Favorite Race-Day Prep Workouts From 3 Age-Group Nice Qualifiers

Three of the fastest long-course age-group men in the world each share a swim, bike, or run session that they use to prepare for their big day at the men's 2023 Ironman World Championship in Nice.

Photo: Courtesy of Nick Lam

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Making history often comes with dealing with the unknown – and the age-group men who will race this year’s men’s Ironman World Championship in Nice are in the unique position of being the first to take on the mountains of France against the best Ironman triathletes in the world. From the time Ironman shared their first look at the new course (and gave Triathlete readers an exclusive interview with the race directors, full of helpful insider tips), athletes who qualified for Nice have been preparing for world championship conditions that are vastly different than those found in past iterations of the event in Kona. Targeted training for the specific course conditions in Nice has given age-group athletes the fitness and confidence they need to show up to the big show on September 10.

These three age groupers shared the swim, bike, and run workouts that have helped them the most as they prepare for whatever France may have in store for race day.

Baptiste Nourry


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Age group: 18-24
Based out of: France
Where he qualified: Vitoria-Gasteiz

Background: Six months after purchasing his first road bike in 2019, Baptiste set out to conquer his first triathlon—the Alpe d’Huez long-distance triathlon. It was the challenge of the long-distance course that motivated him to keep going, which led him to Ironman. Four years later, Nourry crossed the finish line in first place for his age group, which earned him a slot in the championship.

Goal for Nice 2023: Baptiste’s main goal for Nice is to enjoy the experience, but his ambition to feel fresh during the marathon leg is a close second – especially after a challenging 112 miles on the bike.

Baptiste’s Favorite Swim Prep Workout:


200-meter swim at my convenience

200 (50 technical exercises / 50 minimum movements)

200 (2 x 100 m medley)

Main Set:

200 m swim, 3 min 45 s after the start 2 x 100 m, start 1 min 55 s] x 3.

100 m recovery

400 m pull-buoy (breathing every 5 movements and the 2nd 200 m faster)

400 m pull-buoy & plates (same instructions)

400 m crawl (breathing every 3 movements)


100 m recovery

Chris Depew


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Age group: 30-34
Based out of: La Verne, California, United States
Where he qualified: Ironman Texas

Background: After swimming competitively in college, Chris needed an athletic outlet post-graduation. He turned to local sprint and Olympic distance triathlons in 2014, and after the pandemic, decided to conquer an Ironman.

Goal for Nice 2023: “I’ve put a lot more work into training for this race than the previous Ironmans I’ve done, but the main goals of Ironman still remain the same… enjoy the day, cross the finish line with a smile on my face, and run the whole portion of the marathon. If I’m able to do those I hope to be competitive in the age group.”

Chris’ Favorite Bike Prep Workout:


5 miles Zone 1

Main Set:

8 miles at 5% av. grade at 85% of FTP

1 mile recovery

11 miles at 3% av. grade 75% of FTP

10 miles downhill with 2×1 minute hill sprints


10 miles at 60% FTP (unless you’re late, then it’s tempo!)

Nick Lam


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Age group: 25-29
Based out of: Originally from Hong Kong, living in Boston, MA
Where he qualified: Ironman Texas

Background: Nick became a competitive athlete in college as a swimmer. Then in 2018, after graduating, he decided to pursue his first triathlon—an Olympic distance race in Boston. Since then, he has competed in ten 70.3 events and three full Ironman triathlons.

Goal for Nice 2023: After competing in the 70.3 World Championships in Lahti, Nick plans to focus on recovery and tapering before Nice. Ultimately, he would like to sub 3:20 in the marathon—a personal best after 7,963 ft. of elevation gain on the bike and maintain his ranking as first in his country for 2023.

Nick’s Nice Prep Run Workout:


15 mins at Zone 1 building to Zone 2 (should be a comfortable and conversational pace)

Main Set: Ironman Pace Progression

3km at target iron-distance pace. Ease into this first rep – it should be on the conservative end of pacing.

5km just above target iron-distance pace. This should be around 5-10 seconds faster per mile than target race pace.

5 minutes at Zone 2 / aerobic recovery – use this recovery between intervals as an opportunity to practice fueling.

3km at target iron-distance pace. This should be at race pace and should feel comfortable.

5km just above target iron-distance pace. This should be around 5-10 seconds faster per mile than target race pace.


10 minutes easy jog

A history-making day in Nice is almost here! Visit our Men’s Ironman World Championship Nice Hub for news, analysis, history, photo galleries, and so much more – new stories are added daily from our team on the ground in France.

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