Ask the Experts: Long distance triathlon training with Gordon Crawford

K-Swiss Ironman and Endurance Running Coach Gordon Crawford is here to answer all your questions this Friday at 1pm

1 to 20 of 47 messages
19/10/2012 at 18:12

A date for your diary!

Right here next Friday at 1pm (October 26) K-Swiss Ironman and Endurance Running Coach Gordon Crawford will be joining us for a live webchat. He'll be on hand to discuss endurance training and how to tackle training for long-distance events such as middle distance and Ironman.

A former Scottish international athlete, Gordon Crawford is an Ironman coach with a whole host of elite triathlon champions under his wing.

So whether you’re an Ironman veteran or are just dipping your toe into long-distance triathlons, Gordon will be on hand to answer all your training questions.

Start posting your burning questions now!

19/10/2012 at 19:48

I have a question, All the Ironman training plans I've come across start off at less hours per week than what I currently train at then build up to more than my current time training.

If I am enjoying my training and feeling good on it would you reccomend I cut back time training to follow the plan or stay at my current level until the Plan catches up?

20/10/2012 at 17:42
How should the use of a treadmill be adapted to support going long.
(Running outside is not an option for me until springtime)
20/10/2012 at 18:08


If training for long distance races, do you do long runs at target race pace?

20/10/2012 at 18:34

I understand that we cannot train for standalone running race at race pace.

 Ive seen from more than one source that a well paced Ironman marathon should be around 30 mins slower than stand alone marathon.

 So lets assume a 3.30 stand alone time with an IM marathon target time of 4 hours, what would be long run training pace.

20/10/2012 at 18:39

Alternativey, do you measure heart rate and just keep at around 70 % of max and let pace be dictated by this?

20/10/2012 at 22:34

Serious Question for Gordon

At work, I have an on site gym, with free weights, machines, spin bikes etc
As I work in the a*se end of nowhere and have no friends, I have 4  * 1 hour lunches to fill, which ends up being 4*40 mins of training time.

I run / bike commute, and swim in the evenings so that stuff is largely coverred off

Whats the best use of my time for these sessions?
functional body weight type stuff on the legs, (lunges / squats etc etc)
spin bike intervals
stepper, rowing, x trainer
stretching / rollering?
x-training classes


Edited: 20/10/2012 at 22:34
seren nos    pirate
21/10/2012 at 08:54

i thought one constant speed was the idea for Ironman as oppossed to speed off and die on your feet


right another question to the expert....


 what would be your best advice for training for a good even bike split whilst keeping enough in the tank to  complete the run evenly.....


21/10/2012 at 10:48
I have finished my first season of long distance
triathlons and loved it. What's the best approach to maintainig endurance or fitness built over the last 9 months?
PS is there any benefit to attending tri training camps when preparing for long distance events next year?
MTri    pirate
23/10/2012 at 15:23

Prior to starting Base training, approx 30 weeks out from 'A' race, what should the goal be, endurance or speed?



25/10/2012 at 10:25


Just so you're aware, I'm cleaning up this thread just to keep questions on here, otherwise the post gets a little difficult for new people to follow. We obviously don't do this with other posts on the forum, but the webchat threads are an exception just to keep them relevant for our experts and other users.


Katie RW



25/10/2012 at 12:06

Hi Gordon,

I'm going to build up to my first IM over the next 18-ish months. My HIM time this year was just under 5 hours with a big lack of endurance training as I was only focused on olympic and sprints. My run let me down slightly I think, coming in about 10 minutes slower than i was hoping for. I was on track at the halfway point and burned out a bit.

What do you think is the key to running the IM marathon close to the time you would do a standalone marathon? Obviously it comes down to a bunch of different factors.. among others there's nutrition and pacing in the race, lots of bike and run endurance training.. if you had to pick one or two factors as being the most important what would you go for? Out of interest, how would the elite racers IM marathon times compare to their marathon PBs? And lastly, if you were to include 2 must-have endurance focused sessions in a weekly plan what would they be?


MTri    pirate
25/10/2012 at 13:08

I'm currently off swimming, thought I'd try 6+ months of not swimming, before getting back into the water in the New YEar and start training for an IM swim.  Read somewhere, that if you were OK at swimming, I average around 1:05 for the 3.8km in OW, then after a break, you could make substantial improvements on a return, and you can relearn your stroke and make big changes, rather than just minor tweaks.  Any thoughts?

25/10/2012 at 17:13

Hello Gordon,

I'm signed up for IM Lanzarote next year and I want to try to develop some more leg strength over the upcoming months to (hopefully) increase speed on the flat and to prepare for the long uphill drags.  If it's of any use it will be my 5th IM and my time last year at IM Wales was just over 7:31.  Any pointers gratefully received.


25/10/2012 at 21:16
Hello Gordon

Do you think that composing poetry is helpful for Ironman training?
PSC    pirate
26/10/2012 at 08:00

heart rate, or perceived effort - which is going to help most in training and convert best through to race day?  Caveat, as a nearly 50 year old I am struggling to read the numbers on my garmin and polar so while I would like to train to HR, the tech is becoming backup only (ie it waits until I get home to my reading glasses) and I am training off the data AFTER the run/bike! 

PSC    pirate
26/10/2012 at 08:01

Katie - are we going to be able to download this later and read/listen at a time of our chosing?

bburn plO.dder    pirate
26/10/2012 at 10:37

Any tips on the best way of developing strength for short steep hills. I've signed up for IM Switzerland next year, it will be my 2nd iron distance - I did Outlaw this year. 

I understand there is a hill like this on the course (Hearbreak Hill??). I'm OK on long drags (slow and steady), any advice other than just practice?


26/10/2012 at 11:41


Yes, I'll be writing up all the questions in a blog early next week, and this forum thread will stay up on the forum.

Thanks, Katie RW

26/10/2012 at 12:56

Welcome, Gordon!

Thanks for joining us on today’s webchat, Gordon. The theme for today is Ironman and endurance training. Gordon will be answering the questions that you’ve posted through the week, and any more you have over the next hour.

Over to you Gordon…

Katie RW

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