FTP).

To read more about Liz Pinches and see what advice Ironman legend Chrissie Wellington had for her, pick up a copy of issue 291 (October 2013) of 220 Triathlon magazine, on sale now…

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