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No Swimming

Hi everyone.

Am I crazy? Can it be done?
I really fancy taking part in the Outlaw Ironman in Nottingham next year but I have a huge problem. I won't have any access to a pool at all. Is this suicide?
I currently do all my training on a Spinbike and a Treadmill. I have done a few Triathlons before Sprint and Olympic but that was 8 years ago. I now focus on cycling and compete at a decent level. Ive done solo 24hrs and 12hrs and can do a 21minute 10 TT and comfortably do under 4 hours for a 100 TT.
Last year I did a 10 min run with a days notice and did it in 72 minutes.
My main worry is the Swim. Can it be done with no training ?
Should I just give it a miss and wait until I'm home.



  • Go for it mate, where you are you need things to look forwards to when you get home, this could be one of them.

    The big issue is what would you expect to achieve in the event. Be realistic about your goals for the event, to finish the event is totally realistic to get a competitive time in an age group not so.

    Ironman is about endurance and I suspect you will be in very good shape though none of this will relate specifically to the three disciplines in tri. I think you are right to focus your question around the swim but when you get back a few good sessions in a pool and then getting outside in a wetsuit should help settle down any anxiety about this leg of the race. The swim cut off time is pretty generous and getting under this should be easily within the average swimmers capability as long as they are fit enough to keep going.

    The bike leg based on your ability should see you put in a good time, but possibly more importantly not take massive amounts out of your system and as such have something left in the tank for the run. I would say the run is not about pace at shorter event distances but your ability to keep moving at a steady even pace throughout the whole of the run. I also suspect this is a possiblr strength on your part.

    At the end of the day make your own decision, be realistic and understand that it will not be possible to have a normal training regime but that anything is possible. I watched the efforts of Team True Spirit at IronmanUK last year and they taught me that if there is a will there is always a way, good luck.
  • Thanks for the encouragement Lancs
    I'm gonna go for it. Hopefully if I pace myself correctly things should be ok. Please tell me if this is unrealistic but I'm planning on 2hrs for the swim 6hrs for the bike and 4hrs for the run. If I can get around that time I'll be very happy.
    Endurance is my strength and working with what I have out here is working ok so far. I'm currently training for the Tour of Flanders sportive in April. I'm doing about 12-14hrs on the spin bike a week. I think I'll keep that up and then from April to July add a lot of running.
    Any advice would be great.

  • I think that time is totally realistic with a good race and nutrition strategy and it sounds as if you have got a good perspective on how to go about things. If swimming is a limiting factor then I think patience on the bike is key in not trying to use your strength to over compensate for the other two disciplines and 6 hours seems a reasonable and controled pace given what you said about 100TT times in the past. I suspect you will find yourself working your way past a lot of better swimmers on the bike leg and if you come out of T2 reasonably fresh then there is no reason why this shouldn't continue all the way through the run.

    I suspect given you training at work, pacing and understanding what lies in front of you is something which you will have over an awfull lot of first time Ironman competitors. I would consider breaking 12 hours to be a good achievement based on the facts around your training at present.

    Must admit I am a bit jelous that you are doing the Tour of Flanders Sportive, the DVD is on my Santa list for my i-magic trainer as something to help sharpen my legs up going in to the spring, nothing like the real course though.
  • gavinpgavinp Posts: 168
    Yes, you are crazy!

    But! I hear stories of people completing ironman distance as their very first foray into any kind of exercise since they were forced around the school rugby field by their PE teacher So you've got a good head start on them eh!

    There are lots of folk in the forces competing in triathlon, why don't you find some contacts while your out there (unless your somewhere VERY remote?), i'm sure you could get some access to a swimming pool somewhere.. maybe even some coaching... and if there are other likeminded people it'll be good to do some training together to stop the boredom. Just a thought.

  • Hi Gavin,

    Thanks for the comments. Your right there are lots of servicemen and woman that compete in Triathlons. Thats how I got into the sport 8 years ago.
    The down side is that they are all in the same boat as me. We have to make use of what we have got. I'm grateful that Ive got a spin bike and a treadmill. When it comes to summer and the temps go up I've been training indoors and it was 25C
    Trust me when I say there isnt a pool although there is a dive tank that the military divers practice with but its about 4m in diameter lol.

    I think I'm going to concentrate on my bike traing for the Tour of Flanders sportive in April and then I'll have most of April all of May and June to mix in some running. Camp Bastion is 12 miles around camp I think I'm going to know that route quiet well.

  • One more idea I had when doing a regular upper body light strength routine at home today is how much benefit is there in using stretch cords to provide some more specific strength work on dry land?

    I use stretch cords a bit hooked around the back handle of a closed door to mimick pull/push back movements but find if I overdo the exercises they tend to wreck my next pool session. As this might not be an issue for you they may be worth a try and importanly and psychologically make you feel like you are doing 'something' to partly address the issue in a difficult scenario.
  • Hi Lancs,

    Yeah Ive seen a few people use these. I'm seriously thinking about investing, they are small and easy to transport to various locations I need to go to.
    I'll do a bit of research into how to get then best out of them.

    On a differnt topic. Nutrition and back up while racing. I'll have my dad and wife as backup team, Are they allowed to hand me up bottles on the bike leg or does it have to be at a specific feed area only? What about mechanical problems. I'll be riding tubs,if I puncture am I allowed to get a spare wheel?

  • The answer to both is no, no, no.... You have to be self reliant on the route as far as I know in nearly all Ironman races. You will either have to use the nutrition you can carry arouund the course on the bike, obviously can pick up some more from your station at T2 in the way of gels. There will be designated feed stations and the race details will contain what is available at these places. It is a very good idea to get used to using the same products in your training regime closer to the event. You don't want to find out on race day that Gatorade for example does not suit you and makes you feel sick.

    On the bike Paul you have to carry all spares, so that will mean a spare tub and some rim cement/tape together with a couple of gas canisters to inflate it if needed. You are not allowed any external assistance or you face disqualification.
  • Hi Paul,
    Just a thought from what I remember of being out there. Do they still do the Hesco Half around Christmas/New Year ? If so then that could be an excellent training opportunity for you. If I recall correctly it was done around midnight so you won't have the honking temps of the day to deal with. Alternatively, if you get stuck out in one of the PBs then there's always the HLS depending on the size of the place you're in.

    I know a lot of guys take out TRX bands which have some good swim style exercises you could use them for. Sickbay may have some therabands which you could use for the dry land training as they're perfect. As a backup you could try and blag a decent length of tubigrip out of them but it may not be as strong.

    Hope this helps and enjoy your training.

  • Hi Lancs, Thanks for the info again. I dont fancy carrying a spare tub around with me do people actually do that? I think I might have to use my Mavic Carbone SLR's as they are clinchers but still a decent aero wheel.
    How do you normally carry your food if you wear a Tri Suit ? I eat loads. hmmmm

    Hi Matt
    There is a Marathon on the 4th of this month but I won't be at that location I think I'm going to get some of them bands when I'm home for xmas and take them back out with me in the new year.

    Thank you all for the advice

  • Tape it onto the bike frame, stuff it in rear pockets.
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