Is it all about the numbers ? TRAINING PERCENTAGES

How do you split your training ? I read a thread that stated you can do an ironman on very little biking or swimming.

1 to 20 of 42 messages
citizen 146    pirate
09/08/2012 at 09:53

I read a thread on here stating that you could complete an ironman on very little cycling or swimming. I would agree, having done the outlaw on zero running , What is a good balance for regular people and is it different by gender and age ( clearly triathletes from Yorkshire are a different breed!)

Swim bike run other ( I do general free weights and stretching , well I say I do stretching what I actually do is rest in a'' stretching'' position).

My numbers are Swim 20%   Bike 65%   Run 0%  and other 15%

09/08/2012 at 10:28
I'm a runner moving into tri and I just can't get my head around someone being able to complete a marathon in an ironman event off no running..... Will be very interested to read the replies on here!
Doner Kebab    pirate
09/08/2012 at 10:36

you could complete an ironman on very little of either of the disciplines if you have a good enough base in one of the others so to compensate it. the key word is complete. i wouldnt want to do an iron without biking at least 80 miles in one shot - just to get used to having arse ache for that long, so far as running goes, you dont need to run loads at all. If you are thinking of just completing and not competing you will be walking loads of it anyway. i would love to see the thread that says you can complete an iron with very little cycling. swimming though is an afterthought for many.

09/08/2012 at 10:44

10% swim
55% bike
35% run

09/08/2012 at 10:44

I think i'm right in saying both Saffers and Engineer completed Outlaw this year of zero running due to injurie but both had done alot of biking.

I can't understand why anyone would try an ironman distance on hardly any training....just sounds like pain to me.

bburn plO.dder    pirate
09/08/2012 at 11:09

Just checked my %'s for my one and only so far...

Cycle 50%, Run 30%, Swim 20%, averaged around 10 - 12 hours per week - is that classed as "very little", I guess it's all relative.

I also did as many hours strength training as I did in the pool. Personally, I think it helps prevent injuries.

If/when I do it again, I would do more cycling and less swimming. I am a crap swimmer so I needed to work on it for my first one.

Looking back at my training, without singing my own praises too much, I was extremely consistent, and trained at least once a day, pretty much six days a week for 6 months

Coming to ironman from a running background I was worried about the lack of run training, but I even managed to run a marathon about 4 months into the training, off the back of a longest run of 12 miles - so having a good all round fitness base must work

09/08/2012 at 11:32

I think if you are training for iron distance events the swim shouldn't figure too highly as long as you can make it around the course. The bike is surely by far the most important. No use being able to run well if you're shattered coming off the bike.

If you're training for sprint or olympic events, the percentages should change as the swim takes up more of the race. Mine are around 35% swim, 40% bike, 25% run.

09/08/2012 at 11:35
The general fitness argument the opposite to everything I ever thought / everything I ever read on the running forum. I.e the only way you can run a marathon is to put the running miles in your training. The amount of times I've read that its impossible to run a marathon without multiple runs way in excess of 13miles (regardless of general fitness) just made me believe it to be true!

And that's not even thinking about a 10% or less increase in mileage per week!
bburn plO.dder    pirate
09/08/2012 at 11:42

forty_44, I know what you mean, but it worked for me. Although I have run marathons in the past, and did have a good running base established over about 5 years before starting iron distance training.

Incidentally, although slow, with a few walking breaks (and complete stops for drinks & snacks at feed stations), I did manage to run the majority of Outlaw, albeit a pretty sorry shuffle  

09/08/2012 at 11:42

I've never done an IM, but am thinking of it for next year. My thoughts are that the bike is the most important discipline to train for. Sitting in a saddle for that long has got to be exhausting, physically and mentally, so that's where I'd focus my training. Currently, I'm probably around 60% swim, 30% running, 10% bike. Plus a fair bit of gym work, but I'm not allocating that a percentage  Since I'm already a strong-ish swimmer, and my running is crap (and likely to remain so) due to injury, this needs to change!

09/08/2012 at 11:46
And what % chocolate milk Sarah?
09/08/2012 at 11:55
forty_44 wrote (see)
And what % chocolate milk Sarah?

I prefer strawberry milk

Doner Kebab    pirate
09/08/2012 at 19:01

just for info regarding what you read in the running forums F 44 - i did a marathon last year on half iron man training,( id been running less than a year ) previously i had done 2 half maras earlier in the year, i got a sub 4 hour at rutland trail mara on 1 run of 18 miles and a few 12 milers - anything is possible

citizen 146    pirate
09/08/2012 at 22:25

forty-44, see the above comment , ''anything is possible''.  I often feel we are all victims of the sporting media telling us that to do x you must have completed y. At wimbleball and the outlaw the majority of people were first timers at that distance and the majority were sucessful!  The majority did enough training at whatever percentages to complete , and perhaps the majority will come back next year to improve their efforts once they realise it is never as tough as you get told it is. Clearly their are some horribly tough races which are self regulating as they are entered by the horribly tough plus those who have done a few IM length races and up their efforts accordingly just to get a completion.

For the record I did the Outlaw on no running at all with one half marathon about 8months earlier ( my farthest ever distance ) and the half marathon at Wimbleball.

I went 1 hour 13 in the swim, 6 hours 45 for the bike , leaving me a lot of time for the ''run'' which eventually took 6 hours 20.  I had fun for the entire event and although the run hurt physically it was all new and interesting after mile 13!  Under 15 hours in total , all because I decided to get to the start line in one piece which I felt would not have been possible had I started to run in training.

citizen 146    pirate
09/08/2012 at 22:29

Have started training for Outlaw 2013 and aim to do 10-12 hours a week with 25% Swimming and 60% bike , and still 0% running ( not including) race day ,

Cortina5    pirate
10/08/2012 at 00:11
forty_44 wrote (see)
The general fitness argument the opposite to everything I ever thought / everything I ever read on the running forum. I.e the only way you can run a marathon is to put the running miles in your training. The amount of times I've read that its impossible to run a marathon without multiple runs way in excess of 13miles (regardless of general fitness) just made me believe it to be true!

And that's not even thinking about a 10% or less increase in mileage per week!

What DK said earlier. You could walk a mara on zero training, but run it competitively?

Complete: It's about the bike, and some swimming to ensure you make cut off. Complete: All three.

TrainingPeaks tells me that time-wise (5Dec-29Jun) I did the similar to Plodder. I was suprised by this - and was out of the pool for 6 weeks with a shoulder injury.
Swim: 17%
Bike: 50%
Run: 33%


10/08/2012 at 07:03
Swim 10%
Bike 60%
Run 30%
Other 10%

Missed a lot of swim sessions as that's my least favourite, but probably averaged 2 a week
And the above ends up at 110%.....
Doozer.    pirate
10/08/2012 at 07:57
I'd say for me when training for IM I will swim 3-5 hours bike 10+ and run 4-6. I will always bike over 10 hours and a swim or run will go if I have time issues!
citizen 146    pirate
10/08/2012 at 08:58

bookworm at 30% running you are obviously way ahead of my game , I did spend a fair amount of time in the gym and had quite a few sessions on the cross trainer( cross country ski type machine ) not using my arms, which I told myself was a bit like running and certainly good for my balance!

o.range cannon/ ironcat 5 , 50% bike would seem to be a good minimum.

There must be a good runner out there who owns a 10 speed and just wanders around the park with the kids?

VTd    pirate
10/08/2012 at 09:06

I injured myself 10 weeks before outlaw and had next to no running during that time.  However, I had been coming into decent running form prior to the injury and I think I had relied on that. 

I think that the comments above which distinguish between a competitive and a 'just get round' finish are well founded.  You could get round on little running providing you are a decent enough swimmer and your bike is strong. 

I didn't have a great outlaw by the standards I had set myself before injury struck, but I did enough on the swim and bike to allow me to get through the run without too much stress.

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