How To Taper For An Ironman

  • By Alun Woodward
  • Published Jun 17, 2014
Photo: Nils Nilsen


More specifically, this is how your training should look in the crucial last weeks before an Ironman:

Six to eight weeks out: Decrease the quantity of speed and strength work.

Six weeks out: Increase race speed-specific workouts

Four to six weeks out: Shift your focus to endurance.

Ten to 14 days out: Last endurance race-specific effort (3-hour bike/ 40-minute run).

Seven to 10 days out: Last long endurance sessions—ride and run. This is about volume, not intensity, so keep it all easy.

As you head into the final week before race day, I recommend frequent 20- to 40-minute sessions in all three disciplines. The aim here is to maintain neuromuscular pathways, which is basically the brain’s memory system of which muscle fibers it needs to activate in order to perform certain activities, and to perform those activities at certain speeds.

This memory in the brain tends to drift after 48-72 hours without stimulation, so you never want to go longer than 48 hours without repeating a single-sport training session.

These sessions are all about maintaining feel. Mix in a little speed and a little strength work To keep your nervous system primed for maximal efforts.

RELATED: Should I Do Intervals During Ironman Training?

« Previous Next »

FILED UNDER: Ironman / Race Tips / Training TAGS: /

Sign up for our free e-newsletter, SBR Report!

Subscribe to the FREE Triathlete newsletter