A week in hell – my training preparations before Ironman Barcelona

I just thought I would share my training the last week before the last week prior to Ironman Barcelona 7.Oct. The training sessions are planned in detail of my coach Carson Christen in Trisutto & Torden Multisport.

Note that while my normal training plan usually is fairly tough, it is not as hard as these last four days. I can also add that I have been training between 700 – 1200 hours each year since 2014.

If reading my training program you should know what MOD/MED/MAD intensity is and swim, PB, PD. For reference, my estimated FTP is 330 watts weighing 68 kg.

MOD/MED/MAD refers to the goal intensity. In general, this would be:

MOD – Ironman pace

MED – 70.3 Ironman pace

MAD – Threshold+

The term does describe the intensity and not necessarily speed. Hence, a 50m MAD would be done with a much faster pace than a 400m MAD.

Swim – Freestyle swim

PB – Freestyle with pullbuoy

PD – Freestyle with paddles


Swim session – 60 x 50m with increasing intensity – Total 4800m

500 Easy PB

60 x 50 5-10sec Rest
20 MOD (Swim or PB)
20 MED (PB/PD)
20 MAD (PB)

1000 PB, MOD – MED

300 c/d

Bike session – Hill reps

10min w/u
8 x 6min MED (290watt, CAD 70) + 4min rest (165watt)
10min c/d


Swim – Focus 800s – Total 5600m

7 x 800m at MOD/MED pace alternating between PB/PD each 1,3,5 and 7, and swim 2,4 and 6. 30 sec rest.

Run: Negative split

10min w/u
8k – MOD/MED Effort (4:00 min/km)
8k – MED/MAD Effort (3:45 min/km)
5min c/d

15 min post-run cool down on bike


Swim – Total 4500m

400 w/u
10 x 50 (1 EZ / 1 Fast) Swim or PB, 15sec Rest
4 x 100 PB Easy
3 x 200 PB/PD MOD
2 x 300 PB MED
400 MAD Swim
3 x 500 PB (MOD/MED/MAD)
100 c/d

Bike session 1 – 30 x 1 min strength

5min w/u
30 x 1min ON 1min OFF @ 60rpm- 350watt
5min c/d

Bike session 2

10min w/u
3 x 10min MED (290watt) 5min Easy (182watt)
5min c/d


Bike – Long race-pace session

30min w/u
3 Hours Race Effort (266watt) + Race nutrition
30min c/d

Run – Brick (right after the ride)

20min MED-MAD (10min @ 3:45min/km and 10min æ 3:30min/km)
20min Easy

Honestly, I was exaggerating calling the preparations a week in hell. It was only four days and not everything was super hard. The total load of everything was heavy. It was super tough (especially mentally) doing the 4 hour ride with 3 hours continuous at 266watts and on my turbo in the aero position, all after three hard days prior.  However, this is the kind of load/overload we put on the body before the tapering towards Ironman Barcelona. I have another tough swim session tomorrow with 40 x 100m PD/PB with start on each 1:25, but nothing else. We back way of the volume and go for short and intensive sessions.

I hope you found this interesting and I will try to share more of my training from a bigger perspective in the future. You can always follow me on Instagram and Facebook (or Polar Flow and Strava) where I share many sessions from day to day, but I find the learning value of it to be limited due to lack of context.

Since an injury in my calf has prevented me for running I had really put the intensity in swimming (and biking as well, but that is as usual). My Polar V800 watch says I used 692kcal, but I use a OH1 optical HR sensor as well and get the true intensity, with an energy consumption of 1200, 1400 and 1100 for the three swim sessions. With two or more sessions each day and often less than 1 hour apart it is really important to get your food intake correct. In my case it is müslibuns with peanut butter, honey, banana and cocunut oil.
266 watts for 3 hours straight with a total of 8 min out of aero position (1 min each 15 min starting from 60 min). Fun stuff 😉
Getting in my race nutrition is an important key factor as well. I do around 320 kcal/h with Powerbar performance energy bar and Squeezy gels.
Weighing myself before the ride to keep track of fluid loss
0,6 kg down in 4 hours is close to nothing
1 min WU then 10 min @ 3:45min/km and 10 min @ 3:30min/km, before a 20 min cool down
This was my prize for the day – worth its weight in gold!
Doing it with the race kit was important as well. I am going to use either this Biorace speedsuit or the Santini Redux trisuit but have not concluded yet.


Publisert av


I am a 33 year old PRO triatlete. My goal is to swim, bike and run as fast as possible, and enjoy the journey. All my adventures and triathlon related stuff is well documented on this blog.

3 kommentarer til “A week in hell – my training preparations before Ironman Barcelona

  1. Hei. Hvorfor så mye PB? Svømmer selv ikke noe særlig fortere med PB, bortsett fra når jeg begynner å bli veldig sliten. Ser du løper en del på Vaporfly også. Har du flere par eller tror du ikke helt på det de sier om at de er utslitte etter 10 mil?

    1. Jeg svømmer mye med PB fordi treneren min sier det. Selv svømmer jeg betydelig saktere med det fremfor å bruke bein. Grunnen til at jeg bruker det så mye er primært todelt. Det er et teknisk aspekt (bedre balanse og aktivering av kjernemusklatur) mens det viktigste er å skåne beina som blir hardt belastede på sykkel og løp. Da ønsker vi primært å bruke overkroppen siden det ikke vil gi negative konsekvenser for resten av løpet om du er utslitt i armene etter svømmingen.

    2. Når det gjelder Vaporfly så har jeg ingen klare indikasjoner på at de er utslitt etter 10mil. Nå kan jeg bruke et par løpesko i mange år uten å slite de ut, men om de gir like mye energi tilbake nå som når de var nye er veldig vanskelig å si.

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