General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Hours needed for IM Rss Feed  
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2014-08-01 11:20 AM

nashville, Tennessee
Subject: Hours needed for IM
After reading a previous thread about IM and the time commitment I got curious as to how many hours I spent training. Someone said something about how training for IM was WAY TOO MUCH and he/she went back to only training about 9-10 hrs/week and life is much more enjoyable. 9-10 hrs/week sounds like a lot to me. So I went back and looked at my logs for IM Texas and I avg'd about 9-10 hr/wk with my longest week being 15 hrs. Just curious if that sounds like a light volume for IM training?

2014-08-01 11:35 AM
in reply to: mchadcota2

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Knoxville area
Subject: RE: Hours needed for IM
depends on the person, experience, history and whether they are there to complete or compete.

10 hr/wk (and less) can certainly get you to the finish line.
2014-08-01 12:12 PM
in reply to: Leegoocrap

nashville, Tennessee
Subject: RE: Hours needed for IM
Yeah I guess it all depends on your goal. My goal was to finish in 12 hrs and I missed that goal by 2 minutes so I guess a little more training would have been beneficial. I just can't imagine spending 15/20 hrs/wk. Unless I didn't have a family I guess. Or that's how I made my living
2014-08-01 12:14 PM
in reply to: Leegoocrap

Orange County, California
Subject: RE: Hours needed for IM
I really don't think 9-10 hours per week is a lot. If you think about it, there is a push by the NFL called Play 60 to get kids to exercise 60 minutes per day. That's 7 hours per week. Apply that to adults and in theory we should be working out 7 hours per week. I don't one hour per day is much. Plus you could get in 2-3 hours on the weekends if you wake up early enough before everyone else gets up.

Granted my wife and I don't have any kids so take my thoughts with a grain of salt.
2014-08-01 12:58 PM
in reply to: mchadcota2

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Subject: RE: Hours needed for IM

I just ran a report from my logs for the six months prior to my first IM-distance race which was last year - Beach2Battleship.

I didn't do the math to actually average each week, but doing a quick guesstimate, I averaged 5-6 hours per week.

Yes, more training absolutely would have allowed me to go faster, but I very comfortably (kinda) finished.



2014-08-01 1:19 PM
in reply to: mchadcota2

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Placitas, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Hours needed for IM

Peak training of 15-18 hours seems typical for most IM athletes.  "Average" training may depend on how the period is determined.  Average during the 20-week training plan?  Average during the year prior?  Average during the year prior to starting an IM training plan?  In the 12 months leading up to IMCdA in 2009, I rode about 3000 miles, ran over 800 miles, and swam about 300,000 yards.  At my typical training paces, those distances reflect about 400 hours or 8 hours per week. Half of the 400 hours came during the 20 week training plan and half during the 32 weeks prior to starting the plan.  I did no strength training, no core, minimal stretching, and minimal "other sports."  My training for Vineman in 2011 wasn't much different.  

While some people can get off the couch and do an Ironman within 12 months, most of us would be challenged to find 15 hours per week for IM training if we weren't already doing 5-10 hours per week already.  A fair amount of my "off season" training was to protect the time it would take to train for an IM more than it was to build specific fitness.  


2014-08-01 2:37 PM
in reply to: mchadcota2

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Subject: RE: Hours needed for IM
I also finished this year IMTX (my first IM) and I realized I didn't trained that much until after 3 - 3 1/2 months before the race. However, during that period of time I trained no less than 14-15 hours/week and I maxed out at 22+ hours one week. These hours were only S/B/R, I didn't do strength or stretching.

I finished in 10h 43 min and I didn't have much trouble, I actually felt pretty good during the entire race.

I am training for another IM in October and I am not going to train that much. I think I will max out at 19 hours per week; however this time I will include 1 hour of strength training every week in my training. Most of the weeks I will stay between 14 and 16 hours. I am incorporating more intensity now, before I did mostly long and slow.

I am not sure whether this was too much or too little. I don't have a coach (I may get one for next season) and I made my own training plan adjusting my training to life events. I didn't sweat if I had to cut a few workouts to do other things, but I made sure to hit my key workouts. I wanted to be sure that I will made it to the finish line and I am very happy I did!
2014-08-01 9:28 PM
in reply to: davidfedez

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Subject: RE: Hours needed for IM
Depends on your goals. Last year was my first half and full IM. My goal was mid 12 hours and I finished just under 11:30. I peaked at 20 hours/week. This year I'm sort of winging it and am at the final push to a 22 hour peak but the last 2 months I skipped many workouts. I'm burned out and this will likely be my last full unless I break 11 hours and have a shot in hell in a few years to KQ (doubtful since I'm slower this year). What are your goals? Just to finish, to do decent, or do you want to push yourself to stupid limits and feel tired all the time but know you gave 100%?
2014-08-02 7:36 AM
in reply to: mchadcota2

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Subject: RE: Hours needed for IM

Somewhat depends on what speed triathlete you are....a fast 10 hour FInisher can do 100 mile ride a lot faster than a 15+ IM finisher, same for r/s.

Like others have said it depends on what time frame you are looking at.

If you do 3 rides including one close to 100 miles and another 70 miles, that is close to 10 hours for many, and many ride more than 170 miles per week.

Add in long run of 2 hours and 2-3 other runs that would be 4 hours

Swims if you do 3 swims a week minimum of 3.5 hours

So at peak IM build I would say minimum of 17.5 hours. If you were doing less than 10, depending on what time period you are looking at, you'd do better training more.

2014-08-02 8:47 AM
in reply to: mchadcota2

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Subject: RE: Hours needed for IM
I've got two days until my taper for IMMT begins and I'm doing 20+. That being said - I'm also pretty slow and my only goal is to finish.

But that means nothing in terms of whether or not your 15 hours was "light" or not? As other have said - its all relative.
2014-08-02 11:09 AM
in reply to: Qua17

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Subject: RE: Hours needed for IM

I used to be a swimmer so can get out of the water pretty fresh which I think helps a lot.

For IM Denmark last year I averaged about 5 hours a week although I also threw a few century rides in there so had a few 7 hour days too.  I was 39, it was my 3rd IM and I came in 12:15 - 1:09 swim, 5:51 bike and 4:58 run with my usual nap in transitions!

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