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A Xroads - Ironman UK 2011

Hi all,

First time post on here so please be kind! First of all let me tell you for the last 2 years since I left the Armed Forces I've led a students existance of beer and terrible food with very little exercise. Before Xmas I decided to change my lifestyle up, I joined a gym and started cutting out poor food and alcohol. Ive been visiting the gym now for 2 months on a very regular basis, but without any real goal except 'loose a few stone of fat!'. My girlfriend actually suggested why not enter a marathon or a triathlon? So I started looking it up and designed my own training plan which I started last week.

I still havent registered for a race as I dont know when I'll be fit 'enough'! I am pretty good on the road bike 20miles in 1hr 15min, running on a treadmill is 5km in 35min, swimming Ive just started.

Ive been reading about Ironman and it swallowed me up reading peoples stories of training and completing. So Ive decided to enter IronmanUK in 2011. I will register for a Sprint in September and then train hard through the winter trying a Olympic distance early 2011, then I will complete the IronmanUK and get the tattoo.

What I want to know is this feasable for a bloke who is about 4stone overweight and can swim 2 lengths front crawl in 25m pool? Am I better off joining a club now ir wait till I have a little more fitness over the 3 disciplines? I figure I have roughly 350 training days between now and August 2011, that sounds like enough to me but these things are easy to plan but hard to come through on. I have a history of starting things but getting bored after a month or so.

Anyway thanks for listening and if you have any comments/hints/advice please feel free to be a clear and to the point as you need to be! Sorry its such a long read!


  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Hi and welcome,providing you are not selling knock off sports gear as the forum appears to be abit prone to them.A year is plenty of time,join a club it should keep you motivated and they would point you in the right training plan direction.Go to the British triathlon federation website and trawl thru the list of clubs.
    Best of luck the sport is addictive,if you have difficulty maintaing a focus,plan out the year with regular focal points(mainly races) to keep the interest,try to enjoy the journey towards Ironman,don't rue the day that you decided to lose your facilities and start triathlon,most of us are insane or borderline at least.
    Try not to rush things,a year is plenty,but you might find as you increase race distance the enjoyment starts to diminish.If it does.Do short events they can be just as rewarding as the longer ones.
    Best of luck with your journey.
  • as above,
    join a club,
    ironman is a great goal.
    but don't rule out the short races, these are highly competitive, hard work & great fun.
    dont wait till september for your first race, book something earlier to give yourself a goal,
    you'l be surprised how much you can achieve in a short time once your focused,
    met a guy at mullaghmore in sligo last year who completed a 750mt sea swim after starting to learn 6 weeks earlier!
    good luck,
    hope you have good credit, you will need it!
  • JellybabyJellybaby Posts: 180

    When I started this malarkey last year, I trained for about 1 month prior to my first sprint tri (May). It took me 1hr 29 mins and I started from pretty much the same base as you are now on. I went on to do a couple more sprints and two half-iron distance races by the end of the season, and signed up for Ironman Switzerland, which is this July. By the time it comes around i'll have been doing triathlon for about 14 months. It's an immensely achievable goal to do an IM within a year of starting, so go for it. Do a sprint tri in the next few months so you've got one under your belt (and a beatable PB) and continue to compete through the year, learning from each race and training consistently. Then, when you know which IM you want to do, get signed up, find a training programme and get on with it.

    I'm a member of the greatest online tri club in the known universe, the BCTTT http://forum.bcttt.com/index.php. It's an international club made up of some of the greatest athletes in the world, the ones who take more time to finish races than anyone else, getting their moneysworth from every race they do. It's all about having fun and competing at your level. Most of us are mid-to-bottom of pack finishers, but we enjoy what we're doing. Come and poke your head in on our forum and see what's going on.
  • You should defo enter sprints this year, your are already fit enough for them. You'll find out if Tri is for you or not, I'm sure you'll love it, this'll give you all the motivation you'll need for your IM ambitions. I think most IM UK peeps start their training in Jan so you have loads of time.

    The swimming will improve quite quickly given a bit of advice. Local pools will have Adult swimming lessons for about a fiver a session and after all, you only need to do 16 lengths for a pool based sprint anyway.

    Good luck.
  • 2011 is in the bag! Just be steady, consistent & build up the training slowly to avoid injury (you have plenty of time) - Ironman training seems to bring any biomechanical inefficiencies to the surface. Like many of the other posts I'd suggest taking advantage of this seasons racing and getting some exposure to open water.
  • Before he comes on to plug it I will do the job for him.

    Buy conehead's 'How triathlon ruined my life' book its a good resource if your new to the sport and you should like it as he is ex forces.

    I will echo everyones good advice, make sure you plan, dont get injured and get as much race experience as you can.

    One thing I would say is that a proper training cycle lasts for no longer than 6 months (any longer and your goals will seem to far away and you will push yourself too much). You have 3 of these 6 month periods and I would suggest you set 3 goals/aims for each of these periods (with the last one being completing IMUK).

    Good luck
  • Wow! I'm VERY impressed...your thinking of Ironman I'm in a similar position, apart from the thinking of the ironman bit, in that I'm overweight and am just starting to try tri. I signed up TODAY for my first sprint (400m swim, 20km bike and 5.6km run, East Leake Triathlon)
    I'm trying my best to learn to swim (I can breaststroke quite well but am trying to learn front crawl - 3 lengths before I need to stop for air!! lol!) Similarly my biking is OK and my running just needs more training to get back in to shape (I do 5km in 30 mins)
    Don't know where your based but if it's anywhere near Chesterfield, get in touch and I'd be happy to meet up for the odd run/bike? I've got a lovely Tri course which has a hilly 20km bike and 6km run over beeley moor
    Good Luck!!
  • pippip Posts: 170
    Hats off to you mate thats what i call going in at the deep end.Do a couple of sprints first to get used to doind all 3 disciplines,then try an Olympic distance,you`ll find it much tougher.Regarding the swimming i`ve only learnt how to do front crawl last year and i was bolloxed after 2 lengths ,but keep at it mate .I went swimming 3 times a week and each time i went i pushed myself to do an extra length every time only doing front crawl.Ifind the fisrst 10 lenghts are the hardest but then you get into a nice rhythm and feel you can go on forever,perseverence required.Good luck
  • Cheers for all the support guys and the nice welcome to the site, looks like you have a pretty good community here. Ive made first contact with Edinburgh RC Club who have a Triathlon 'wing', I explained my current position and where I want to be by August next year. They seemed really upbeat and approachable, so Ive arranged to meet with a coach with them next week.

    Until then I'll trawl through this forum to get all the advice you can give!

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