Newbie to triathlon and Ironman, master ... plausible with IM L0 plan? | 80/20 Endurance

Newbie to triathlon and Ironman, master … plausible with IM L0 plan?


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  • #15417


    I am new to triathlon and never done one, but have set the challenge to finish the Ironman full distance in July 2022.

    My background is 49 years old male, who does on average ~8hrs per week of cardio consisting of 3 bike rides (~6hrs) and 3 runs (~2 hrs). I do often long 4+ hrs rides and max run I have done was 1hr, but many 45′.

    I had a few structured plans over the past few years for cycling (e.g, sweet spot, rolling road race, etc. using Trainerroad) and running ones in the past 6 months (5K and 10K from GTN).

    My swimming is very weak point, technique was never addressed – but I know to swim at least 🙂

    I read about 80/20 trainings and believe that I should start with Ironman Level 0 from Feb 2022 to get myself onto start line. Until then I have 2 months to improve swimming technique.

    So I have two questions:

    First, a hypothetical one – based upon my background above how plausible is that IM L0 plan will get me over the finish line, possibly in 15hrs – or I am too optimistic and perhaps should continue building my training and do IM in 2023, not in July 2022.

    Second, given that answer to the first one is pretty realistic – what would be the best recommendation how to train for the next 2 months before starting IM L0 plan in Feb 2022 – obvious focus will be to improve swimming technique.

    Thanks in advance,

    Matt Fitzgerald

    Hi Denis,

    Welcome to the community! Based on the information you’ve provided, I’m confident a Level 0 Ironman plan will prepare you for a successful Ironman finish. We have swim technique improvement plans in development, but they won’t be available for a few weeks. So the best recommendation I can offer is that you use our free triathlon maintenance plan and supplement it with one-on-one swim lessons with a certified swim coach.

    Coach Matt


    Hi Coach Matt,

    Thank you for the advice and confidence boost – I needed to hear from the subject matter expert – much appreciated.

    Cheers, Denis


    Update – I have now completed last week full distance Ironman 2022 in Bolton in 15 hrs!
    I did follow Matt’s advice and had a few swimming lessons and went swimming for 2 months almost every day so that I was ready and be able to start executing swimming workouts when my IM Level 0 plan started in the beginning of February 2022.

    Without this plan and 8020 concept, I would not be able to complete IM in UK/Bolton.

    I had 1hr session with coach Leyla in the last month of my training to explain logistics of an IM race, share tips and as I was panicking 🙂 I’ll DNF due to difficulty of the bike course in Bolton.

    Thank you!

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