(5–7 weeks before Ironman)
Emphasis: Aerobic capacity and pacing
Continue building endurance, but start to tune into specific goal pace and training on terrain that simulates your Ironman. Having adapted to the longer sessions of the last training block, your goal now is to swim, bike and run a little faster over longer distances. Emphasis is on building efficiency at your goal Ironman pace by interspersing sections of pace work into your long aerobic efforts.
Two weeks of endurance riding and running focused on honing race-specific pace and rhythm, followed by 1 week of recovery.
• Aerobic endurance rides of 4.5–6 hours, including 3–4 intervals of 20–45 minutes at Ironman goal race pace/heart rate in your aerobars. Ride on similar terrain as your goal race.
• Brick runs off the bike at Ironman goal race pace/heart rate for 15–60 minutes. These are on similar terrain as your goal race.
• Aerobic endurance runs of 1.5–2.5 hours, hilly to maintain strength.
• Low cadence bike riding, longer efforts of 10–30 minutes at 55–65 rpm to sustain strength.
• Swimming aerobic power: long sets such as 3×1000 yards or a continuous 3000, which build to goal race swim pace. Join group swims to practice open-water swimming dynamics.