The Women of Ironman Kona & Their Workouts

Every year, the Ironman World Championship draws the greatest endurance athletes from across the globe. As might be expected, it’s not for the faint of heart — you’ve got to be a gut-busting champion to beat its unrelenting challenge.

We wanted a closer look at the effort required for such a race, so we caught up with several of the women — Linsey Corbin, Heather Jackson, and Melissa Hauschildt — who will be vying for the crown this year. Each racer has proven their strength and determination with countless hours of training on the road, in the pool, and on the KICKR trainer. To get an idea of what it takes, they’ve shared (in their own words) the key workouts that prepare them for the biggest race of the season.

Linsey Corbin

The Wahoo KICKR was a great tool in my lead-up to Ironman Hawaii for two reasons:

  1. It’s efficient!
  2. It serves as the perfect environment to heat train & acclimatize for the tough conditions that will take place on October 14th.

I love how efficient training on the KICKR is. There’s no monkey business to worry about such as starting, stopping, mechanicals, or traffic.

You can get on the bike, be warmed up within a few minutes, and go right into your session with zero distractions. I have a dedicated bike set up on my KICKR as well, which means there is no excuse to not just open up the door to the training room and start a workout.

The other huge benefit of the Wahoo KICKR is the ability to train indoors and control the environment to mimic that of the heat and humidity of Kona. You have constant tension on the chain, which mimics the course terrain as well. In the lead-up to the race, I would do my rides with no fan, my race-day nutrition all lined up, and some good tunes for motivation.

Workout #1: 70.3 Effort / Ironman Effort

  1. Warm Up: 3×20 minute effort (60 minutes total):
    • Within each 20 minute segment, we are building both power and cadence by 5 minutes to IM intensity.
    • At the end of the segment, you go back to easy and build again (repeat).
  2. Main Set: Complete 2x: 
    • 15 minutes @ 70.3 (race) effort / watts / heart rate straight into 15 minutes @ Ironman (race) effort / watts / heart race.
    • Recover for 10 minutes with an easy spin then repeat set again.
  3. Cool Down: Spin easy until you hit 2 hours.

Workout #2: Over / Under’s

  1. Warm Up: 6×10 minute effort (60 minutes total):
    • Alternating 10 minutes @ low cadence (50-60 RPM), 10 minutes @ high cadence (90+ RPM) with the effort building easy to strong.
  2. Main Set:
    • 10 min. @ threshold, 10 min. @ strong aerobic = Ironman effort
    • 8 min. @ threshold, 8 min. @ strong aerobic
    • 6 min. @ threshold, 6 min. @ strong aerobic
    • 4 min. @ threshold, 4 min. @ strong aerobic
    • 2 min. @ threshold, 2 min. @ strong aerobic
  3. Cool Down: Spin easy until you hit 2.5 hours.

Workout #3: Zwift Long Ride

I love Zwift, and it may be my favorite way to utilize my Wahoo KICKR. It makes long rides go by so quickly. 

One of my favorite ways to ride Zwift for my long endurance rides (4-5 hours) is descending pace and effort. For example, if riding the “London Loop,” I pace the first loop accordingly and get faster / take time off each loop. Ride on!

Heather Jackson

“My Wahoo KICKR is absolutely instrumental in my training and preparation in triathlon.”

I use it through the snowy winter in Bend, essentially setting up my base fitness for the entire year from KICKR rides. I also use my KICKR throughout the year for those aerobic base rides where it’s about putting the time in the saddle.

Workout #1: Threshold Work

  1. Warm up: 30-minute spin
  2. Main Set: Complete 2x:
    • 5 x 3 minute, 2 minutes at threshold, 1 minute all out. Recover for 3 minutes between each.
    • 15 minute easy spin between each set.
  3. Cool Down: 30-minute easy spin

Workout #2: Big Gear Work

  1. Warm Up: 30-minute spin
  2. Main Set: Complete 2x
    • 5 x 5-minute big gear efforts (50rpm) at 80-90% threshold power
    • 5-minute recovery between each effort and 10-15 minute between every 2 rounds
  3. Cool Down: 30-minute easy spin


“My last couple of weeks in Boulder, before coming to Kona were really cold and when the rain came it made it hard to cycle outdoors so my KICKR was a lifesaver to get in my last few hard sessions.”

Workout: Race Day Power

  1. Warm Up: 60 minute warm-up including some short surges towards the end:
    • Short surges: 2x (15 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 60 sec.) with equal recovery
  2. Main set:
    • 3×20 minute at 70.3 race pace with 3 min easy spin between.
  3. Cool Down: 
    • Spin Easy for 20-30min.

I do this session all year round, even when training for Ironman as it’s important to train at a higher power than your race power. The KICKR is a great tool for holding constant power and staying in the same position for a prolonged period, just like race day!

Scroll to top