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Active Expert: Gale Bernhardt

4 Posts tagged with the ironman_training_plan tag

I love to get these notes. It feels great to know I can helppeople meet their goals.



Dear Ms. Bernhardt:


I'm writing to thank you for the great training program you outlined in your Training Plans for Multisport Athletes book for the 12 Week Program for a Sprint Triathlon.  I successfully completed my first Triathlon yesterday.  It was fun. It was exciting.  And it was a major accomplishment for this 54 year old male.


I've never taken the time to write to an author before but I found your program informative, easy to understand and a real confidence boost to make my participation a reality.


I'm looking forward to setting my next fitness goal.


All the best,


T. Webber



Hi Gale,


I'm A. Carratta from Italy,


I wrote you in November about a swim question and after the email I bought thebook with the swim work-out.


I follow your table "26 Weeks to IM" and now I'M AN IRONMAN!!!


I did


Swim : 198.55Km
Bike: 3,596.12Km
Running: 1,084.26Km
Total: 4,878.93Km


And the IM time was:


Swim : 01:50:57         ( I'm not aswimmer and my first IM without wetsuit was terrible and infinite! )
Bike: 06:41:27        ( explosion oninner tube and mechanical problems )
Run : 04:13:38        ( i think to doin 3:45, but the hot temperature .- 40° - was terrible and i relax myself)


Now I'm following "13 weeks to 70.3"


A. Carratta




I've used a number of your training plans for successful IM and 70.3 races.  I finished the 2012 IM Lake Placid in 11:08 and would love a plan that can get me in under 11 hrs.  

Thanks & regards,


E. Siebert

489 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, triathlon, sprint, plan, ironman_training_plan

Yes Mike, it does make me feel great to read these stories. Thanks for writing ~


From: Mike Hale

Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:30 PM
Subject: Ironman Australia 2010


Hi Gale,


I wanted to send you a quick note of thanks... let me explain.


Over the last 6 months I have been using your 2 most controversial training programs. I started out using your 13 weeks to a 1/2 IM for people with limited time & raced my first 1/2 IM at Canberra (Australia) in December.


I paced myself conservatively, knowing I was exploring new territory & as it turned out dealing with the run in 35+ Degrees Celsius heat & finished within myself in just over 6 hours. Most importantly I enjoyed myself & gained some confidence - I think this is the key.


After such a good experience, & having validated the possibility of racing a full IM by finishing in Canberra, I had a couple of weeks off before deciding to have a go at the full IM at Ironman Australia on 28 March 2010. The bike course is one of the toughest on the world circuit, lots of hills & strong sea breezes.


Luckily I am strong on the bike & regularly train on hilly terrain. I stuck to your 13 week plan unswervingly and 2 weekends ago successfully completed my first Ironman. I can't tell you what an overwhelmingly positive experience it has been, on many different levels. I supplemented your training plan by talking to as many experienced Ironman triathletes as possible, picking up tips along the way, & I sought help from a sports nutritionist which turned out to be essential as well.


I'm sure I am not the first to have stacked the 2 plans together, but it worked very well for me & in the end I finished IM Oz in just over 13 hours, exactly on target according to the plan.

I found I had to hold back at times in order to maintain the pace i had trained on, which was a good conservative strategy for the first IM, but now I will want to step up and address racing faster in the future.


Anyway, I hope my experience & positive feedback makes you feel good & thanks again for being an integral part of my IM journey this far.


I have put up a few images from the race on the web that you might be interested in having a quick look at too...


Thanks again & best wishes,


Mike Hale

858 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: ironman, half_ironman, ironman_training_plan, triathlon_training_plans, 70.3_training_plan

For all the athletes training for Ironman St. George, I’ve had numerous reports that the both the bike and the run courses are hilly. Some believe it is the toughest course on the circuit. One person told me that Paula Newby Fraser said it was the toughest run course for sure. What can you do to ease the pain?


Those of you using the 13-week training plan (or any of my other ready-to-use plans) need to include hills in your long run and long ride workouts. Begin with gentle hills early in the program and then work your way to tougher hills as the plan progresses.

For the weeks where there is an interval workout assigned to work on lactate threshold tolerance for either the run or the bike, you can use a hill if you have one close to you. Because the rest interval is so short, you may be best served using a treadmill or an indoor trainer for the intervals. Use an incline of around 4 percent.


A few words of caution…begin with a hill workout once per week in each sport (running and cycling). If you are recovering from the workouts quickly and feeling like you can tolerate a higher load, alternate doing two hill workouts in cycling and one in running one week with doing two hill workouts in running and one in cycling the next week.


Depending on your strengths and weaknesses, take a hard look at the gears you are running on your bike. Select gears (or a compact crank) that will allow you to spin up the hills. Those of you insisting on running big gears like you are riding a flat course will suffer on the run because your legs will be trashed.


Start working on any equipment changes now.


Get your head wrapped around the expectations of a hilly bike and run course.


Know that everyone at the race does the same course, so those that are prepared will suffer less.

1,358 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: ironman, ironman_training_plan, st_george, 13-weeks_to_a_sub-13_hour_ironman

Q. I want to follow your 26-week training plan for my Ironman event from your book “T[raining Plans for Multisport Athletes|].” I do have a few questions, if you have a few moments to answer. I understand if you’re buried and can’t answer all individual training questions for people that read your books and columns.


Basically, I am trying to set up a nice schedule for a day to day routine, like you have outlined in your book. I like to be able to associate dates to particular workouts so that I can mindlessly go about other things. I have this set up in Excel (because I don’t see an online version of the 26-week plan) and was just curious about how I can adjust a few things. The largest issue currently is due to some family circumstances (a death), and some personal issues. I should be in my second week of training; but I am not. Is there any way to reconcile that?


Also, how can I snowboard and ski all winter and still train for an Ironman!? (I’m LOL, but serious too…)



Want my cake and eat it too




A. Hey dessert person, the short answer about questions is I will answer e-mail questions if I have time and most of the time they become blog or newsletter columns (like this one). Once I have to start looking at the details of anyone’s training plan, then I charge a consulting fee or I will look at them as I have time – which can be one to six weeks out depending on what I have going on at the moment the question comes to me. The lucky ones hit me at a low workload time and can get more detailed questions answered quickly.


#1 - For you, the easy answer is to take a look at either the 13-weeks to a 13-hour Ironman or the 13-weeks to a sub-13-hour Ironman training plan (both available in the easy-to-use electronic format as well as the book). You need to already be doing the volumes shown in the first week of the training plan and have had a rest week prior to beginning week 1 of either plan. That’s where you want to be going the few weeks before your big race.


#2 - The second step is evaluating honestly where are you “now” (now can be literally now, or in a few weeks when you work your way through the family and personal issues). Begin the 26-week plan at the point where you are “now”. (I don't have the 26-week plan loaded onto Active Trainer yet, so you'll have to use your own Excel spreadsheet for now.) This likely means starting at Week #1.


#3 - You can use the 13-weeks to a sub-13 plan for the last 13 weeks before the race or use the last 13 weeks of the 26-week plan. Either way, you’ll need to chop out a portion of the 26-week plan – probably taken out of the middle.


Yes, you can still do some boarding this winter – just be sure you can do #1.


Hope that helps.



2,408 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: triathlon_coaching, ironman_training_plan, triathlon_training_plans, 26_week_training_plan