Selecting Ironman Plan

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    Hello all,

    I have done multiple training plans for running races but all have been pace based with a target time in mind. This included my most recent marathon race training plan. I have also done bike race training plans that also target a specific pace for the distance.

    How does this map to an Ironman or an 80/20 type plan? How does one choose a proper plan?


    I’m fairly familiar with the 80/20 concept but this is the first time I’ve embarked upon a serious schedule. I’ve signed up for the deal that allows you to the annual plan that allows you to change as often as you like, so I’ve decided to do maintenance then specific. I’m about to start my second maintenance plan, running consecutively from the first one, then once complete, I’ll go onto the Ironman plan.

    I didn’t know what level to pitch at so I went with Level 1, thinking it might be on the ambitious side, and knowing that I could drop to Level 0 if it was too demanding. I was right. I’ve found it tough and have been tempted on a couple of occassions to adjust downwards, but I’ve settled into it now.

    I think it’s always going to be a leap of faith. I couldn’t swim 25m freestyle a year ago so I’m just picking the plan that feels right with the view of getting started then I can bump the plan up or down depending on how I cope.

    David Warden

    B, check out our plan comparison chart at to help you choose the right plan for you. Remember, you can’t choose the wrong level as we have our Level Guarantee. You can switch level for free within the same distance if you find you plan level is too easy or too hard.

    Pick a level based on your ability to commit to training, not on a time goal. Choosing (or developing) a plan based on a time goal has two major issues:

    1. What if you can’t achieve the goal based on how close the event is and your current level of fitness? It’s a recipe for an injury or burnout.

    2. What if you can actually go much, much faster than you think? Why limit yourself to a specific time?

    Instead, train as much as you can fit into your lifestyle and be the best athlete you can be, whether that is faster or slower than your target time.


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