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Ironman advice

Well, I've gone and done it... I've entered IM Switzerland 2010 this morning and my heart hasn't stopped pounding since.

I'm expecting I'll have a lot of questions to ask over the coming year, but my first one is this...

What sort of hourly training is required? How much have this years ironmen/women got by on?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to work out a minimum, just starting to mentally prepare myself for the months ahead.

Thanks everyone


  • TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    Can't offer any advice as it's a road I'm just about to start, but thought I'd be the first to wish you well on your road of enlightenment . . . or is it the road to hell. Anyway, good luck, your first tentative steps today seem to be the right ones.
  • al_fordal_ford Posts: 119
    I followed the training plan in Don Fink book 'Be Ironfit'. Highly recommended.
    Completed IMUK in 12hr 05mins on Sunday and was fit enough to enjoy the experience. swim 1:25
    bike 6:15
    run 4:07

    The more traning you do, the fitter you are and the more enjoyable it is.

    Only you know what your goal is and how much time you can dedicate to IM.

    I followed a 30 week program ramping up from around 10hrs/wk to about 20hrs/week in the 2 months before the event.

    make sure you get buy-in from family, friends, work, everyone really. Tell them what you're doing and explain it's a journey not just a 1 day race. Part of the battle is getting to the start line fit, healthy and injury free.

    You'll love it though ... it's ace !
  • First off, It really isn't about how many hours you need, its about how many hours you can afford. The more hours you do the faster you will go, simple! But you need to be honest about the amount of time you can realistically put in without buggering up the rest of your life. Of course, this isn't to say that you don't need to make big sacrifices to achieve your IM goals but there is no point setting out to do 20+hours a week if the most you can spare is 10. The next step is to work out how to make the best of that training time to best achieve your goals!

    Personally I think it is also really important to have a structured training schedule, planned well ahead of time. This means you know exactly what you have to do each day and there is no shirking if you are feeling lazy.

    When I started my IM journey I had done one sprint tri and no specific training. I knew nothing and I hadn't yet discovered the fount of knowledge that this forum is. I based all of my training around two free online training schedules; an abbreviated version of an HIM program followed by a full IM schedule. Both were freely available on:

    http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/a ... ticleid=52
    http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/a ... icleid=441

    Training varied between 7 and 18 hours a week on these schedules and following them almost religously got me from complete novice to IM (11:54.31... Sorry can't stop braging ) in about 7 months. I have 2 caveats however... Firstly what works for one person may not work for another so make sure you try and find something that suits you. Secondly knowing what I know now I would make significant alterations to these programmes before I would consider using them again. The most significant of which would be to build up to the full distances a bit sooner so that you are fully comfortable with each distance (at least on their own) before you get to the race!

    Good Luck!
  • FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    Thanks guys... my heart is pounding already!

    Book ordered and website added to favourites. And thanks for the encouragement, reading your race reports and posts and really inspired me!
  • ShaggyShaggy Posts: 140
    Good on yer!

    I too used Don Fink as a basis, but swapped it around to fit me and what I was already doing. Now you know when your IM is you can work back to when you need to start the program and get your support events in. e.g. half marathon runs over the winter, early spring reliability rides and sportives, sprint/OD early in season to get the race experience started, Half IM about 10 weeks out. Over winter long steady rides, MTB and long steady off road runs. A regular weights session and/or circuits, swim technique. Work out what fits, but about 8 hours a week.

    I also used a 'big bike week' as I teach so spring half term was everyday big miles in the saddle. Recommend Hell of North Cotswolds and/or Rough Ride if you are a MTB rider. Big weeks from about 8 weeks out (about 15-16 hours with 2 or 3 sessions a day).

    Can't emphasise stretching and mobility work enough, especially hips. Do some simple yoga and look at coreperformance.com, get a foam roller. Do lots of plank looking forward on elbows for aero position.

    I have to admit that I kind of lost confidence near the end, but went on a Conehead rookie day and subsequently got 8 weeks of plans of Rick Kiddle and that really gave me a boost.

    Finally get to http://www.endurancenation.us/resources/ and download the free stuff there for your '4 keys' how to race plan.

    all the best
  • timtim Posts: 43

    Good advice from all the above, i just thought i would add that you can do it without too much structure.

    I probably did up to 10hrs a week but did what i felt like on the day, cycling to work, or going for a turbo session, the odd morning swim, (OW at the weekends) the odd run, no specific training didnt think about intervals or the like. I did do some long rides, eg London to brighton and home, 110miles and a couple of others which were a means to get somewhere rather than a traning session, i did a couple of half marathons but no more. Weights and core training consisted of Yoga and climbing, (dont do gyms) but again this was when i felt like it and (in the case of climbing) when i could get someone along with me for belaying, added to the above i do play (poor) football a few times a week, but like i said at the begining of my waffle, up to 10hrs per week for a sub 13hr time.

    I have no doubt if i had been more structured and dedicated i could have improved but my aim was to finish the event, the sub 13 was a bonus

  • Life as you know it, is over.

    That's got to be quote of the year, Dave you've just done the best thing ever. I was not able to give my training the time I should of as you can see by my time of 15.32. It's really hard to juggle work/life/triathlon balance.

    Well done Dave life is over now as you know it, I'm excited for you.
  • huwdhuwd Posts: 228
    Much respect - think I'm going to need to read all this info myself, I'm considering 2011 but that seems way too far away
  • thebouythebouy Posts: 61
    Flava, Best wishes for the (mammoth) training ahead. Keep us all posted.
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