Jen Rulon

I have to admit, Ironman 70.3 Triathlon Training & Racing is probably one of my favorite distances to do. Why? It is a reasonable distance, you are done by 12 or 1, with training and racing, and you can work on speed too!

So many athletes ask me how to get faster? By going shorter. Think of sprint and Olympic distance triathlons. How do you get faster in an Ironman? By going more quickly in an Ironman 70.3 Triathlon? It is all about building your speed up for more extended periods. If you can’t go fast in a sprint and an Olympics, then you can’t go fast in an Ironman. Does that make sense? One of the best things I did was step away from the Ironman world for summer and focused on speed. Bam, podium the first time in an Ironman Triathlon at IM Florida in 2016.

Since I love the Ironman 70.3 distance, I started thinking about how to help you with your race. So I came up with four ways to help you out!

Four Tips for Doing YOUR Ironman 70.3 Triathlon:

Swim Start – Athletes will ask me where they should seed themselves for the swim. That is SUCH a tricky question, but my suggestion is,

“Where do you feel comfortable TODAY?”

Huh? For example, many athletes will place themselves in a better position than they think they are. For instance, I have seen “slower” swimmers start in the front because they want to get ahead, but I have seen “faster” swimmers begin in the back because they don’t have the confidence in open water.

My suggestion would be to figure out where you are comfortable: front, middle, back, or left, center, or right. Now, place yourself 1 – 2 rows ahead of where you think you should start. I would rather have you in a better position than going around slower people. It’s true because everyone else is doing that same thing!

Be Realistic on Your Cycling/Running Pace – If you want to “clock” a ________ for your 13.1 Marathon in your 70.3 Ironman, make sure you can run that _________ pace during your training.

The same thing goes for the bike: If you can’t bike 20 mph for 40 miles for a training ride, you probably can’t do that for the 56 miles. #truthbomb

For example, I have heard athletes talk about wanting to clock a 1:40 half marathon in their 70.3, but they have NEVER run a 7:37/mile pace for 13.1 miles on a standalone training program.

Adjust Your Nutrition If You Need Too – You have your nutrition all planned out for the IM 70.3, but something doesn’t’ feel right, or it is warm or tastes terrible, etc.


And that is OK to do so. Why? Something isn’t working. Figure it out NOW for a 70.3 versus an Ironman Triathlon. And if that doesn’t sit well, try something else during the race. Figuring out your nutrition now for a race will be KEY for your races coming up!

Start Training Yourself for Mental Preparation NOW – We swim, bike, run, and lift, BUT I genuinely feel that we don’t take the time to start working on “Mental Imagery” or “Positive Self-Talk” until we are actually out on the racecourse. For example, think about crossing that finish line 45 days out from the actual race versus 45 miles into the bike on race day. Start using positive self-talk on your long swims, bikes, and runs. Why? You are going to need that during the race itself. We need to practice the mental aspect just like we do with the physical part; we go through SO MANY emotions during racing, so it is time to practice it during training.

Veteran Triathletes, do you have any tips to share for the new  Ironman 70.3 Triathletes?  I think we ALL have ideas, tips, and tricks. So let’s share them below.

Grab my Pre Race Checklist to help you write out what you need to write for your race. I require all my athletes to do the same thing. 

AUTHOR: Jen Rulon

I have been coaching triathletes, runners, and cyclists for over 21+ years; I received my Master's Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. And as you may have learned, there is more to life than swimming, biking, and running. It is a lifestyle, and I am here to help you cross that finish line with a smile, whether it is an Ironman Triathlon or the Ironman of Life. You can find my knowledge shared in Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Southwest Research Institute Human Performance Summit, Training Peaks Workshops, "Self Motivation Strategies for Women" on Amazon, Men's Journal Online, and the New York Times. I also practice what I preach—she's a 15x Ironman Triathlete who participated in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on October 14, 2017.

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