Road to Ironman 70.3
EVERY POUND COUNTS - Alan Choachoy (The Freeman) - June 28, 2014 - 12:00am

With barely five weeks before the grandest triathlon race in the Philippines, contending triathletes are either ready or cramming on their training. On August 3, the Cobra Ironman 70.3 will be on its third year in Cebu and participants have doubled, perhaps tripled, since it started five years ago in Camarines Sur. This year’s registration was sold-out in just four hours. Cebu is truly one of the best locations for such kind of event because it is surrounded by beautiful beaches. World class hotels are abundant and there are international flights that will connect the foreign competitors stress-free. 

There are three kinds of athletes training in the triathlon. One is competing to finish on top of the podium, the second is to beat his personal best record, and the rest are just there to complete the journey and have fun. In my past two stints, I joined just to check my 'bucket list' and be able to complete the half-Ironman the first time around. During my second year, I yearned to beat my time, which I successfully done by nine minutes. On my third year, beating my time was again my goal, but with an added target of finishing not more than Six and half hours.

The Ironman 70.3 is a race not for the faint heart. Total dedication to training and sacrifice are a must. This year, aside from training to achieve my best time, I am also helping some first-timers to finish their own journey within the cut-off time, better their personal best, and if possible, try to get a podium finish.

With only 35 days to go, there's much little time you can do. Some are cramming and biking like crazy, piling up miles by going out almost every day up the hills of Busay. They kept on repeating their routine three times, which for me will do more harm than good. Some are also running their first 21km half-marathon on race day.

For those who are just there to complete the race, please be reminded that your muscles need to survive the grueling eight hours and half race. The common problem to athletes is muscle cramps. To prepare you for this eventuality, one has to mix their training and practice. Aside from spending countless hours in swimming, biking and running, one must add short, but high intense metabolic training. A Metafit Tri-Circuit exercise will surely help. The key here is intensity, execution and proper form.

Metafit Tri-Circuit workout

Do 20 repetitions of jumping jack, pull-up, jump squats, push-up, jumping alternate lunges, and one minute Plank. Do five rounds of this workout and rest for only two minutes after planking. As you get stronger, try to cut your rest time by 30 seconds. Do this workout, thrice a week. Pull-up is one of the hardest bodyweight workouts so try to use elastic bands or use a chair behind you and use your legs to assist you when you pull- up. Or one can lay in between two tables and put a bar on to. Try to secure the ends so that it does not move and pull yourself up. You can straighten your knees or bend your knees. And do all of the exercises as fast as you can.   One may all follow this simple six days of training until race day but don’t forget to rest and recover at least 2-3 days before race day.

MONDAY: Swim for 15-25 minutes around 15-20 laps. Do two warm-ups lap with a pace of two minutes per lap.  After which increase your intensity and do eight laps of one minute and a half per lap, followed by four laps of one minute per lap. Then do a cool down of one lap with a pace of two minutes. If you really need to rest, maximum is 10 seconds every after two laps. Increase your pace as you get stronger or comfortable. Then do the Metafit Tri-Circuit workout mentioned above in the afternoon or after swimming if you have time.  (1 lap= 50 meters)

TUESDAY: 40 minutes jog or run. In an oval or out in streets, do a short five-minute warm up jog, then follow a one-minute run, three-minute jog and one-minute walk pace. Repeat it seven times then cool down with a three-minute slow jog and two-minute walk.

WEDNESDAY: Bike for a distance of at least 30km, with 15-20km in a flat and rolling terrain and 5-10km for an uphill ride. At the flat or rolling terrain, if traffic permits, try to maintain a pace of 25kph with a cadence of not less than 80rpm. On the uphill ride, try to maintain pace of 7-9 kph but not less than 6kph and cadence of not less than 50 rpm. If you are on a bike trainer, do a 10-minute warm up, doing four minutes light gear 90 rpm or cadence and one minute sprint 100-110 rpm using same gear ratio. After your warm up start your workout with a maximum effort using the big ring with a 90 rpm cadence for two minutes then recover with a light gear one minute with same cadence of 90 rpm. Repeat five times then cool down with three minutes light gear of 90 rpm, one minute of 80 and one minute of 60 rpm. Cadence is number of RPM (pedal rotation per minute).

THURSDAY: Repeat Monday workout.

FRIDAY: Rest day. Get a massage or join a yoga session.

SATURDAY: Transition day. Bike for one to two hours then run or jog for two to three kms. After, do the Metafit Tri-Circuit workout.

SUNDAYS: Alternate run and bike. Join a fun run with a distance of either 10 to 12 km. Try to beat your time every time you join. On the next Sunday, join a group ride for a 60-90km bike ride. Repeat and don’t forget to recover before race day.

Workout or training will differ with each individual depending on fitness level of each athlete, but this six-day training regimen will surely will help you complete your first Ironman 70.3 with a smile. You may not finish on top of the podium but when you cross the finish line, it would be pleasant to hear these words, "YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!"

E-mail me at for comments or questions. You may also visit my website at

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