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Ironman wannabe

Hi all, been lurking around these forums for a while, and thought I should introduce myself.

I'm an 18 year old student, planning on a 2010 Ironman, I havnt got an triathlon experience so Im starting early. Got a bit of rowing swimming and running experience though.

Feel free to fire away with any suggestions. An Ironmans gunna be tough for a newbie but a big challange should be pretty motivating I think.

My main question I'm having difficulty with at the moment is weight training. How much do you guys do, I know I could do with strength in my legs for the bike, which Im very new at, and better muscular endurance in my shoulders for the swim. However I find weights takes a while to recover from if your going heavy to build strength, this cuts in on time for other things. So what would you guys suggest?




  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    Hi, I'm sure more experienced people on here will tell you different but i don't do virtually any weight training. I get into the gym once every other week when I swap my usual core stuff. I find that i don't go heavy as that builds muscle (for me) I tend to go with higher reps of a moderate weight. I think the best way to build strength on the bike is by being on the bike, and fow the arms, get some hand paddles that'll help build strength whilst in the pool. Hope that helps any but like I said I fully expect to be contradicted by people who know lots more than me

  • starcherstarcher Posts: 126
    Hi mate,

    I dont do any weight training anymore used to when i played rugby but none for Tri.

    If you wanna have good bike legs id suggest getting out on your bike practising

    Over gearing and Under gearing and ride up lots and lots and lots of big F-off hills.

    Thatll sort you legs out.

    With multi sport its hard to build up in a gym your much better of with a decent Ironman training plan theres loads about, and obviously you [color="#990033"]MUST [color="#000099"]buy Coneheads book How Triathlon Ruined My Life its a great read.


  • as above i dont do any weight training either, in another life, 20yrs maybe i used to sprint and throw the javelin, i did alot of weights back then and have never lost the muscle, my thighs and calves look like they have footballs stuffed into them,which is what you dont want when climbing a monster hill although it suits the flat, so go gentle on the weights, plenty of reps but nothing to heavy.
  • I agree with all above,

    I've spent the last 9 months going from coplete newbie to Ironman hopeful. I just have a couple of thoughts.

    First, read conehead's book above... As it says on the back its not a how to guide or a training bible but rather a story of the experiences of a guy who does just what I'm trying to do and you are planning - going strait for Ironman. I really found I identified with large portions of his story even if my direct experiences have veried - loads of good tips you'll never pick up from a how to guide.

    Second (and to offer my experiences on your question), I don't do any weight training for Ironman. I think the guys above are spot on... just get on the bike and ride it! Find hills or do intervals/sprints to build up power if you really feel the need, but in my very limited experience power isn't what you need for an Ironman- try going for a 100mile+ bike ride and you'll see what I mean... the hardest thing about the bike for me is just being in the saddle (let alone being down and aero) for over 6 hours!

    A final thought is that I also come from a background in (lwt) rowing and I would say that as a rower you probably aleady have plenty of juice in the legs... on an erg/in a boat your legs are working at 18-35 rpm where as on a bike it is more like 80-100. I would say that most rowers come to cycling with comparatively good overall power.
  • p.s. if you want to do weights keep it endurance... light weights loads of reps!

    we had a rowing coach who had us doing endurance weights for a time... try doing 100+ reps on the benchpress/bench pull... if you aren't crying by the end there is something wrong with you!!!
  • WannabetriWannabetri Posts: 219
    And to complete blow all this out of the water................... only joking!!!

    I am doing IMUK along with quite a few others in just over 7 WEEKS TIME (Argh!) and must confess to also now being a no weights person. I did a serious 3 month stint of strength training programme build-up prior to beginning my IM training, and although I wouldn't say it was a waste. It's largely unnecessary.

    I then incorporated one core workout lasting 35 mins into the first 18 weeks of training but have since stopped this. I am have a hard-time figuring out how to carry 94kg (and diminishing!!!) around the course, but adding more muscle mass in a non-functional manner is not something I want.

    In agreement that your time is best spent developing specific strength on the bike. Not to quote a brash American, but research is showing that it is all about the bike!!! Some running strength and hill reps will prove useful but as I've been told on numerous occasions.............. no amount of training ever fully prepares you for the race and if your mind can't handle it then it's not going to happen. (And this is why I now do mind reps!!! [:D])
  • JBorrellJBorrell Posts: 4
    Hi all cheers for the advice. I'll cut back on the heavy weights and just do some high rep stuff from time to time.

    I'll definately look into coneheads book, just bought 'going long' has some nice swimming drills.

    My other difficulty at the moment is I'm struggling with shin splints, I've read tons on the problem and theres lots of different suggestions. I've tried new trainers although my old ones were great quality (not sure if perhaps the new ones are making it worse) I've tried resting for a couple of months and they just stay at the same sort of level of pain. I find they don't hurt when walking but do if I jump or try and run. Some days are better and I can do 20mins on a treadmill some days I can't do more than 3mins for fear of screwing them up more. I've been trying recently to do a few mins every couple of days on a treadmill with lots of stretching and putting ibuprofen gel on my shins after.

    One of my reasons to do Ironman is that Im determined to find away round them. I ran for several years in the past with no problems at all. As far as I can tell I'm an underprontor - my feet roll outwards.

    Any fresh suggestions, or if anyones suffered in the past but can now run no problem would be great to hear.

    Thanks again.

  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    Have you had your gait analysed in a running shop? If your shoes are wrong (which is easy to do it you guestimate what type you need) then you will get injured. One (of many) causes of shin splints is tight calf muscles. So do more streching which can help this, also if you do too much too soon you can get shin splints. The only way to get them to go is to rest, so no running until it stops hurting, then build back up slowly, and by that i mean increase it by about 10% per week.
  • I've also found that running on treadmills has caused me shin splints in the past so now keep virtually all running on the road.
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    get out there and do the miles whether its swimming, cycling or running. Learn how to eat/drink during exercise. Stop thinking about it, stop talking about it, get out of the weights room, quit whinging, dry your eyes and get stuck in
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Go on, tr££frog! Send him training to destruction! [:D]

    Joking, mate. Got to agree. Forget the weights until you're good enough on a bike or in the pool that core stability is becoming an issue, then get some core stuff into your schedule.

    Shin splints don't stop you swimming, or even cycling (usually). I used to get them really badly when I was doing far too many (as in every day) hill repeats. I cut it down to once per week and swapped in some cycling... brilliant for stretching out the shins*.

    I never had any problems when swimming with shin splints. Even if using fins.

    Get out there on your bike and your muscle strength will build as will your lower leg flexibility. It may fix the shins.

    Good Luck!

    * Unless the pains are caused by stress fractures. Have you been to the doc?
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Shin splints; have a look at this - simples:


    Weights - as before, only required when you begin to target specific groups or to remedy a problem

    Be kind to your body, build up gradually, look at Pilates or even Yoga to build core strength - I kid you not

    Swimming - not my strongest as I have a knackered left shoulder but TECHNIQUE - get that right - hit Youtube, get some lessons join a tri club

    Running - vital you get you gait analysed and get a good set of shoes - ASICS are great for me - I treadmill as it is low impact and in controlled conditions, no potholes, dog poo, ice etc, others will say hit the roads. It seems to work for me, PB for 10Km is 44:29 and now averaging about 45mins. When I do longer runs I avoid roads wherever possible and prefer park pathways etc. But get some decent shoes and replace them as they get worn, they do not las long.

    Bike - this is where you will get LOTS of opinions - road bike warriors with aero bars have one opinion tri bike ninjas another. I am an avowed tri bike ninja, nothing would drag me back to compete on a road bike again. Have a look at this to start:


    You will also get LOTS of opinions on chainsets whether to go standard or compact, whether to mash it out at 75rpm cadence or 90rpm (yep my vote) What works for me, a 52 yr old may not work for you and similarly what works for a Sprint or Olympic may not work for a Full distance/Ironman. e.g I have done the 5Km run in under 20mins and average about 21-22 but I can assure you I would not do the 42Km in under 3hrs, so just as my stride length and pace on th erun will differ so will the cadence on the bike section. Anyway have a look at these.




    Good luck, do not injure yourself
  • ironkavironkav Posts: 259

    I think you need to have a weights plan, for core strength. Ive found that with swimming especially i need to keep a good balance in my shoulders. My chest gets built up with the swimming so i need to do alot of back and upper shoulder work to keep from getting injured due to muscle imbalance.. Thats just me though.

    to strengthen legs.. Spinervals and Hills...

    Keep of the treadmill while the days are bright also.. You will spend all winter training indoors.

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