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Tue 18th Feb 2020
Simon Ward's project Hawaii 50
Posted by: Simon Ward
Posted on: Tuesday 28th May 2013

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Coach Simon Ward ( has set himself a personal challenge for 2014. Turning 50 years of age next year, project "Hawaii 50" is his attempt to qualify for Kona at Ironman Lanzarote 2014.

What will it take and how does he plan to do it? Here is Simon's opener on that score - with sharing the journey and his progress an integral part of his motivational plan.

One of the problems with the popularity of Ironman and especially WTC events is that you have to enter them about 12 months in advance.

So, last Tuesday (21 May) at 1pm, Fiona and I were sat at the Computer ready to enter Ironman Lanzarote 2014. Its not quite as popular as some of the US races so entry was quick and easy. In fact I think I must have been first or second in my age group. Surely we could discuss with WTC my Hawaii slot now without having to wait for next years race...?!

Anyway, this won't be the first time for me. I raced the event back in 1998 and 99 but don't have fond memories.

In recent years I have come to understand the particular skill set required to race well here but that doesn't mean it's guaranteed to happen.

In 2014 I'll be 50 years old, so I go up an age group. A perfect time to have another go at qualifying for Hawaii. I'm going to call this project “Hawaii 50”.

Having mentioned that I have learnt about what it will take, here is a brief overview of what I think I'll need to do to qualify for Kona in the 50-54 age group wave in 2014

Poring over the last few years results, it goes something like this

2013 – 10:40 = 4th
2012 – 11hrs = 2nd
2011 – 10:58 = 4th
2010 – 10:54 = 6th
2009 – 10:59 = 3rd
2008 – 11:02 = 5th

So, 10h40 – 11 hours should get me into the top three in my age group. This should get me a Hawaii slot as this group still boasts a good entry and usually three slots.


Transitions – 6 minutes each is what the fastest guys in this AG average

Swim – Last week I comfortably swam 27.05 at IM Mallorca 70.3 so I'm confident that I can easily swim 55 mins in an Ironman

How – I currently swim three times per week. If I maintain this my swimming will not deteriorate, because each session has eyes on from a good coach and involves high quality swimming

Monday = 2k total with sprints from a dive start. This has been instrumental in boosting my arm cadence and top end speed
Thursday – Solid Masters set of 3 – 3.5k
Saturday – Two hour Masters set of 5-6k with about 30% at best pace
Total weekly volume of 10-12k

Bike – I've ridden six hours here before and with a good 12 months training I think that I can do it again. This is an average of just under 19mph. With our apartment in Matagorda Bay we can spent a few weeks training on the island next winter and understanding the wind and where you can make up time will be a key advantage.

How – This is the area where I can make big improvements and that will have the biggest impact on my run. So this is where much of my time will be invested over the next 12 months.

Mon – Commute to work. 60-75 mins in total
Tues – Vo2 max intervals with 15-25 mins of quality work in a 60-70 min session
Thurs – Threshold intervals. 60-90 mins
Sat – Two hours CompuTrainer ride at 75-80% ftp
Sun – Long ride – 3-4 hours in the winter and probably on the mountain bike

Run – To go sub 11 hour after getting off the bike I will be aiming for a 3h45 run. This has traditionally been an area of weakness and I need to have a solid 12 months of running to perform well in the marathon. The run is all tarmac so I'll need to do plenty of road running to temper the legs. I also have mental issues with running so a robust psychological plan is vital.

How – 3h45 = 5m20/km. Its not fast so the key element will be strength & endurance. I can achieve this by regular running rather than fast running. Although I will include some faster paced work to give me a greater ceiling, consistency and injury resilience is of greater importance.

Mon – 45' – 60' tempo (78-80% mhr)
Wed – Double run Day – (am) 45' hills (pm) 60- 75 mins EZ. Once per month this will be a long run of 2-2.5hrs
Sat – Off Road – 45-60 mins with hills


  1. To support this volume of training and to stay healthy and consistent with training I accept that a 50 year old body needs more attention than a 20 year old body. To achieve this I will also
  2. Aim to sleep a minimum of 8 hours per night
  3. reduce my bodyweight to 74-75kg during the winter and 72-73kg for the race
  4. Have a 30 min massage every two weeks
  5. Foam roll three times per week
  6. Attend 1-2 yoga classes per week to maintain range of motion and to enable me to maintain an aero position for longer on the bike
  7. Use weights 3 x per week to strengthen my core and framework to withstand the intensity of the event
  8. Take one full rest day per week
  9. Use power meters to monitor my bike training
  10. Have a full bike fit
  11. Have a full musculo-skeletal physio assessment every four months to make sure there are no injury risks
  12. Have fun
  13. Enjoy the journey
  14. Share my progress with you

So, the journey has started with the entry to the race. Of course I have a full summer of activities planned but each of them will contribute in some way to Ironman Lanzarote in 2014.

In my next post I'll break down exactly how each month contributes to next years event and what the monthly goals are.

Stay healthy & have fun

You can follow Simon via the following links:

On Facebook - Facebook/thetriathloncoach
On Twitter - @TriathlonCoach

Supported by the following brands

Hawaii Sponsors Sketchers Impact CT FondriestLe Beau VeloAMP Vekta Velosport

Simon Ward About the Author

Simon Ward is the founder of, the most experienced group of coaches in the UK. You can contact him on 08700 418131, by e-mailing or by visiting

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