Ironman 70.3 Training Plan Periodization For The Beginner – UPDATED 2021
When training for a Half Ironman, there are a couple of crucial points you need to focus on when putting together an Ironman 70.3 training plan. While the distance is longer than an Olympic triathlon, it requires less time than an Ironman event. In general, it makes it more accessible to fit within peoples lifestyle.
The Ironman 70.3 is a popular event that includes 1.9km swim, 90km bike, and 21.1km of running. These are all manageable distances for the amateur and doesn’t require a considerable sacrifice like the Ironman.
Many people use an Ironman 70.3 as a building block heading into an Ironman, or practice for their first Ironman event. Whatever you choose structuring your ironman 70.3 training plan will help you make more significant improvements over both events.
Ironman 70.3 Training Plan Periodization
There are a couple of essential factors to think about when putting together your Ironman 70.3 training plan. What is your A race? Do you have other competitions in the build-up to the event?
Once you have decided your A race, you can start looking into structuring the season accordingly.
Base Phase: Half Ironman Base training
Ideally set at around 8-12 weeks, the base training is a gradual build-up of training volume. The result being increased aerobic capacity, injury resistance, and endurance. During this period, it is essential to include a small amount of high-intensity training to prepare you for the build phase.
Build Phase: Half Ironman Build Phase
The build phase of your 70.3 training plan lasts around 6-8 weeks. This is where you start to incorporate higher intensity workouts, such as threshold intervals to maximize your aerobic capacity. The volume ideally during this period won’t decline. Meaning your long swims, long rides and long runs will continue to increase.
Peak Phase: Half Ironman specific training
The specific or peak phase of your training should last six weeks. The endurance workouts increase to ensure you have the endurance to get through the event. You would include such things as specific brick workouts, and threshold/v02 max intervals to tune up your form. Adding in an Olympic distance race into this phase of training is recommended both for fitness and race-specific training.
Ideally working in this sequence of periodization will take around 24 weeks. While this structure doesn’t fit everyone, using it as a starting point can help you plan your Ironman 70.3 training plan.
Now that you have set your goal Ironman 70.3 race, you can then start to add the lower priority races into the Ironman 70.3 training plan.
Entering Multiple Ironman 70.3 Races – What Should You Do?
If you are planning in multiple Half Ironman races into your Ironman 70.3 training plan, you will need to determine each one’s priority. Are they both high priority? If you are looking to plan for two “A Races” throughout the season, it is a good idea plan in a full build-up for each event.
If you have set both an A and B race, you will need to set up your Half Ironman training plan by planning Base>Build>Peak Phase. Once you have done that you will adjust the program based on the date of your B race. By doing this, you will allow a small taper heading into the B race, without loosing too much training targeted at the A race.
Ideally you “B Race” should be set around 6-8 weeks out from your “A Race”, this allows you to make any last-minute adjustments to your Ironman 70.3 training plan. For the more experienced triathlete, planning your B race closer to the event will allow for race simulation and a form top-up.