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Ironman 2009

Complete beginner - in fact I haven't even started buying the kit yet!

I have been inspired by watching this years Ironman to try and give it a go next year.....no tri experience, but have run half a dozen or so marathons and one 56mile ultra along with a few long ish bike rides (125 mile cyclosportive last year was the longest).....but worryingly am a rubbish swimmer.

Am I insane to even contemplate trying for IM UK 2009 or does anyone think it is possible?

on a separate note....my job+commute takes up 13+ hours per day so training time is limited

any advice gratefully received


  • Hi nottcl. I don't think you're insane at all. As you're already a strong runner and comfortable on a bike, you're in a pretty good position.

    As I understand it, there's a two and a half hour cut-off time for the swim. So get in your local pool a couple of nights a week over the winter and start to build up. Everyone who competes in triathlon has stronger and weaker disciplines. Looks like you've got two strong ones already. You have the best part of a year to make your swimming a reasonable discipline. It can be done.

    I'm toying with the idea of IM UK myself, with 2008 having been my first year in multisports. And everything I've read so far has suggested you should just worry about getting round the course and finishing. Forget about the time.

    So think about it like this. The swim is the first stage. Get that out of the way and you're into familiar territory. The rest will be a piece of cake for you!!!

    Your work/commute times sound similar to mine. Sucks doesn't it? But with a bit of lateral thinking, you can squeeze training time in there. It means getting up early and eating later than you'd want in the week, and no lie-ins at weekends. But the rewards are immense.

    Best of luck, and keep your eye on the forum. I've only just joined, and have already gleaned stacks of useful information from it.
  • Hi I am no expert but heres my bit.I have been doing triathlon for about 5 years started with sprints then up to Oly then up to half ironman distance.This year did Lanza Ironman now entered Switzerland for 2009.My swimming was my weakest so worked hard on it.My run is not bad 36.30 10K 1hour 19 for half and 3.08 for a marathon this year.Guess what let me down in Ironman yes the run.Had a good swim good bike poor run.My advise is have a season doing Oly's and half distance then go up for 2010.Hope this helps.


  • ardkeenardkeen Posts: 152

    I am inclined to agree with Dave Boy, although not 100%. Any book you read about IM will advise a few seasons of Tri to build endurance but you already have that well established. Next Oct I'm doing Barcelona which supposedly is a flat bike course, as it's my first IM I want to enjoy the experience, also it allows one to train during the spring summer and yiou race in a warm but not hot season. Like yourself I'm a weak swimmer, but add in at most 30 mins extra for the swim, it may sound like a long time but over the course of the bike and run it is n't. Anyway IM UK is late like Barc, so if you do go for it, the best of luck!

  • DaveCDaveC Posts: 15
    Go for it. I did similar to you. Started in Jan and did the IM in September, not a great time but I had a great day and am really thinking about doing it again next year. Tips I would pass on , and they may seem obvious but hey..

    1. Don't focus on your strongest event - I did too much swimming and not enough running.

    2. Find someone else at a similar level who is doing it and share your training on a shared calendar on say google - its a great motivator.

    3. Bare in mind that as the distances get longer in training then the recovery takes longer.

    4. Get to Sherbourne a few days early - its a good atmosphere and less stress.

    5. Tell everyone you know that you're doing it ! - the motivation of not failing is a great driver.

    Happy training. Dave 46 year old
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314

  • AmazonAmazon Posts: 57
    I went from 0-Ironman in 11 months. It was tough, really tough. Especially as I had to learn how to ride a bike first!! And the first marathon I'd ever done was on the day.

    However I did make it with lots of time to spare, and I'll do it all again!

    It was without doubt one of the best days of my life, I learnt a lot about myself, and what my limits really are (and not just on the day, but in training too). It really comes down to how much you want it, but I think that everyone however fast or slow goes through that stage on the say. If something is easy it's not worth having, and I feel that all the hard work that went into it made it so much more special - I say go for it!!! You won't regret it!!

    And even if the absoulute worst happened and you didn't quite finish this time round at least you'll have put your money where your mouth is and tried, a lot of people say they could, very few dare to actually try.

    I wish you all the very best!

  • mackemacke Posts: 1
    I will probably enter IM for 2010. Amazon, How many hours a week did you spend on traning to start with and when did you peak your traning ?

  • AmazonAmazon Posts: 57
    Hi Macke

    I started training properly in January as I was out of the country for a while before this, at this point i was doing approx 12 hours per week.

    I entered the UK 70.3 in June so I peaked for this event, and also used it as a good indicator to see if I was on the right track for fitness etc.

    I also thought that if I could survive that bike course, and make cut off, then I knew I would have a good fighting chance at the IM.

    Being so new to bike riding it was touch and go right up to the day if I would make it or not - and anyone who has done that course will totally understand what I'm talking about!!!

    I'm not sure who was more relieved when I came round the last corner to enter transition, me - because the worst was over! - or my friends - just because I'd made it well in time!!

    I then took a couple of weeks to just do really light training and recover fully, after this the build up to the full IM really began, with 18 hour solid training weeks up until approx 9 days before the event when I started to taper.

    That saw me finish well within all the individual and over all cut off times, and coming from a total novice bike rider position to start with. I also hadn't ever done a full marathon until that day either.

    Be brave, go for it, and believe that you can make it!!

    I also found that once I had actually entered fear was the biggest motivator to train!!!!

    I hope that answers you question Macke!

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