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  • Ironman
  • Junkyard

    less pubs, less pies



    I trained for one, using one of Joe Friels plans, dropped out after 4 or 5 months, the training was destroying me.

    up at 5, for a 2 hour run / bike ride. get to work work for 8. work till 5, get to swimming pool for 6, swim for an hour, get home at 8. prepare kit for next day, eat. get to bed at 10.30 / 11.

    repeat for 8 months.


    I did the Celtman this year – My only triathlon. Bloody excellent race. Ironman boring in comparison. Why do a dull course?? Choose an event which will have a fun day rather than a head down slog and 4 laps of a 10km flat road route. I know guys who enjoyed training for IM but then hated every minute of the day. WHY?!

    Depends on your background.
    Hours and hours of it regardless.
    Don’t increase distance or intensity too fast as you may get injured.

    If you have a busy social life, you’ll need to cut bits out. You’ll feel tired a lot. Don’t get swallowed too much by all the techno heartrate, aero helmet babble. Focus on comfort on the bike, eating well (cheese and fried eggs sandwiches for me) and getting the miles into your legs. I overtook loads of folk with pointy helmets, aero bars and socks up to their knees. I was first rider on a standard road bike with normal wheels. Save your money!

    No need to do loads of long runs or rides, provided you’re getting lots of distance across the week. My longest run before it was 24km. Ran a 4 hour marathon offroad and over big hills at the end. Chuffed!

    Bottom line: your only limit is your motivation.

    Premier Icon leffeboy

    I would love to do one but I know I’ll never manage to squeeze in the training :(. Cynic-al is ironman though


    Cynic-al of this manor just did one… did very well..

    The training is the hard bit. The race is as hard as you make it. I’ve only done one, and having trained well for it, on the day I cruised round without too much trouble. Maybe I got lucky, but I came away feeling a little disappointed with how easy it was. I should have pushed harder, but 1st time out you just don’t know what you’re capable of. I’ve ticked ironman off the list now, and moved on to other things.

    Premier Icon phil40

    I have done a couple and handling training load and staying fit is the trick.

    If you just want to finish then focus on run/walking the marathon, and treat the swim as a prolonged warm up. I always did some races throughout the year so I wasn’t just training for 9months for one race.

    Your first race is about finishing, you really don’t know how you body will react to the distance until you do it, if you want to race it then you need to do a few to figure out what works best for you.

    I had a very understanding wife and she accepted that when I pulled the trigger on my entry that was my focus for the year, and pretty much everything revolved around it.

    With two small children there is no way I could commit the time, but before that I was comfortably getting by with 12/15hour training weeks and finishing the races.

    Premier Icon GavinB

    I did my first a few weeks ago, the Ironman UK at Bolton. I’ve always had a good level of fitness, but even so started training back last November, as I wanted to build up slowly. I also knew that swimming was my weakest discipline and that making improvements there would not be quick.

    Hours per week started at around 7-8 hours and peaked around mid-July with about 17 hours. I found it hard to fit it all in, and also suffered from some unexpected and unusual illness (acute bronchitis) which lasted from April to June. I think this may have been partly due to working long hours, then getting home and then training for 2-3 hrs before getting a late supper, late to bed and then repeat. It just wears you down.

    That said, I enjoyed the variety of the training: learning new things, seeing the improvements in speed, stamina etc and feeling stronger as the event approaches.

    My target was 12 hrs, and managed 11.30, so was really happy. Would I do one again? Probably not, although would do some more triathlon as a focus for training, and to force me to further improve my swimming (as I still suck)

    Premier Icon molgrips

    When I do a big tri it’ll be the Ben Nevis Triathlon. MTBing and mountain climbing, far more fun, sod that marathon rubbish.


    I did my first a few weeks ago, the Ironman UK at Bolton

    Thats the one im planning to do next year.

    Don’t underestimate commitment involved from you and those around you. There is a reason why Half IM is called the perfect distance as much easier to fit into normal life. I have done several HIM and even then wondered half way round the bike leg – am I actually enjoying this? Perhaps it was the very thin chammy in my tri suit that was to blame.

    Are you happy to complete an IM or do you feel the need to compete. The former is easier and you could join all the pirates on runnersworld who have a great support group for IM athletes. But the latter is much harder – personally I am between the two and found the trainging requires to do more than just complete was too onerous to fit in with other commitments. That’s why I did ultra marathons instead as a substitute!!!!


    Planning one for next year, so starting to work on my swim now (easily my weakness). Also doing some strength work as a bit of a base to prevent injury later on.

    I don’t think it will be that bad, but it may still be the toughest thing I have ever done (done some long adventure races, but they are more mentally taxing than simply about fitness).

    All tips noted down- I want all the help I can get!

    Premier Icon GavinB

    @Wors I thought it might be!

    It’s great fun, very professionally run and a great experience, especially with the huge crowds that push you on.

    My story is very similar to Phil40, in that we’ve two small kids and with two busy jobs (and Mrs B also training for marathons and Saunders etc) it got a bit stressful at times trying to fit the training in. I became very focused and probably a bit self-centred, in order to manage most of the training.

    Getting off the bike at 8pm on a cold January evening, sticking your trainers on and heading out for an hours run can test your resolve. But then the ability to mix up the training is something I really enjoyed, so if the weather was really bad, I’d do some turbo/rollers stuff or do a short run to the local swimming pool and do a longer session there.

    Drop me a mail and I’ll send you a link to my training plan (can’t find it on my phone atm)


    Cheesr Gav, email being sent!


    Anyone ever done one? Tell me your stories, training etc. 😀


    Yep I did one in 2011, ignoring the last couple of posts my full story is here:

    I loved it and one of the best things I have ever done…will do another in a few years time!

    If you haven’t got a coach then Fink is a good place to start –

    It has detailed training programmes for different aspirations and levels. And one thing that is important for ironman training is having a set programme, as most people will experience the training blues at times, with significant tiredness and lack of motivation. Following a training programme where each week builds on the previous helps to get through this.

    Premier Icon YoKaiser

    I’ve done 3* and my advice would be to give Bolton a miss, try one of the euro ones instead, so so much better, fully closed roads, spectators lining the route, loads more positives which makes the day a bit more special. They really are several notches above UK and worth the little bit extra expense.

    If your looking to have a real dig at it have a look around the tritalk forum and if your looking to tick the box and get round pop into the runners world forum and look for the pirates, great support and help for those starting out.

    *I’ve done Germany,Austria and UK, crazy crowds at Germany and spectacular scenery at Austria. The swim at Klagenfurt is awesome whereas the swim in Bolton had a health warning.

    Premier Icon aracer

    dropped out after 4 or 5 months

    That’s pretty slow going – how long did the swim take you?

    Expect to be knackered all the time while training for it. I did Swiss a few years ago. May do another at some point (prob Austria) – but not something I’d want to do every year.

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