Enter the 13 weeks.

With no further ado, I introduce you to the 13 weeks of Ironman specific training.  It has arrived!  The last three months were designed to build a strong base of fitness so as to survive the demands on the next 13 weeks of race specific training.  During this time the duration and intensity of my workouts will sky rocket.  The structure of each week is designed to get the most out of each session.  No garbage mileage, no meaningless workouts, everything has a purpose and is designed to maximize my efforts and ‘destroy’ my weaknesses.  To help you understand what that looks like, I believe it is best to outline what a base training week compared to a week during the race specific build looks like.

Training week comparison:

December training week in the middle of base training:

Swim                       2x / week              Weekly Average 3800m

Bike                          3-4x / week         Weekly Average 110-175km

Run                           3x / week              Weekly Average 42km

Strength                 2x / week              Weekly Average 30min

TOTAL: ~8 hours /week


Week 1 of 13 of my race specific build (1:13weeks)

Swim                       2x / week              Weekly Average 5200m

(Sustained Time Trial efforts)

Bike                          3x / week              Weekly Average 205km

(~5 hours of intervals and sustained efforts)

Run                           3x / week              Weekly Average 60km

(Sustained tempo.  AKA ‘hurt for as long as you can’)

Strength                 2x / week              Weekly Average 1 hour

(Therapy based exercises and treatment)

TOTAL: ~12 hours /week

The above schedule will continue to build over the next 3 months.  It is individualized and carefully designed by my coach to suit me.  My coach and I have been working together for six years now, and he is the main reason I am able to do what I do. He understands my personality and how to maximize my training efforts.  He knows what works well for me and what doesn’t. This relationship is extremely important to ensure proper build and recovery when needed, when to peak and when you are simply too ‘burnt out’ to keep pushing.  Our relationship is based on open communication, constant collaboration, honesty, and trust.  My sole responsibility as an athlete is to do the training and take care of my body in the process.  That’s the only way it works!

The last point is about recovery.  After every three week build I have one week of recovery where the volume decreases by ~40% but the intensity remains high.  If I didn’t have a coach I would be training myself into the ground, constantly.  Having Erik coach me has really helped me understand the importance of making every workout count.  Garbage miles, extra bike session or run intervals can actually hinder your progress if done improperly, at the wrong time, within the wrong week, or too often.  Doing more is not always best.  Your success will be greater if you work 100% at what you are required to do, rather then tacking on extra session or intervals at random.   Adding a recovery week allows your body to rebuild, repair and re-energize in preparation to push more and harder for the next build phase.

Train Smarter!

WELCOME to the 13 weeks… I should say 12 weeks now, of Ironman build.


Stephanie Nogueira

Registered Physiotherapist


Ironman Texas 2017 – Blog Premiere


I am truly not one for sharing any details regarding myself, especially when it comes to my race objectives, time goals, race strategy, etc.  I am very confidential regarding those details, and that will not change.  However, inquiring minds will always ask those deep rooted questions about why you race Ironman, what it entails and how you overcome the pain, exhaustion and relentless desire to simply stop.  They are definitely not easy questions to answer.  Every athlete has a different purpose, different ways of overcoming the pain and exhaustion to overcoming and persevering.  That is what all-inquiring minds find contagious.  Your story of overcoming is one that everyone wants to hear.  It’s the story told around the campfire that captivates and grips everyone attention.  I have always said, ‘everyone is capable, Ironman, Half Ironman, Sprint…whatever the goal.  Everyone is capable of achieving.  The only think you have to learn to overcome, is yourself’.  And the story of self-triumph is the motivation that others want to hear and draw from.  The energy you portray, the motivation and positivity you embody is the driving force that can empower anyone.

On April 22nd, 2017, I will be competing in my seventh Ironman triathlon.  Why do I tell you this? Because I want to show you how anything is truly possible.  Over the next six months I will be posting a biweekly blog taking you as the reader through my training towards Ironman # 7.  Through this journey, you will read about the ups and downs of training.  There will be tips and pointers on nutrition, training program structure, strength building, the importance of establishing a strong foundation, how to overcome pain, and break through the mental and physical exhaustion.  As with any endurance training, there will likely be some minor injuries that will ensue (it comes with the territory).  I will outline the strategies and treatment plans taken to overcome these and how to further prevent injury while maintain your training.  I am also happy to speak on any other topics you would like to read about.  Who knows, maybe I will explain what happened in Ironman # 3, and how that completely changed my training and my outlook on pain.

I have a lot to share.  And I want to share it.  I am hoping through this I can help answer some questions, shed some light on a topic, or maybe help someone overcome their own road blocks.  Training for any goal however big or small, is not easy.  But then again anything worth fighting for is not easy.  I am just another person who has raced Ironman that simply wants to share the journey in a hope of helping someone, or empowering another.  So I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I.

I just finished racing the Scotiabank Toronto Marathon on Sunday October 16th.  So, I am currently on recovery week.  To follow will be a slow progressive return to base training of my swim and bike, and a maintenance phase for my run.  So, I open up the floor to you guys, let me know in the comments below if there is something in particular you want me to touch base on.  I would love to hear your stories as well.

Safe training,


Stephanie Nogueira

Registered Physiotherapist

Dynamic Health and Performance


“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take”