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Is this a dream or can it be reality?

Hey guys,
Been lurking around for a while an last night I kind of cam to a decision, I want to do an ironman this year.
I KNow I am probaly going to sound like a complete mad man but im 18 years old, over 18 stone in weight but am ready to change. I plan on competing in a non ironman event or if possible an ironman uk slot.
I am willing to put the training in with my polar rs400..... so what are your guys... n girls opinions?

Thank ( open to all critisim)


  • largeadelargeade Posts: 166
    I suspect you're gonna have to give some more background on your past training, any prior sporting events and height to put the weight in context.
  • IM UK is less tha 6 months away ( ) on 01 August, and although a lot of the training programmes are based around 6 months, they do assume a certain base fitness. Without any details of your previous / recent / current training and fitness it would be wrong to advise you one way or the other
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    anything is possible, but whether it is a good idea or not...

    personally, i'd do some sprints, maybe an oly or even a him and save the dream of im for 2011. like triumphant says, you've only got 6mo to train! and this is for something that many people will spend over a year getting ready for.

    at 18 you have plenty of time to fit an ironman in.
  • AtomicAtomic Posts: 126
    Hiya slimm

    I was 18 stone about 7 months ago and my regime consisted of walking to the pub or getting up to fetch the telly remote.

    I started eating sensibly and started a running programme to get me running 5km within 6 weeks.

    My weight started to drop drastically and after the 6 weeks running programme I was easily running 6km in under 30 minutes and was hooked on the buzz from exercize.

    I needed something more and was already looking at webpages such as this one and very easily got drawn in.

    I am now under 14 stone, have booked up to do a sprint in May, and am looking at several more for later on in the year, I have splashed out £2000 on a new carbon bike and send most of my wages direct to wiggle.

    I think that it is fair to say that I have gotten myself hooked before even attempting my first tri.

    I dont think I would have attempted an IM in my first year, but am looking at a 70.3 for next year.

    My advice to you would be to get out running, biking, swimming and get entered for a sprint in the summertime. Leave the IM till next year.

    Prepare to get hooked though and best take out a second mortgage on the house.
  • I'd be tempted to do a non-branded one, and go for the big woody at the end of August for a couple of reasons.

    1. It's much cheaper than a branded IM, so if you hit a few stumbling blocks in your training and don't think you'll be able to do it you won't lose out on an awful lot of cash.

    2. It doesn;t fill up until much later in the year, so you could get your training going for a few months, assess whether you think you'll be able to do it, and if you don't think you'll be able to do the full distance then you can just enter the half-iron distance Little Woody.

    I see no reason why you shouldn't go for it - provided you are able to swim, bike and run and willing to put in the training. Read as much as you can, but you need to start training now. It's probably not worth bothering with any speedwork (other than to make sure you can hit any cutoff times) so concentrate on building your aerobic base between now and august.

    However, what I would do is target the Little Woody this year, and build up to ironman next year. It is perfectly feasible for you to do this and post a decent time. I did the LW off very little training last year and suffered all the way round. I did this because there are no cutoffs for the LW (obviously other than finishing within the time allowed for the BW. If you start training properly now, lose some weight then you'll be able to go faster than I did last year. Good luck with whichever you choose
  • okennyokenny Posts: 231
    what's the rush? Why this year.

    By pushing yourself to do much you just increase your chances of failure.....
    Do a half this year and a futt next year.

    Even if you were not 18 stone, it would be a huge undertaking to do an IM this year.
    You could even try to do a marathon this year, that with a half IM would prepare you well for an IM next year.

    Maybe it's possible this year, but the risk of getting injured and managing nothing is much higher.
  • A couple of years ago I came in at about 22 stone ish I'm now down to 14 ish. I've had one full year of Tri and loved every min of it. However, it's hard, very hard. Even a pool based sprint is exhausting.

    I'm not trying to put you off in any way, but more re assure you that any Tri will represent a significant challange, one you can be proud of.

    I assume you've decided on Ironman because it's the ultimate challange but my advice would be have a season of racing Sprints & Olympics then look at doing an IM next year. You'll learn a lot and be able to get into a training routine.

    I would never put anyone off pushing themselves but I would set IM as a long term goal and use other events as a means to get there, whilst having fun along the way.

    Good luck.
  • danny_sdanny_s Posts: 235
    I think that it could be possible, surely. But with no idea of your current fitness it is just a wild guess. If you gave some more info, then it could be a slightly less wild guess. Plenty of 18 stone guys have crossed the finish line at an IM before.

    At 18 years, I don't know why you don't want to work on speed. Your endurance will naturally develop over the next 10 years, but if you don't have a good running speed in the next 4-5 years, you'll have to work twice as hard to develop it later. Most good distance runners don't peak til late twenties into thirty. But if you've not been active for long, then going for an IM as your first goal is probably going to make you not enjoy the journey as much as you could. The fittest guys I know race olympic distance, because they like racing and can do two a month. There's a lot more than IM if you want to do swim/bike/run.
  • Slim,

    Firstly congratulations on deciding to do it! As with others, I'd question the timing only. Training is great and done well will improve your confidence, your life and everything but done wrong - rushed, forced etc it will do more harm than good as injuries will ensue and you may begin to look upon it as a chore rather than something done for the fun/challenge of it!!

    Start slow, finish big! Ironman will always be there but why not enjoy the journey by building up to it? Enter sprints, then Olympic distances, move onto Half Ironman (70.3) then do the biggy!! I'm 14 1/2 stone and that's how I've decided to do it - but then...I'm not an 18 year old whippasnappa!

  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Pipe dream.

    Possible - yes - clever no.
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Ok - being slightly more supportive - i take it you have something to prove to yourself or someone who pissed you off?

    Why not try a sprint?

    Or, if you want the glory and the bragging rights which i kind of get the impression you might (wanting to do an ironman in 6 months) then why not enter a marathon?

    Same bragging rights but would really give you an insight into what will really be required for ironman.
  • Noone wants to discourage anybody from exercising, or taking up Tri.

    But. Going from no regular exercise, and overweight, to finishing a marathon within 6 months, is achieveable, but hard work, and needs comittment. You would need to train on a regular basis, be very structured in order to progress through the sessions as you build your endurance and speed, and remain injury free. This would an target that most poeple wouldn't attempt, and if you you succeeded would hold you in high esteem.

    You could replace 'marathon' with '2.4 mile swim', or 'century bike ride', and success in anyone would be impressive, but for ironman you need to succeed in all three, in teh same day, back-to-back. No mean task.
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    IMO - you are going to risk serious injury if you try and train from no fitness to ironman fit in 6 months!
    Take it slow and reap the rewards of tri before you step up to ironman. Now I am not saying you cant and never would but come face the facts that an injury is quite likely if you intend to do that much in such a short time from a low or no base fitness level.
    Set yourself a Sprint triathlon goal for may and beat your time in july or june. Theres always next year to step up to gain those bragging rights. All the advice you have been given above is all great stuff. Read if carefully and then make a choice. Do you train for a month or two and see how it goes or dive in! Remeber these events are cheap! Not to mention the kit costs!!!

    If you decide that an ironman is the way foward in six months then keep post your questions and start a bank loan application. If you decide a sprint is the best option and nelieve me that comes with some bragging rights then stay on the forum and easy yourself in gently with some training and kit questions.

    May the force be with you.
  • Thanks for the honest opinions, From summer onwards i have been training around four days a week in the gym and so far have lost around 25lbs plus putting on muscle. My training has been a mixture of running and swimming ( which after taking more rude comments the first time i went in took some b**Ls for me to go in the second time.) Even if i do not complete an ironman this year... what type of euwipment would you guys advice me to purchase taking into account i am on a students moinies lol.
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    do you have a bike? and if you do how often do you ride it?

    keep up the running and swimming, they will definitely help work the lb's off, and props for sticking with it and not being put off by those who aren't supportive. i'm not sure i'd go overboard with building muscle, you want some but if it isn't being used to get you round a tri then it is just weight you are carrying around with you. if you like being more muscular then stick with it though - confidence in yourself probably counts a lot.

    if you are going to do a tri then there are some tri-specific bits and bobs you can get that don't have to cost the earth. if you haven't got a bike then that's where the budget ends up going!
  • If you look at one of the Tri starter sets, not necessarily to buy, but just to see what's included, it'll give you the bare essentials. Ultimately it depends on what events you're finally end up doing. If you only do pool based events, then there's no need for a wetsuit.

    As to Tri on a budget , it is do'able I believe, but most see it as a spend fest.

    Normal laces, £0.99, Tri elastic laces £5.99. But you can get by with just using normal elastic in your laces, in which case you're talking pence.

    Likewise with a race belt. It's nice having a buckle on it, but in all fairness I've never used mine. The race belt is left done up ready in T1 so I can ste stright into it, cut's out the faffing around with the buckle. And if it;s an OW swim, then the belt is worn under the wetsuit. Again, no need to buy a race belt, can just use thicker elastic.

    Clipless pedals and cleated shoes, are the norm, but you can still get by with flat pedals and trainers. Slightly quicker in transition, but it'll make the bike leg slightly less efficient.

    The one most useful piece of kit though is a good trisuit, as you wear it in all three disciplines, and irrespecive of whether it's a pool or OW swim. Cuts down on the need to get clothes onto wet skin in T1.

    Best thing to do is train now, have a go at an early Sprint, some are run in April, and see how you get on, what worked and didn't work. Have a good look around Transition to see what other people are doing, and where they've managed to cut corners to save some money.
  • Hello,

    I completed IM UK last year after dedicating my life to it. If I was in your situation I would seriously consider not doing IM this year as you will kill yourself. It is true, anything is POSSIBLE, but only with time (something that is not on your side when IM UK is in August).

    You should start off with something that you can manage first. IM is not something that you can just decide to do 6 months before it. It is a way of life.

    Do not insult the IM world by thinking you can complete the hardest one day endurance event on the planet after deciding you need to lose a few pounds.

    One day you will get there if you truly have the motivation. For now, maybe a 10km
  • I would have to agree with the majority of the replies.

    In my very limited experience so far (only one season consisting of 3 sprints and one OD event) and coming into the sport at the age of 36, to commit to a full Iron Distance event in your first year would be suicidal.

    Like most people are saying, you are young and have plenty of time to achieve the goal. Triathlon is not an easy sport, sprints are hard and intense as well as an OD event. Going into my first OD race i was thinking, can i really do this? Am i mad?.

    After the experience i came away thinking, that was awesome, hard work, but what a great feeling of achievement i got. I also get the same feeling from a sprint race.

    I am now entered for a Half Iron distance at the end of this years season, with my goal set for a full Iron Distance event abroad in 2011.

    Dont go too hard too soon, it will only increase the chance of injury, exhaustion and failure. Just start steady, get the bug and then prepare for a life of debt and bike cleaning.

  • Slim,

    The basics are a road bike, £500-£600 would see you on an OK bike but obviously a secondhand one would cut that cost down to possibly £250-£300, a helmet (Yes you NEED one - they won't let you compete without one!! about £20-£40 depending on what ya want. GOOD pair of trainers! These will save your knees especially (and I don't mean to be rude) while your still carrying more weight. I'd say get those and you can enter a tri. Once you've got them then the other bits come in as and when - eg. bike shoes, glasses, trisuit, wetsuit (needed when you decide to move into open water swims) the list goes on!!

    You may wanna check this out https://triuk.com/product/triathlon-bike-package-1 seems like a good intro package?

    Good luck and let us know how you get on? When your first race is etc!
  • Having just read Danny_s post I'd agree, at 18 you have speed on your side, as you age this decreases and you gain endurance.

    Make the most of your speed while you still have it (ok you may not have it just yet but it's in there somewhere).
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