Training for an IRONMAN triathlon is an undertaking that takes months and sometimes years to prepare for if you train properly. So when the big day gets closer and you begin to prime your body for your best performance, you want to approach the week leading up to the race with a plan so that you optimize your potential and avoid wasting all the time you put into preparing for it.
For endurance athletes with a 10-month program involving 10 to 12 hours of training a week, the majority of high volume training and improving race-specific speed is ongoing until two weeks prior to race day. While the body has the ability to adapt to endurance training quickly, it can also lose endurance quickly, therefore the last long endurance efforts are made 7-10 days before the event. At this point, training is reduced to about 30% and athletes taper down to 1-2 hours a day with low-volume swimming, biking and running.
10-14 days away:
Last heavy brick session and intense two-a-day at race pace is performed.
7-10 days away:
This is where tapered training begins and volume is reduced. Tapers for triathletes are short in order to maintain endurance capacity. Begin getting mentally prepared for race day competition, using training sessions to focus more on mental aspects as opposed to physical aspects.
Train for 30 minutes to 1 hour each day, focusing on one different aspect (swim/bike/run) each day.
Taken either 3 or 4 days before the event. Endurance athletes may feel “off” after taking a rest day due to the constant training their bodies are used to. Resting a few days before rather than the day before allows you to get back to a routine.
1-3 days out:
Become familiar with the course and do a short open-water swim, with 15-30 minutes performed on the bike for a mechanical check, and a 30-minute run two days out
Day before race:
10 minutes each of bike/swim/run.
RACE DAY: Compete!
The following chart outlines how a triathlete might approach the two weeks leading up to an IRONMAN event.
Are you preparing for an IRONMAN and need a team to help you optimize performance? Or do you have a goal to participate in an IRONMAN and need a plan to get you started? Come and see us at Athlete Training and Health and see for yourself how our team can help keep you training at the highest level, help you better prepare for competition, or help get you started on a path towards and IRONMAN.
Our performance coaches at Athlete Training and Health have the knowledge and experience to help you reach your potential. Stop by and tour any of our world-class training centers and talk to one of our performance consultants about a free evaluation, so you can start optimizing your performance to better prepare you for competition!