Your Tri Challenge Journey


I hope the training has gone well up to now and that you are sticking to the programme during the most important phase of the training. Right now you need to stay focused, but be sure to rest when you are feeling tired. At this stage your training should be done! If not, it is really too late to do anything that will increase your fitness.

The training programme in the last edition of Modern Athlete takes you up to 9 January. Below are the final two weeks in which you will be tapering.


Monday 10 January – Rest day
Tuesday 11 January – Run 10km easy (5km warm-up and 5km at 70.3 pace)
Wednesday 12 January – Swim 2km (4x500m at 70.3 pace)
Thursday 13 January – Run 10km easy
Friday 14 January – Bike 30km easy
Saturday 15 January – Run 12km easy (morning), Swim 2km open water (afternoon)
Sunday 16 January – Bike 50km easy (last 20km at 70.3 pace)

Monday 17 January – Rest day
Tuesday 18 January – Swim 2km
Wednesday 19 January – Run 10km (steady relaxed pace)
Thursday 20 January – Rest day
Friday 21 January – Swim in the sea at the venue
Saturday 22 January – Easy 15km ride to check that your bike is in working order
Sunday 23 January – RACE DAY!

In the last week before the race, make sure you keep yourself really well hydrated and during the last three days make sure you have a good intake of carbohydrates. TAKE YOUR BIKE FOR A SERVICE, and replace tubes and tires! Do this at least 10 days before race day.

• The 70.3 event will take the average novice triathlete around six to seven hours to complete. So you need to ensure that you have taken in enough carbohydrates/food in addition to liquid prior to the event.
• The bike leg is where you need to refuel; experiment during December with gels, energy bars, bananas so that you can find out what works best for you.

Swim start
• As a novice triathlete start either to the left or right (depending which side you breathe) of the main group of athletes.
• When the gun goes, don’t rush off into the water with everybody; wait 10 to 30 seconds before you start swimming and avoid the ‘washing machine’ effect. You will have a much more comfortable swim.

• Also know in ‘tri language’ as T1 (swim to bike) and T2 (bike to run).
• Take it easy in the transitions and have a plan of what you need to do.
• Put on sunscreen, and use a loob product to stop chafing.
• Remember your sunglasses and cycling gloves, and take the time to put on socks.

Pace yourself
• Have a basic plan of how fast you aim to do each leg of the race, based on how you have trained.
• Do not be tempted to go faster even if you are feeling good – save yourself for a strong finish.
• Take it easy in the last 5km on the bike; spin the legs and get them ready for the run ahead.
• Most importantly, try to remain relaxed and enjoy the day.

The feeling of finishing your first 70.3 IRONMAN will stay with you for a long time!

Drop Modern Athlete a line at and let us know how you did!

If you enjoyed the 70.3 and are looking to take on the big mama – the full Spec-Saver Ironman South Africa – then look out for our novice programme in upcoming editions.