The Non-Negotiables of an Ironman Build

It is the time of year where many athletes are in their biggest training blocks of the season. With late season Ironman and 70.3 races right around the corner, it is the perfect time to nail key training blocks and get that last little boost of fitness needed to reach your goals.

However, during these big training blocks, it is easy to forget about some little things that go a long way. At Crew Racing, we have a couple golden rules we like our athletes to follow during this time of year that help them get the most out of their training. We call these the non-negotiables. 


As training increases, so does the amount of calories an athlete needs to eat. Food helps the body repair damaged tissue and balance energy throughout the day. We like to use the motto that if you are hungry, you are not doing your job. Plain and simple, listen to your body, eat food that is well balanced (yes that means carbs, fats and protein) and snack a lot throughout the day. If you feel your energy levels drop or mood change during the work day, there is a good chance you need more calories!


Aim to get an average of 8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep is the best recovery modality as it releases hormones that help the body adapt to the previous day’s training stimulus. Athletes typically wake up early in the day to get workouts in before work, so adapting sleep schedules to accommodate this is perfectly okay. We view going to bed at 8:30pm to be as cool as staying out past 2:00am in our college years…

Be a Little Selfish

This is the time of year where less is more. Don't feel bad about skipping the Saturday night out or planning vacations post-Ironman. If you have PTO at work, use it throughout the work week to aid in extra recovery and allow your body to adapt to the overload you are likely experiencing. Allow your family to help you out around the house with tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry. You will be back to your normal Type-A self after training has commenced.

Be Honest with your Support Crew

Be open and honest with your family. At the end of the day, family is the number 1 support group any athlete has. Make sure they know this phase of training will not last forever. Also get them involved in the details of your training. By this we don't mean watts and pace, but rather the time away from home and that you may be more tired than normal. Keeping an open line of communication will help to ease some stress around the house.

Be Flexible

Adaptions to workout stimuli happen at differing rates depending on many variables. It is impossible to predict exactly how an athlete will feel after a hard day of training, so do not be afraid to adapt as needed. If you need to shorten a ride or drop the intensity, that is 100% okay. What matters on race day is how you perform, not how much or how hard you trained leading into a race.

If you are looking to nail your last build into an Ironman or 70.3, check out our coaching options! Caitlin and Drew have helped athletes of all levels accomplish their triathlon goals. With so many different methods of training out there, Caitlin and Drew are able to navigate through the noise and get you the results that you want!

What are some of your keys to get through your biggest weeks of training?

Caitlin GlennComment