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Ironman - UK or Nice?

Hi everyone. I'm looking at doing a full Ironman next year. I had backed away from Nice having been there this summer and seen the mountains that form the bike element - with 1500m of climbing.

So I thought UK was the 'softer' option but the website says there is 2200m of climbs in their bike element, plus the run is undulating as opposed to the flat Nice rin course.

Can anyone give me the lowdown on how the two compare?



  • i've signed up for ironman france

    france is likely to be hotter and its also earlier in the year so more training needed when weather not so good
  • pacmanpacman Posts: 109
    Well there guys it's that time of year when you look forward with optimism, an ironman - yeah, no bother!

    I did IMUK last year and enjoyed it. Good experience and the climbs both bike and run are pretty much long and gradual with one or two exceptions. I'm considering signing up to Nice this year for a different challenge.
  • AndyMAndyM Posts: 7
    I was in Nice last summer and it wa very hot. Also whilst the roads look nice and smooth (surprisingly better than ours), there are large mountains behind Nice itself.

    Although no Ironman is easy I was looking to ease myself in gently(!), I thought Nice would be the harder bike but reading UK website now I am not so sure
  • [:)] UK i did it in 2005 my first and only one so far it was great[:)] bloody hard but great, it took me 2hrs longer than i wanted to but thats how it goes sometimes... delayed start, big hills, and the hottest day of the year. oh and that crap gatorade in those crap gatorade drinks bottles. i didnt intend to drink it but it was so hot i ran out of my own drink. 14hrs 20....later i finished [:D] but i enjoyed it i think!!! may do it again this year?

    why pay all those travell costs etc etc when theres one on your doorstep thats bloody hard enough... and its not a dragster strip of a coarse like austria etc... you will know youve done it!!!!
  • [:)]well it looks like i may do NICE spoke to my mate friday who lives in france and he talked me into entering next pay day? i think i may die i dont like the heat 40 degrees plus and mountains ... im to fat but you may aswell die tri ing?
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    I have a friend who did UK and I have a friend who did Nice. They were both really positive about it, so that really makes it a tough decision forme. Since I live in Belgium , IMUK is a lot closer then Nice, but Ill have to cross the channel (And Idomean by boat or train, not swimming[&:]). Maybe I'll take UK, maybe I canmeet some ofyou guys out there then. By the way, nobody understands the French their damn language anyway[:D].
  • [&:] maybe i could do both? NICE and UK ironman? i hear uk is later in the year 2008? thats if i survive NICE [;)] so why waste the training....[:D]
  • pacmanpacman Posts: 109
    Well thats me booked up for france - entry, flights, and hotel - in for a penny etc. I think that it would be diffiuclt to recover in time for IMUK after doing france in June.
  • [:)] well pacman see you on the start line in NICE!!!
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    I hear Nice is getting booked quickly(seen on official IM-site).

  • Hey guys - am all booked up to IMUK, first crack at the distance. Did first tri last year and decided, like many seem to, to 'step up'. 2 months into training and enjoying it, all seems like a long way off at the moment. pacman - great to hear from you as read your thread from last years IM, sounds like the training paid off what time did you get?
  • pacmanpacman Posts: 109
    Hey there otn,

    Yeah a few of us had a thread going for IMUK last year which was a great support and a bit of a laugh, I don't think any of us were taking it too seriously although one of the lads, Tim I think, got close to 10.30. I did 12.09 myself which I was delighted with, but I think there's at least half an hour if not more to take off that. As a first timer my main focus was to finish and I was training and competing with that foremost in mind. This year i think I'll give it a bit more of a lash.

    Sounds like your getting plenty of off season training, which is good. my own motivation has gone through the floor a bit. I thought registering would kick start a bit of training frenzy - but no joy!
  • Pacman - well done on last year, 12hrs is a good crack, am aiming to be in that zone too. Training going pretty well still, doing about 7 -9 hours a week but whole xmas thing doesn't help.

    No idea what to expect from the IM so any insights would be really good, I come from a swimming backgorund and can do a mile in under 20 mins reasonably comfortably and have a 3.08 marathon pb but almost zero cycling experience, 6 hours on tri-bars makes me very nervous.

    Still can't wait, doing, weymouth half, london olympic as warm ups so hopefully all will go swimmingly on the day...
  • [:)]im now officially on the start sheet for NICE s robinson 1485 Tri Club what have i done?[&:]
  • Good effort 'belly', you may have to think about changing your name soon :)

    Different venues but same event so anything you learn along your journey please post here as keen to get as much learning as I can and share this painful journey!
  • pacmanpacman Posts: 109
    Has anybody thought about what style of bike they are going to use. I used an aero trek equinox 9 for IMUK last year and by the third lap I was struggling with the climbing gear ratio. The other option is my trusty trek 1000 I'm trying to find out a bit more about the cycle course but from what I can gather it's many small hills rather than any specific big climbs. Does anybody know more about the bike course? The official website refers to a 'course in the French Alps', which is making me break out in a cold sweat already!
  • I have just bought a new TT bike for my training and will ride it at IMUK, it's a Plantet X Stealth TT pro. I have not gone for the most aggressive of positions so hoping it will by ok, but have heard that bullhorn bars are not the best for climbing, sure it'll be fine though. No plans to change the gearing ratio's, think that most hills are 'spinnable'.

    Next dilemma is whether or not to flex the credit card a little further and go for some gucci wheels, thinking probably Zipps, then next question is tubs or clinchers, never ends. On the other hand could just stop smoking cigarettes every time I drink too much and probably save myself the money, another new years resolution to add to the list....
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Well,of the night,

    I must say: excellent choice of bike.

    For your other dillemas, I suppose your last sentence shows what you need to choose; looks like you already have the answer yourself. Quit smoking and keep the drinking occasional will shave time off for sure!!
  • pacmanpacman Posts: 109
    What a nice machine and with the zipps it look the business. Your going to have to do it justice though, there's nothing worse than seeing a brilliant bike at the back of the pack! Hope the training is going well, I have an extra half stone to shift nic the christamas - ah well tis the season.
  • Very good point pacman, going to have to get the hours in over the next few months, suffering from strained knee tendon at the moment though so just logging up pool and gym time at the moment.

    Any good advice for specific sessions for the IMUK course?

  • pacmanpacman Posts: 109
    Hey OTN

    How did you do the knee tendon? Sounds sore, hope the recovery is going well.

    Regarding the IMUK course I suppose the bike course is where you can do some specific training. There are no particularly steep climbs, but there are some long moderate ones which you really feel the third time round. I found in training that as you get up to the 50 60 mile mark on long training spins it was obviously good to incorporate some steep climbs as you go, but also there are some steep climbs close to my house that I tried to get in at the end of a long spin to build endurance. The only thing with that is that long climbs can have a heavy load on the tendons that run down the sides of the knees (can't remember the name of them). It seems that you don't really feel it on the bike but it hurts on the run. So you're going to have to be wary of that especially with your current problem. The advice in 220 is to make sure that your bike set up, particularly cleat / pedal / foot alignment is spot on. Also make sure that your not letting the knees buckle in as you climb -especially when tired.

    The run as you've probably heard is along a dual carriageway for about 15 miles out and back - twice. I've read in forums people complaining about this being boring etc. but I have to say I find any really long run boring and the camraderie between competitors on race day will definitely keep you going. The run like the cycle has long ups and downs but nothing really steep.

    I see that there's a thread about doing a marathon before the IM but I wouldn't recommend it. My longest training run was about 20 miles, with some good hills. I did do a half IM in the June before though, to test some new gear and as a long training session. I think that was worthwhile to do, as long as it's kept at training pace not race pace.

    I don't know if any of this helps, I'm sure there are guys and gals out there with far more experience of the IMUK course than I have.

  • Hey pacman,

    I did my knee during a 10k boxing day run, with a 1k to go I had a shor at my PB so started to push very hard and did a 300-400m sprint finish, my hamstring did not thank me and missed my PB by 25secs anyway - doh!

    Thanks for the bike course insights, really useful. I am still mostly logging up time on the turbo as my bike endurance is prob my key limiter, just doing 2-3hr steady spins, hamstring is not helping at the moment, but will probably stick with that until end of Feb then move onto some outdoor riding. I live in London so it's never great round here, but richmond park is a great rolling/hilly 8 mile reasonably car free circuit so will stop logging up so miles of that.

    Are you entering IMUK again this year - anyone else doing it? Keen to hear from anyone in the race or any other IM's to share training gains and pains.

    Happy New Year all...
  • the bellythe belly Posts: 125
    [:D]anyone done NICE IRONMAN? if so any idea of hotels cheep and cheerfull or campsites etc etc.. if so let me know....[:)]
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