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Dear god what have I done

Hi all

Ive bitten the bullet and signed up to do a half ironman - Challenge Weymouth, next September.

Having never done a tri before I initially signed up to do a sprint, next April, however the opportunity to tke part in a massive event in my home town was too good an opportunity to miss.

However, I could do with some advice - should I start a program now, which will carry on right through to the event, or should I just spend the winter months building distances / fitness?  Currently my swimming is ok - the 1900m shouldn't cause a problem (but I'm definately not going to win the swim leg!), the bike will be ok, buut my running is almost non-existant - the furthest I have done up to now is 7km!!!

All advice will be greatfully received.




  • DedeDede Posts: 35

    Start now! And pray you don't get injured, also consider your weight, if you're overweight your running should be very gradual and off road to avoid shin splints. Train and prepare! with about anything new one does, because if you don't, the run will bite you in the backside 2 fold!!. Also just my opinion - race with conviction rather than I just made it. Good luck.

  • Jamie220Jamie220 Posts: 168

    Hi Swatch, great to hear you have taken on Challenge Weymouth, we expect it to be a great event.

    We have lots of training tips for long-distance here:


    Good luck!

  • Hi Swatch,

    I was wondering whether you had seen the new edition of 220 Triathlon Performance Series (#5). The first article is about setting a training plan - it might be what you're after. Certainly I'm going to be using it in some way to get myself ready for next summer. Like you, I am a Triathlon beginner, and wondering what I should be doing now in early winter - to achieve targets next summer - most of the training plans I have seen are the 12 week variety, which I guess are not so useful 30-40 weeks away from the target event.

    I'm interested in why you chose to dive into a half ironman, rather than start with the Olympic distance. I've been debating whether doing a half ironman in first series is sensible/possible/achievable.

    Anyway, hope the training is progressing.



  • bathtubbathtub Posts: 280

    Competing in a Half Ironman event for your first ever Triathlon is absolutely achievable.

    I am not a coach but from my experience I would suggest just building distance and fitness over the winter.

    The next step depends on your race day expectations/goals, do you just want to get round and finish in no specific time ?then you could get by with just continuing the 3 different disciplines until you are confident of your capabilities.

    If you want to race the event then it would be worth looking for a specific structured  training programme, although you could still do this if you just wanted to get round.  If you google Half Ironman Training Plans you will find quite a few free training plans from 12-20 weeks. I would suggest taking a look at them and find one that fits in with your available time and lifestyle.

    If you do decide to follow a traing plan dont get hung up over wheter you can stick to it by the letter, I think of it more as advice than a plan and if I cant do the planned session so what, the important thing is to enjoy your journey whilst staying injury free.

    You will perhaps have doubts along the way but providing you train consistantly and not miss too many training days and stay injury free you should be fine.

    Good Luck.



  • Hi Swatch,

                     firstly congratulations on entering your first half iron distance race! To answer your first question, half iron completion can certainly be done in your first season, but its not going to happen without some hard work throughout the winter months. That being said, you've given yourself the best excuse/reason to keep training throughout christmas and winter.

    So since I was in a similar situation to you a few years ago in my first season, I will share my thoughts on the matter. I completed my first half Ironman in Exmoor in  my first season of triathlon and it was certainly a steep but valuable learning curve so I applaud your willingness to try. There is nothing to say it shouldn't be done, as long as you are committed to finishing thats all you need to focus on!

    Since the race is in April I would start training now and as bathtub mentioned have a look at some training plans to help you but you do not have to follow it to the letter. Make the training plan work for you and fit into your day to day life but try and understand the reasons behind  a 4 hour bike will be followed by a 1hr run brick followed by a gym session/ bike circuit the next day. You are after all training for an endurance race, so if you can complete 80-90% of your scheduled workouts for the week you've done well. 

    Look after and listen to your body because its your most important piece of equipment you have. If your running is weak going into training, take time to seek out a specialist running shop who can advise you on the correct footwear and invest in some good trainers that will work for YOU and not because Superfit Joe Bloggs at work uses them and said they're fantastic.

    Lastly, have a look at some duathlons over the winter period as this will help provide a focus, break up training and prepare you for racing. It will also certainly help strengthen your bike to run transition. Most importantly, enjoy the training - Its hard for a reason, if it wasn't finishing wouldn't taste so good.


    All the best


  • I'm doing Challenge Weymouth as well and can't wait.

    As well as all the good advice so far, I would look to book in an Olympic distance early July. In training for the Half, you'll be prepared for the Olympic and it will give you a great taster for participating in an event and will give you a great benchmark as to your training, which you can adjust with 11/12 weeks to go, it will also be fun and will give you massive confidence for Weymouth!

  • As i did a half distance as one of my first tri's i would say do a sprint early May then a couple of Olys before July, that way you will feel a little more relaxed come your A race and enjoy the whole experiance rather than spending half the prep in the toilets.

    Ride the bike you expect to race on from now till the day comfort is a must and don't go over the top on kit unless you are loaded that is. other than that see you there im going to go for a half too.

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