Ironman March 2014

in Ironman March, Triathlons

It’s baaaaack!


Winter is coming to a close; spring is right around the corner (even if it doesn’t feel like it yet!).  And spring and summer means TRIATHLON SEASON.  Woo to the hoo!


I love Ironman March because it helps me get back into the habit of swimming, biking, and running every week, and it builds up a nice base for Sprint and Olympic triathlon training.  In fact, I’m hoping that Ironman March is the perfect way to jumpstart my training for a local Olympic distance race on May 4.  I’m most likely doing this race for my THIRTITH birthday (which is on April 26), and I’m going to gun for a personal record.




During Ironman March, you swim, bike, and run the total Ironman distance.  So an entire Ironman over the course of a month (and yes – I am seriously impressed by anyone who can do this in a single day!).


What is an Ironman triathlon?


A 2.4 mile swim

A 112 mile bike

A 26.2 mile run


There are four and a half weeks in March, so this breaks down to swimming approximately 872 meters/954 yards, biking 25.3 miles, and running 6 miles per full week.  Totally do-able for even a newbie triathlete!


Here’s the official Ironman March training plan (click to view printable PDF):


And here’s a description on how to follow along:


  1. This is a ‘blank training plan.’ That means that while each week includes 4 days of blanks for each sport, that doesn’t mean that you have to do 4 days of running, biking, and swimming each week.  You can take as many – or as few – days to complete the total for each sport.
  2. For example, let’s say that work out four days during the first week of March.  One workout is a 500 yard swim, the second is a long 30 mile bike ride, the third is a 6 mile run, and the last is another 500 yard swim. You’d fill out Day 1 and Day 2 on the swim line (“500 yards” and “500 yards), Day 1 on the bike line (“30 miles”), and Day 1 on the run line (“6 miles”).  You will have completed – nay, exceeded! – your weekly goal distances.  Make sense?
  3. Last year, we decided that it takes two hour-long spin classes to ‘add up’ to the 25.3 miles. This is just a guess and definitely not scientific at all!  If you do one class, go ahead and call it 13 miles.
  4. You can finish the ‘Ironman’ faster, if you want!  Don’t feel constrained by the weekly goals – they are just the average numbers necessary to stay on track.  For example, if you run 15 miles per week, you’ll be done with the run component before the second week is over.  Also, if you don’t swim at all one week, you can definitely make it up the next week.  The point is to do the Ironman over the entire month, no matter how you get there.


I hope you will download the training plan and join me on this fun challenge!


And while we didn’t do this last year, I thought it would be fun to do PRIZES.  At the end of March, I’ll ask for everyone who participated to send me a photo of their completed training plan, and I’ll select a few winners to receive some triathlon-inspired prizes.  Not sure what the prizes will be yet, though (any must-have gear suggestions?).


See you at the metaphorical finish line. 🙂



  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs February 26, 2014, 8:07 pm

    Such a great idea! I guess I’d better look into somewhere to swim… 🙂

  • Chantal February 26, 2014, 8:21 pm

    I did this last year and it was awesome (although slightly crazy since I was writing my Ph.D. dissertation and had a shoulder injury that made swimming difficult). I’ve been missing biking so much this winter and can’t wait to get back out there and start training for summer races!

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun February 26, 2014, 9:30 pm

    What a great a fun idea to get everyone pumped up for a brand new month! I’m ready for March which means I am one day closer to some warmer weather!

  • Shannon February 26, 2014, 9:46 pm

    Thanks SO much for the inspiration – going to try my hardest to do what I can do this March … this is a fun goal to aspire to 🙂

  • Kristina February 27, 2014, 1:43 am

    So excited! This is a great way to celebrate my birthday month.

  • Sarah @ Licorice & Olives February 27, 2014, 8:14 am

    Love this idea! Really looking forward to getting started!!

  • Kelly February 27, 2014, 8:29 am

    This is awesome…although I probably couldn’t attempt it until summer. Mainly because of the swimming. I just don’t have enough hours in the day to swim while working. Mainly because I don’t wash my hair everyday (due to the time suck). But over the summer when this teacher is ON A BREAK swimming will be much more doable! 🙂

  • Laura@SneakersandSpatulas February 27, 2014, 8:30 am

    Sounds so fun! It will help kick off my Ironman 70.3 Training, I’m in!!! For prize suggestions, maybe a pair of lock laces, compression socks, goggles, or a bike bento box?

  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork February 27, 2014, 9:22 am

    This looks so fun to try! This will give me a new challenge this month. I don’t think I’ll be able to live up to it–I’m still recovering from plantar fasciitis and my walk/run miles haven’t totaled more than 4 a week. 🙁 But, I will give it a go and not feel bad if I can’t do it. I wish the weather were nice enough in Massachusetts to ride outside. Maybe by the end of March.

    Thanks for sharing and for the printable/download!

  • Emily February 27, 2014, 9:40 am

    Thanks! This is exactly what I needed to get my ass in gear. In MN this winter is REALLY getting to me and Girl Scout Cookies aren’t helping! This morning I’m inspired by Ironman March! Thanks

  • Lyndsey February 27, 2014, 9:43 am

    Awe man, there are no affordable swim places near me. Maybe i’ll just do the other two 🙂

  • Jill February 27, 2014, 10:02 am

    What a fun idea! And totally doable. I’ve been trying to up my running so I can “easily” do the 5k at the end of the Sprint tris. Running is my least favourite part of the triathlon but they insist on putting it in there, so I must train! As for must-have gear…hmm. New goggs? I love the Aquasphere ones! They’re gigantic, but I wear contact lenses and find the bigger the goggles, the better my eyes feel (and no raccoon marks post-swim on my face!). My big tri-season gift to myself this year is going to be a tri suit from SOAS. That’s a little steep for a prize, but maybe some of their arm warmers, or other accessories?

  • Katie February 27, 2014, 10:09 am

    Yay!!! I do my workout posts on wednesdays, so yesterday I linked to last year’s post, but I am so excited to join you this year! I’ve been doing a little pre-training, and the spin class I took on tuesday morning 1 hour, was 11.1 miles for me. So I would agree that 2 – 1 hour spin classes would basically get you there.

  • Aerevyn February 27, 2014, 10:37 am

    Thanks for sharing this chart! Printed it out and hung it on the fridge. You are a gem. : )

  • Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} February 27, 2014, 12:31 pm

    I so remember this from last year! I can’t wait to do it again this year!!! Such a cool way to stay active!

  • Megan @ outlawontherun February 27, 2014, 12:31 pm

    I’m in! I’m really trying to get into triathlons this year, and this sounds like a good motivation/loosely structured plan. I might have a hard time with the running, at least in the beginning of the month, but I’m hoping to be able to run more soon.

  • Katie February 27, 2014, 3:16 pm

    A new carbon bike? 😉

  • Alli @ Getting fit, getting awesome February 27, 2014, 9:12 pm

    I may do this, but omit the swim! I have nowhere to swim (no pool at my gym and unfortunately I’m not in the Caribbean warm water anymore like I was last week…. sad face). But even just the bike and run would make me more accountable and track my miles.

  • Becky P February 27, 2014, 9:39 pm

    Hi Caitlin! I decided I wanted to do Ironman March when you mentioned it about a month ago. However, I don’t swim (even though I live in Phoenix) and don’t have the time or motivation to learn right now. So I was just going to do the run and biking distances. I also already made out my own training plan…can I still participate?!?

    • Caitlin February 28, 2014, 12:36 am

      Sure, of course 🙂 we’d love to have you!!!

    • Caitlin February 28, 2014, 12:37 am

      Sure! We’d love to have you!

  • katie February 28, 2014, 9:41 am

    I absolutely love your blog. I believe I began following you when you were still See Bride Run, or something and since then I can’t believe how many things I’ve done, or bought because of you.
    I have all three of your books, I bought that time management book you did a post on and I loved it. I actually submitted stories and a photo to your Operation Beautiful book for young girls and I’m actually in it, so that’s super exciting. I wish there was a Girls on the Run community in Canada because your experiences and posts about it were so inspiring.
    I haven’t quite started running yet, however I plan to change that.
    When I read your posts, half the time I talk about them to my boyfriend and it always starts with, “my blogger said this” and ends with “so i want to go and try it”
    I guess I kind of sound like a crazy, stalker-ish person. But you’ve really been an inspiration to me.
    And because of you, I think I might just be crazy enough to attempt this Ironman March thing. I’m probably 100-150 pounds overweight, but I’m going to try. Who knows, this may be the push I’ve been searching for to start me losing weight.

    • Caitlin February 28, 2014, 11:30 am

      Aww thank you for being so awesome. You are so sweet and kind <3 I appreciate you reading so much!!! Please join us for ironman march! You can do it!

  • Toni @ Get to the Net March 2, 2014, 2:47 pm

    I’m absolutely trying this, although I might not get all the miles done! The running’s fine but I got on a bike today for the first time in years and it *hurt*! I managed 8.5 miles before tottering away to lick my wounds in peace…

  • limpetfan at The Table Still Has Shoes March 3, 2014, 9:49 am

    This is such a cool idea! I’m so happy I found your blog in time to participate – it’s exactly what I needed to get my spring training back on track.

  • Lindsey March 3, 2014, 6:19 pm

    Hi Caitlyn!

    I stumbled upon your blog months ago and love reading (and rereading!) practically everything. I got into triathlons last year and I feel like your stories and posts helped me so much.

    I’m so glad you shared this challenge–I’m pumped to tackle it and get ready for tri season! Thank you!!!

    • Caitlin March 4, 2014, 7:43 am

      Awesome! I hope you hav efun!!!

  • Henry Fernandez March 18, 2014, 10:48 pm

    Hello I just came across your Ironman March plan and wished I had seen it prior to this month. Are you planning other similar plans? I am about embark training for a Olympic and half ironman race for august end September. I am a newbie for the swim.

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