Ironman Louisville Training Tips Prep Period

The winter is almost behind us and many of you have signed up for Ironman Louisville. With Ironman Louisville being in such proximity to Indianapolis, many people are finding themselves signing up for this local Ironman  race because it is convenient to ride the course and the travel time to the race is minimal.  I have decided to write a series of posts that will help guide you throuh the Ironman Training process.  Feel free to ask questions! I have done the research and the work for you!  All you have to do is stay loyal to your periodization plan.  If you would like detailed workouts leading up to your A race, please email me at for private coaching at an additional cost.

There are different phases or periods that you will go through while training for your Ironman.  No matter what your level, theses periods are the same, although weekly hours will be unique based on experience, goals and age.  These periods are the Prep, Base, Build and Race.  Ironman Louisville Base Training should begin the week of March 14th.

Prep Period (now until March 13th)

You should have already begun your prep phase.  This includes “transitioning” back into the grind of doing some basic swim/bike/runs.  These are not hard/labored workouts, but are more about begining to build your aerobic engine.  The prep period is also a great time to refine your swim, bike and run technique.  Have you been thinking about getting your stroke analyzed?  Now is the time to start working on improving your skills, especially your limiters.  This is also a great time to get a bike fit.  There are many great bike shops in the area that can help you find a great ironman specific set up.


A very easy way to determime your training zones is to do a field test in swimming, biking and running.
Swim–after a 10-15 minute warm up, swim 1,000 meters at race pace.  Divide this by 10 to deterimine your pace per 100.  This is your “T-Time”

Bike–bike as hard as you can for 30 minutes.  This is a pace that you can sustain for 30 minutes without hitting a wall before the test is over.  10 mintues into the 30 minute effort, hit your lap button and record your heart rate average.  What we are looking for is the heart rate average for the last 20 minutes.  This is your Lactate Threshold Heart Rate. There is no need to use your power meter for this test.  Heart rate will be the primary tool for the prep field test.

Run (the testing protocol is the same as for the bike). There is no need to use a GPS device, heart rate will be the primary tool for the prep field test.

For further information, check out an article written by Joe Friel on the 30 minute test

Note:  You will have different training heart rate zones for biking and running. 
For exact calculations of heart rate training zones, refer to the following blog post from Joe Friel

My next post will be on training during the Base Period