Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Training for Ironman Florida

by Meghann on May 21, 2013

It’s time! Training for Ironman Florida officially kicked off yesterday!!!


Whoa, nelly! That means in 24 weeks I will be toeing the starting line for my first 140.6. From here, 24 weeks sounds like forever, but I know it’s going to fly by.

For Ironman training I will be following the plan from the book Start to Finish: 24 Weeks to an Endurance Triathlon.


The book/plan was recommended by the author of You Are An Ironman and after skimming a preview of it on Amazon, I knew it was the plan for me. I bought the book months ago and have since read through all the prep-chapters and skimmed the plan itself.

What I really like about the plan is that it’s geared towards ‘weekend warriors’ (aka someone who works forty-hours a week and does the bulk of their training on the weekends). I also love how easy it is to follow.

The plan is broken up into four phases: Adaptation, Aerobic, Ironman Specific Phase, and Race Phase.


The first phase – the ‘Adaptation Phase’ – is meant to ease triathletes into Ironman training and is all about building endurance.


Each chapter gives a daily breakdown of the week’s workouts, with helpful notes on how to execute the workout. I really love all the details provided, there are even chapters in the front that breakdown all of the training terms even further (ie. what a c/u stroke is).


Then, for easy reference, there’s an index in the back that gives a quick view of the workouts for the week without all the extra details.


There are “base” workouts in bold that are your required workouts for the week and “optional” workouts that are not necessarily required to be able to finish an Ironman, but more of suggestions for those looking to perform at their highest level. I like the different sets, since it makes the plan a little more customizable. I’ll more likely just be sticking to the “base” workouts since my time is tight (work is going to be CRAZY busy the next few months) and I really just want to train to finish, not exactly break any world records.

I already have Phase 1 loaded into my calendar.

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Truthfully, phase 1 looks busy, but definitely doable. It’s the later phases that intimidate me. I’m trying to take it one phase at a time and not skip to the end when – gulp – I’ll be riding for 6+ hours when training!


I’m hoping to do some of those longer rides with my brother and sister, but we’ll cross the bridge when it gets there.

I’m also on a couple of local triathlon clubs mailing lists. I’ve already seen emails come through for folks starting training for Ironman Florida and planning group rides and open water swims together. I also plan to still swim with my swim group during the week. I’ll either swim a little earlier or stay a little later when longer swims start coming into play.

This is just the beginning of Ironman training and I honestly have no idea what to expect. I’m going to learn as I go with what works and doesn’t work with my schedule and plan to share my experiences along the way. I’m really excited for this new adventure and see where it takes me!

Any Ironman training advice for a first-timer?

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