fbpx

Beginners Guide to Ironman Triathlon Training

by Taren Gesell

Blog ▸ Beginners Guide to Ironman Triathlon Training

An Ironman, or full distance triathlon, is a long-distance triathlon consisting of a 3.9k (2.4 mile) swim, 180k (112 mile) bike, and a 42.2k (26.2 mile) run. Learn more about this specific distance and our top tips on how to ace your race!

Ironman or full distance triathlon training combines the three classic triathlon disciplines of swim, bike, and run. With the step-up in distance and training well over the half Ironman, rest, recovery, and mobility exercise are very important because fatigue-management is a major part of Ironman training. In any Ironman training, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced triathlete, you’ve got to take care to increase your volume gradually, work at the right intensity, and pay particular attention to recovering well.

The Ironman is exactly twice as long as a half-Ironman event. No wonder it’s seen as the ultimate test of swim, bike, and run endurance. While physically demanding, the Ironman triathlon is also known for the mental toughness required for a successful race day. So, you’ll have to consider lots of different factors in your prep – and you’ve come to the right place to learn about everything you need to achieve your dream of becoming an Ironman!

Read on to learn about the basic race structure, how to train for an Ironman distance triathlon, training plans available to you, and more.

What is an Ironman or Full Distance Triathlon?

The full distance triathlon consists of a 3.9k swim, 180k bike, and a 42.2k full marathon run.

Ironman (Full) Distance Triathlon
Swim3.9k (2.4 miles)
Bike190k (112 miles)
Run42.2k (26.2 miles)

After crossing the finish line of any triathlon, many triathletes aspire to take that next step up in distance to complete an Ironman. There are many events to choose from, some known for a fast course, some with lots of hills or other challenging aspects. You can pretty much travel the world completing these races, too. 

How long does it take to complete an Ironman triathlon?

How long will one take you? It all depends! For top age-groupers, solid times on a challenging course can be under 10 hours for an Ironman. For the average triathlete, expect to be on course for somewhere between 12 and 13 hours. It’s a long day, with an early start and a lot of excitement throughout. With good pre-race planning, you’ll have the time of your life at your first Ironman.

average times
swim1 hour 16 minutes
bike6 hours 25 minutes
run4 hours 54 minutes
finish12 hours 35 minutes

To put this in perspective, here are the times elite level and world-class triathletes need to be able to compete.

elite times(Male/Female)
swim47 minutes/54 minutes
bike4 hours 16 minutes/4 hours 50 minutes
run2 hours 42 minutes/2 hours 51 minutes
finish7 hours 51 minutes/8 hours 40 minutes

Check out this average triathlon finish times calculator to discover the average time for your gender and age group to complete the swim, the bike, the run, and the overall triathlon finish time.

Average Triathlon Finish Times

Ironman Triathlon Course Cutoffs

Unfortunately, there are some restrictions to be aware of when training for a full distance triathlon. 

Since the full distance triathlon is a longer event, cutoff points are established for athletes to finish each leg of the race. This ensures that everyone starts the next leg in good health without jeopardizing their chances of finishing healthily. So, you should incorporate these cutoff points in your training. 

To breeze through the cutoffs, the first thing to do is identify them and calculate your required performance in each discipline to keep you in the clear. For example, you might just make it in time for the swim cutoff if you’re not the strongest swimmer, but you know you’ll kill it on the bike and gain back time. In any case, these calculations should feature in your race preparation to avoid disappointment on race day. 

As always, following a good training plan and working through the transitions in practice ensure you’re as efficient as possible to help you move through cutoffs.

Generally, full distance races require athletes to finish the 3.9k swim within 2 hours and 20 minutes, 10.5 hours from the start of the race to get through the bike, and 6 hours 30 minutes from there to finish the run. That gives you a total of 17 hours to complete the entire race.

Ironman Triathlon Training: General Program Components

You’ll want to embrace several principles as you begin your Ironman triathlon training. They’ll serve to help you finish the race in good shape and will support your longevity in the sport of triathlon in general. After all, our goal here is to create a positive experience in this sport, including many years of enjoyment!

Of course, you’ll need to complete training sessions in swimming, cycling, and running to train for your first full distance event. Depending on time availability and how long it is until your race, a full distance triathlon training plan spanning 24 weeks is optimal. You want to enjoy the race feeling accomplished and not drag yourself from aid station to aid station wishing you were somewhere else.

Completing an Ironman is not simple and definitely not something you can do without training, which is why we recommend a comprehensive 24-week training plan. If you’ve already completed a half distance event in the same year or are using that as a B-goal race, then you can adjust accordingly. However, a longer training block is even more beneficial. 

How much do I need to train to finish an Ironman distance triathlon?

To finish an Ironman – and to finish it well – you’ll need to invest the time for training. As you step up the distance, the necessary time to cover the swimming, biking, and running courses increases. Moreover, there’ll be course cutoffs along the way, which are not to be taken lightly, so the more you train, the higher your chances of finishing. 

To be confident that you’ll finish an Ironman you ideally be able to train for 11-14 hours per week (you can certainly finish if you train less, it’s just a little questionable). Training 14-15 hours per week will have you finishing strong, and 15 more hours of training should have you finishing well within the top half of your age group (if all goes well!).

How should I train for an Ironman triathlon?

In terms of structuring your training, more intensity isn’t always better. 

  • Studies have shown that for optimal performance, your training should include about 80% low-intensity work (Zones 1 and 2) and 20% high-intensity work (Zone 3-5). 
  • Lots of low-intensity training builds your base during the off-season, resulting in your ability to hit it hard during race season.
  • The key is developing an extensive base during the off-season by performing low-intensity sessions to acclimate your body to the long endurance day of a triathlon.

Low-intensity training builds mitochondria, the powerhouse of our cells and the primary energy producers in the muscles. And the nature of low intensity allows you to train for an extended period without becoming too fatigued, while high-intensity training teaches the mitochondria to work harder. You need both types of sessions with that high-intensity training closer to race time, so you’re doing the more race-specific workouts when you need them the most. 

I advise you to use these training zones as you approach full distance triathlon training:

Training ZonesRate of Perceived Exertion
Recovery1-2
cardio3-4
TEMPO5-6
vo2 max7-8
speed & power9
neuro-muscular power10

I use this pyramidal approach, also known as 80/20, rather than a strict periodization model where the training is either low-intensity or extremely high-intensity because it splits up training into heart rate zones. This method incorporates recovery throughout the week between sessions. It also allows you to hit the hard workouts with confidence.

That 80% of low-intensity work fall under Zones 1 and 2. Zone 3 offers a low return on investment if you continually train there. However, you’ll find loads of race pace and tempo training in Zone 3. I believe that race intensity effort is key to getting comfortable with the idea of race intensity itself, but you shouldn’t train there too often. 

Zones 4 and 5 build speed. You’ll want to consider VO2 Max and Functional Threshold Power (FTP) while building intensity. You’ll be training your body to go beyond what you think it’s capable of, thereby getting fitter and faster!

In this pyramidal training philosophy, low intensity forms the bulk of the training, roughly about 70% to 80%. You’ll spend between 10% and 15% of training time in the moderate-intensity zone where you need to be comfortable at racing. Finally, the high-intensity zones account for 10% to 15% of your training load.

Recovery

As you see above, I firmly believe that race-pace effort is essential so that people get comfortable with their race intensity. Generally speaking, more is more until it’s not, and the “until it’s not” is very important. More training is better until you start breaking down. And this is why recovery is a crucial part of your training. 

If you continuously increase your training load, you’ll eventually find yourself in a position where you cannot recover properly from one session to the next. In time, this compromises your recovery and your ability to perform your best for each session. So, in the end, this harms your workout results.

There are a variety of ways to recover between workouts. The ones you should prioritize are:

  • Sleep;
  • Low intensity or total rest days; and
  • Quality nutrition.

Sleep is the most critical piece of a good recovery. Your body repairs itself and rebuilds muscle while you sleep. Unfortunately, most athletes fail to get adequate sleep each night. The goal should be to shoot for 7 to 8 hours at a minimum. If you can get up to 10 hours of shut-eye, even better!

Some tips to improve your sleep are:

  • Keep a regular bedtime routine with the same hours, even on the weekends;
  • Get off the screens (TV, smartphone, tablets, etc.) two hours before; and
  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol.

As you get closer to race day, you can also try to “bank” some sleep. Ironman triathlons tend to start in the early morning, and nobody ever gets a great night’s sleep before their race, so try to go to bed a little bit earlier or wake up a little bit later for 2-3 nights before your race if you can. It’s not going to bank you a ton of sleep, but it won’t hurt either!

Low intensity or total rest days are essential. Without them, your performance will inevitably suffer. By training easy or not training at all, your body reduces the accumulated stress from triathlon training. Additionally, it allows you to feel fresh for your upcoming workout sessions to continue to build fitness.

Quality nutrition increases recovery. Fueling before, during, and after training is critical. Outside of training, a diet of primarily whole, minimally processed foods with ample protein is optimal.

Setting time aside for recovery and creating a balance between workouts and recovery periods aren’t enough. You also need to pay attention to stressors, i.e., any outside pressures and time commitments in your life outside of training. Recognize when they prevent you from recovering enough to improve your fitness.

Several indications of improper recovery include sore muscles, disturbed sleep, or lack of motivation for a second workout in the day. If you’re experiencing these symptoms often, you may have gone too far. At this point, you should consider scaling back the training load.

Mental Fitness

Triathlon is a challenge. That’s why many people seek them out – because they are hard. At the same time, though, stepping outside of our comfort zone, even forcing ourselves there, is unnatural. Your ability to do so is called “mental toughness.”

It’s widely believed that you can, in fact, train to develop mental toughness. That’s a valuable skill in triathlon because the more strenuous activity you can endure, the longer you can swim, bike, and run before giving up.

It’s probably obvious that you can train your mental toughness by placing yourself in situations where you need to resort to it to finish an interval or a workout session. The more you put yourself in challenging physical and mental situations, the better you’ll be able to push through them. That means on race day, the more likely you’ll keep pushing to the end. 

However, it’s worth repeating that you don’t want to “bury yourself” too often in training. Remember, 80% low intensity is key. There should be a few sessions with opportunities for high-intensity work in your training plan each week, which challenges your mental fortitude.

These include short intervals, moderately intense tempo efforts, and long endurance workouts that are more draining mentally than physically.

How to Train for an Ironman Triathlon

Let’s move on to the specifics of your triathlon distance and the relevant training for your 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26.2-mile run.

Once you’ve completed another good off-season of base building, your race preparation should focus on intense workouts. The longer bike and run workouts become very important, however, because a great deal of endurance is required for Ironman events. 

Swim

First and foremost, I recommend you focus on comfort and basic capabilities in the water. Only after that should you work on fitness and speed.

If you’re not capable of swimming 2.4 miles confidently in open water, perhaps consider a shorter distance triathlon like the sprint or Olympic distances. This is a more reasonable entry point into the sport and provides some longevity. Diving right in with a full Ironman if you’re not a capable swimmer is dangerous.

That said, let’s assume you’re confident and capable. Here’s what you can do to build fitness in the water. Focus on two things: 

  • Time; and
  • Purpose.

It will take time to improve in the pool. If this is a weak spot for you, understand that improvement requires attention and consistency to improve. To get the most out of those swim sessions each week, you need to swim with purpose, not swimming mindlessly without paying attention to your form, effort levels, or workout structure.

Swim sessions while training for an Ironman should last between 60 and 90 minutes.

One of the most common complaints from triathletes who struggle in the water is that they have “sinky legs.” This slows them down because it increases the drag and burns more energy as they are forced to pull themselves through the water.

Common faults that lead to sinking legs include:

  • Lifting our heads to breathe, thus driving our legs down
  • Kicking aggressively and wildly, which burns up a tremendous amount of oxygen and initiates a panic response
  • Kicking wide or spreading our legs apart as we kick, creating drag outside the body line.

What’s the correct technique to create a floating body position? Here are a few easy tips:

  • Gently press the chest downward into the water to counteract buoyancy.
  • Slightly tense the core from the belly button all the way down and around to the butt cheeks, allowing the legs to seesaw upward as a result of pressing the chest downward.
  • Kick as lightly as possible so that the heels just break the water’s surface.
  • Kick in a narrow channel, keeping the legs right in behind the body, reducing drag.
  • Point the toes gently, keeping them right in behind the body, further reducing drag.

So, when you get these points nailed down, this is what you’ll look like: The back of your head, your butt cheeks, and your heels will be at the surface of the water. You’ll be looking straight down at the bottom of the pool. Your legs will be in a channel only about 1.5-feet wide. You’ll be turning your head just slightly enough to breathe that it barely looks like you’re catching a breath (kind of like when a dolphin surfaces to breathe). 

Bike

When you prepare for an Ironman or a full distance triathlon, you’ll ideally want to prioritize three bike workouts in your weekly training schedule, as below:

  • One long bike workout should build up to a duration of six hours. 
  • One intense workout should focus on intervals building up from 4 to 6 minutes and beyond. Your longer rides should include sustained intervals around at least an hour, if not longer.
  • One steady bike workout should focus on spending time in the aero position while paying particular attention to your cadence.
  • BONUS: You can add in a recovery ride during the week if time permits. A nice, relaxed ride keeps your legs moving and gets your body acclimated to being on the bike for an extended period.

Run

Run training is hard, but it’s crucial because running is where you can undo all of your good training by having a terrible time on race day. 

Paying careful attention to your running form and allowing yourself sufficient low-intensity running are critical to all levels, whether in an intermediate Ironman training plan or for first-timers.

Since it’s a weight-bearing exercise, running drives your heart rate up more than biking or swimming. However, when your heart rate increases too often, stress hormones accumulate, which increases the risk of injury, getting sick, and overtraining. Stress hormones also make it hard to perform well during your fast training, preventing you from pushing hard enough to generate a positive training response.

All of this means that a lot of your run training should be done at low intensity. It doesn’t really matter what the pace is. People might say, “Well, what happens if I’m walking? How is that building any fitness?” You’re still doing weight-bearing exercise. You’re still teaching your body to endure that weight.

The goal of low-intensity running is not to make you faster. It’s to build a lot of mitochondria, which you do by staying in the right zone. Another goal is to build durability, enabling you to continue in that upright running or walking fashion for an extended period of time.

While most of your runs should be low intensity, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the hard stuff either. Early on in your training, you should include sprints so that you can build the neuromuscular ability to turn your legs over quickly and unlock that ability to run fast. 

During the first few weeks of an Ironman triathlon training plan, include several 10-to-30-second bursts to recruit a lot of muscle fibers. Then transition into short intervals beginning at 2 minutes and working your way up to 6 and 7 minutes. 

Ideally, also include intense runs where you spend upwards of an hour at your tempo pace. You’ll do this within the final 6 to 8 weeks especially.

As for your longer runs, make sure to gradually increase the distance by 10% each week, building up to a split run of 2.5 hours in the morning, followed by 1.5 hours in the afternoon. Ideally, this big run day takes place the day after your main bike and brick run.

Strength training

Strength training is a critical part of any endurance training plan. It should be included throughout the entire program. Studies repeatedly support cutting back on your total amount of endurance training (swim, bike, run) and substituting it with strength training. You’re more likely to perform better than if you had done nothing but endurance training.

For example, we know that strength training increases runners’ speed and VO2 Max. Moreover, it’s been proven that strength exercises help prevent injury by giving you the tools to better support your joints during weight-bearing workouts like running. Other studies looking at endurance triathletes show the importance of strength training for developing exercise economy, i.e., making you more efficient, so you’re spending less energy when you’re racing. 

In a nutshell, strength training makes you stronger, more explosive, and more stable. It’s especially important for adult amateur endurance athletes because it prevents muscle loss, which contributes to aging and poor hormones. 

Strength training should be intense and frequent outside of race-specific training. The My Mottiv app provides 30-minute sessions up to 3 times per week. These are intense and will leave you feeling fit, confident, and accomplished.

We back off to just one strength workout per week during race-specific training, focusing more on muscle activation with lighter weights and more mobility. 

Mobility

Triathletes travel in a straight line, but we still need to be mobile. Incorporating something like yoga can have a profound effect on your fitness and stave off the aging process. Moreover, we’re more susceptible to falls and broken bones without mobility and agility training as we get older. It sounds crazy, but a fall could not only take you out of your fitness but also worsen your quality of life going forward.

Endurance training, believe it or not, is a detriment to mobility because we are repeatedly in a single range of motion. Falling into that pattern of only traveling in a straight line makes us very one-dimensional. 

To combat the adverse effects of the repeated motions of swim, bike, and run training, we need to test ourselves laterally, side to side, or in different ranges of motion, along with our balance and quick ground reaction time. This improves our mobility to maintain a high-quality of life without risking injury as we age. 

So, add some stretching and mobility work to your full distance training plan to stay as mobile as possible.

Ironman Distance Triathlon Training Plan for Beginners

As I mentioned earlier, with a good off-season and base-building that features plenty of low-intensity training, your in-season full distance triathlon preparation should focus on high-intensity workouts. 

Pacing for an Ironman triathlon is a six out of ten. You certainly don’t need to and should not train near your maximum capacity at all times. 

Race nutrition is a much more significant concern as you step into long-course racing. Racing for many hours at a reasonable intensity level requires a specific nutrition strategy. 

The same two general rules of thumb still apply as you calculate and build your race nutrition:

  • Take in roughly 240 calories from carbs per hour; and 
  • One bottle of light electrolytes per hour.

However, you must dial in your exact caloric needs. You can learn exactly how to do that with our race day nutrition calculator.

Triathlon Nutrition Calculator

Accessing fat as a fuel source is an essential consideration at any race lasting longer than 4 hours, including half-Ironman 70.3 or Ironman distance races for most people. 

Let’s look at an Ironman distance race where the average finish time is about 13 hours, enough time for things to get entirely out of hand nutritionally if you’re unprepared.

For the sake of simplicity, we can group most triathletes into two categories: good fat burners and bad fat burners. If you’re eating a typical Western diet, you’re likely a bad fat burner and will only burn 0.4 grams of fat per minute. However, with a little training, it’s not unreasonable to see this fat-burning increase to 1.2 grams of fat per minute.

To become a good fat burner, you must employ a timed carbohydrate approach to training and racing. 

This results in three times the amount of fat calories per minute and per hour and throughout the race. While you’re still burning 1,000 calories per hour, the fuel supply is almost endless at this point because: 

  • your pace won’t fall off;
  • your body won’t break down; and
  • your body will have the energy that it needs to perform the task. 

Here’s an example of an Ironman distance race by a poor fat burner versus a good fat burner. Science nerds, prepare to geek out!

POOR FAT BURNER
Calories stored in muscle glycogen:2,250 (most people store 2,000-2,500)
Calories consumed:
(60g per hour x 4 calories per gram x 13 hours is the max most people can safely digest)
3,120
Calories from burned fat:
(0.4g fat per minute [average for typical Western diet eaters] x 9 calories per gram of fat x 60 minutes per hour x 13 hours)
2,808
Total available calories:8,178 available calories
Total calories burned:10,259 (calculation based on 185-lb triathlete)
= CALORIE SHORTFALL:-2,081 deficit
Good FAT BURNER
Calories stored in muscle glycogen:2,250 (most people store 2,000-2,500)
Calories consumed:
(60g per hour x 4 calories per gram x 13 hours is the max most people can safely digest)
3,120
Calories from burned fat:
(1.2g fat per minute [average for typical Western diet eaters x 9 calories per gram of fat x 60 minutes per hour x 13 hours)
8,424
Total available calories:13,794 available calories
Total calories burned:10,259 (calculation based on 185lb triathlete)
= CALORIE surplus:+3,535 surplus!

To look and feel your best, you’ll want to maintain good daily nutritional habits while you’re training. To do that, you’ll want to:

  • Eat before workouts
  • Eat carbs before the hard workouts
  • Eat carbs plus protein within 30 minutes of a workout 
  • Drink fluid with electrolytes at a rate of one bottle per hour 

During the timed carbohydrate approach, eat before a workout but restrict carbs before and during the easy workouts. The longer you build the ability to burn fat as fuel with a timed carbohydrate approach, the longer your endurance for riding and running. 

I strongly encourage eating before your workouts and avoiding fasted workouts because of the risk of developing relative energy deficiency syndrome (RED-S). You mostly hear about RED-S occurring in female athletes; however, males have trouble with this as well. Not consuming enough calories is one of the most significant issues that cause endurance athletes to have hormone issues, sleep issues, bone loss, muscle loss, poor performance, and a poor quality of life.

Therefore, I can’t stress enough how important it is to fuel appropriately. 

Ironman Triathlon Training scheduling

In terms of building out your weekly training schedule, I recommend setting it up to work with your life and work commitments.

If this fits, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are key, very intense, and solid training days. You’ll see multiple sessions on a single day within these higher-intensity days each week.

Move shorter, more recovery-focused workouts to Mondays and Fridays. This allows you to recover from intense training weekends while also preparing for the upcoming intense days. It’s the same idea on Fridays: recover from a big stretch and prepare for the heavy volume days of Saturday and Sunday. Think of active recovery and lower intensity swims, bikes, and even runs. 

For your swims, as you get into specific race prep, workouts can last anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes a few times per week. 

For the bike and run, we’re targeting an epic 6-hour ride on the bike and a double-run day featuring 2.5 hours in the morning followed by 1.5 hours in the afternoon. You’ll reach this by starting wherever you are — whatever a long bike and a long run mean to you is fine. Start there and build up by 10% each week. Every third week, take a rest week where you do roughly 60% of your previous high and then build up by 10% the next two weeks from your last highs.

Remember: You don’t need to run a full marathon in training to be prepared for race day!

Beginner Ironman Training Plans

Part of your full distance triathlon training plan is to determine when you’ll actually start training. You’ll have to plan on 14.5 hours (on average) of training per week. Many days, you’ll have two workouts. The goal to “finish feeling strong” requires more training hours than to “just finish the race.” 

Having a good sense of how long it’ll take you to build the proper amount of fitness and the required training per week is essential. To help you figure out those details specific to you, check out our When to Start Preparing calculator.

Once you’ve nailed down this crucial detail, you can choose the full distance Ironman training plan below that best fits your needs.

Triathlon Training Calculator

8 weeks 12 weeks 16 weeks 24 weeks

MONDAYTUESDAYWEDNESDAYTHURSDAYFRIDAYSATURDAYSUNDAY
WEEK 1Technique Swim
40 mins total. 2×300 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
57 mins total. Repeat six times: 4.5mins high Zone 4, 2mins easy

Brick run bonus:
Run for 20mins after a bike
Main Swim
60 mins total. 7×200 at 85% effort with 10sec rest. 

Intense Run
56 mins total. 9x2mins at fast effort, with 2mins easy jog rest between.
Steady Bike
95 mins total. Repeat the following 10min sequence eight times, all at high Zone 3, 2mins easy spin rest between: 2mins 80 cadence, 2mins 70 cadence, 2mins 60 cadence, 2mins 50 cadence
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×400 at 80% effort with 30sec rest.
Main Bike
120 mins total. 3x5min race effort with 2.5min easy spin between.

Brick Run
40 mins total. Start the brick run with 5mins FAST then settle into Zone 1 or 2
Main Run
105 mins total. 1:45hr easy run in Zone 2.
WEEK 2Technique Swim
40 mins total. 20×25 with 10sec rest. Cycle through 25s going 70-70-85-95% efforts.
Intense Bike
57 mins total. Repeat six times: 5mins high Zone 4, 90sec easy

Brick run bonus:
Run for 20mins after a bike
Main Swim
60 mins total. 5×200 at 70% effort with 60sec rest. 

Intense Run
60 mins total. 9×2.5mins at fast effort, with 2mins easy jog rest between.
Steady Bike
95 mins total. Repeat the following 10min sequence eight times, all at high Zone 3: 1mins 80 cadence, 1mins 70 cadence, 3mins 60 cadence, 3mins 50 cadence, 2mins easy spin rest.
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 5×100 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Main Bike
150 mins total. 4x5min race effort with 2.5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
40 mins total. Start the brick run with 10mins FAST then settle into Zone 2
Main Run
105 mins total. 1:45hr easy run in Zone 2. Include 10mins above race effort towards the end.
WEEK 3
REST
Technique Swim
40 mins total. 4×100 at 90-75% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
43 mins total. Repeat fifteen times: 60sec Zone 5, 30sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus: Run for 20mins as soon after bike as possible.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 6×100 at 85% effort with 20sec rest. 

Intense Run
45 mins total. Perform the first third of this run at easy Zone 2 warm up pace. Perform the second third of this run at your target race pace. Perform the final third of this run at tempo pace
Steady Bike
60 mins total. Repeat the following 5min exiting T1 sequence ten times: 30sec low 50-60 cadence Zone 3 pedaling NOT IN AEROBARS preventing a spiked heart rate, 90sec Zone 2 in aerobars at race cadence to keep heart rate from spiking and simulate getting up to speed, 2min in aerobars at race effort and cadence, 1min easy recovery
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 400 at 80% effort with 30sec rest.
Main Bike
80 mins total. Remain in easy Zone 1 or 2 throughout.

Brick Run
25 mins total. Keep this cruisy, stick in Zone 2
Main Run
75 mins total. 75min easy jog all in Zone 2.
WEEK 4Technique Swim
40 mins total. 3×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
50 mins total. 20 repeats: 50sec Zone 5, 40sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
25 mins total. Keep intensity low in Zones 1 or 2.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 14×100 at 80% effort. 

Intense Run
55 mins total. 7x3mins at Zone 4 effort, with 2mins easy jog between.
Steady Bike
80 mins total. 3x20mins at top of Zone 3/bottom of Zone 4
Recovery Bike
90 mins total. 90 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 3×500.
Main Bike
165 mins total. 5x5min slightly above race effort with 2.5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
40 mins total. Run the first half at your target race pace.
Main Run
105 mins total. 1:45hr easy run in Zone 2. Include 15mins above race effort towards the end.
WEEK 5Technique Swim
40 mins total. 5×100 at 85% effort with 20sec rest.
Intense Bike
50 mins total. 20 repeats: 1min Zone 5, 30sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus: 25 mins total. Keep intensity low in Zones 1 or 2.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 500 at 85% effort, 15sec rest, 100 easy recovery, 400 at 85%, 100 easy recovery, 15sec rest, 300 at 85% effort, 15sec rest, 100 easy recovery, 15sec rest, 200 at 85% effort.

Intense Run
52 mins total. 7x3mins at Zone 4 effort, with 1.5mins easy jog between.
Steady Bike
80 mins total. 3x20mins at top of Zone 3/bottom of Zone 4: 7mins of cadence at 50, 5mins of cadence at 60, 5mins of cadence at 70. 3mins easy spin.
Recovery Bike
90 mins total. 90 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 3×100 at 75% effort with 10sec rest.

Main Bike
205 mins total. 3x10min slightly above race effort with 5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
40 mins total. Run the first 25mins at your target race pace.
Main Run
105 mins total. Include 2x10mins at race effort towards the end, 5mins easy jog rest between.
WEEK 6
REST
Technique Swim
40 mins total. 2×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
41 mins total. Repeat three times: 5mins Zone 4, 2mins easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
25 mins total. Keep intensity in Zones 1 or 2.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 8×100 at 80% effort.

Intense Run
50 mins total. 50min run in Zones 1 or 2 besides: 20mins at tempo pace
Steady Bike 50 mins total. Repeat twice with 5mins easy spin between: 15mins with HR right at top of Zone 2, lower 55-75 cadence.Recovery Bike
90 mins total. 90 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×500 at Varying effort with 60sec rest.
Main Bike
120 mins total. Remain in Zone 2 throughout at steady pace, Inlude 5 x30sec pick ups not all out max with 30 sec easy spin in between at some point.

Brick Run
30 mins total. Run for 30mins immediately after a bike at easy pace.
Main Run
90 mins total. 90min easy jog all in Zone 2.
WEEK 7Technique Swim
40 mins total. 4×100 at 80% effort with 20sec rest.
Intense Bike
55 mins total. Repeat five times: 4.5mins Zone 4, 3.5mins easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
20 mins total. 20min run immediately after a bike at race pace.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 5×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.

Intense Run
60 mins total. 8×3.5mins at Zone 4 effort, with 1.5mins easy jog between.
Steady Bike
84 mins total. Repeat six times: 3mins Zone 3 with 60-70 cadence, 3mins Zone 3 with +100 cadence, 3mins Zone 4 with 60-70 cadence, 3mins easy spin.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 500 at 70-85% effort.
Main Bike
225 mins total. 6x5min 5% above race effort with 2.5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
30 mins total. 30min run immediately after a bike at race pace.
Main Run
120 mins total. Include 20mins at race effort towards the end.
WEEK 8
TAPER
Technique Swim
30 mins total. Small race simulation of 12×100: dive start then 10 strokes race take out effort, settle in to 75%, deck up and 10sec of jogging or calisthenics, 1min rest, 2 sights per 25.
Intense Bike
30 mins total. Repeat the following 5min sequence five times all in aerobars: 2min Zone 2, 30sec building up to high Zone 4 for final 10sec, 2min Zone 2, 30sec low 50-60 cadence Zone 4 

Brick run bonus: 20 mins total. Run comfortably for 15-20min without worrying about pacing at all, just feel good
Main Swim
40 mins total. 600 race effort continuous swim.

Intense Run
30 mins total. 30min run in Zone 2 with 8x30sec fast pick ups spread throughout.
Steady Bike
30 mins total. 25min Zone 2 all in aerobars, include 5x1min building to just above race effort
Recovery Bike
30 mins total. 30min easy spin with no efforts, just get blood moving and feel good.

Steady Swim
30 mins total. 400: starting at 70% increasing effort each 100 to 75-80-85%.
Race Day Eve Swim
10 mins 
Race Day Eve Bike
20 mins 
Race Day Eve Run
10 mins
RACE DAY!
8 week Ironman triathlon plan by MoTTIV
MONDAYTUESDAYWEDNESDAYTHURSDAYFRIDAYSATURDAYSUNDAY
WEEK 1Technique Swim
40 mins total. 2×300 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
57 mins total. Repeat six times: 4.5mins high Zone 4, 2mins easy

Brick run bonus:
Run for 20mins after a bike
Main Swim
60 mins total. 7×200 at 85% effort with 10sec rest. 

Intense Run
56 mins total. 9x2mins at fast effort, with 2mins easy jog rest between.
Steady Bike
95 mins total. Repeat the following 10min sequence eight times, all at high Zone 3, 2mins easy spin rest between: 2mins 80 cadence, 2mins 70 cadence, 2mins 60 cadence, 2mins 50 cadence
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×400 at 80% effort with 30sec rest.
Main Bike
120 mins total. 3x5min race effort with 2.5min easy spin between.

Brick Run
40 mins total. Start the brick run with 5mins FAST then settle into Zone 1 or 2
Main Run
105 mins total. 1:45hr easy run in Zone 2.
WEEK 2Technique Swim
40 mins total. 20×25 with 10sec rest. Cycle through 25s going 70-70-85-95% efforts.
Intense Bike
57 mins total. Repeat six times: 5mins high Zone 4, 90sec easy

Brick run bonus:
Run for 20mins after a bike
Main Swim
60 mins total. 5×200 at 70% effort with 60sec rest. 

Intense Run
60 mins total. 9×2.5mins at fast effort, with 2mins easy jog rest between.
Steady Bike
95 mins total. Repeat the following 10min sequence eight times, all at high Zone 3: 1mins 80 cadence, 1mins 70 cadence, 3mins 60 cadence, 3mins 50 cadence, 2mins easy spin rest.
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 5×100 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Main Bike
150 mins total. 4x5min race effort with 2.5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
40 mins total. Start the brick run with 10mins FAST then settle into Zone 2
Main Run
105 mins total. 1:45hr easy run in Zone 2. Include 10mins above race effort towards the end.
WEEK 3
REST
Technique Swim
40 mins total. 4×100 at 90-75% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
43 mins total. Repeat fifteen times: 60sec Zone 5, 30sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
Run for 20mins as soon after bike as possible.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 6×100 at 85% effort with 20sec rest. 

Intense Run
45 mins total. Perform the first third of this run at easy Zone 2 warm up pace. Perform the second third of this run at your target race pace. Perform the final third of this run at tempo pace
Steady Bike
60 mins total. Repeat the following 5min exiting T1 sequence ten times: 30sec low 50-60 cadence Zone 3 pedaling NOT IN AEROBARS preventing a spiked heart rate, 90sec Zone 2 in aerobars at race cadence to keep heart rate from spiking and simulate getting up to speed, 2min in aerobars at race effort and cadence, 1min easy recovery
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 400 at 80% effort with 30sec rest. 
Main Bike
80 mins total. Remain in easy Zone 1 or 2 throughout.

Brick Run
25 mins total. Keep this cruisy, stick in Zone 2
Main Run
75 mins total. 75min easy jog all in Zone 2.
WEEK 4Technique Swim
40 mins total. 3×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
50 mins total. 20 repeats: 50sec Zone 5, 40sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
25 mins total. Keep intensity low in Zones 1 or 2.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 14×100 at 80% effort. 

Intense Run
55 mins total. 7x3mins at Zone 4 effort, with 2mins easy jog between.
Steady Bike
80 mins total. 3x20mins at top of Zone 3/bottom of Zone 4
Recovery Bike
90 mins total. 90 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 3×500.
Main Bike
165 mins total. 5x5min slightly above race effort with 2.5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
40 mins total. Run the first half at your target race pace.
Main Run
105 mins total. 1:45hr easy run in Zone 2. Include 15mins above race effort towards the end.
WEEK 5Technique Swim
40 mins total. 5×100 at 85% effort with 20sec rest.
Intense Bike
50 mins total. 20 repeats: 1min Zone 5, 30sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
25 mins total. Keep intensity low in Zones 1 or 2.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 500 at 85% effort, 15sec rest, 100 easy recovery, 400 at 85%, 100 easy recovery, 15sec rest, 300 at 85% effort, 15sec rest, 100 easy recovery, 15sec rest, 200 at 85% effort.

Intense Run
52 mins total. 7x3mins at Zone 4 effort, with 1.5mins easy jog between.
Steady Bike
80 mins total. 3x20mins at top of Zone 3/bottom of Zone 4: 7mins of cadence at 50, 5mins of cadence at 60, 5mins of cadence at 70. 3mins easy spin.
Recovery Bike
90 mins total. 90 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 3×100 at 75% effort with 10sec rest.
Main Bike
205 mins total. 3x10min slightly above race effort with 5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
40 mins total. Run the first 25mins at your target race pace.
Main Run
105 mins total. Include 2x10mins at race effort towards the end, 5mins easy jog rest between.
WEEK 6
REST
Technique Swim
40 mins total. 2×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
41 mins total. Repeat three times: 5mins Zone 4, 2mins easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
25 mins total. Keep intensity in Zones 1 or 2.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 8×100 at 80% effort.

Intense Run
50 mins total. 50min run in Zones 1 or 2 besides: 20mins at empo pace
Steady Bike 50 mins total. Repeat twice with 5mins easy spin between: 15mins with HR right at top of Zone 2, lower 55-75 cadence.Recovery Bike
90 mins total. 90 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×500 at Varying effort with 60sec rest.
Main Bike
120 mins total. Remain in Zone 2 throughout at steady pace, Inlude 5 x30sec pick ups not all out max with 30 sec easy spin in between at some point.

Brick Run
30 mins total. Run for 30mins immediately after a bike at easy pace.
Main Run
90 mins total. 90min easy jog all in Zone 2.
WEEK 7Technique Swim
40 mins total. 4×100 at 80% effort with 20sec rest.
Intense Bike
55 mins total. Repeat five times: 4.5mins Zone 4, 3.5mins easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
20 mins total. 20min run immediately after a bike at race pace.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 5×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.

Intense Run
60 mins total. 8×3.5mins at Zone 4 effort, with 1.5mins easy jog between.
Steady Bike
84 mins total. Repeat six times: 3mins Zone 3 with 60-70 cadence, 3mins Zone 3 with +100 cadence, 3mins Zone 4 with 60-70 cadence, 3mins easy spin.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 500 at 70-85% effort.
Main Bike
225 mins total. 6x5min 5% above race effort with 2.5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
30 mins total. 30min run immediately after a bike at race pace.
Main Run
120 mins total. Include 20mins at race effort towards the end.
WEEK 8Technique Swim
40 mins total. 2×200 at 85% effort with 30sec rest.
Intense Bike
55 mins total. Repeat five times: 5mins Zone 4, 3mins easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
20 mins total. 20min run immediately after a bike at race pace.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 4×200 at building effort with 45sec rest. 

Intense Run
60 mins total. 8x4mins at Zone 4 effort, with 1mins easy jog between.
Steady Bike
84 mins total. Repeat four times: 4.5mins Zone 3 with 60-70 cadence, 4.5mins Zone 3 with +100 cadence, 4.5mins Zone 4 with 60-70 cadence, 4.5mins easy spin.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×250 at 85% effort with 30sec rest.
Main Bike
255 mins total. 4x10min at 5% above race effort with 5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
30 mins total. 30min run immediately after a bike at or slightly above target race pace.
Main Run
135 mins total. Include 20mins slightly above race effort towards the end.
WEEK 9
REST
Technique Swim
40 mins total. 3×250 at 85% effort with 30sec rest.
Intense Bike
60 mins total. Repeat 10 times: 30sec Zone 4, 30sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
20 mins total. Keep the pace easy Zone 2
Main Swim
60 mins total. 4×200 at 75% effort with 15sec rest. 

Intense Run
40 mins total. 6x30sec fast effort with 2min easy jog between.
Steady Bike
51 mins total. Repeat three times: 10mins low Zone 4 (slightly under FTP if using power meter) with low cadence 60-70rpm, 2mins easy spin.
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 250 at 85% effort.
Main Bike
150 mins total. Remain in Zones 1 or 2.

Brick Run
20 mins total. Run the first 5mins at target race pace then finish with Zone 2
Main Run
100 mins total. 1:40hr easy run in Zone 2.
WEEK 10Technique Swim
40 mins total. 3×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
59 mins total. Repeat the following sequence once: 4mins fast 2 min easy spin, 4mins fast 1min easy spin, 3mins fast 1 min easy spin, 2mins fast 1 min easy spin, 1min fast, 1 min easy spin, 1min fast, 1 min easy spin, 2mins fast 1min easy spin, 3mins fast 1min easy spin, 4mins fast 2min easy spin, 4mins fast.

Brick run bonus:
30 mins total. Keep effort in Zone 2
Main Swim
60 mins total. 1000 time trial, start off much easier than you expect, pick up pace around 400, then again at 800, then go all out for the final 100 but maintain steady form throughout

Intense Run
56 mins total. 5x5min at hard Zone 4 effort, with 1min easy jog between intervals.
Steady Bike
90 mins total. 20mins low 70-80 cadence with HR right at the top of Zone 2, in the aerobars.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×600 at 80% effort with 30sec rest.
Main Bike
270 mins total. 8x5min 10% RPE above race effort with 2.5min easy spin between.

Brick Run
45 mins total. Keep the pace easy with Zone 2
Main Run
135 mins total. 2:15hr split run. Run the first 1:45 in the morning in Zone 2, ideally do this run on hills or trails. Later in the day run 30min around race pace
WEEK 11Technique Swim
40 mins total. 2×200 at 80% effort with 20sec rest.
Intense Bike
59 mins total. Repeat the following sequence once: 5mins fast 1 min easy spin, 4mins fast 1min easy spin, 3mins fast 1 min easy spin, 2mins fast 1 min easy spin, 1min fast, 1 min easy spin, 1min fast, 1 min easy spin, 2mins fast 1min easy spin, 3mins fast 1min easy spin, 4mins fast 1min easy spin, 5mins fast.

Brick run bonus:
30 mins total. Keep effort in Zone 2
Main Swim
60 mins total. SIMULATION 2000 TOTAL: Start swimming explosively from a jump or dive in, swim the first 100-200 at 90-95% race take out effort sighting 2x/25, swim the remainder of the 2000 at 70-75% sighting 2x/25.

Intense Run
59 mins total. 5×5.5min at hard Zone 4 effort, with 1min easy jog between intervals.
Steady Bike
90 mins total. 25mins low 70-80 cadence with HR right at the top of Zone 2, in the aerobars.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 3×200 at 85% effort with 30sec rest.
Main Bike
300 mins total. 5mins, 10mins, 20mins, 10mins, and 5mins at 5% above race effort with 5min easy spin between.

Brick Run
50 mins total. Keep the pace easy with Zone 2
Main Run
150 mins total. 2:30hr split run. Run the first 1:45 in the morning in Zone 2, ideally on hills or trails. Later in the day run 45min around race pace
WEEK 12
TAPER
Technique Swim
30 mins total. Small race simulation of 12×100: dive start then 10 strokes race take out effort, settle in to 75%, deck up and 10sec of jogging or calisthenics, 1min rest, 2 sights per 25.
Intense Bike
30 mins total. Repeat the following 5min sequence five times all in aerobars: 2min Zone 2, 30sec building up to high Zone 4 for final 10sec, 2min Zone 2, 30sec low 50-60 cadence Zone 4 

Brick run bonus:
20 mins total. Run comfortably for 15-20min without worrying about pacing at all, just feel good
Main Swim
40 mins total. 600 race effort continuous swim. Intense Run
30 mins total. 30min run in Zone 2 with 8x30sec fast pick ups spread throughout.



Steady Bike
30 mins total. 25min Zone 2 all in aerobars, include 5x1min building to just above race effort

Recovery Bike
30 mins total. 30min easy spin with no efforts, just get blood moving and feel good.

Steady Swim
30 mins total. 400: starting at 70% increasing effort each 100 to 75-80-85%.
Race Day Eve Swim
10 mins 
Race Day Eve Bike
20 mins 
Race Day Eve Run
10 mins
RACE DAY!
12 week Ironman triathlon plan by MoTTIV
MONDAYTUESDAYWEDNESDAYTHURSDAYFRIDAYSATURDAYSUNDAY
WEEK 1Technique Swim
40 mins total. 2×300 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
57 mins total. Repeat six times: 4.5mins high Zone 4, 2mins easy

Brick run bonus:
Run for 20mins after a bike
Main Swim
60 mins total. 7×200 at 85% effort with 10sec rest. 

Intense Run
56 mins total. 9x2mins at fast effort, with 2mins easy jog rest between.
Steady Bike
95 mins total. Repeat the following 10min sequence eight times, all at high Zone 3, 2mins easy spin rest between: 2mins 80 cadence, 2mins 70 cadence, 2mins 60 cadence, 2mins 50 cadence
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×400 at 80% effort with 30sec rest.
Main Bike
120 mins total. 3x5min race effort with 2.5min easy spin between.

Brick Run
40 mins total. Start the brick run with 5mins FAST then settle into Zone 1 or 2
Main Run
105 mins total. 1:45hr easy run in Zone 2.
WEEK 2Technique Swim
40 mins total. 20×25 with 10sec rest. Cycle through 25s going 70-70-85-95% efforts.
Intense Bike
57 mins total. Repeat six times: 5mins high Zone 4, 90sec easy

Brick run bonus: Run for 20mins after a bike
Main Swim
60 mins total. 5×200 at 70% effort with 60sec rest. 

Intense Run
60 mins total. 9×2.5mins at fast effort, with 2mins easy jog rest between.
Steady Bike
95 mins total. Repeat the following 10min sequence eight times, all at high Zone 3: 1mins 80 cadence, 1mins 70 cadence, 3mins 60 cadence, 3mins 50 cadence, 2mins easy spin rest.
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 5×100 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Main Bike
150 mins total. 4x5min race effort with 2.5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
40 mins total. Start the brick run with 10mins FAST then settle into Zone 2
Main Run
105 mins total. 1:45hr easy run in Zone 2. Include 10mins above race effort towards the end.
WEEK 3
REST
Technique Swim
40 mins total. 4×100 at 90-75% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
43 mins total. Repeat fifteen times: 60sec Zone 5, 30sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus: Run for 20mins as soon after bike as possible.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 6×100 at 85% effort with 20sec rest. 

Intense Run
45 mins total. Perform the first third of this run at easy Zone 2 warm up pace. Perform the second third of this run at your target race pace. Perform the final third of this run at tempo pace
Steady Bike
60 mins total. Repeat the following 5min exiting T1 sequence ten times: 30sec low 50-60 cadence Zone 3 pedaling NOT IN AEROBARS preventing a spiked heart rate, 90sec Zone 2 in aerobars at race cadence to keep heart rate from spiking and simulate getting up to speed, 2min in aerobars at race effort and cadence, 1min easy recovery
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 400 at 80% effort with 30sec rest.
Main Bike
80 mins total. Remain in easy Zone 1 or 2 throughout.

Brick Run
25 mins total. Keep this cruisy, stick in Zone 2
Main Run
75 mins total. 75min easy jog all in Zone 2.
WEEK 4Technique Swim
40 mins total. 3×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest. 
Intense Bike
50 mins total. 20 repeats: 50sec Zone 5, 40sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
25 mins total. Keep intensity low in Zones 1 or 2.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 14×100 at 80% effort. 

Intense Run
55 mins total. 7x3mins at Zone 4 effort, with 2mins easy jog between.
Steady Bike
80 mins total. 3x20mins at top of Zone 3/bottom of Zone 4
Recovery Bike
90 mins total. 90 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 3×500.
Main Bike
165 mins total. 5x5min slightly above race effort with 2.5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
40 mins total. Run the first half at your target race pace.
Main Run
105 mins total. 1:45hr easy run in Zone 2. Include 15mins above race effort towards the end.
WEEK 5Technique Swim
40 mins total. 5×100 at 85% effort with 20sec rest.
Intense Bike
50 mins total. 20 repeats: 1min Zone 5, 30sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
25 mins total. Keep intensity low in Zones 1 or 2.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 500 at 85% effort, 15sec rest, 100 easy recovery, 400 at 85%, 100 easy recovery, 15sec rest, 300 at 85% effort, 15sec rest, 100 easy recovery, 15sec rest, 200 at 85% effort.

Intense Run
52 mins total. 7x3mins at Zone 4 effort, with 1.5mins easy jog between.
Steady Bike
80 mins total. 3x20mins at top of Zone 3/bottom of Zone 4: 7mins of cadence at 50, 5mins of cadence at 60, 5mins of cadence at 70. 3mins easy spin.
Recovery Bike
90 mins total. 90 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 3×100 at 75% effort with 10sec rest.
Main Bike
205 mins total. 3x10min slightly above race effort with 5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
40 mins total. Run the first 25mins at your target race pace.
Main Run
105 mins total. Include 2x10mins at race effort towards the end, 5mins easy jog rest between.
WEEK 6
REST
Technique Swim
40 mins total. 2×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
41 mins total. Repeat three times: 5mins Zone 4, 2mins easy spin.

Brick run bonus: 25 mins total. Keep intensity in Zones 1 or 2.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 8×100 at 80% effort.

Intense Run
50 mins total. 50min run in Zones 1 or 2 besides: 20mins at empo pace
Steady Bike 50 mins total. Repeat twice with 5mins easy spin between: 15mins with HR right at top of Zone 2, lower 55-75 cadence.
Recovery Bike
90 mins total. 90 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×500 at Varying effort with 60sec rest.
Main Bike
120 mins total. Remain in Zone 2 throughout at steady pace, Inlude 5 x30sec pick ups not all out max with 30 sec easy spin in between at some point.

Brick Run
30 mins total. Run for 30mins immediately after a bike at easy pace.
Main Run
90 mins total. 90min easy jog all in Zone 2.
WEEK 7Technique Swim
40 mins total. 4×100 at 80% effort with 20sec rest.
Intense Bike
55 mins total. Repeat five times: 4.5mins Zone 4, 3.5mins easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
20 mins total. 20min run immediately after a bike at race pace.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 5×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.

Intense Run
60 mins total. 8×3.5mins at Zone 4 effort, with 1.5mins easy jog between.
Steady Bike
84 mins total. Repeat six times: 3mins Zone 3 with 60-70 cadence, 3mins Zone 3 with +100 cadence, 3mins Zone 4 with 60-70 cadence, 3mins easy spin.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 500 at 70-85% effort.
Main Bike
225 mins total. 6x5min 5% above race effort with 2.5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
30 mins total. 30min run immediately after a bike at race pace.
Main Run
120 mins total. Include 20mins at race effort towards the end.
WEEK 8Technique Swim
40 mins total. 2×200 at 85% effort with 30sec rest.
Intense Bike
55 mins total. Repeat five times: 5mins Zone 4, 3mins easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
20 mins total. 20min run immediately after a bike at race pace.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 4×200 at building effort with 45sec rest. 

Intense Run
60 mins total. 8x4mins at Zone 4 effort, with 1mins easy jog between.
Steady Bike
84 mins total. Repeat four times: 4.5mins Zone 3 with 60-70 cadence, 4.5mins Zone 3 with +100 cadence, 4.5mins Zone 4 with 60-70 cadence, 4.5mins easy spin.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×250 at 85% effort with 30sec rest.
Main Bike
255 mins total. 4x10min at 5% above race effort with 5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
30 mins total. 30min run immediately after a bike at or slightly above target race pace.
Main Run
135 mins total. Include 20mins slightly above race effort towards the end
WEEK 9
REST
Technique Swim
40 mins total. 3×250 at 85% effort with 30sec rest.
Intense Bike
60 mins total. Repeat 10 times: 30sec Zone 4, 30sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
20 mins total. Keep the pace easy Zone 2
Main Swim
60 mins total. 4×200 at 75% effort with 15sec rest. 

Intense Run
40 mins total. 6x30sec fast effort with 2min easy jog between.
Steady Bike
51 mins total. Repeat three times: 10mins low Zone 4 (slightly under FTP if using power meter) with low cadence 60-70rpm, 2mins easy spin.
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 250 at 85% effort.
Main Bike
150 mins total. Remain in Zones 1 or 2.

Brick Run
20 mins total. Run the first 5mins at target race pace then finish with Zone 2
Main Run
100 mins total. 1:40hr easy run in Zone 2.
WEEK 10Technique Swim
40 mins total. 3×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
59 mins total. Repeat the following sequence once: 4mins fast 2 min easy spin, 4mins fast 1min easy spin, 3mins fast 1 min easy spin, 2mins fast 1 min easy spin, 1min fast, 1 min easy spin, 1min fast, 1 min easy spin, 2mins fast 1min easy spin, 3mins fast 1min easy spin, 4mins fast 2min easy spin, 4mins fast.

Brick run bonus:
30 mins total. Keep effort in Zone 2
Main Swim
60 mins total. 1000 time trial, start off much easier than you expect, pick up pace around 400, then again at 800, then go all out for the final 100 but maintain steady form throughout

Intense Run
56 mins total. 5x5min at hard Zone 4 effort, with 1min easy jog between intervals.
Steady Bike
90 mins total. 20mins low 70-80 cadence with HR right at the top of Zone 2, in the aerobars.


Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×600 at 80% effort with 30sec rest.
Main Bike
270 mins total. 8x5min 10% RPE above race effort with 2.5min easy spin between.

Brick Run
45 mins total. Keep the pace easy with Zone 2
Main Run
135 mins total. 2:15hr split run. Run the first 1:45 in the morning in Zone 2, ideally do this run on hills or trails. Later in the day run 30min around race pace
WEEK 11Technique Swim
40 mins total. 2×200 at 80% effort with 20sec rest.
Intense Bike
59 mins total. Repeat the following sequence once: 5mins fast 1 min easy spin, 4mins fast 1min easy spin, 3mins fast 1 min easy spin, 2mins fast 1 min easy spin, 1min fast, 1 min easy spin, 1min fast, 1 min easy spin, 2mins fast 1min easy spin, 3mins fast 1min easy spin, 4mins fast 1min easy spin, 5mins fast.

Brick run bonus: 30 mins total. Keep effort in Zone 2
Main Swim
60 mins total. SIMULATION 2000 TOTAL: Start swimming explosively from a jump or dive in, swim the first 100-200 at 90-95% race take out effort sighting 2x/25, swim the remainder of the 2000 at 70-75% sighting 2x/25.

Intense Run
59 mins total. 5×5.5min at hard Zone 4 effort, with 1min easy jog between intervals.
Steady Bike
90 mins total. 25mins low 70-80 cadence with HR right at the top of Zone 2, in the aerobars.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 3×200 at 85% effort with 30sec rest. 
Main Bike
300 mins total. 5mins, 10mins, 20mins, 10mins, and 5mins at 5% above race effort with 5min easy spin between.

Brick Run
50 mins total. Keep the pace easy with Zone 2
Main Run
150 mins total. 2:30hr split run. Run the first 1:45 in the morning in Zone 2, ideally on hills or trails. Later in the day run 45min around race pace
WEEK 12
REST
Technique Swim
40 mins total. 2×250 at 85% effort with 30sec rest.
Intense Bike
54 mins total. Repeat the following sequence twice with 5min easy spin between: 2mins fast 1 min easy spin, 3mins fast 1min easy spin, 4mins fast 1 min easy spin, 5mins fast.

Brick run bonus: 30 mins total. 30min easy Zone 2 run done immediately after a bike.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 2×500 at 75-85% effort with 60sec rest. 

Intense Run
45 mins total. 8x30sec fast effort with 2min easy jog between.
Steady Bike
50 mins total. Repeat twice with a 5min easy spin between: 2mins Zone 5 RPE with 70-80 cadence, 3mins Zone 4 with 60-70 cadence, 5mins race effort RPE with 50-60 cadence.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 600 at 80% effort.
Main Bike
180 mins total. Remain in Zones 1 or 2 besides 5x1min pick ups (not all out), 1min easy rest between intervals.

Brick Run
30 mins total. Run the first 5mins at FAST pace, then run the remainder at target race pace.
Main Run
105 mins total. 1:45hr easy run in Zone 2.
WEEK 13Technique Swim
40 mins total. 6×100 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
56 mins total. 4x90sec high Zone 4 with 60-70 cadence, 1min easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
25 mins total. 25min easy Zone 2
Main Swim
60 mins total. 12×100 at 85% effort with 10sec rest. 

Intense Run
58 mins total. 5x6min at hard Zone 4 effort, with 1.5min easy jog between intervals.
Steady Bike
76 mins total. Repeat this 14min sequence four times: 5min Zone 4 low 60-70 cadence, 4min Zone 2 normal cadence, 3min Zone 3 +100 cadence, 2min Zone 2 normal cadence.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 10×100 at 90-75% effort with 10sec rest.
Main Bike
325 mins total. 2x30min 5% RPE above race effort with 5min easy spin between.

Brick Run
50 mins total. Run the first 10mins at or slightly above your target race pace.
Main Run
165 mins total. 2:45hr split run. Run the first 2:00 in the morning in Zone 2, ideally on hills or trails. Later in the day run 45min around race pace
WEEK 14Technique Swim
40 mins total. 6×150 at 80-90% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
56 mins total. 4x2mins high Zone 4 with 60-70 cadence, 30sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
25 mins total. 25min easy Zone 2
Main Swim
60 mins total. 24×25 at 85% effort with 10sec rest.

Intense Run
56 mins total. 5x6min at hard Zone 4 effort, with 1min easy jog between intervals.
Steady Bike
76 mins total. Repeat this 14min sequence four times: 6min Zone 4 low 60-70 cadence, 3min Zone 2 normal cadence, 3min Zone 3 +100 cadence, 2min Zone 2 normal cadence.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 400 at 80% effort. 
Main Bike
345 mins total. 4x15min at 10% RPE above race effort, with 5 min easy rest interval in between.

Brick Run
50 mins total. Run the first 15mins at or slightly above your target race pace
Main Run
180 mins total. 3hr split run. Run the first 2:00hrs in the morning in Zone 2. Run the final 30mins at race pace. Later in the day run 60min. Run the final 20mins little above race pace.
WEEK 15Technique Swim
40 mins total. 3×200 at 85% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
58 mins total. Repeat the following sequence five times with a 2min easy spin between: 6min building effort every 2mins from low to mid Zone 4.

Brick run bonus:
30 mins total. 30min run in Zone 2
Main Swim
60 mins total. 2×700 at 90-75% effort.

Intense Run
60 mins total. 40min progression starting at race pace, gradually building so the final 10mins is at tempo pace
Steady Bike
85 mins total. Perform eight 1min efforts slightly above race effort, 1min easy spin between.
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×400 at 85% effort with 60sec rest.
Main Bike
360 mins total. 7x10min at race effort, with 10min easy rest intervals in between.

Brick Run
45 mins total. Start off easy and build to very gradually to race pace by the final third of the run.
Main Run
195 mins total. 3:15hr split run. Run the first 2:00hrs in the morning in Zone 2. Run the final 30mins at race pace. Later in the day run 75min. Run the final 30mins little above race pace.
WEEK 16
TAPER
Technique Swim
30 mins total. Small race simulation of 12×100: dive start then 10 strokes race take out effort, settle in to 75%, deck up and 10sec of jogging or calisthenics, 1min rest, 2 sights per 25.
Intense Bike
30 mins total. Repeat the following 5min sequence five times all in aerobars: 2min Zone 2, 30sec building up to high Zone 4 for final 10sec, 2min Zone 2, 30sec low 50-60 cadence Zone 4 

Brick run bonus:
20 mins total. Run comfortably for 15-20min without worrying about pacing at all, just feel good
Main Swim
40 mins total. 600 race effort continuous swim.

Intense Run
30 mins total. 30min run in Zone 2 with 8x30sec fast pick ups spread throughout.
Steady Bike
30 mins total. 25min Zone 2 all in aerobars, include 5x1min building to just above race effort
Recovery Bike
30 mins total. 30min easy spin with no efforts, just get blood moving and feel good.

Steady Swim
30 mins total. 400: starting at 70% increasing effort each 100 to 75-80-85%.
Race Day Eve Swim
10 mins 
Race Day Eve Bike
20 mins 
Race Day Eve Run
10 mins
RACE DAY!
16 week Ironman triathlon plan by MoTTIV
MONDAYTUESDAYWEDNESDAYTHURSDAYFRIDAYSATURDAYSUNDAY
WEEK 1Technique Swim
40 mins total. 2×300 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
57 mins total. Repeat six times: 4.5mins high Zone 4, 2mins easy

Brick run bonus:
Run for 20mins after a bike
Main Swim
60 mins total. 7×200 at 85% effort with 10sec rest. 

Intense Run
56 mins total. 9x2mins at fast effort, with 2mins easy jog rest between.
Steady Bike
95 mins total. Repeat the following 10min sequence eight times, all at high Zone 3, 2mins easy spin rest between: 2mins 80 cadence, 2mins 70 cadence, 2mins 60 cadence, 2mins 50 cadence
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×400 at 80% effort with 30sec rest.
Main Bike
120 mins total. 3x5min race effort with 2.5min easy spin between.

Brick Run
40 mins total. Start the brick run with 5mins FAST then settle into Zone 1 or 2
Main Run
105 mins total. 1:45hr easy run in Zone 2.
WEEK 2Technique Swim
40 mins total. 20×25 with 10sec rest. Cycle through 25s going 70-70-85-95% efforts.
Intense Bike
57 mins total. Repeat six times: 5mins high Zone 4, 90sec easy

Brick run bonus:
Run for 20mins after a bike
Main Swim
60 mins total. 5×200 at 70% effort with 60sec rest. 

Intense Run
60 mins total. 9×2.5mins at fast effort, with 2mins easy jog rest between.
Steady Bike
95 mins total. Repeat the following 10min sequence eight times, all at high Zone 3: 1mins 80 cadence, 1mins 70 cadence, 3mins 60 cadence, 3mins 50 cadence, 2mins easy spin rest.
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 5×100 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Main Bike
150 mins total. 4x5min race effort with 2.5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
40 mins total. Start the brick run with 10mins FAST then settle into Zone 2 
Main Run
105 mins total. 1:45hr easy run in Zone 2. Include 10mins above race effort towards the end.
WEEK 3
REST
Technique Swim
40 mins total. 4×100 at 90-75% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
43 mins total. Repeat fifteen times: 60sec Zone 5, 30sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus: Run for 20mins as soon after bike as possible.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 6×100 at 85% effort with 20sec rest. 

Intense Run
45 mins total. Perform the first third of this run at easy Zone 2 warm up pace. Perform the second third of this run at your target race pace. Perform the final third of this run at tempo pace
Steady Bike
60 mins total. Repeat the following 5min exiting T1 sequence ten times: 30sec low 50-60 cadence Zone 3 pedaling NOT IN AEROBARS preventing a spiked heart rate, 90sec Zone 2 in aerobars at race cadence to keep heart rate from spiking and simulate getting up to speed, 2min in aerobars at race effort and cadence, 1min easy recovery
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 400 at 80% effort with 30sec rest.
Main Bike
80 mins total. Remain in easy Zone 1 or 2 throughout.

Brick Run
25 mins total. Keep this cruisy, stick in Zone 2
Main Run
75 mins total. 75min easy jog all in Zone 2.
WEEK 4Technique Swim
40 mins total. 3×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
50 mins total. 20 repeats: 50sec Zone 5, 40sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
25 mins total. Keep intensity low in Zones 1 or 2.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 14×100 at 80% effort. 

Intense Run
55 mins total. 7x3mins at Zone 4 effort, with 2mins easy jog between.
Steady Bike
80 mins total. 3x20mins at top of Zone 3/bottom of Zone 4
Recovery Bike
90 mins total. 90 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 3×500.
Main Bike
165 mins total. 5x5min slightly above race effort with 2.5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
40 mins total. Run the first half at your target race pace.
Main Run
105 mins total. 1:45hr easy run in Zone 2. Include 15mins above race effort towards the end.
WEEK 5Technique Swim
40 mins total. 5×100 at 85% effort with 20sec rest.
Intense Bike
50 mins total. 20 repeats: 1min Zone 5, 30sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
25 mins total. Keep intensity low in Zones 1 or 2.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 500 at 85% effort, 15sec rest, 100 easy recovery, 400 at 85%, 100 easy recovery, 15sec rest, 300 at 85% effort, 15sec rest, 100 easy recovery, 15sec rest, 200 at 85% effort.

Intense Run
52 mins total. 7x3mins at Zone 4 effort, with 1.5mins easy jog between.
Steady Bike
80 mins total. 3x20mins at top of Zone 3/bottom of Zone 4: 7mins of cadence at 50, 5mins of cadence at 60, 5mins of cadence at 70. 3mins easy spin.
Recovery Bike
90 mins total. 90 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 3×100 at 75% effort with 10sec rest.
Main Bike
205 mins total. 3x10min slightly above race effort with 5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
40 mins total. Run the first 25mins at your target race pace.
Main Run
105 mins total. Include 2x10mins at race effort towards the end, 5mins easy jog rest between.
WEEK 6
REST
Technique Swim
40 mins total. 2×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
41 mins total. Repeat three times: 5mins Zone 4, 2mins easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
25 mins total. Keep intensity in Zones 1 or 2.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 8×100 at 80% effort.

Intense Run
50 mins total. 50min run in Zones 1 or 2 besides: 20mins at empo pace
Steady Bike 50 mins total. Repeat twice with 5mins easy spin between: 15mins with HR right at top of Zone 2, lower 55-75 cadence.Recovery Bike
90 mins total. 90 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×500 at Varying effort with 60sec rest.
Main Bike
120 mins total. Remain in Zone 2 throughout at steady pace, Inlude 5 x30sec pick ups not all out max with 30 sec easy spin in between at some point.

Brick Run
30 mins total. Run for 30mins immediately after a bike at easy pace.
Main Run
90 mins total. 90min easy jog all in Zone 2.
WEEK 7Technique Swim
40 mins total. 4×100 at 80% effort with 20sec rest.
Intense Bike
55 mins total. Repeat five times: 4.5mins Zone 4, 3.5mins easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
20 mins total. 20min run immediately after a bike at race pace.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 5×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.

Intense Run
60 mins total. 8×3.5mins at Zone 4 effort, with 1.5mins easy jog between.
Steady Bike
84 mins total. Repeat six times: 3mins Zone 3 with 60-70 cadence, 3mins Zone 3 with +100 cadence, 3mins Zone 4 with 60-70 cadence, 3mins easy spin.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 500 at 70-85% effort.
Main Bike
225 mins total. 6x5min 5% above race effort with 2.5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
30 mins total. 30min run immediately after a bike at race pace.
Main Run
120 mins total. Include 20mins at race effort towards the end.
WEEK 8Technique Swim
40 mins total. 2×200 at 85% effort with 30sec rest.
Intense Bike
55 mins total. Repeat five times: 5mins Zone 4, 3mins easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
20 mins total. 20min run immediately after a bike at race pace.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 4×200 at building effort with 45sec rest. 

Intense Run
60 mins total. 8x4mins at Zone 4 effort, with 1mins easy jog between.
Steady Bike
84 mins total. Repeat four times: 4.5mins Zone 3 with 60-70 cadence, 4.5mins Zone 3 with +100 cadence, 4.5mins Zone 4 with 60-70 cadence, 4.5mins easy spin.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×250 at 85% effort with 30sec rest.
Main Bike
255 mins total. 4x10min at 5% above race effort with 5min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
30 mins total. 30min run immediately after a bike at or slightly above target race pace.
Main Run
135 mins total. Include 20mins slightly above race effort towards the end.
WEEK 9
REST
Technique Swim
40 mins total. 3×250 at 85% effort with 30sec rest.
Intense Bike
60 mins total. Repeat 10 times: 30sec Zone 4, 30sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
20 mins total. Keep the pace easy Zone 2
Main Swim
60 mins total. 4×200 at 75% effort with 15sec rest. 

Intense Run
40 mins total. 6x30sec fast effort with 2min easy jog between.
Steady Bike
51 mins total. Repeat three times: 10mins low Zone 4 (slightly under FTP if using power meter) with low cadence 60-70rpm, 2mins easy spin.
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 250 at 85% effort.
Main Bike
150 mins total. Remain in Zones 1 or 2.

Brick Run
20 mins total. Run the first 5mins at target race pace then finish with Zone 2
Main Run
100 mins total. 1:40hr easy run in Zone 2.
WEEK 10Technique Swim
40 mins total. 3×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
59 mins total. Repeat the following sequence once: 4mins fast 2 min easy spin, 4mins fast 1min easy spin, 3mins fast 1 min easy spin, 2mins fast 1 min easy spin, 1min fast, 1 min easy spin, 1min fast, 1 min easy spin, 2mins fast 1min easy spin, 3mins fast 1min easy spin, 4mins fast 2min easy spin, 4mins fast.

Brick run bonus:
30 mins total. Keep effort in Zone 2
Main Swim
60 mins total. 1000 time trial, start off much easier than you expect, pick up pace around 400, then again at 800, then go all out for the final 100 but maintain steady form throughout

Intense Run
56 mins total. 5x5min at hard Zone 4 effort, with 1min easy jog between intervals.
Steady Bike
90 mins total. 20mins low 70-80 cadence with HR right at the top of Zone 2, in the aerobars.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×600 at 80% effort with 30sec rest
Main Bike
270 mins total. 8x5min 10% RPE above race effort with 2.5min easy spin between.

Brick Run
45 mins total. Keep the pace easy with Zone 2
Main Run
135 mins total. 2:15hr split run. Run the first 1:45 in the morning in Zone 2, ideally do this run on hills or trails. Later in the day run 30min around race pace
WEEK 11Technique Swim
40 mins total. 2×200 at 80% effort with 20sec rest
Intense Bike
59 mins total. Repeat the following sequence once: 5mins fast 1 min easy spin, 4mins fast 1min easy spin, 3mins fast 1 min easy spin, 2mins fast 1 min easy spin, 1min fast, 1 min easy spin, 1min fast, 1 min easy spin, 2mins fast 1min easy spin, 3mins fast 1min easy spin, 4mins fast 1min easy spin, 5mins fast.

Brick run bonus:
30 mins total. Keep effort in Zone 2
Main Swim
60 mins total. SIMULATION 2000 TOTAL: Start swimming explosively from a jump or dive in, swim the first 100-200 at 90-95% race take out effort sighting 2x/25, swim the remainder of the 2000 at 70-75% sighting 2x/25.

Intense Run
59 mins total. 5×5.5min at hard Zone 4 effort, with 1min easy jog between intervals
Steady Bike
90 mins total. 25mins low 70-80 cadence with HR right at the top of Zone 2, in the aerobars.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 3×200 at 85% effort with 30sec rest
Main Bike
300 mins total. 5mins, 10mins, 20mins, 10mins, and 5mins at 5% above race effort with 5min easy spin between.

Brick Run
50 mins total. Keep the pace easy with Zone 2
Main Run
150 mins total. 2:30hr split run. Run the first 1:45 in the morning in Zone 2, ideally on hills or trails. Later in the day run 45min around race pace
WEEK 12
REST
Technique Swim
40 mins total. 2×250 at 85% effort with 30sec rest.
Intense Bike
54 mins total. Repeat the following sequence twice with 5min easy spin between: 2mins fast 1 min easy spin, 3mins fast 1min easy spin, 4mins fast 1 min easy spin, 5mins fast.

Brick run bonus:
30 mins total. 30min easy Zone 2 run done immediately after a bike.
Main Swim
60 mins total. 2×500 at 75-85% effort with 60sec rest. 

Intense Run
45 mins total. 8x30sec fast effort with 2min easy jog between.
Steady Bike
50 mins total. Repeat twice with a 5min easy spin between: 2mins Zone 5 RPE with 70-80 cadence, 3mins Zone 4 with 60-70 cadence, 5mins race effort RPE with 50-60 cadence.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 600 at 80% effort.
Main Bike
180 mins total. Remain in Zones 1 or 2 besides 5x1min pick ups (not all out), 1min easy rest between intervals.

Brick Run
30 mins total. Run the first 5mins at FAST pace, then run the remainder at target race pace
Main Run
105 mins total. 1:45hr easy run in Zone 2
WEEK 13Technique Swim
40 mins total. 6×100 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
56 mins total. 4x90sec high Zone 4 with 60-70 cadence, 1min easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
25 mins total. 25min easy Zone 2
Main Swim
60 mins total. 12×100 at 85% effort with 10sec rest. 

Intense Run
58 mins total. 5x6min at hard Zone 4 effort, with 1.5min easy jog between intervals.
Steady Bike
76 mins total. Repeat this 14min sequence four times: 5min Zone 4 low 60-70 cadence, 4min Zone 2 normal cadence, 3min Zone 3 +100 cadence, 2min Zone 2 normal cadence.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 10×100 at 90-75% effort with 10sec rest.
Main Bike
325 mins total. 2x30min 5% RPE above race effort with 5min easy spin between.

Brick Run
50 mins total. Run the first 10mins at or slightly above your target race pace.
Main Run
165 mins total. 2:45hr split run. Run the first 2:00 in the morning in Zone 2, ideally on hills or trails. Later in the day run 45min around race pace
WEEK 14Technique Swim
40 mins total. 6×150 at 80-90% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
56 mins total. 4x2mins high Zone 4 with 60-70 cadence, 30sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
25 mins total. 25min easy Zone 2
Main Swim
60 mins total. 24×25 at 85% effort with 10sec rest.

Intense Run
56 mins total. 5x6min at hard Zone 4 effort, with 1min easy jog between intervals.
Steady Bike
76 mins total. Repeat this 14min sequence four times: 6min Zone 4 low 60-70 cadence, 3min Zone 2 normal cadence, 3min Zone 3 +100 cadence, 2min Zone 2 normal cadence.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 400 at 80% effort.
Main Bike
345 mins total. 4x15min at 10% RPE above race effort, with 5 min easy rest interval in between.

Brick Run
50 mins total. Run the first 15mins at or slightly above your target race pace
Main Run
180 mins total. 3hr split run. Run the first 2:00hrs in the morning in Zone 2. Run the final 30mins at race pace. Later in the day run 60min. Run the final 20mins little above race pace.
WEEK 15
REST
Technique Swim
40 mins total. 4×100 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
56 mins total. 10min leg strength sequence all in low Zone 4: 4mins at 50rpm, 3mins at 60rpm, 2mins at 70rpm, 1min at 80rpm.

Brick run bonus:
25 mins total. Run the first 5mins above race pace then settle in to easy Zone 2 
Main Swim
60 mins total. 8×100 at 85% effort with 20sec rest. 

Intense Run
45 mins total. 10x30sec fast effort with 2min easy jog between.
Steady Bike
55 mins total. Repeat this sequence four times: 5mins low Zone 4 with low cadence 60-70rpm, 1min Zone 4 with high cadence +100rpm, 3mins easy spin.
Recovery Bike
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Main Bike
205 mins total. Remain in Zones 1 or 2.

Brick Run
30 mins total. Run the first 5mins above race pace, then settle into race pace for the remainder of the run.
Main Run
110 mins total. 1:50hr easy run all in Zone 2.
WEEK 16Technique Swim
40 mins total. 3×200 at 85% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
58 mins total. Repeat the following sequence five times with a 2min easy spin between: 6min building effort every 2mins from low to mid Zone 4.

Brick run bonus: 30 mins total. 30min run in Zone 2
Main Swim
60 mins total. 2×700 at 90-75% effort.

Intense Run
60 mins total. 40min progression starting at race pace, gradually building so the final 10mins is at tempo pace
Steady Bike
85 mins total. Perform eight 1min efforts slightly above race effort, 1min easy spin between.
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 2×400 at 85% effort with 60sec rest.
Main Bike
360 mins total. 7x10min at race effort, with 10min easy rest intervals in between.

Brick Run
45 mins total. Start off easy and build to very gradually to race pace by the final third of the run.
Main Run
195 mins total. 3:15hr split run. Run the first 2:00hrs in the morning in Zone 2. Run the final 30mins at race pace. Later in the day run 75min. Run the final 30mins little above race pace.
WEEK 17Technique Swim
40 mins total. 9×50 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike
58 mins total. Repeat the following sequence five times with a 2min easy spin between: 6min building effort every 2mins from low to high Zone 4.


Brick run bonus:
30 mins total. 30min run in Zone 2
Main Swim
60 mins total. 1000 at 80% effort. 


Intense Run
60 mins total. 40min starting at race pace, gradually building so the final 15mins is at tempo
Steady Bike
87 mins total. 60mins in aerobars alternating 4mins slightly above race effort with low cadence 60-70rpm, 2mins regular cadence in Zone 2.
Recovery Bike
75 mins total. 75 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim
40 mins total. 3×300 at 70-90% effort with 60sec rest. 
Main Bike
360 mins total. 5x15min at race effort with 15min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run
45 mins total. Start off easy and build to very gradually to race pace by the final half of the run
Main Run
210 mins total. 3:30hr split run. Run the first 2:00hrs in the morning in Zone 2. Run the final 30mins a little above race pace. Later in the day run 90min. Run the final 30mins little above race pace.
WEEK 18
REST
Technique Swim:
40 mins total. 2×200 at 85% effort with 30sec rest.
Intense Bike:
57 mins total. Repeat the following sequence five times with a 3min easy spin between: 5min effort in mid to high Zone 4.

Brick run bonus:
30 mins total. 30min run done immediately after a bike in Zone 2
Main Swim:
60 mins total. 2×700 at 90-75% effort with 2mins rest.

Intense Run: 45 mins total. Easy Zone 2 run for full recovery.
Steady Bike:
60 mins total. Repeat three times: 12mins just above race effort in aerobars with low cadence 60-70rpm, 3mins easy spin.
Recovery Bike:
75 mins total. 75 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim:
40 mins total. 400 at 85% effort.
Main Bike: 240 mins total. Complete ride gradually increasing effort finishing towards the top of Zone 2.

Brick Run: 25 mins total. Run at your target race pace
Main Run: 115 mins total. 1:55hr easy run all in Zone 2.
WEEK 19Technique Swim:
40 mins total. 5×100 at 80% effort with 5sec rest.
Intense Bike:
57 mins total. Repeat the following four times: 2.5mins Zone 5, 90sec easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
35 mins total. 35min easy Zone 2
Main Swim:
60 mins total. 6×250 at 90-80% effort with 10sec rest.

Intense Run: 70 mins total. 50min starting at race pace, gradually building so the final 20mins is at tempo pace
Steady Bike:
80 mins total. 60mins with HR at the top of Zone 2, alternating 5mins regular cadence, 5mins 60-70 cadence.
Recovery Bike:
90 mins total. 90 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim:
40 mins total. 2×500 at 80% effort with 30sec rest.
Main Bike: 300 mins total. 4x20min 10% RPE above race effort with 10min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run: 45 mins total. Run the first 15mins at easy Zone 2 pace, then 15mins at target race pace, then 15mins above target race pace.
Main Run: 225 mins total. 3:45hr split run. Run the first 2:15hrs in the morning in Zone 2. Later in the day run 90min. Run the final 50mins at race pace.
WEEK 20Technique Swim:
40 mins total. 5×50 at 85-75% effort with 10sec rest
Intense Bike:
57 mins total. Repeat the following four times: 3mins Zone 5, 1min easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
35 mins total. 35min easy Zone 2
Main Swim: 60 mins total. 12×100 at 85% effort with 10sec rest.

Intense Run: 70 mins total. 50min starting at race pace, gradually building so the final 25mins is at tempo pace
Steady Bike:
95 mins total. 75mins with HR at the top of Zone 2, alternating 5mins regular cadence 5mins 60-70 cadence.
Recovery Bike:
90 mins total. 90 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim:
40 mins total. 2×250 at 85% effort with 15sec rest.
Main Bike: 300 mins total. 3x35min 5% RPE above race effort with 10min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run: 30 mins total. Run the first 10mins at easy Zone 2 pace, then 10mins at target race pace, then 10mins above target race pace.
Main Run: 240 mins total. 4hr split run. Run the first 2:30hrs in the morning in Zone 2. Later in the day run 90min. Run the final 60mins at race pace.
WEEK 21
REST
Technique Swim:
40 mins total. 3×100 at 80% effort with 10sec rest.
Intense Bike:
49 mins total. Repeat the following three times: 3mins Zone 5, 1min easy spin.

Brick run bonus:
15 mins total. Run for 15mins immediately after a bike at slightly over race pace.
Main Swim: 60 mins total. 4×250 at 90-80% effort with 10sec rest.

Intense Run: 50 mins total. 50min easy Zone 2 run for full recovery.
Steady Bike:
60 mins total. Repeat five times: 4mins Zone 4 with 60-70 cadence, 2mins Zone 4 50-60 cadence, 1min easy spin.
Recovery Bike:
60 mins total. 60 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim:
40 mins total. 500 at 75% effort.
Main Bike: 180 mins total. Remain in Zones 1 or 2 throghout and include 10x30sec pick ups (not all out), with 30sec easy rest between intervals.

Brick Run: 25 mins total. Run the first 5mins above race pace, then the remainder of the run at Zone 2
Main Run: 120 mins total. 2hr easy run all in Zone 2.
WEEK 22Technique Swim:
40 mins total. 4×200 at 80% effort with 15sec rest.
Intense Bike:
53 mins total. Repeat the following sequence seven times: 2min at high Zone 4, 15sec building to even stronger Zone 5 effort, then jump into 15sec of absolute MAX effort, 2.5min easy recovery spin.


Brick run bonus:
30 mins total. 30min run in Zone 2 done immediately after a bike.
Main Swim:
60 mins total. RACE SIMULATION 2000 TOTAL: Start swimming explosively from a jump or dive in, swim the first 100-200 at 90-95% race take out effort sighting 2x/25, swim the remainder of the 2000 at 70-75% sighting 2x/25

Intense Run: 70 mins total. 50mins at tempo pace
Steady Bike:
85 mins total. Repeat ten times: 5mins Zone 4 with low 50-60 cadence, 2min easy spin.
Recovery Bike:
90 mins total. 90 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim:
40 mins total. 2×700 at 85% effort with 2mins rest.
Main Bike: 300 mins total. 3x40min 5-10% RPE above race effort with 10min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run: 45 mins total. Run the first half at target race pace the remainder of the run at Zone 2

Main Run: 27K progression run building on your effort and completing the final 70min at race pace.
WEEK 23Technique Swim:
40 mins total. 4×100 at 75-85% effort with 10sec rest.
Intense Bike: 53 mins total. Repeat the following sequence seven times: 2:30 at high Zone 4, 15sec building to even stronger Zone 5 effort, then jump into 15sec of absolute MAX effort, 2min easy recovery spin.

Brick run bonus:
30 mins total. 30min run in Zone 2 done immediately after a bike.
Main Swim:
60 mins total. 6×200 at building effort with 45sec rest.

Intense Run: 80 mins total. 60mins at tempo pace
Steady Bike: 85 mins total. Repeat seven times: 8mins Zone 4 with low 50-60 cadence, 2min easy spin.Recovery Bike:
90 mins total. 90 mins easy ride.

Steady Swim:
40 mins total. 2×400 at 75% effort with 20sec rest.
Main Bike: 300 mins total. 2x1hr at 5% RPE above race effort with 15min easy rest intervals between.

Brick Run: 45 mins total. Run the first half at slightly faster than target race pace the remainder of the run at Zone 2
Main Run: 27K progression run building on your effort and completing the final 80min at race pace.
WEEK 24
TAPER
Technique Swim:
30 mins total. Small race simulation of 12×100: dive start then 10 strokes race take out effort, settle in to 75%, deck up and 10sec of jogging or calisthenics, 1min rest, 2 sights per 25.
Intense Bike: 30 mins total. Repeat the following 5min sequence five times all in aerobars: 2min Zone 2, 30sec building up to high Zone 4 for final 10sec, 2min Zone 2, 30sec low 50-60 cadence Zone 4

Brick run bonus:
20 mins total. Run comfortably for 15-20min without worrying about pacing at all, just feel good
Main Swim:
40 mins total. 600 race effort continuous swim. Intense Run: 30 mins total. 30min run in Zone 2 with 8x30sec fast pick ups spread throughout.
Steady Bike: 30 mins total. 25min Zone 2 all in aerobars, include 5x1min building to just above race effortRecovery Bike:
30 mins total. 30min easy spin with no efforts, just get blood moving and feel good.
Race Day Eve
Swim: 10 mins
Bike: 20 mins
Run: 10 mins
RACE DAY!
24 week Ironman triathlon plan by MoTTIV

Ace Your Ironman Race

Building off your successful foray into long-course triathlon with the half-Ironman distance, there’s no reason why you can’t continue to develop the required endurance and fitness to complete an Ironman race in good order. With additional training and a more focused approach to nutrition, you now have the knowledge and the training plan to cross the line of your first full distance event. 

Read more