General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Couch to ironman in 1year? Rss Feed  
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2015-06-25 8:52 PM


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Subject: Couch to ironman in 1year?
I'm trying to decide if this is possible. I'm 42 yrs old, 40lbs overweight. I'm hoping to do the Lake Placid Ironman in 2016. Any thoughts or suggestions?


2015-06-26 1:54 AM
in reply to: kcmpa

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Subject: RE: Couch to ironman in 1year?
Im no tri veteran but i'd say the risks are to high of you getting injured while doing the required training. I did what you did, although not beeing overweight, and started 2012. This year i completed Half Ironman and i would say i couldnt do it any sooner. Im doing an Ironman next year and that makes it 4 year from when i was no-running/biking/swimming .

May i ask why you are stressing? Take it easy and complete a couple of sprints or even try an Oly after a year training and the decide if this is something you still want to pursue.

I would say no, adjust your goals and take it slower and build endurance slowly.

Just my 2c
2015-06-26 3:20 AM
in reply to: kcmpa

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Subject: RE: Couch to ironman in 1year?

Hi

i'd say its doable - and know several people who have done that very thing - including IM as their very first triathlon

I'm a member of the Pirates (http://www.pirateshipoffools.co.uk/)and we are a bit daft like that 

You need to:

  • spend the next 6 months getting into regular training and clean up your diet.
  • Dont be afraid to go see a sports physio for the occasional sports massage
  • Definitely go and see sports physio when you have a niggle (niggles can quickly become injuries)
  • Have a look at the beginners 20 week training plan on here - it tells you where you need to be at the start of real training
  • Add things such as long walks on top of your training to help increase fitness without the impact of hard training 

Finally - to do it - you have to want it - to man up - dont drop sessions just because its wet / you want a lie in etc - ONLY YOU CAN DO IT FOR YOU

 

2015-06-26 4:12 AM
in reply to: WildWill

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Subject: RE: Couch to ironman in 1year?

Very possible.  If you just want to get to the finish line it's pretty easy.  Personally I'd take no satisfaction from it but everyone's different.

2015-06-26 5:04 AM
in reply to: kcmpa

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Subject: RE: Couch to ironman in 1year?

Then again - you will always get people that will belittle your goals - just cos they view them not to be as lofty as their own 

In the western world, where people seem to be growing bigger by the day, if more people had a goal just to get off their arses and do something even if it is just to get round a goal race  - then maybe this trend could be set in reverse 

Live for your own dreams and ignore the nay sayers 

2015-06-26 10:39 AM
in reply to: #5124901

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Subject: RE: Couch to ironman in 1year?
Was thinking about my reply while I was swimming just now - and I apologise for it. I'm approaching taper, haven't done enough work and I'm tired and snarky.

A more measure response if I may;

It is possible. Very possible and the biggest hurdle is your mind. I'd suggest sitting down or going for a walk and thinking about what you want your life to look like in a years time. If ironman helps you get there then go for it

The story behind my original snarky response is that I want people to adopt triathlon as a lifestyle and not an end point. I've met too many people whose fitness curve is shaped like a mountain with an ironman finish at its peak. But they came right back down afterwards.

You need to be fit and you need to lose weight - work out a sustainable, enjoyable and affordable way to achieve that - if it's ironman or some other so distance triathlon then that's great. I hope it is.

Good luck to you


2015-06-26 4:53 PM
in reply to: kcmpa

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Subject: RE: Couch to ironman in 1year?
my general advice would be to start with a shorter distance and work up to a full over a 2 year period.
get a few Olympics and a HIM completed the first year and then plan on a full the second year.

while it is many people's dream of doing a full IM, it can be a road to injury if you push it too fast.

Yes it can be done, and many have done it. but if you could interview those that have, I bet most of them would say to build a foundation.

2015-07-03 10:50 PM
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Subject: RE: Couch to ironman in 1year?
I would echo what the others said.

I woke up at 45 years old, 20 pounds over weight, eating junk and zero exercise. I thought about doing IM in 1 year, but decided that I wanted to enjoy the journey a little more and change my life, not just suck it up for a year and check an event off my bucket list.

2 years later, I am 20 pounds lighter, 2 pant sizes smaller, more energy, mentally more relaxed and in great shape as I head to IMWI in September. I feel comfortable that I will enjoy that race as I have done a few other HIM in the mean time and learned from them.

One other thought.....You will read this on other posts about making the decision to do an IM. Are you ready for training 5-6 days per week? Are your family, friends and work ready for you to do that? You can probably do it with less training, but I expect (based upon everything I have read-since I have not done a full-IM yet), you will be in for a sufferfest if you don't put in the proper time.



Edited by scottficek 2015-07-03 10:54 PM
2015-07-04 10:31 AM
in reply to: metafizx

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Subject: RE: Couch to ironman in 1year?
Originally posted by metafizx

my general advice would be to start with a shorter distance and work up to a full over a 2 year period.
get a few Olympics and a HIM completed the first year and then plan on a full the second year.

while it is many people's dream of doing a full IM, it can be a road to injury if you push it too fast.

Yes it can be done, and many have done it. but if you could interview those that have, I bet most of them would say to build a foundation.




I agree. WHY would you do this?
I recommend people do some sprints, olympic distances, give themselves a chance to fall in love with the sport before Ironman.
My experience has been people who jump into IM distance too fast get injured and/or burned out. Enjoy the sport, then decide.
2015-07-05 10:15 AM
in reply to: KeriKadi

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Subject: RE: Couch to ironman in 1year?

Originally posted by KeriKadiMy experience has been people who jump into IM distance too fast get injured and/or burned out. Enjoy the sport, then decide.

I'm not so worried about injury if they train smart but the burnout factor is a huge concern for someone going from zero to Ironman that fast.

IM training is on a whole different level than sprint or oly training.  It's a huge time commitment and it takes a toll on your life.  Learn to love the sport, then make the jump to IM when it makes sense, it it ever makes sense.  I know a few people that made the leap to IM in a year or so and they're out of the sport already.  If your only exposure to triathlon training is 15+ hour weeks of slogging through 3500m swims, 100 mile bike rides, and 16 mile runs... the thought of continuing on is probably not all that appealing.

The other issue with zero to IM is not having the proper training and base to help the cause.  Many beginners fly by the seat of their pants and Ironman is not really something you want to wing naively for race day.  I've heard/read countless accounts of how miserable a race went and that has a lot to do with poor training, preparation, pacing, nutrition, etc.  That's something that is best learned through a few years of trial and error.

2015-07-06 2:16 AM
in reply to: kcmpa

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Subject: RE: Couch to ironman in 1year?
Respect the distance, respect the sport.

Do a a couple tri's this year, Aim to build your training and race 1-2 70.3's next year. See if your life can handle the training load and if your goals and ambitions are the same after. Then sign up for 2017.

You will be much more satisfied taking the long-term approach over the short-term. More investment and commitment will lead to greater payoff.


2015-07-11 7:49 PM
in reply to: bcagle25

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Subject: RE: Couch to ironman in 1year?
I think it's do-able but I'd suggest taking longer, ramping up and enjoying the journey a little more. In 2012 I was 90 lbs heavier than I am today. And used a sprint tri to motivate me to get fitter. In 2013 I did 2 sprints including one for My Team Triumph. Had a great time. Ramped up last year to Olympic, and this year I'm doing a 1/2 and a full. Personally I learned a ton over the last couple years in the sport. I think had I rushed it faster I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. I also think you would be VERY succeptible to injury. I notice now I recover significantly faster than I did in the last couple years and I think that's because it take time for your body to adapt.
2015-07-12 4:08 PM
in reply to: kcmpa

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Subject: RE: Couch to ironman in 1year?
Let me preface my remarks with fact that I have not done an IM yet myself. I have my first on the calendar for 2016 4 years after I took up the sport. Now I am quite a bit older than you and was 50 -60 lbs overweight plus I lost a year of training due to an accident. OK, disclaimer done.

To me this sounds like the Biggest Loser equivalent to doing an IM. Can it be done, of course. Is it the best way, most would say no.

Will it lead to long term commitment to a healthy lifestyle? I would think not. As I am moving up the length and intensity of my workouts my body can certainly feel the difference. If I had jumped in to serious IM training I might have been able to tough it out, but I think I would have come out the other end physically and mentally beaten. I think I would have walked away form the sport because I never gave myself the chance to love the sport.

I am ding my third Oly in 8 weeks, then a HIM early next year and closing 2016 with an IM. Because of my surgeries it will likely be my only IM. But I know I will do aqua/bike events including the IM distance variety. I will NEVER be 250# again. I enjoy pushing myself.

I just think it would be really sad if you won the battle and finished the IM but lost the war and slid back to your old ways because of what you put your body through in such a short time.

Whatever you decide, I wish you much success.

2015-07-12 5:09 PM
in reply to: kcmpa


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Subject: RE: Couch to ironman in 1year?
I want to thank everyone for there advise and support. Let me ad to my original post. I'm not living a totally sedentary lifestyle. My job is very physically demanding at times. I ran a 5k last year and the year before.

I decided to start training heavily this past week. Day 7 is today. I'm down 5lbs.


I've signed up for a sprint tri in August. It has a short swim (300 meters). So, i think that will be a good start. I'll have about 5 weeks to train for it.


Thanks again
2015-07-13 4:44 AM
in reply to: kcmpa

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Subject: RE: Couch to ironman in 1year?
Originally posted by kcmpa

I want to thank everyone for there advise and support. Let me ad to my original post. I'm not living a totally sedentary lifestyle. My job is very physically demanding at times. I ran a 5k last year and the year before.

I decided to start training heavily this past week. Day 7 is today. I'm down 5lbs.


I've signed up for a sprint tri in August. It has a short swim (300 meters). So, i think that will be a good start. I'll have about 5 weeks to train for it.


Thanks again


great !!

btw, I lost 40 lbs my first 12 months doing tri's. I started with a few sprints, and then got into off road and Olympic distances. The second year I did my first 70.3, the third year my first IM. It naturally progressed and worked well.
2015-07-15 3:37 PM
in reply to: kcmpa

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Subject: RE: Couch to ironman in 1year?

I've been away for a while, but it is entirely possible and I can point you towards people who have done Iron-distance races as their first triathlon or in their first year of triathlon (one of whom came off the couch to do it).  

It isn't without risk.  

Without a lot of experience, you won't know how your body responds to the training stress, how quickly you recover, how to interpret the aches, pains, fatigue, and foul moods that show up while training for something of this magnitude.  Getting to the start line healthy and rested is a big part of crossing the finish line and even experienced athletes suffer typical overuse injuries or come to hate their bicycle in the peak of training.  .  

As for the idea that you need to "build up" to long distance races...hogwash...if Ironman LP motivates you to train, you don't need to divert your time or attention "trying out" sprint and Olympic distance races.  Your journey will be different than those who take 4 or 5 years to "build up" but I believe your journey will be different no matter what because you are the one balancing this goal with all of your other life goals.  If you do your Ironman and never race again, I say good for you.  You're making the most of your life which is too short to do a lot of things that aren't inspiring.  (And no, careful readers, I'm not an elitist who doesn't believe sprints aren't inspiring but a realist who recognizes that each of us has different motivations we find inspiring.)  

You have to answer for yourself:

"Am I willing to put in 7-15 hours a week training and put other parts of my life on the back burner for this goal?" 

"Am I willing to learn what I need to train properly and minimize risk of injury?"  

"Am I willing to spend $$$ for the race, training, equipment, etc.for this goal?"  



2015-07-18 2:35 PM
in reply to: McFuzz

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Subject: RE: Couch to ironman in 1year?
Some more info might help in giving advice...

>Do you have any background in sports? I know you said your job is physical. But what are the longest distances you've done in S/B/R?
>What distances can you currently do?
>As already asked, do you have the time? I would think you're going to need to build up to 8-10hrs per week as quick as possible and then start a plan 20 weeks out that begins at 10hrs and peaks at 16-18 hrs per week.

One thought if you want to give this a go without the risk of losing a ton of money is to pick out a non-IM branded race that doesn't fill up fast. For example, Beach-to-Battleship in Wilmington, NC doesn't normally fill up until a month or two out. This would allow you to see how much progress you can make in the first 6 months of training before actually committing the money.
Note: If you go this route, you might go ahead and reserve lodging (if you can find one that allows you to cancel 30 or more days out).

Good luck brother.



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