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IRONMAN VR 70.3 Build Phase


Simon Olney

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4 Weeks

Plan Specs

triathlon half ironman beginner intermediate advanced masters power based pace based tss based

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Plan Description

This plan is designed for an existing 70.3 athlete, or an athlete who was due to race a 70.3 in early 2020 to help them get race fit for an Ironman VR event. It works on the assumption you have a turbo trainer with Zwift and somewhere to run, whether it's outside or on a treadmill.

This plan is for athletes who went back to base phase following the mass postponement/cancellation of races, but want to take part in the Ironman VR series. Intensity and TSS increase for the first three weeks, before tapering off for race week. This plan works on the assumption you're planning to complete the events in the logical order of 5K on Friday, ride on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday. If you are already at a fitness level which is much higher or lower than this plan is pitched at, you can tweak the length of easy workouts, and number of intervals or rest periods of more intense workouts.

It's worth reiterating that the Ironman VR challenge is primarily for a bit of fun and participation as of early April 2020 when I wrote this plan. There is no authentication process and some impossible bike splits have appeared on the official results, so don't take the results too much to heart. Hopefully this is tightened up in future, but for now you should see this as a personal challenge, as much as a race against others.


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:44 hrs 1:39 hrs
4:07 hrs 3:20 hrs
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Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
2:44 hrs 1:39 hrs
4:07 hrs 3:20 hrs
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Training Load By Week

Simon Olney

Phazon Triathlon

I am an IRONMAN Certified Coach studying for their British Triathlon Level 3 course specialising in helping athletes with unpredictable lifestyles maximise their time, with success helping individuals qualify for world championship events and medal at national championships.

Sample Day 1

Long Tempo Intervals

These intervals hell shake up the long, easy runs by working at a slightly higher intensity, which should standalone half marathon pace for the majority of runners. Focus on a nice hip extension during the tempo work, picking your feet up a bit more.

Sample Day 2

Easy Ride

This is a workout designed to help you spend prolonged time at an endurance pace and can be performed inside on the trainer or outside with a power meter. I recommend that if you choose the trainer that rather than using ERG mode you simply make sure that you are within the power targets at all times. This works especially well with Zwift where the changing gradients add some variety to the workout.

Sample Day 3


This set builds you up from endurance up through tempo, sweetspot and finally up to FTP with recoveries between each. This set should provide you with a gentle burn on the legs, not put you through the rinser.

Sample Day 5

Easy Run

This is a staple workout, and key to making you a faster runner. If you are new to running at this pace you may find it difficult to stay below the prescribed pace, but it's imperative you do to avoid placing undue stress on the body. Ignore the pace targets when you reach the hills and instead focus on holding a similar effort level to the running on the flats, perhaps using your heart rate as a guide.

Sample Day 6

Sweetspot Build

Useful as a pre race tune up for 70.3 athletes or for short distance athletes to give them a bit more specialisation in their long rides, this involves a long warmup in zone 1 and 2, followed by gently increasing increments at Sweetspot. Do not feel tied to the exact timings of this workout, feel free to start the intervals sooner or later than scheduled if you know a suitable piece of road is coming up.

If you are riding this on the road, then safety comes first, don't try to hold this power when it is unsafe to do so such as on technical parts of the road, don't approach roundabouts at excessive speed and pay attention to the road surface, just as you would a race.

Sample Day 7

Knee Running Drills

These drills are designed to get you to get your knee moving and prevent the shuffling action that can occur at the end of long events. Find somewhere level and quiet such as a park to undertake these drills,

Sample Day 8

Long Tempo

This is a longer steady state workout designed to develop muscular endurance and boost aerobic capacity. This can be performed inside or outside if you feel it is safe to do so.

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