Half IRONMAN®️ 70.3®️ Training Plans

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The Best Way To Train For An IRONMAN®️ 70.3®️ Triathlon

An IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon involves a 1900-meter swim, a 90-km bike and a 21.1-km run. The event will typically take you between four and eight hours to complete. To get fit enough to conquer an IRONMAN 70.3, you will need to train at least twice per week in each discipline (swim, bike and run). That means you’ll be training almost every day, for a period of months, with longer rides and runs at the weekends. The best way to approach this is by following an expertly designed training plan. People who use training plans have been shown to be twice as likely to succeed in reaching their goals.

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Top Training Tips For An IRONMAN®️ 70.3®️ Triathlon

The good news is that you can build up slowly and gradually, so you don’t need to launch into full training on day one.  Essentially you need to train your body, so that you’re eventually able to swim 1900m, cycle 90km and run 21.1km, back to back. Think of the event like one long race, rather than three separate events.

This is most people’s weakest area, and the aspect they are most concerned about. If you’re not a confident swimmer, it’s a good idea to sign up for a series of adult improver swim lessons before you start a triathlon training program. However, swimming is the smallest part of a Half IRONMAN triathlon, and you’ll spend far more time running and cycling.

Once you can swim 400 meters or yards freestyle in a pool without stopping, you can then train on your own more, or in a group. Break up your swim workouts, into smaller chunks with regular rest periods. Slowly increase the duration of your workouts each week, so that you’re eventually able to swim a 2.5km session (with frequent short rests). By this stage you could also test yourself with a 1900 non-stop swim.

We suggest you always know what swim you’re doing, before you get in the pool. You’ll get more out of following a pre-planned workout, than you will by plodding up and down aimlessly. If you follow our training plans, we do all the thinking for you. We also include video swim drills, to help improve different aspects of your stroke.

IRONMAN 70.3 events include an open water swim, so it’s a good idea to practice swimming open water beforehand. It doesn’t have to be every swim you do but aim for at least two open water swims before you race in open water. We include these workouts in our training plans too, in the lead up to race day.

Aim to cycle a couple of times per week (or more) and gradually build your longest rides up to 100 km (or 60 miles). This will give you enough fitness for an IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon cycle, with a little to spare. Most of your training can be done at chatting pace, but it’s also good to include some harder efforts.

The cycle workouts in our training plans can be exported to platforms such as Zwift, TrainerRoad and devices such as Garmin. This means you can follow your workouts on screen in real time. You can ride outdoors, or on an indoor training. Just make sure you do at least some of your training outside on the bike you intend to use during your triathlon. This ensures you’re used to the feel and handling of your race-day bike.

Aim to run two or three times per week, but be sensible about your speed and distances, to avoid injury. One of your weekly runs should be a long run, where you slowly build up to a distance of around 12-miles in the final weeks before the race. You should also include some runs straight after cycling, just to get used to the feeling. Do most of your running at chatting pace, even if it means you must include some walking. It’s also good to include some harder efforts once per week, interspersed with plenty of easy stuff.

There are normally two 40-minute strength and conditioning sessions per week with our IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon plans. Not everyone can fit them in around their busy lives, on top of their swimming, cycling and running, but it’s great if you can. These workouts can help improve your strength and flexibility, which leads to more efficient movement patterns and fewer injuries. We suggest you only do strength work in addition to at least two swims, two runs and two cycles per week. Rather than instead of them.

Using An IRONMAN®️ 70.3®️ Triathlon Training Plan

Online training plans are for athletes who don’t feel the need for a personal coach, but who still want the structure and planning of an expertly-written training program. Research has shown that you are twice as likely to reach your goals if you train with a structured plan. 

For a beginner who has some recent background in fitness or sport, we recommend you give yourself at least 20 weeks to get fit and ready for Half IRONMAN triathlon. Ideally longer. The sooner you start, the more time you have to build up your fitness gradually. Fitness improvements occur in small increments, over a period of weeks and months, rather than in days.

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About Phil Mosley

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As an athlete and parent, I know how challenging it can be to train effectively for endurance events. Being a certified coach with over 20 years’ experience, the biggest challenge is balancing my client’s training with their lifestyle…

And that’s why I started MyProCoach™ – to offer the world’s most comprehensive range of online training plans, all designed to help you enjoy the same success that my athletes and I have, while still making sure you have quality time for your family, friends and career (read 100+ detailed reviews here). You can also hear from me in a series of 6 short explainer videos below:

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We use TrainingPeaks to deliver your plan – the world’s most popular endurance coaching platform. Free to use, TrainingPeaks is an online calendar that lets you record, track and analyze your training sessions. 

It has a host of great features allowing you to get as in-depth as you like, including the ability to export your workouts to your training devices (Garmin, TrainerRoad etc) and follow them in real time. 

TrainingPeaks enables us to set you in-depth training plans in a way that other formats cannot. Phil Mosley is a Certified Coach and one of the best-selling coaches on the platform.

We want to provide an affordable and effective training solution, including email coach support for any questions you may have.

Our Certified coaching team are on hand to answer any questions during the first use of your plan, plus a bonus 3 months after its completion. During checkout, please also share your email so I can send you a series of 5 helpful emails to get you started.

As you can understand, some limits apply, like personalisation or analysis of your training, but for anything else relevant to your plan, we would love to help. You also have full access to our online help centre, with videos and articles to help you train effectively.

We have a huge range of plans that enables you to select one that best meets your goals, schedule and ability. If you’re not sure where to start, read on below for a quick overview.

What type?
Our Standard and Masters plans are designed to get you ready for your target event, while our Off-Season plans are designed to allow you to recover from a tough season whilst maintaining your well-earned fitness. Generally, Masters plans are designed for athletes over 40 years old, although plenty of younger athletes love them too. The workouts are just as tough as with our standard training plans, but with more scheduled recovery days. And more strength and conditioning work, so you stay strong and flexible. Some find it easy to carry on with a normal training load, while others need to change their approach to training.

What length?
For the best outcome, count back from your “A” target race date and simply choose a plan to fill that gap (you can still work in other, smaller races during your plan). Note that longer plans start easier and progress more gradually than shorter plans. The body responds best to constant, gradual progression with regular recovery periods, and that’s exactly what our plans are designed to give you!

What level?
Choosing the correct level will help you get the most out of your plan. Generally, if you’ve never done this event before or currently train up to a few times per week, you might consider a Beginner plan. Alternatively, if you’ve done this event many times before or currently train 5+ times a week, you might consider an Advanced plan.

But don’t worry too much – we also let you swap the level for free within 14 days of purchase, if you find it too easy/hard!

Visit the MyProCoach Help Center for further guidance and to contact our Certified coaching team.

Certainly! Our training plans allow you to easily swap a few days around each week to suit your availability. Or you can swap out a session, to attend a similar group workout instead. That’s fine. If you opt for Training Peaks Premium (from $9.92 per month) you can even drag & drop your workouts onto different days. We give a few recommendations on how to best do this in our help centre.

And you can also train for multiple events! Our training plans guide you up to your target “A” race, but it’s also good to include some “B or C” races along the way. Our help centre goes through the exact steps you should take to enable you to get full benefit, without detracting from your key focus.

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Intermediate (6-48wks)​

For seasoned triathletes
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Over 40? Compare these with our Masters IRONMAN®️  70.3®️ plans ▸

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FEEDBACK FROM MY IRONMAN 70.3 CLIENTS

Carlos Lacasa Avatar
Carlos Lacasa
IRONMAN 70.3, August 2020

The best training plan I have ever tried I purchased an 18-week beginner's training course to tackle my first IRONMAN 70.3. The progression of the sessions and the intensity made me tired, but always looking forward to more training the next day. Unfortunately with the COVID-19, I couldn't compete, but they offered me the possibility to change to... >> read more - 07 Aug 2020

Damir Proso Avatar
Damir Proso
IRONMAN 70.3, May 2020

Hard but achievable. I always have trouble balancing work-training-life, like everyone I guess. With the plan and combination with TrainingPeaks, I can see the benefits and look forward to the days off. The flexibility of the plan is also a + for me since I can move around the sessions as I please... >> read more - 25 May 2020

Dan Forer Avatar
Dan Forer
IRONMAN 70.3, May 2020

Quality: Intermediate 70.3 Quality Ironman 70.3 intermediate plan. I recommend it! I’m an amateur with 10yrs of competitive Tri and duathlon racing at world level in the past. I’m also experienced in training with no plan and a few extra kgs - this doesn’t work. I’ve trained in squads, on generic plans, dedicated... >> read more - 21 May 2020

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