Ironman Boulder | The Plan

By Samwell

Ironman Boulder is my goal race this year. I did Carlsbad Half Marathon last weekend (race report coming soon), and I am doing two other Ironman 70.3 races in late spring/early summer. But in the end, everything is geared towards the starting line on August 2.

Previous Training Program:
Last year, for Ironman Wisconsin, I did a 30-week training plan based on the intermediate plan in the Be Iron Fit book, written by Don Fink. I really enjoyed the book and I thought the plan was great as well.

So, what does my training plan for Boulder look like?

Boulder Training Program:
Be IronFit, Competitive Program (30 weeks). I figure, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This program is nearly identical to the intermediate program for the base phase (first 10 weeks), increases the time commitment slightly for the build phase (weeks 11-20), and then really cranks it up (topping out at 20 hours a week) for the peak phase (weeks 21-30). Having already completed an Ironman training program, I think the increased commitment will be somewhat easier to handle compared to when I was just starting out. Also, Danielle will be training for some 100 mile race or something, so I won’t feel as bad this year when I don’t want to travel or explore on the weekends because I am too tired from training.

Coming from a non-swimming background, the first thing I researched when I started training for Ironman Wisconsin was how to swim. EVERYTHING I read recommended taking swim lessons because swimming speed comes from three sources – technique, technique, and technique. You can power through running and biking but swimming is a different beast.

So what did I do? I ignored everything I read and powered through my swim workouts.  I ended up swimming a 1:12 in Wisconsin, but I want to cut off at least 5 minutes in Boulder and improving my technique is the best way to get there.

This year I will be taking lessons at SwimLabs in Highlands Ranch. I’ve already completed two lessons, and I really enjoyed them. Here is hoping for some big improvements!

Oh Mr. Bike. This is the linchpin in my Boulder training plan. My Wisconsin bike time was 6:02 and my Boulder goal is 5:10. This means I have a lot of work to do.

During my Wisconsin training cycle I did not attempt  anaerobic workouts on the bike. My focus was strictly on staying aerobic and building endurance. To be fair, in 2013 (the year before I started training for Wisconsin), my total cycling mileage for the year was all of 150 miles…so I had a ways to go. This go-round I’m looking to crank it up a notch (or 20) in order to really improve my cycling performance. My plan is to focus on increased volume and add speed work.

I’m feeling pretty good about my running base at the moment. I worked on speed during the off-season and felt like I made good progress. Moving forward I will be taking a few weeks off of speed work to let my body recover from Carlsbad, and then I’ll add it back in once I move onto the ‘Build’ phase of my training plan.

Other things I am considering:

  • Tri Bike – Back to bike speed.. The bike is the one area where you can buy speed. I’m probably going to do just that. Coming from a running background, this hurts my pride a little bit, but you’ve got to play the game.
  • Power Meter – Another item I’ve been researching (and by researching, I mean reading what DC Rainmaker has to say about it) for improving my bike performance. I might bundle this in with a new bike.
  • Training Peaks – Right now, I am keeping track of all of my training in Garmin Connect, which just so happens to be terrible (especially lately). There are a lot of folks that rave about Training Peaks, but I still need to do some research.


  • I passed my fourth actuarial exam this week! Well, technically I passed it back in October, but I found out that I passed it this week.
  • I also read The Boys in the Boat this week. Reminds me of Seabiscuit – same time period, similar story. Very good read.
  • I HAVE NEW COMPRESSION SOCKS! I should probably wait to include this in my Carlsbad Half Marathon race report (since I bought them at the expo), but when something this good happens it can be difficult to wait. USA! USA!

    Red, white, & blue.....& awesome

    New compression socks!


  1. Congratulations on passing the exam, I’ve heard how difficult they are. And best of luck with the training – I know how hard that is.


    1. Thank you! And agreed, both are difficult though training tends to be more fun than studying 🙂


  2. i shared a whole bunch of “fun” trainer workouts with scott; if you want, i can email them to you, too. just send me a fb message. 😀

    and yeah, we’re upping the volume in a crazy way this year so we can be fit enough to attempt the ironman double in 2016 …


    1. Excellent! Will do! And I saw your 5000 mile goal for the bike, that is no easy task. You’ll be on a different biking level when you get there!


      1. This is D. I would like the bike trainer workouts!!! Just the short ones.. I don’t plan on biking much over an hour. =)


  3. Reblogged this on nzmultisports – Ṁ Power and commented:
    Some great advice here!


    1. Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. All the best. I like programmes and plans. In fact I just wrote a blog on my daughter and son-in-law who just finished a half iron on a bit of muscle memory… will attach the link if you feel like a laugh.
    And what is up with Garmin Connect lately – thought it was because I reside in deepest, darkest Africa… LOL!


    1. Thank you for sharing! Interesting read. And it is good to know I am not alone on the Garmin connect front!


  5. […] have been easier. The expo was decent. Danielle and I both bought a new pair of compression socks. As I may have mentioned in a previous post, mine are PRETTY […]


  6. […] meter. I mentioned this is my Ironman Boulder training plan post, but it still hasn’t happened. 80% of the blame goes to the fact that we are in the process […]


  7. […] I made the decision If you’ve read any of my previous Ironman Boulder training posts (one or two), you know that I’ve been thinking about and researching tri bikes for quite some time. […]


  8. […] Ironman Boulder | The Plan Ironman Boulder | Training Update I […]


  9. […] off, some light pre-reading: Ironman Boulder | The Plan Ironman Boulder | Training Update I Ironman Boulder | Training Update II | Ups and […]


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  11. […] Ironman Boulder | The Plan Ironman Boulder | Training Update I Ironman Boulder | Training Update II | Ups and Downs Ironman Boulder | Race Report | Part 1 Ironman Boulder | Race Report | Part 2 Ironman World Championship 2015 | Pre-Race Report […]


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