40+ training


So I’ve been running for a few years and have played sport most of my life on and off (and also been a waste of skin for many years too). I recently decided to get into triathlon as I live in Bolton and have been inspired by the Ironman event and friends who have done it.

Im 44 next month and I’m reasonably fit and ran many half’s and 1 full marathon.

During lockdown I bought a decent road bike and a turbo trainer and swimming stuff. Obviously swimming is not available right now although there are some icy open water venues near by I may brave in the coming months.

I’m looking for training advice in terms of improvement. What sorts of distances, intensity, balance of bike, running and strength etc etc. I can easily carve out an hour a day and more on some days. Or do I need to spend more time training?

I did a plan last night that looks like this:
Mon - Easy run 45 mins
Tuesday - turbo trainer 1 hr
Weds - easy run 1 hr
Thurs - 5k run race pace
Friday - easy cycle 1 hr
Sat - brick session 20k bike 10k run
Sun - rest day, family walk.

I’m currently flitting around between running and Zwift. I’m enjoying the bike more as I’ve defo got fitter on it in the 4 months I’ve had it. I’ve only been out on the road 3 or so times as I got it in October ish.

Any tips greatly appreciated. I do like running further to be honest but is this needed? I’m looking at standard Tri training for now and maybe some longer focussed stuff later. I also like trail running and am lucky to have some great trails over Rivington.

Thanks in advance.


Local to you.

Know a few of the Bolton/ Leyland/ Preston based tri nuts.

I think it was Jim that said that you can’t really have a bad plan to start with, yours looks fine.

You will respond to it, or not, and can then adjust and move on.

All kinds of talk as to if the race is actually happening this year, we are in the lap of the Gods I guess.

That said I’m sure there will be races of some description this year.

When all the madness dies down there is a group of us that ride out from Rivington most weeks, you will be made most welcome.


I think the general consensus is functional strength / conditioning work becomes more important the older you get. An hour of circuit training and stretching wound be a good addition even at the expense of an existing run/bike session.


As @Midlife_Trisis says.

Strength work is so important as we age.
Ditching a run or a bike for a s/c session is time well spent


Thank you all. I had been working with PT at the gym before the latest lock down, doing functional stuff and core work which was great. Got a bit of kit in the garage but low motivation to use time doing it for some reason. I’ll squeeze a session of that in somewhere and stretch as much as possible as I realised this is beneficial for staving off injuries in general.


bloody youngens :grin:


I may take you up on that offer, although I already feel slightly intimidated!

Iron rookie turns up when he’s sober…

One of the guys is trying to break the strava sheephouse lane time, everyone else is firmly ordinary.

No pressure to go at any pace, there decent fellas.

Urghhh! Is that the segment from the reservoir to the top? I’ve only done from Belmont side a couple of times. I’ll get out and tackle that soon as I hear its much harder. Looks horrible.

As I’m a novice at the hills. Do you recommend High gear unseated or low gear high cadence? (if I got that right?!) Or is it purely preference?

It is purely preference. However, I would say you should always have a lower gear if you can, so you actually are choosing it as a preference.

I have no idea strava is not for me…

I’m guessing it’s the “ steep side climb” segment, I think it finishes 30 M past the green tree.

If you know you know.

Obviously we go black dog pub up over down to the reservoir x3 this year.

Easier but the last one will be tough.

As others will tell you, you don’t want to be in bottom gear… the easiest gear to peddle … you have and be grinding at 40-50 rpm.

It’s really inefficient.

50x34 chainset and a 28/30/32 rear is plenty for that course.

The run is flat at least

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Sounds like you are already in better shape than some of us were when we started out, so no need to be intimidated.


I’m not into the strava stuff. It was just the hill I was referring to to be honest.

Hope it goes ahead this year for you crazy people. :crossed_fingers:

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If it doesn’t … there will always be other challenges for the crazies.

We had an email last night about on course nutrition, it’s a great race

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Hi John welcome.

I’d say that the main thing is so find the training opportunities in your schedule and build the habit of doing the sessions, getting consistency has been very hard for me but it is one of the main factors in improving.

For now in winter the type of sessions aren’t that important but I would not try to run a 5k race every week. If you’ve built up to it I’d say intervals at 5k pace maybe or hill repeats instead.

There’s lots of different approaches to planning but pretty much all either increase intensity or time week by week, so maybe cut back to your average hours for the last six weeks and build from there.

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Thank you, yes I’d put that in there as I thought I should be doing some higher intensity work. I’m going to try the intervals this week as I’ve since read a bit more.

I suppose I’ve just been “running” and “cycling” with no plan really.

Does anyone have any recommendations for Zwift? I’ve been doing bits and bobs and managed to up my ftp about 15% in last couple months (if that even matters).

Also are there any swimming opportunities anywhere at the moment. I have a wetsuit.

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For me it’s races.

Start in Cat D or Cat C

I would look a fews types of events

Crit Races - typically under 30 minutes, full on, try to push over your FTP, with a sprint at the end

Longer races - 70-100km+ at your race pace, these are great for nutrition and hydration practice, while under race condition, Ideally try to run a short run straight off these races. The reason I like them is that you will invariably overcook the effort, over time you get much better at adjusting to a proper race pace

KISS Base Build - Marvelous training sessions, Choose the right category for your Zone 2 effort. There are longer rides, zone 2 effort, with lots of chat going on. Do this every week during the winter and it will make you a stronger rider

Hilly races - Alpe De Zwift, Ven-Top, La Reine, Innsruck climb: This is where you develop your diesel engine, Some of these races, like Ven-Top will take you 1h15m or more, its a real test to see how long you can push max power.


Thank you so much for this. I will check out all of that.

Looking forward to getting my arse whipped in a race. :tired_face:

How do you find races by length? I cant seem to find it in the zwift app and being a lowly level 5 the alpe isnt open to me yet but

You should climb up through the levels pretty quickly at the start. The XP increments between the levels are quite small to start with and there’s plenty of bonus XPs to be had for riding routes for the first time and other fairly easy achievements. You only need to be level 6 to unlock the Alpe, don’t you?

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