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I am looking at doing my first ironman in the next 18 months. To give myself the best chance on completing i am looking for the a flat ironman (within reason). It would preferably be in Europe, may be USA, and towards the end of the summer as i am not a great winter cyclist.




  • Ironman is about the challenge, not finding the easiest one just to say you've done it.
  • PJGILL wrote:
    I am looking at doing my first ironman in the next 18 months. To give myself the best chance on completing i am looking for the a flat ironman (within reason). It would preferably be in Europe, may be USA, and towards the end of the summer as i am not a great winter cyclist.


    The UK Ultimate TRi at Dearnford lake is Ironman distance (18/08/13) and is as flat as a pancake reportedly , I am doing this one as my first Ironman and chose it because it is flat and also around £200 cheaper than any other one ... Enjoy what you do and dont let the Egotists put you off , Ironman is an Ironman which ever one you do .. Keep on Tri'ing..
  • Er.... Is this a wind up ?

    Flat courses are not the easiest. Constant power output on the bike will ruin you for the marathon.

    Are you after a branded Ironman or an Iron distance ?

    This has to be a joke right ?

    Where do you live Phil ?

    UK ?
    It's not a joke! Just trying to give myself a chance of completing my first to build confidence. Your support is appreciated Rich Westover. And Willieverfinish possibly I showing my ignorance but was hoping for constructive help.
  • I am being constructive!

    Flat courses are not the easiest! I think you'll be making a mistake to aim for a fininsh solely on that criteria.

    Where do you live ? In the UK ?

    What races did you have in mind ?

    Ironman branded or Iron distance ? There is a huge amount of IM distance events out there, loads in the UK but if its an M Dot race you want you need to be careful in choosing the one you want to do.

    It's hard to recommened one as we know nothing about you. Whats your background, do you have a history of swimming, can you ride a bike now ? To what standard, hows your swimming ?

    If I was going to give you any advice then it would be go for it. Of course you can finish an IM..... but maybe think again about where you want to race.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    I know some people avoid over hilly courses because of knee problems and the like but as stated a flat course is full on constant cranking at high cadence with high O2 demand.

    IM Sweden, Challenge Barcelona are two that I can think of but for atmosphere and achievement a climb breaks the monotony and also gives you a full out descent at 60+kph check this out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvxBClSxVNE

    Most climbs on tri courses are about 3 mins max, yes a bastard at times but it adds to the satisfaction
  • don't think my post has gone down too well, so will expand. definitely not saying flat is easy, top end power and continuous power output are weak points for me and i fare much better on hilly courses so i know how hard it can be to finish high up the standings on a flat course.

    maybe i took it the wrong way, but it was more the tone of the post i objected to. used to triathletes relishing the challenge of something like IM Wales or the UK Ironman 70.3 not looking for the easiest option. if it was phrased i'm looking for a course to play to my strengths, then that would have made more sense!
    Apologies if i appeared curt.

    I am average cyclist and average runner but poor swimmer. This is the area that i intend to concentrate on over the next few months to get myself up to the distance required. Currently i would struggle to do much more than 750m in any way that could be described as effcient and it is this part that i think would kill me before i have even started. I live in the UK and at present are more interested in the distance rather than the bagging an MDot. On the bike i am good on both the flat and hills, running is stronger as a continous pace rather than breaks in tempo.
  • The swimming will come - that's the easy bit

    You say your bike is ok - so why stipulate u want a flat race ?

    You will finish - but think carefully about what race you enter
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Agree, if swim is your concern, and for most of us it is, then I wouldn't worry about the rest of the course unduly if you are competent in those areas. Feel knacked after the swim, take a couple of minutes in T1 to recover and start of easy on the bike, you will soon get back into pace.

    My first LD event I went from having done about about 7 OW races at 750m to 3.8km, I got in swim sessions at a local lake once or twice a week for about 12 weeks and achieved the distance. My 750m swim time at the time was about 17m, so not quick.

    Have a think about your wetsuit, most of us have heavier legs than swimmers so they sink. Quoting from a recent reply I made ... "Wetsuits; most of us engage in varying degrees of drowning avoidance so look at something with good buoyancy around hips and lower limbs, 4-5 mm ideal, chest 3-5mm, arms 2- 2.5 mm . We tend to have bigger legs than swimmers so they tend to sink and cause drag, Blue Seventy Fusion is a good starter but I am not up to date on suits so unless anyone else can suggest something have a look at that - fit is King. Again you need someone who will not bull###t you and knows what they are talking about to size you. Now some wetsuit hire companies will let you buy the suit at a discount so that may be something to consider."

    So; think about your wetsuit, the right one will help, the wrong one will slow you down. Rest of the course, sounds as if you will be OK with that so don't worry, just avoid a seriously difficult course crack on with getting the distance in on the swimming and if needs be sit down and take 2 -3 min in T1 to compose yourself, have a drink, marmite butty and then go out and smash it, well about 95% of max effort on bike to set up for a good run.

    Hope that helps
  • if the swim is the concern just get swimming with a tri club and it WILL improve and you'll get confidence from swimming with the others.

    just look for a course with a lake swim rather than a sea swim. i was surprised but the IMUK swim in the pennington flash was probably the most pleasant lake swim i did all year.

    i never swam in open water before my first tri and although it was one of the scariest things i've done, you just kind of get through it and the next ones were better and better.
  • Challenge Almere (Amsterdam) had just been released. Lake swim, pan flat bike and run, but it'll be a day fighting the wind. Would appeal to some, but no me, Wimbleball and Tenby for me this year, and Challenge Vitoria.
  • You coud have a look at the Marshman (Half IM distance) n the Kent coast. Flat as a pancake but very windy. There are other events down there like the Windfarmer and there are quite a few of those big electricity generating windmills - you get the picture. It is pretty close to the sea, and on the bike I just remember fighting against the wind for long stretches. To be fair, the weather was atrocious and I did not have the right kit, so perhaps I am being a little unfair. The run leg is through quiet country lanes, very pretty and again, flat.

    It is reasonably priced, but lacks the "big event" vibe that some people prefer (me included). But it would tick the flat box that you specified.
  • MGMG Posts: 470
    Are there any downhill races, with perhaps a guaranteed tail wind and a favourable tidal flow?
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