I followed the Level 3 Ironman plan last year and had great success, however due to having more time and willing to invest more effort into training, I was wondering what the next step from Level 3 would be? I found I need a particularly higher volume of running to improve, even from what is at Level 3.
Thanks for using our plans, and I’m really pleased to hear about your success. We have a Level 4 plan being tested, but it’s mid-2021 before it’s ready for prime-time.
But, I can give you the proposed secret formula to upgrade from Level 3 to a custom Level 4 using the Level 3 as a base:
– Add 20% total volume to each week. This takes you a peak of 23 hours in the longest week (up from 19)
– That additional distribution should be at least 50% bike, and 25% run and swim. A 30/20 run/swim ratio is acceptable. So, if you add 2 hours of total training in a week, then an hour is cycling and 30 minutes running and 30 minutes swimming.
– Those two steps are the easy part. The hard part is making sure those additional hours are added as the 80/20 ratio. This just takes a spreadsheet and 20 minutes of time a week to figure out.
– Change the frequency of the run by +1 each week after the first 8 weeks. The bike can stay at 4x and just add that extra time to the existing 4 bike workouts a week. No change to the swim (unless swim is a weakness for you.
– Finally, if you did not use one of our free or premium strength plans with your IM training, that is an instant upgrade from a Level 3 to a Level 3.5. Consider that first before a custom Level 4.