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Fitness Tips: Training for an Ironman Triathlon

Ironman trainer Kevin Mackinnon gives Men's Fitness his expert advice on how to score a decent race time in the world's toughest triathlon.

CIRCUIT TRAINING: THE KEY TO TRANSITIONING

Aside from training for each stage of the race, conditioning for overall strength, core stability, and balance is vital. Mackinnon recommends a total-body routine to cover your fitness bases without sucking up too much time. “Circuit training is ideal,” Mackinnon says. “The whole idea is to get the most bang for your buck.” 

You’re after the resistance training and explosive aerobics a circuit provides, and moving quickly and seamlessly from exercise to exercise will accustom you to transitioning through the stages of the Ironman—which all require you to use different muscle groups. Mackinnon recommends 30 to 40 minutes of circuit training, two to three times a week with a rapid succession of muscle-building exercises in pre-exhausting cycles to keep your muscles sharp. 

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