Posted by: David D. Daggett | June 2, 2008

Ironman Blueprint

Ironman Blueprint

     Now that we have some keys to open the door in the wall of Ironman training with family, let’s look at what the schedule might look like. I continue to refine “my” program so that it integrates as well as possible with the family. Note that I have listened a lot to others in order to develop my “plan.”

     Training is very individual, with common principles. I limit my training to 10 hrs a week divided roughly into 2 hrs swimming, 3 hours running, and 5 hrs biking. I do this week in, week out, all year round. Consistency and frequent repetition are more important than any other factor. I believe in doing 1 long, 1 hard and 1 short in each discipline each week. I do throw in 2 or 3 long bikes in the last 6 weeks. I rarely if ever run over 2 hrs at one time.

     I don’t believe in (given my life constraints) or have time for junk, so I try to have a purpose for each workout. Note that this is year around every year, and I believe that consistency is a real key what whatever level of relative success we achieve. I always say that I am a six week training block away from an IM. Remember too that I may be different than you in that I have 17 IMs under my belt and know I will at least finish.

     For IM training basically everything becomes an aerobic tempo workout. Most folks at the IM distance, in my opinion, either go too fast and fail to properly develop the aerobic system and at speeds which they will never do on race day (ie run 6:30 miles); or, go too easy and waste a lot of time (may be beneficial if you have the luxury of time – I don’t).

     For the swim I usually train 20 minutes 2 days a week and 40 minutes 2 days a week. I do throw in two 1 hour swims in the 4 weeks before an IM. Note that I am pretty confident that I can go an hour or so without any more than that so it is plenty for me, and I wouldn’t gain much by going more. I do one day easy, one day 200s, one day 400s, and one day straight tempo.

     The bike is a 70 mile time trail very early every Sat morning, a short bike on Sun, and maybe one 1/2 hour ride during the week. Note that I transition on every bike ride even if it is 1 minute up the driveway and back. Then, I take opportunities for long rides/days when I can fully integrate the whole family.

     For the run, I go long early Wed am, a long run brick on Sun (bike is very short), and then maybe one or two 1/2 hr runs at lunch. This seems to stay manageable with a busy lifestyle, and it keeps you from getting burned out, over-trained, and injured.

     Perhaps the biggest key for the IM is nutrition. Think of it this way: the swim and bike simply sets the table for a run which is simply trying to maintain while getting from one aid station to the next as quickly as possible without bonking. I really practice my nutrition program, including having the same pre race meal before every long workout. My race nutrition includes 1000 cal pre race,  2000 cal on the bike, and gels every 20-30 min on the run, plus fluids.

      My goals are consistent with this plan. For the IM distance, the goal it is simply to do the best I have with what I’ve got on a given day, and to treat my wife well after (immediately!) the race including doing something she wants to do, like go to a nice dinner.

Be satisfied with your very best, Never give up, Do unto others….


  1. […] Following Ironman Blueprint a number of folks followed up asking about marathon training. Again, although I have run 23 […]

  2. […] Over the past several weeks we have discussed the Ironman Blueprint, Marathon Blueprint, and Training With Family. Of course, for many of us a focused purpose for our […]

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  4. […] that will work. As athletes we are familiar with training plans. We discussed training plans in Ironman Blueprint. We also need business plan, family purpose, and spiritual […]

  5. Dave,

    Are you still training and doing IM? Got anything scheduled? I find your posts inspiring,..

    • Yes! In addition to short races I am excited to tentatively be doing Roth and Kona 2016! Best wishes!

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