Ironman March

in Ironman March

The other day, a reader made a really awesome suggestion, and I loved it so much that I’ve decided to make it a personal challenge for March.  I hope you’ll join me!

ironman march


I’m really (REALLY!) pumped for triathlon season, and trust me – if I could start doing races RIGHT NOW, I would.  But the temperatures still need to get a little warmer.  In the meantime, I’m working hard on my training.  But I need to mix it up a bit… In lieu of a traditional ‘training plan,’ let’s do IRONMAN MARCH.  Basically, over the course of March, I’ll aim to do the Ironman distances – 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, and 26.2 miles of running. 


This may sound like a BIG goal (and I can’t imagine doing a real Ironman… all in the same day!), but if you break it down week-by-week, it’s totally attainable. We’re talking about 872 meters of swimming, 25.3 miles of biking, and 6 miles of running per week. The goal of this challenge is to encourage myself to regularly do all three sports every week, get used to doing bricks (back to back workouts of different sports), and get in the TRIATHLON mindset.


I anticipate the hardest part of this challenge will be the regular biking – I may do spin classes instead of actual biking.  That’s okay though – it’s still in the spirit of the challenge! 


To make it easy to follow along and keep track of your progress, I made this simple PDF.  Click here to print out a copy for yourself!


Just to explain the chart a little bit:


Next to each to next sport, there are four spots for you to enter each workout’s total.  Do NOT think you have to do four days worth of each sport during the week – that would be crazy (and probably  impossible).  I just gave you four spots for maximum flexibility.  Your chart may look like this:


In this scenario, you swam twice, biked once, and ran twice.  Maybe you did that over 5 separate workouts, but maybe you did a back-to-back run and swim and completed your weekly total in 4 workouts.


Or your chart could look like this:


This example has one day of swimming, two spin classes, and three runs.  Again, maybe you did this in 4 days, running a mile after taking a spin class.  Note – I’ll probably count two spin classes as making my bike goal for the week.


You could even do the entire challenge with just three workouts a week – one swim, one bike, and ne run.  That’s totally feasible, too.


So – I’d love for you to join me!  I’ll be checking in throughout the month, and like I said, I’m hoping this challenge really focuses my efforts on getting ready for all three sports.  Happy triathloning!

For more, check out my So You Wanna Do a Triathlon series.



  • Bari February 27, 2013, 1:01 pm

    I think I’m in! Not sure how I’ll get the swimming done, but the biking and running will be easy. Thanks for the chart 🙂

  • Victoria February 27, 2013, 1:02 pm

    I feel like I want to try to finish this in the first week of March. Race to finish first!

    • Caitlin February 27, 2013, 1:02 pm

      Hahah get it done!

      • Victoria February 27, 2013, 1:11 pm

        The bike will take the longest, probably more than a week. I’ll have the swim done by 3/2 and run by 3/7 or 3/8.

  • Shannon W February 27, 2013, 1:03 pm

    Great idea! It’s just like my 100 miles in March! HTP readers- if you’re not a biker or swimmer, join me for just the running piece:)

    -Shannon W

  • Sonia the Mexigarian February 27, 2013, 1:04 pm

    LOVE this. I have been wanting to get back into the pool and this would be a perfect opportunity to cross train for my 1/2 at the beginning of April 🙂 And it might poke me into signing up for the Tri I have been eyeballing.

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 27, 2013, 1:06 pm

    That’s such a cool idea, and a great way to motivate yourself to get into all three sports while your waiting for the triathlon season to start.

  • Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution February 27, 2013, 1:06 pm

    What a fabulous idea! Since I don’t bike that often and rarely swim, I probably won’t be pushing myself to do this, exactly, but what I think is really cool is thinking about doing a whole triathlon over the course of a month. I just realized that I’ve run two marathons this month alone! What an awesome way of looking at it!

  • Kristen L February 27, 2013, 1:13 pm

    Cool idea!! I like it.

  • Ashley February 27, 2013, 1:15 pm

    Such wonderful timing! I literally just signed up for my first ever duathlon (biking + running) coming up in May and have been eyeing a VERY beginner tri for this summer. I have never swam for exercise so I don’t even know where to start but I am looking forward to learning new things.

    I’m currently in the midst of a half marathon training plan so I’ll obviously be running lots more but this looks definitely doable!

  • Emily February 27, 2013, 1:25 pm

    What a great idea!! I absolutely love that quote on the sheet too. I’ll have to remember that 🙂

  • Nicole @ Fruit 'N' Fitness February 27, 2013, 1:32 pm

    This is such a fun idea! There is no way I could do an Ironman in one day, but I think I could get it all in in one month! I will be running my first half marathon at the end of march so the running shouldn’t be a problem but It would be a fun way to think of my cross training exercises!

  • mindy @ just a one girl revolution. February 27, 2013, 1:37 pm

    I’ve been rockin’ the running lately but my swimming and biking are seriously lacking since I’m not planning on any tris this year. It’ll be so good to get some extra cross training on my calendar, so count me in!

  • Grace February 27, 2013, 1:56 pm

    I love it! I agree that the biking will take the longest to complete, but this has totally motivated me to finally plan some time in the pool (it’s been many months…).

  • nancy February 27, 2013, 1:59 pm

    Are Green Works HUGE pop up windows supposed to be coming up on your blog? It’s only yours that is doing that (so far anyway) so I am wondering if it’s something you are aware of.

    Love the idea of this training plan. It’s not something I could commit to right now but I sure wish I could. Will be looking forward to updates.

  • Katie H. February 27, 2013, 2:01 pm

    Great idea! If I weren’t training for my first full marathon right now, I’d be all in. One of my goals for post-marathon is to work swimming into my workout regimen!

  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action February 27, 2013, 2:05 pm

    I agree with other commenters- this is a really fun idea! I won’t be participating, as I don’t have a gym membership and it’s too cold to be outside, but I encourage everyone who does it!

  • Laura February 27, 2013, 2:10 pm

    This is awesome! I’ve been struggling to get into the training groove. I registered for my 2nd tri in May in Ft. De Soto (hello, beautiful race spot). I’m definitely going to print this and go for it, thank you!

    Also, I just want to tell you that all of your tri posts are inspiring and really helpful. I did my first tri in October (in Siesta Key, again beautiful!), and I’m not sure if I would have gotten up the guts without of your posts. So thank you!

    <3 your blog Caitlin!

  • Chantal February 27, 2013, 2:14 pm

    I’m in! I’m gearing up for tri season too and I’ve been slacking on biking because of rain and time restraints. Great motivation to work on all three sports at once (I usually can handle two but the third one always lags behind).

  • KatieTX February 27, 2013, 2:35 pm

    General mileage for a spin class is about 12 miles per 45 minute class and 15 miles for a one hour class. So, your two classes to obtain about 25 miles match up with that depending on how long your rides are. Sounds like a fun challenge!

  • Tiff (@LoveSweatBeers) February 27, 2013, 2:40 pm

    Great idea! This makes me wish I was a stronger swimmer. That would be a lot of laps for me, but the biking/running sounds really attainable. You’ve got this. 🙂

  • Sarah February 27, 2013, 2:41 pm

    This is such a great idea! I’ve been meaning to get back on my bike and in the pool so this is just the push I need. My February running goal was 28 miles in 28 days… it’s taught me that mileage goals totally motivate me as much as signing up for races. Thanks for this!

  • Emily February 27, 2013, 2:43 pm

    This is EXACTLY what I need to kickstart my Triathlon training. THANK YOU!!!!!

  • Tammy Root February 27, 2013, 3:02 pm

    This is great idea! Whose idea was it? They should definitely get some credit here.

  • Kate February 27, 2013, 3:14 pm

    Oh I may have to try participating in this one! Just as an FYI if you want to change it up, FLYWHEEL in Charlotte and Ballantyne do 45 min classes and generally we do about 23ish miles a class – they post your stats online each time! So may be a quick way to reach your bike goals to change it from a cold bike outside!! 🙂

    • LJ April 22, 2013, 9:52 pm

      Flywheel is by far the best spin class!

  • Tanya @ Vegan Faith February 27, 2013, 3:32 pm

    I’m in! I need the motivation!

  • Karen @ Runner Girl Eats February 27, 2013, 3:32 pm

    If I had a gym mrmbership right now I would totally join this challenge! Love mixing it up in small doses:)

  • Andrea B. February 27, 2013, 4:26 pm

    I love this idea, although I may wait until April and do it then. But what a great idea!

  • Cate February 27, 2013, 5:38 pm

    This is such a great idea! I think I might join along…

  • laine February 27, 2013, 6:29 pm

    Oh I love this! Printing it out now, and hoping the northeast weather cooperates for the bike!

  • Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} February 27, 2013, 7:19 pm

    Oh I absolutely LOVE this idea! I am pumped for triathlon season to start and was just discussing races with my husband at dinner.

  • Donna February 27, 2013, 7:38 pm

    We just did this at our company wellness center! It got me in the pool, and I signed up for my first tri! It is a Sprint at a lake that we camp during the summer. I may have overextended myselt a bit but it will keep me on track. I have a double centurey Mothers Day weekend, my son graduates from high school on June 3 and I have two graduation partys to plan. My tri is on June 9!! I will do my best

  • Jenn Watson February 27, 2013, 7:58 pm

    That is so cool that you can do this. I have always wanted to do a triatholon. Maybe some day.

  • Laura February 27, 2013, 8:10 pm

    I’m confused… those numbers don’t add up in your examples…?

    • Caitlin February 27, 2013, 9:20 pm

      They don’t? I double checked! :-/

      • Kate February 27, 2013, 11:19 pm

        On your example charts, the added distances do not equal the “actual” totals:
        500+275 =/= 875

        900 + 0 =/= 1000

        2 + 1+ 3 =/= 7

        You might want to triple check! 😉

        • Caitlin February 28, 2013, 6:54 am

          Lol I am so terrible at math! At least the PDF works 😉

      • Brigid February 28, 2013, 1:13 am

        Yeah. 500 + 275 = 775, not 875. 900 + nothing = 900, not 1,000. 2 + 1 + 3 = 6, not 7.

  • Elisabeth February 27, 2013, 8:53 pm

    I love this idea & have been considering it ever since I saw the reader comment on your blog!

  • Kristina February 27, 2013, 9:06 pm

    That’s great that you plan to bike more as part of your training!

  • Erin February 27, 2013, 9:11 pm

    I’m in! This sounds like a great challenge. Thank you.

  • luv what you do February 27, 2013, 10:17 pm

    Hooray for Tri Season! I love this idea and was just thinking about my march goals. Count me in!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 28, 2013, 6:42 am

    I love this idea! My knee isn’t up to running yet, but I definitely plan on doing this for another month. It’s such a great way to stay motivated!

  • dotsie February 28, 2013, 9:06 am

    This is a great post/plan. I don’t swim, am trying to get back into spinning, and don’t run-this is still interesting. motivating, and very inspiring to me. (I’m a CrossFitter/powerlifter/oly lifter at the CrossFit box. Still…this is fantastic! Way to break it down for your tri readers 😀


  • Shauna February 28, 2013, 9:35 am

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  • Amanda February 28, 2013, 9:41 am

    You are so positive!

  • KSW February 28, 2013, 10:35 am

    What happened to that thingy you used to attach to your bike in the living room? (forget what it was called).

    Can you use that to train?

    • Caitlin February 28, 2013, 10:36 am

      bell motivator! and yes i can!

  • Courtney Leigh February 28, 2013, 11:05 am

    I LOVE THIS!!! I’ve got my first tri in mid-April (we get to start a little bit earlier here in the deep south) and I have been so lax lately. I too know that the bike is my weakest leg. I made the commitment to go to spin class two days a week starting next week, even though it is at 5:45 in the morning. This is going to be a great way to keep that commitment!!! So excited.

  • Carolina John February 28, 2013, 12:28 pm

    You should schedule out an Iron Week sometime. I did one when I was training for my first half iron and it was pretty fantastic. 4 rides about an hour and a half each, and a 20 mile run (in marathon training plan) was the hardest part. It’s quite a challenge. Good call!

  • Samantha Angela February 28, 2013, 2:46 pm

    Totally sweet idea!

  • Jess from Team Awesome March 1, 2013, 9:33 pm

    I am so in! I have 900m of swimming and 7 miles of biking done on the 1st! I was doing great training for my first tri, but have recently lost my mojo, so this is the perfect motivation! I just blogged about it on my blog:

  • Alett March 3, 2013, 11:45 am

    What a great idea!

    I’m in!

  • Laura Z March 4, 2013, 10:13 am

    I’m in and I hope I get to ride my bike outside and not just do spinning.

  • Bronwyn March 12, 2013, 10:54 am

    I LOVE this idea! Probably not ready for an Ironman March (halfway through now)… but maybe an Ironman April! What a neat training idea.

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