Need an additional rest day in Ironman Plan | 80/20 Endurance

Need an additional rest day in Ironman Plan

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    Hi All,

    I have the Level 1 Ironman plan which I started this week. Looking at it, it seems excellent except for one thing.

    I am 44 years old this year and am not going to be able to train 6 days a week. I know from experience of marathon training that this level of training is too much and will lead to injury or burn out.

    Ideally I need 2 entire days off a week.

    Is there an obvious day that I could drop, or maybe a couple of obvious workouts that can be dropped each week with limited damage to the programme. I could then shuffle the others about around it.

    Any opinions graciously received.



    Marius T


    In my opinion, if you know from start that you will not be able to fallow the Level 1 plan as prescribed, is better to change to Level 0.

    And because you are 40+ old (I’m 42) is also a good idea to implement a strength plan. So, a Level 0 followed 100% + a strength plan will serve you better than Level 1 with dropped workouts.

    Additionally, if, at some point, you will find that the Level 0 workouts are somehow easier, you can choose a slightly harder workout (e.g. in week 1 of Level 0, instead CCI1 you can do CCI2, but pay attention at the whole 80/20 ratio).



    Good idea Marius. The problem is that I have already bought the level 1 so I ideally don’t want to also buy level 0.

    Plus, I have quite a long background of endurance training so am more than capable of level 1 in terms of workouts, I just think I need an entire additional day off (knowing how my body reacts to training stimulus).

    I already have a strength programme that I am following alongside it, as well as a mobility routine that I perform.

    Any thoughts on what I might be able to shuffle about in order to accomodate an additional day of rest? I am happy to move workouts to another day, I just would like 2 days off a week for recovery, at least for the first half of the plan anyway.

    Matt Fitzgerald

    We offer a level guarantee that allows you to change levels at no additional charge. Email your request to

    Marius T

    Snooky, it’s hard to alter the plan and maintain its integrity.
    Last summer I did this plan but honestly, it’s still hard to figure how to add a day off.

    Maybe, in order to have Friday off in week 2 of the plan:
    – move RRe from Friday to Thursday
    – move SF to Sunday (and eliminate the SMI)

    Regarding swimming, do only 2 workouts and always have a SF on Sunday and alternate the SCI/SMI/ST workouts from week to week on Wednesday.

    I think we both have the same problem but I choose to try a low frequency high volume route

    P.S. happy to hear about what strength program do you follow 🙂

    Marius T

    In order to have Friday off and keep 3 swims per week, another posibility for week 2:

    – move SF from Friday to Thursday
    – remove RRe (or you can do something very light like elliptical)


    Hi Marius,

    Thank you for giving this so much thought.

    I read your post about Lower frequency and higher volume and its definitely one way to go.

    I think (having looked at your posts and thought about it a bit) that the obvious solution is to shuffle the Friday workouts about.

    AS you say, move the Friday run (when it happens) to Thursday and either drop the swim entirely, or just do the swim anyway as there is no impact with swimming (and it is the impact and the wear and tear that I think I need rest from.

    Plenty for me to consider and I do appreciate you replying.

    As for my strength programme that I follow, it is super simple.

    I do Yoga classes twice a week which is superb for overall strength. I also follow a push-pull-lower workout routine each week. It looks like this.

    Monday – Lower
    Squat – 3 x 5 (not enough weight for failure, but enough to keep the strength ticking over)
    Dead Life – 3 x 5 (as above)

    Wednesday- Push
    Bench Press. 4 x 8 (close to failure on final set but not quite)
    Shoulder Press 4 x 8 (as above)
    Press up 2 x 15 (basically as many as I can do, twice)

    Friday – Pull
    Chin Ups – 4 x 8 (assisted cause I am on the heavy side) 4 x 8
    Bent Over DB Row – 4 x 8 (close to failure on final set but not quite)
    TRX Rows – 2 x 15 (concentrate on form)

    I find this is enough to stop me losing too much muscle mass during endurance training and helps me to keep condition.

    The squats and DL are great for core strength, as is the yoga.

    To add to this, I also do 15-20 minutes of mobility work every night (when not at yoga) just to keep my hips and shoulders etc moving about.

    It’s working so far, but is early days. Will keep you posted.

    Thanks again.


    Hi Snooky,
    Ironman Training and Marathon training do differ in many ways in terms of training stress. Running 6 days a week is indeed harder on the body due to the impact than training multisport 6 days week. I think you may find on the Level 1 Ironman plan that your ability to recover between sessions is improved as you have the swim and bike training to break up the impact stress of the run.
    Consistency is key in endurance training (along with the 80/20 principles of intensity) and so unless your schedule doesn’t allow 6 days of training then I would see how you feel during the general preparation phase on the Level 1 Plan before removing workouts. As Matt mentioned you can always get the Level 0 plan (level guarantee included with your current plan) but given your experience level 1 sounds like it will work for you.


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