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Stepup from Half to full Ironman

I can;t offer any insight into this at present, but look forward to an update, as I'm considering a half and ful ironman next year. Only sprints and OD this year.


  • cammykcammyk Posts: 36
    I just did my first half Ironman triathlon the weekend in Switzerland. I finished in a pretty good time considering it was my first(5:52). I started training in Jan this year and have been pretty committed but needed to learn to swim and bike correctly in that time and have only had my bike 14 weeks prior to the race. I was training around 9 hours per week for the last 2 months and a little less before that. How much more training is needed to step up the distance. I was tired at the end and very happy it was over but now think that with a full year and hopefully with a better technical base to start from that if I kept the hours roughly the same that I could step up the length to a full Ironman ? Is it such a huge difference ? I'm going to run a full marathon in Oct to see how that feels but running is probably my strongest of the 3 disciplines. Anyone made the jump care to offer up what it takes to go the full distance ?
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    I went the other way - started with a full and went to a half, mainly for availability reasons. They really are quite similar, but with full IM you must get feeding right, you can get away with it in a 70.3, but basically similar training - although I would reccommend a marathon well beforehand, also get a long swim (3-4kM) and a long cycle (150kM+) in every 2-3 weeks.
  • cammykcammyk Posts: 36
    I have another half distance lined up at the end of this month but it has a 2.7km swim and 80k bike rather than 1.9k and 90k. So a bit longer on the swim but should be similar time wise. A good test of stretch of swim length.
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    I started on the Half and then upped it to the full,For the half I put in about 7 hours a week,and when I graduated to full was managing about 9 hours a week,it got me round but not in a fast time.For the half,longest bike was about 50 miles,for the full I did a couple of 80 milers,most of fitness from running but should have devoted more to the biking side.The main problem is trying to get to the start without injury due to the increase in workload.The full race is more mentally based than you would think.
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    cammyk... maybe you had a different experience to me: I did my first 70.3 last weekend - you beat me by 10 minutes - but I'm feeling an out-of-character amount of trepidation about stepping up to IM. Firstly, despite Tr££frog's assertion that you don't need to get feeding right for 70.3 I think that was the reason I fell apart. On that basis, I feel I need to learn a huge amount more about fuelling than I know right now.

    Things I learned:

    1) Mental strength is worth a shite-load of experience

    2) I could do a marathon, easy. (But not fast)

    3) Wish I'd had more time to do longer bricks (maybe really easy 3hr bike followed by 1 hour run)

    4) I could not even contemplate an IM, not without a lot more training and losing about 6-10kg (currently 86).

    I really do think the IM is not a 70.3 doubled, but a 70.3 squared. I reckon I'd need to edit my life plan seriously for a year to do it but more impoortantly, if I could do that then I know I have the mental strength to finish the race. I get the impression that is the key thing for IM... the mind game.
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Nah, I did Weymouth, last weekend. You've not been paying attention... race report is here: http://forum.220magazine.com/fb.asp?m=44998
  • ipay1980ipay1980 Posts: 84
    it would depend on the length of your training program - most people go for about a 27 week program, assuming good base of fitness.

    as you go through into base 2/3, and build periods, you may be training up to about 15-18 hours a week. the key sessions are the long ones in the base ie ling ride each weekend, and muscular endurance/bricks as you get to the build period.

    as conehead says, check (!) you got the support of the other half (maybe take her out for a nice meal and pitch the idea..or certainly pick when he is in a good mood!). i am out the door to train before work, train after work, probably a rest daya week, and on weekend after training sessions, when spending time with them am goosed! my mrs is so supportive (meals on table when get in!) it makes it much easier. for me that is part of the ironman, the sacrifices that you have to make to get there - reflect on it as you get in the lake, and be proud of your efforts.

    i would definately not do as treefog says (sorry treefog) in doing a marathon before hand! it takes way to long to recover. most people will do training runs of up to 2-3 hours, tyring to cover 20 miles. from reading various articles, i understand that the fitness gains beyond this are limited, and injury risks are much higher.

    overall if you can do it.....would totally recommend it............you will understand why people get the bug!
  • ipay1980ipay1980 Posts: 84
    bopo, top effort on your race!

    dont let 86kg put you off - make sure is powerful muscles for swim and bike.

    ain alar juhanson is 100kg!!!!!!!!! just got to use it to your advantage.

    also as you train up for the distance, with the longer rides and runs, your weight will most likely fall.
  • WannabetriWannabetri Posts: 219
    Definitely don't let 86kgs put you off, am at 94kg and doing IMUK in 7 weeks!!

    Hoping to get down to around 90kg for the race but like ipay says Ain is a beast of a man and always delivers. His bike leg is awesome, and his running ain't shabby as far as it goes.

    Provided you trained to race at the weight you carry then, you'll be able to do it. At least this is what I am saying to myself each day!!!! [:D]
  • cammykcammyk Posts: 36

    I read the book months ago before i even found this blog :O). I read it again last week as did my wife as I was pissing myself so much reading it. I read it before i started the training then did all the training and then read it before the race and having read it again the experience in many areas was similar.

    I did work on the nutrition side a bit before the race and tried out several things during long brick sessions(full 90k bike 15k run). I worked out timing/substance and eventually worked out what I could scrape by on. Then I trained a lot at scrape by/survival level and then took more on race day as a boost and I only got heavy legs in the last 3-4k of the run.


    My biggest worry pre race was not getting injured and just finishing the swim and how big the hills were as I'd been training mostly on the flat. I came out at the end very tired but I wasn't dying and recovered pretty quick and as soon as first bike lap was done I knew I'd finish. I could not have gone any faster though as I was mono paced for the whole second lap of the run. I think I can do more on the bike as I managed to drop 3:30 90K down to 3:04 90K in 14 weeks. If I have a year I can get better and probably go longer.


    is a race narrative of Ironman 70.30 Switzerland i did on my blog.


    I've got the buy in at home in spades as its 100% better than what I was doing previously. I do think though that what I'm hearing is matching what I imagined. Its not just longer, its mucyh harder as its much longer. I suppose I could start the training and see how I get on. No harm done :O)

  • ipay1980ipay1980 Posts: 84
    spot on thinking. make sure you get a good training plan, with speciifc periods in ie prep, base 123 and build 12, taper with recovery in each. also be clear what each training period is about, so you know what you are working for. also get up to speed, if you are not already, with HR zones, and training in these, as really impt again for your different training sessions/periods.

    all the best with whatever you decide! if you do it, you will definately not regret it.
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