Home Chat General Chat

Ironman advice!

I've never done an ironman but really want the tattoo!!! I'm hoping to do an Ironman in 2009.

So......I have 4 questions for a few wise heads...

1. How many hours a week would i ideally need to dedicate to training.

2. What would would be a realistic finish time to aim for?

3. How many months prior to the event should i begin training.

4. Which IM would most suit a first timer?

I look forward to your wise words,

Thanks, Lee


  • Options
    scott298scott298 Posts: 122
    The more you train the easier the race day will be!

    but just aim to keep your weekly training hours consitant.

    some people do anything from 10 to 20 hours a week ( age-groupers).

    don't aim for a finishing time, just enjoy it ! even professionals like Scott Neyedli don't aim for times they just do their best and see what time they get!

    since you want to do one in 2009, now wouldn't hurt to start training!

    the uk ironman would suit a first timer, because it's in england!

    it is a bit hilly though.

    but if you got money to spend austrai is flat.
  • Options
    You've convinced me. I'm going to do IMUK '09 too.[:D]
  • Options
    Scott, Thanks for the info. I'm in, Any idea when i can enter?
  • Options
    feesfees Posts: 28
    I am with Scott on this one.

    1)I have a regular job and manage between 15-20 hours per week. On a heavy week it will be more like 23-25 hours a week.

    2)At your first IM just aim to finish before the cut off. 16h59 still gets you the tatoo and you will learn a lot.

    3)You need to have a good base in all three disciplines so no harm in training now in anticipation for your specific IM. My IM specific training is about 4 months.

    4)Pick a race that is close to you to avoid high costs. getting started for IM can be pricey.

    Check out Ironman.com website. They list all the races worldwide and have links to each sites address. You can normally only enter for the following years race once this years race is over.
  • Options
    jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Congratulations are realising how insane you actually are, no really!!!.

    I second the advice given,regarding your time the weather can play a big part,heat/cold/rain/wind so research you race if you don't like wind then Lanza is definately out.Austria is flat but the 08 race filled up in under 24hrs,the courses that don't fill up quick are the harder ones such as Lanza,Switzerland and the races that take abit of travelling such as NZ ,far east etc best of luck.
  • Options
    Congratulations on deciding to become an Ironman. How far out you need to start training depends on your current levels of fitness and ability. I went from sedentary to Ironman in 18 months. If you are already in good training habits and have a good cycling base then you are half way there.

    Hours per week? It depends on how fast you want to go. I spent approx 2 hrs in the pool, 6 on the bike and 2 running per week, although many weeks I did less than this because of injury, illness, laziness etc. That's training to "get round", which I did, but in a predictably slow time. If I wanted to go sub-12 then I would double those hours in the months leading up to the race.

    You have 19 months until IMUK so you have the time to address any big issues that will affect your performance, such as weight loss, swimming technique, etc.

    You've probably worked this out for yourself but make your bike training a priority. Let's face it - you could breast-stroke your way round the swim in 1:30 if you had to, and you could walk the marathon in 5 hours if you had to, but there's no hiding from the bike leg. It is a long way. And IMUK is a challenging course. And once you've got off the bike, your legs need to be fresh enough to run.

    I haven't done any racing or training since IM Austria 2006, but I may join you for IMUK 2009 :-)

  • Options
    BARNYBARNY Posts: 157
    Hey Jon E - Is Switzerland one of the hard ones?!!! ..... Bugger!.. I had this weird imagination that it was quiet an easy course....Oh well,,, some extra motivation to get out training!

    I'm with the rest of the poeple on here but say you should do a half distance event this year! - new forest middle distance in sept for instance..
  • Options
    jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Hi Barney,accorrding to Inside Triathlon magazine that is very pro Ironman/long course races they listed all the courses and the Swiss one featured in the quite hard catagory,I've done it twice and would love to do it again,the course is flatter this year due to it being reduced to 2 laps.Austria is undulating and suits the fast biker or strong runner depending on your thoughts,the run is varied passing through various parks and streets.The crowds are great but if you go out on your bike before race day watch out for the tram tracks a bike wheel fits nicely in them and it is requires a deft bunny hop to get out without gravel rash.Best of luck.
  • Options
    BARNYBARNY Posts: 157
    Thanks for the advice jon - I plan to go out there for a weekend recky before the big day so I guess I will find out for myself! ....
  • Options
    NickNick Posts: 66
    IMCH will be my first im distance, really excited about it but also with a healthy dose of apprehension.
  • Options
    BARNYBARNY Posts: 157
    Have a look at the ironman trailor on youtube!!! makes the hairs on the back of your head tingle!!!!!! but yeah a significant element of aprehension for sure!! That what is all about though huh :)
  • Options
    treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    Hi Barny, I did IMch in 2007. A great experience, and I got a lot of helpful advice and encouragement from this forum - especially from Jon E & SteveO. I trained for 10 months specifically for it. I had a good endurance reserve & sports experience from a previous life but you do need to train for the particular demands of an Ironman. Off the top of my head the advice I'd give you is - Wear tinted goggles as you will be swimming into the rising sun. Work out a nutrition plan, use it in training and stick to it on race day. Concentrate on riding the bike efficiently - know your capabilities from training and don't overdo it on race day. Do loads of long brick sessions. I would also advise running marathon distance (quite some time before the race), if you have not done so already; so you have a mental picture of 42.5km. Use data from this run and decide a realistic pace, don't even think of pushing a little harder on race day, until the final 2km. Lastly be prepared for pain/ body shutdown/ etc it will happen its just a matter of when (hopefully as late as possible) when this happens you will depend on your mental strength to get you through - so work on toughening up your mind in training (is this possible??)! Good luck, enjoy the training and have a great IMch
  • Options
    feesfees Posts: 28
    IronJohn, breaststroke your way round the swim in 1:30? I hammered it the first 2 years at IM South Africa and just managed to break 1:30. Clearly the water you are swimming in is a lot better than the rough seas we have to contend with. It would miss the cut off if I swam breaststroke.
  • Options
    Hi BM

    lots of good advice but don't be too too concerned about the

    'total hours per week of training' just yet...

    You will build your training in a progressive way hitting

    break through times where recovery takes less time...

    You will be getting fit and ready to go longer...

    For your first IronMan be content to get over the line within the

    cut off period...and train to this end.

    Many people will quote quite long and longer yet weekly training times.

    Start with a base that you are more than comfortable with and build slowly...you have plenty time.

    Bye the way Austria is not flat...but it is fast. If you are ready you will be able to finish any Ironman course...

    Good Luck...

  • Options
    Thanks for the advice.

    what is the cut off time for IMUK? is it the same for all IM?

    Also.... What happens when a call of nature is required? I've heard stories about people simply weeing themselves!!!! Is this true? What happens if a number 2 is needed?[:)]

    At the moment I can run 13miles, cycle 60 miles plus and swim 2miles with still a little bit left in the tank so where do i go from there?

  • Options
    get this book before you start freaking out....like I did.


    ISBN: 978-1844-26-469
  • Options
    fees wrote:

    IronJohn, breaststroke your way round the swim in 1:30? I hammered it the first 2 years at IM South Africa and just managed to break 1:30. Clearly the water you are swimming in is a lot better than the rough seas we have to contend with. It would miss the cut off if I swam breaststroke.

    Ha ha! Yes I agree that the clear waters of Worther See (Austria) are probably easier to swim in than the Cape!

    I wasn't recommending doing breast stroke (imagine all the people you'd kick!) but just making the point that for a new Ironman the bike is the leg to worry about. [;)]

  • Options
    bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    I'd agree with ironjohn, the bike leg is the one you need to train most.
  • Options

    I did the UK IM 2006 and still havn't got the tatoo, but i'm gonna soon - good pose at 10K runs! Not so good at triathlons when 'proper' cyclists fly by me!

    A book I used for training and recommend is 'Be Iron Fit' by Don Fink - Amazon. It has 3 training plans and it works as I followed (more or less) the advanced one and astounded myself by finishing in 12hr 33mins!

    Any finish is good - I was hoping for 14hrs at best! Do the training and it all comes into place - the day wasn't as hard as I thought it would be!

    All the plans in the book are 6-7 months.

    IMUK is hilly bike, Austria is flat but sells out in a day, as crowds are amazing - unlike UK, I don't think it's pricked the public concience yet!

    You can DEFINATELY do it, I did and i'm just normal bloke. My mate did and it was his 4th triathlon.
  • Options
    feesfees Posts: 28
    After 3 IM's I have finally discovered that the cycle is my strong point (165th place), followed my the swim (222nd place) and then the run (556th place). This year I am focusing specifically on the run as I did 4h23 for the marathon and want to try go around the 4 hour mark.

    I agree that you need to focus on the longest discipline for your first IM and then as you discover where your strength and weaknesses are you can tailor your programme.
Sign In or Register to comment.