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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ironman Bike Training - How far, how long, how often?

After writing my blog entry on Ironman run training, I figured I'd add an entry like this for each discipline.

Unlike running, the risk of injury biking is fairly minimal. You can push it hard and still walk the next day, so no need to hold back. It also helps that I have a lot of riding under my belt, and have done century rides (100 miles / 160km) twice before and countless 100K rides. 180k isn't going to be easy, but I'm mentally ready for the distance.


I know, it's spring, you forgot winter already... but I had not choice, I had to start training in winter. This meant using a bike trainer.

To combat trainer boredom, I signed up for a 2-hour triathlon spin class since misery loves company. I also used the Spinervals DVDs at home, they help pass the time by putting you through a barrage of different work-outs in each session.


When the snow cleared (mostly), I switched to my hybrid and hit the gravel/mud/trails. For motivation, I signed up for Paris to Ancaster, a mountain bike race that I've done 3 years running. I've managed to get out for a few 2-3 hour rides at pretty solid intensity.

After this (May-August) my plan for the bike is quite simple:
  • Long steady ride weekly, lower intensity, building from 3 hours up to 5-6 hours (including one or two rides of 160-180k)
  • One or two shorter 60-90 minute rides each week at high intensity - typically hills or a sustained effort like a time-trial

There are lots of bike workouts you can do, but personally I can't stand doing intervals... I want to get out there and hammer it without checking my watch.

That's it! Not too complicated, just get out and ride.

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