Advice on winter build up training, leading to concentrated training for Ironman

Hi All,

I’m hoping you might be able to help me???

I have looked around this forum and the Zwift training plans and I can’t find quite what I’m looking for.
I’m after some recommendations on building up my bike fitness ready for an Ironman next summer.

For info, I have already completed 2 Ironman events (Austria and Lanzarote) and missed the bike cut off in Wales 2018. I was very ill 10 days before the event, and looking at my health and training data, my coach said it wasn’t my fitness that stopped me but the illness! However, I’m now paranoid about my biking ability.

Anyway, I haven’t biked for the last year, so I now want to get back in the saddle and build my fitness over the next 4-6 months before following a structure IM training plan.

I’m thinking I should start right back at the beginning, and with the basics, as any bike fitness will have gone. I have been running and doing strength and conditioning work. So something like:
Please could make suggestions on what training plans I should follow? I’m thinking :

  • Zwift 101
  • FTP test
  • Build me up - 13 weeks
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?

I’ve also looked for Ironman bike training plans to follow on Zwift i.e week 1 day 1 do x, week 1 day 2 do y etc etc. Are there any Zwift plans that are as descriptive as this? I know riding outside is always better and helps to gain the bike handling skills etc but with the good old British weather I’m lot happier being in the pain cave with Zwift…

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards

With respect to just Zwift and what they offer, do an FTP test/Ramp test and then do the Build Me Up training plan. Then try out the Multi-sport Mixer training program to combine some running and cycling workouts for seven weeks to see how that works out. Perhaps a real coach would help.

Thanks for the advice. its on the lines of what I was thinking.


As sbody who have done the build me up plan twice last winter, and doing now a different path, I’d argue to start with BMU. The BMU plan is like a grinder, it’ll spit you out on the other end dead if you start it without preparations. I know it’s already 23 days, so you are probably famililar with them Unicornz already :slight_smile: If not, I’d say to start with 12wk winter plan (after FTP test) and finish at least the first 5 weeks. That’ll give you some basic endurance before intensity. I know it’s boring as ■■■■, but it’s very good for the aerob endurance capacity of your legs. Than hit the BMU. If you have 6 months, than I suggest to start with Active Off Season (planned rides, but otherwise it’s exactly the same as 12wk Winter plan to the minute), than do the BMU.

Admittedly, i haven’t completed a full Ironman, i generally go HIM and lower. When training for my last HIM, i first did a FTP test, then considered my weekly hours for the bike. Typically i use 4hrs/week maintenance, then depending on which training periodisation phase (Base, build, comp) i’d apportion time in relation to my swim and run (e.g. 50% bike, 20% swim, 20% run, 10% strength/conditioning). Typically the bike would be between 7 - 10hrs a week. This is important when considering your commitment to a structured plan. Also, you need to consider the type of responder you are to make your training effective with the matched a plan. For example, being a person using polorisation training, i responded better to the FTP booster plan coupled with long low intensity free rides. If you have all your data on Training peaks or Strava, perhaps sit down with your coach and pin point the type of athlete you are, your strengths and weaknesses. All the best.