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A few questions about ironman training

The most I have done is an olympic tri and have ran a half marathon. Im pondering with the idea of an Ironman and have found a basic training prog on begginnertriathlete.com. Im 41, dont eat meat and work alternate weekis of back/day shift. Does anyone who has done an Ironman think its possible for me? If your getting up to say, run first thing in the morning do you eat anything? if so what?

As Im only interested in finishing, can you recommend the best course?

Its a twenty week training schedule. Can anyone recommend a better one that is tried and tested?

Wheres the best place to get nutritonal advice? Id be grateful for any other advice that anyone has to offer.

Thanks in advance.


  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Hi Hound dog you should have no problem,most tri books have programs but I found that most did not fit into my work/personal life so I try to keep it as simple as possible,like you I look to finish as I am not that competitive now (similar age but modesty prevents me from saying).Early morning nutrition is trial and error,but when racing an Ironman you are eating and moving at the same time so all this do not eat less than so many mins before running/cycling/swimming is not what it is cracked up to be.When choosing a race decide what you work best at sea swim or fresh water swim,flat cycle or hill cycle,flat or undulating run and also factor in the cost or travelling nd accomodation.Most race routes and profiles can be viewed via the relevant race websites list of races available on www.ironman.com .Hope this helps.
  • TurtleTurtle Posts: 29
    Hi Hound dog,

    I haven't done any triathlons, but some other endurance sports. In December, I plunged myself into the Ironman. Going to Switzerland in June. A number guys at the pool have done a variety of Ironman triathalons, though none in Switzerland. I've been told the easiest Ironman in the world is in Kalmar, Sweden. It's quite flat. Kalmar is not a qualifying location for the Ironman championship in Hawaii. I wanted to at least have a shot at competing in Hawaii, so I signed up for Switzerland taking place a month earlier - how I would love an extra month to train.

    You're 41 and have done some triathlons. I'm 37. I'll eat anything that's not moving and I'll drink anything not made of petroleum. I'm as slow as my nickname and appear to get tenditis and shin splints when I just lace up the running shoes. I used to say, "I love to run, but my knees don't, and they win the argument." Not so much anymore. I went on a 300km bike ride a few years ago and ever since, my knees haven't complained overly much about the running. Icing down afterwards is a good idea though. My problem is, I need to ice everything knees down - and I don't have an ice machine and they don't sell bags of ice in Sweden and I'd need three or for more wraps. Ah well... I am prone to ramble. Of course you can do an Ironman. The greatest hurdle is in your head.

    Best Regards,

  • hound doghound dog Posts: 293
    Thanks guys, started training for one today, but have yet to book one. I will have a look at ironman site and carry on entering sprints etc for now. Should I run a marathon first? Turtle, how many hours a week are you training? you're certainly in at the deep end!

    jon.e Have you done an ironman? Should I be looking to do a half first? Quite agree its mind over matter.
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Hi Hound dog,the answer is yes Switzerland twice,Austria once and I did the first four UK Half Ironman events the best of which had to be the second one held in Llanberis.As Turtle says it is all in your head, if you have decided that a marathon in training is a good idea then it is a good idea as you will always now be wondering if you can do one.Most events fill up very quickly particularly Ironman races as opposed to ironman distance races.This years Austrian one filled in about 4-6 weeks entries start usually the day after the race.Take your time in building a good aerobic base and spend a bit of time researching what course you want to do.If you believe in yourself then nothing can be impossible.
  • steveslaysteveslay Posts: 54
    hound dog,

    i read in 220 magazine a few months back that it is a myth that need to do a marathon before an ironman mainly because of the amount of recovery needed

    however if you are in no rush to do an ironamn then a marathon may be a good idea
  • RobRob Posts: 209
    Hound Dog,

    If you REALLY want to do an Ironman then you'll be able to do it. Getting your head around the distances involved is the first hurdle. I wouldn't say a marathon is a prerequisite of doing a full IM, but having done a couple of maras last year, & doing my first full IM in UK this year, I feel a lot more confident about the run. Not in terms of being able to go particularly fast, but definitely in terms of being able to pace myself (i.e. not going off too quick & blowing up).

    If I go out running early I tend to have a gel or two with water, & take a couple more if it's a long run. I personally can't run with a gut full of brekkie.

    You'll probably find a lot of the official IM races are full already, even UK is full this year. There is the Longest Day though I think.


  • hound doghound dog Posts: 293
    I Really want to enter one, should I think more to finding one for next year? I have plenty of sprints and an olympic that could fit in with my work situation this year, also there is a local marathon in October. I have had virtually no experience of open water swimming (twice in a wetsuit). I know I should be making a decision, but wonder what you guys with Ironman experience think. As you say the entries fill up rapidly. Totally agree, its definetly in my head. Great advice though thanks.
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Hi Hound dog,If you fancy dipping you toe (excuse the pun) into the water in the progression to Ironman why not try the Aberfeldy middle distance triathlon in August ,half ironman distance ,it is in Scotland and not that expensive.4 months to train and it could be good experience.
  • hound doghound dog Posts: 293
    Great idea! jon.E,guts are churning already. I did a sprint down there last year, really enjoyed it. I'll look that up and hopefully book a place, cheers.
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