IronMan South Africa 2020 24 Week Plan - Starts 14th October 2019 With Strength And Conditioning


Doug Stewart

All plans by this Coach


24 Weeks

Typical Week

3 Bike, 4 Run, 1 Strength, 3 Swim

Longest Workout

0:50 hrs swim
6:30 hrs bike
3:00 hrs run

Plan Specs

triathlon ironman beginner intermediate advanced masters power based hr based pace based strength

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This is a bespoke 24 week plan for IronMan South Africa 2020, designed by an IronMan Certified Coach who has completed multiple IronMan Races.
The plan take into consideration the unique nature of the African Championship race, with bespoke workouts tailored for the swim, bike and run, including consideration for the course profile, the elevation and the weather.
It has consideration for build races, such as IronMan 70.3 South Africa.

The plan includes a progressive Strength and Conditioning Plan that compliments the stage of training.

It is 24 weeks starting from Monday 14th October, and finishes on race day with consideration for Christmas and New Year periods.
The plan follows a typical pattern of 2 build weeks followed by a recovery week.

There is a 3 week taper. period.
It has been designed by an IRONMAN Certified Coach, TrainingPeaks Level 1 Certified Coach who has completed multiple IronMan Races.

This plan is perfect for first time IronMan athletes, stepping up from Olympic or 70.3 triathlons due to the extended Preparation Phase, or more experienced athletes as there there are optional workouts to increase or decrease the volume of training.

The bike has power workouts, but also an option for HR based training. Swim is based on Pace and Runs are based on HR.


Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 11:21
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 11:21
Average Weekly Breakdown

Doug Stewart

TMR Coaching

TMR Coaching provides bespoke coaching packages and training plans for some of the toughest events on the planet.
Specialising in endurance events from triathlons to ultra marathons and sportives, we have the right package to suit your training and racing requirements.
Making use of the latest technologies and software (WKO5, Best Bike Split, Running Power Meters) TMR Coaching are able to ensure accurate analysis and optimal training strategies.

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

Functional Threshold Power/Heart Rate

This is done on an indoor trainer using a powermeter. If you are using Heart Rate (HR) then still do this test, and use average HR data.

Warm up 20 minutes at easy to endurance pace.
3 x 1 minutes with 1 minute recovery with high cadence around 100rpm.
5 minute easy riding

Main set start with a 5 minute all out effort.
10 minutes easy riding
20 minutes time trial - this is the section you will use to determine your FTP
If using HR rather than power meter then do 25 minutes

Cool down 10 minutes to 15 minutes easy cycling.

Power Data
Once you have downloaded your data you need to determine your average power for the 20 minute interval. Take your average power and multiple by 0.95 to calculate your FTP. So if your average power is 305watts x 0.95 = 290w is your Functional Threshold Power.

Heart Rate
If using Heart Rate then take your average heart rate from the final 20 minutes of the 25 minute interval. Multiple this number by 0.95 to calculate your Lactate Threshold.

This training plan is based on 6 Training Zones for Power and 7 Training Zones for Heart Rate which can be found in Training Peaks.

Heart Rate training zones are based on Lactate Threshold - Joel Friel for Cycling.

Power is based on Threshold Power - Andy Coggan (6).

Use your FTP and/or Lactate Threshold HR and put in the Zones within Setting in Training Peaks to calculate your relevant Zones which will be used for future work outs.

Sample Day 2


20 min Very Easy Run

Sample Day 3

Swim Threshold Pace Test Set

This swim is designed to determine your Threshold Swim Pace (T-Pace). This will be used in a number of swims sessions.

Warm up: 200m building speed each 50m (slow-medium-faster-fastest).

Rest 30 sec.

Then 5 x 400m (10 sec recoveries) building speed on each 100m (slow-medium-faster-fastest).
Recover 10 seconds after last one.

Then swim a 500m time trial. All out.
Your average 100 pace for this is your T-Pace for future workouts.

Then swim easy, 100m cool down.

Sample Day 5

Lactate Threshold Test for Running

This test is designed to determine your Lactate Threshold Heart Rate and Pace.

Warm Up for 15 minutes.
In this WU include some bum flicks, high knees, walking lunges and 4 x 20 second accelerations (try to run each acceleration faster than the previous - not a flat out sprint, but getting Heart Rate up, 40 seconds recovery between reps).
Want to be very warmed up ahead of Main Set

Main Set:
Run a 30 minute time trial on flat course/track. Punch HR monitor 'lap' button 10 minutes into Time Trial. Average heart rate for last 20 minutes predicts Lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR).

Cool Down:
Easy run to make time up to 1 hour. Walk last few minutes.

Sample Day 6

1hr Ride in Zones 1 - 2 (easy pace)

1hr Ride in Zones 1 - 2 (easy pace)

The IronMan South Africa Bike Course has around 8m - 9m of climbing for every km (so around 1,500m over the 180km).
Therefore, try to ensure you are achieving this in your long rides.
If a 2.5hr ride covers 50km aim to gain 450m of climbing (50km x 9m = 450m of climbing).

This will get you used to climbing this ascent.

Sample Day 7

40 Minutes Easy Run in HR Zones 1 - 2

40 Minutes Easy Run in HR Zones 1 - 2

The IronMan South Africa Run Course is a loop with a total elevation gain of just over 300m. Try to ensure on your long runs you achieve 7m to 8m of ascent per km
If you cover 10km in a 1hr run, try to ensure you climb 70m - 80m as a minimum. Although not a lot of climbing it is good to get used to the rolling nature of the climb.

HR Zone should be in Zone 1 - 2 for majority of this run (it may go in to Zone 3 - 4 for uphills by try to keep in Zones 1 and 2).

Sample Day 8

Technique Swim

Swim designed to work on your technique and swimming efficiently.
Swim Smooth
Have details on a lot of the drills mentioned. It also has a Swim Type which may be of value and allow you to tailor the drills listed to benefit you more.

The swimming element of this programme is designed to be progressive, with the initial period focussing on technique in the pool and being efficient, moving more on to speed and speed endurance and the final phase focussing on drills to help open water swimming and bespoke elements linked to the Xtri swim.

Distances are fine in either yards or meters.

Warm Up (WU):
400 Freestyle
4 x 100 as:
100 - swim with closed fists
100 - freestyle

Main Set (MS):
200 as:
2 x 50 kick on side
50 Broken Arrow, 30 seconds rest

3 x 100 at T-Pace on 10 seconds rest
This is the pace you calculated last week + 10 seconds per 100m, of 2.5 seconds slower per 25m.

200 as Single Arm:
2 x (25 L Arm, 2 R Arm, 50 freestyle) 30 seconds rest

3 x 100 at T-Pace on 10 seconds rest

Cool Down (CD):
300 with Pull Buoy

IronMan South Africa 2020 24 Week Plan - Starts 14th October 2019 With Strength And Conditioning

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