NEWBIE- BUILD UP TO IM IN 2023 | 80/20 Endurance


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    I am very much a newbie at serious training. I have always been able to swim/cycle but never done them seriously. I started running September 2020 via Couch 2 5k and built up using the Garmin training plans. I have a sprint tri in June (my first tri) and HM in September. I have an aspiration to complete an Ironman distance in 2023, partly to give myself a longer build up and because I’ll have more time post sept 2022 when youngest starts school.

    My question relates to how best to build up my strength and speed over 2022? I was thinking a 70.3, but wondering whether i should plan for separate running/cycling events too? Marathon? As the best way to gradually improve over the time and give myself the best chance at full IM.


    Matt Fitzgerald

    Hi Sarah,

    My recommended default developmental approach for newbies aspiring to the Ironman distance is to “climb the ladder” of race distances: sprint, Olympic, 70.3, IM. It can be beneficial in some cases to focus on one’s weakest discipline for a period of time, but I wouldn’t recommended focusing on each of the three separately in rotation. Here’s an article of my that is somewhat related to your question:

    The Difference Between Athletic Development and Getting Fitter

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