General Discussion Triathlon Talk » To do an ironman or not Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply
2016-09-09 6:28 AM


13

Subject: To do an ironman or not
Ok a bit about me. First I have completed several 5k's a try a tri which was 200m swim, 10k bike, and 2.5k run. I have also competed a super sprint which was a 200m swim a 20k bike and a 5k run. I am currently registered for my first 2 half marathons early next year.

I'm looking at the lake placid iron man 70.3 next year which will give me one complete year to train. I am currently overweight by a fair amount but with the times I have now for each event I think with training the 8.5hr cut off is a possible to achieve.

So do I do it and try or do I not do it?


2016-09-09 7:29 AM
in reply to: jdutton3624

User image

Member
1840
100050010010010025
Southern Illinois
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
The only real question here is--do you want to do a 70.3?

You have the time to train, and as long as you are dedicated to that training, you could physically do a HIM. Do you love this sport enough to take on the hours of training? to miss things your family and friends do because you have a 4 hour brick workout scheduled? to revolve most of your life around fitting in training?

I did my first HIM over the summer and normal training volume was 10-12 hrs per week plus travel, prep, and clean up. It was a lot. I'm not sure HIM is the distance for me, simply because I'm not interested in spending all of my time either training, thinking about training, eating, or sleeping, which is pretty much how I spend May-July of this year.

These are all questions only you can answer (of course, with input from your SO/family/others this is going to affect).
2016-09-09 7:44 AM
in reply to: jdutton3624

User image

Expert
2852
20005001001001002525
Pfafftown, NC
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
The 70.3 distance seems daunting - until you do it. Then, not so much. It's a distance that deserves your total respect, but it's nothing to be revered or feared.

I like the 70.3 distance and really like the OLY distance (WAY more than sprints).

If you want to do one, just sign up and make it happen. It's a fairly big time commitment, though. I'd make sure my SO was on board.

Good luck.
2016-09-09 8:26 AM
in reply to: jdutton3624

User image

Elite
3683
20001000500100252525
Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
don't rush into it...
you can do one at any time.
that being said, one year is PLENTY of time to train up for a 70.3.
if you really want to do one, go for it, but it might be beneficial for you to race a few season of tris before going Long Course.
2016-09-09 8:44 AM
in reply to: d00d

User image

Master
3923
20001000500100100100100
Toronto
Bronze member
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not

Yes, if you want to do it you should go for it - being committed, enthusiastic and a little scared are all good things.

Now, as said above, it's not going anywhere so if you're hesitating you can wait and set some other goals until you're more ready. 

You will have to put in the time to get there - and set realistic goals. 

There's rarely such a thing as the perfect time so if you wait to do something you want to do until whatever perfect condition happens you may never do it. This is a hobby and life happens while training. The year i ponied up to do the full distance my mom got cancer and my sister was getting married two weeks before the race. Yes, it was tiring, and yes, i had to be really committed and even miss training sometimes but I had a wonderful race and i am so happy i didn't wait until I could swim X distance in X time (i was comfortably within cutoffs) or you know it was less busy at work, etc 

2016-09-09 9:33 AM
in reply to: jdutton3624

User image

Not a Coach
11473
5000500010001001001001002525
Media, PA
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not

Think about focusing on your 2 half marathons and making dietary changes to help you get your weight down to a healthier level.  Look at doing another sprint tri and/or an oly next summer as ways to advance your fitness and health.  If things continue to go well, the half iron in '18 seems like it could be a better idea than pushing to get through it next year.



2016-09-09 9:34 AM
in reply to: jdutton3624

User image


1018
1000
McAlester, Oklahoma
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not

Originally posted by jdutton3624 Ok a bit about me. First I have completed several 5k's a try a tri which was 200m swim, 10k bike, and 2.5k run. I have also competed a super sprint which was a 200m swim a 20k bike and a 5k run. I am currently registered for my first 2 half marathons early next year. I'm looking at the lake placid iron man 70.3 next year which will give me one complete year to train. I am currently overweight by a fair amount but with the times I have now for each event I think with training the 8.5hr cut off is a possible to achieve. So do I do it and try or do I not do it?

 

What race distance do you enjoy the most?  I was a runner for 30 years before I started doing triathlons.  Many of my friends came to me for running advise.  After about the 4th person asked me to help them get ready for a Marathon it dawned on me that it was strange that people would ask me to help them get ready for a marathon when the longest race I personally had done was 10 miles.  I was a 1 mile specialist is high school and college, and the longer races never really appealed to me.  After college I did 5K's for about 6 years but when it became apparent to me that I was never going to break my 5K PR I needed to find different running goals to pursue so I did a half marathon and loved it. It wasn't half as hard as I thought it would be so I decided to finally do a full Marathon. Well....the full marathon sucked.  I thought I may have just been under trained so I spent two years training for full marathons and they still sucked.  I did a half dozen half marathons as training races while preparing for full marathons and still loved them, so after two years of a Marathon focus gave up on the Marathon Dream and spent the next 6 years focusing on 1/2 marathons.   

 

So....if you enjoy 5k's and super spring triathlons, you could stick with them for a few years.  If they are too easy for you and you want a bigger challenge by all means try a longer race.  There are lot more short races than long races so if you enjoy the shorter races they may open a lot more does and opportunities.

 

Can you do a Ironman.  Absolutely.  Anyone can do an Ironman. Will you enjoy an Ironman?  Well... it may be like me and marathons.  Each person is different.  Yes I could do them, but no I didn't enjoy them as much as shorter races.  If it is something you want to do, nothing can stop you.  If you are doing it keep up with the Jones then you need to stop and see if you enjoy the same thing as the Jones and if not then do what you enjoy.   

2016-09-09 12:20 PM
in reply to: jdutton3624

User image


370
1001001002525
, North Carolina
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
How well do you swim? 1.2 miles is quite a bit further than 200m.

The most important thing that you can do is enjoy the journey. You'll spend close to 100% of the time training and very little on the actual race. It is important you like the training as much as you like the race.

2016-09-09 1:01 PM
in reply to: JohnnyKay

User image

Master
2694
2000500100252525
Los Angeles, CA
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Think about focusing on your 2 half marathons and making dietary changes to help you get your weight down to a healthier level.  Look at doing another sprint tri and/or an oly next summer as ways to advance your fitness and health.  If things continue to go well, the half iron in '18 seems like it could be a better idea than pushing to get through it next year.




This^. Considering a 70.3 is quite ambitious of you but I think a gradual build to a 70.3 race while advancing your fitness and health (as JohnnyKay puts it) is the way to go. This path will also build triathlon well into your lifestyle.
2016-09-09 1:11 PM
in reply to: jdutton3624

User image

Extreme Veteran
959
5001001001001002525
Greenwood, South Carolina
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
My recommendation based on how I moved up on distances...

First year in Triathlons: Sprint races
Year two: International distance races
Year three: HIM
Year four Sprint and International distance races
Year five: IM races
Year six: Back to short distance races
Year seven: Sprints

I learned a lot as I progressed up the distance levels. A lot of people have made the jump but I would follow the same progression if I had to do it all over again. I never went into a race wondering if I could finish in time. I had the confidence from past races and my experience.
2016-09-09 1:34 PM
in reply to: jdutton3624


699
500100252525
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
What everybody else said.
If 12 people responded, you got 12 different answers. And they're all right. But might not be right for you.

Go with the facts that people have outlined and maybe a few others that didn't show up.

1. You have plenty of time to make it.
2. You have plenty of time to mix in a longer (Olympic) before you actually have to jump into the lake/river for the 70.3 (assuming it's later in the season and there's an accessible Olympic around)
3. It will require training and some dedication. You will need to become a better swimmer, unless you already are one.
4. Of course, you'll probably need to become a better cyclist after swimming, and a better runner after swimming and biking. At least if you want to finish with some semblance of a smile that's out of satisfaction and not "THANK YOU GOD THAT THIS IS OVER!"

I was overweight before I signed up for my first sprint. I lost 100+ lbs.
To do that, I spent a lot of time "doing fitness".
I found that in training for my half, that I was actually more efficient with my workouts (in terms of family time), even though the volume went up.
At some point, I pulled the trigger and started going to the gym to swim/spin in the morning. Or swim, then come home and run. And since I was used to getting up early, I was out on weekends and sometimes back from "long days" before the family had even awoken. Normally, I'm a "go to the gym or take a run" after coming home from work.....so....in the training, I actually INCREASED family time. And, I never woke up earlier than 6:00 and was still at work by 9:00 almost every day.

What I found more of a burden in training for the half is the mental part...not the physical part. Rearranging. Taking a Friday off because it looks like rain all weekend and you want to get a long outdoor ride in. Lots of checking of weather. Getting grouchy because "life" infringes on training time. Conflicts between training (which you find fun, enjoyable, and rewarding) and other things that are fun, enjoyable, and rewarding...and having to make decisions and tradeoffs for both. Stuff that.....that's sooooo trivial.....becomes glorious fodder for the obsessive types. Which, as much as I enjoy a good obsessive session, it is a bit wearying when you start hitting the last several weeks. Mix in the anxiousness for the race itself and it can be a bit of a mental jousting match.

Of course, this only came in to play as each successive week of the training plan was accomplished. The goal when I signed up was "finish before the cutoff". A few weeks in of successful training, redoing the mental math, I'm like "hey, why not under 8!". A few more weeks and it ticks downward again. By the end of it, I was thinking, man....I can easily crack 7. I wonder how close to 6 I can get."


2016-09-09 2:48 PM
in reply to: 0

User image

Master
2855
20005001001001002525
Kailua, Hawaii
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
I believe a lot of it is being motivated.

However, you have to realize that jumping to from a short distance "sampler" tri, to a HIM is considerable.

I'd recommend a smaller leap, to Olympic. Then if you feel comfortable with that, and still like the idea of a longer race, go for the HIM.

The reasons are simple, you need to build your body and mind for the longer distances in a gradual way, so you protect yourself against injury and burnout. "shellshock" is common with those that jump into the longer races too quickly, and they are done.

However, if that doesn't sway you, then go for it. It can be accomplished.



Edited by metafizx 2016-09-09 2:49 PM
2016-09-09 3:01 PM
in reply to: nc452010

User image


6

Spokane, Washington
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not

Originally posted by nc452010 I like the 70.3 distance and really like the OLY distance (WAY more than sprints).

I have no want or need to do anything of the bucket list type runs, I'd like to participate in the sport and give it a go. But I'm curious about this statement if you don't mind me asking. Why do you like Oly so much more than Sprints? I'm a disabled vet so I can probably only do Sprints...and maybe at the most an Oly due to limitations so I'm just wondering what stands out on the longer distance races for you?

 

 

 

2016-09-09 5:17 PM
in reply to: jdutton3624

User image

Expert
2380
2000100100100252525
Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
I would never tell anyone they couldn't do something. Anything is possible if you're willing to commit to it and only you know if you are ready to take the step up to doing a HIM. I did my first HIM within 11 months of starting out. I couldn't even swim and hadn't rode a bike for years. I went from no triathlon to finishing my first HIM in less then a year so it is very possible to do it. However I was running for several years and was in decent shape when I stepped up to take on triathlons.

You certainly don't have to rush into doing a HIM. It never hurts to gradually progress by doing shorter distances like more sprints and getting an Oly or two in there while also getting yourself into better shape. The experience gained will go a long way when you step up to the HIM distance.

I will say Lake Placid is a tough course regardless of whether you're doing the full or the half.
2016-09-09 6:42 PM
in reply to: Aplcr0331

User image

Master
7862
500020005001001001002525
Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
What others have said. It is doable, but probably safer/healthier/more enjoyable to progress gradually into the distance via sprints and Olympic distance, giving yourself at least another year. I think I had been doing tris for three years before I attempted a HIM--and I have a big distance running background as well as being a solid swimmer (age group and high school level). Still in no hurry to do full IM. I do know people who have done a HIM as their first triathlon--however, they all had strong backgrounds in at least one and often two of the disciplines. They were generally runners or cyclists who had done longer events such as marathons or century rides, weren't carrying a lot of extra weight, and had at least passable swim skills. If not, I would advise a more gradual approach.

As for which is more "enjoyable", I think it's a matter of an individual's physiology, personality, and lifestyle. Shorter distances suit those with more speed and fast-twitch fibers, and people who enjoy going all out for a short time. Also, the training is more doable for people with very limited time. Olympic is sort of in between--favors strong swimmers as the swim is not much shorter than HIM and a larger % of total race time than the longer distances. Again, training time (particularly long runs/rides) tends to be less than for the iron distances, unless one is talking elite/pro level.

HIM is a bit of a different animal, and favors someone who probably has more endurance than speed and doesn't mind workouts or races that take up half the day. Probably my personal favorite, though actually the Olympic might be more suited to my abilities as (for a triathlete, at least) I'm a good swimmer and have decent run speed. Sprints--ugh! The intensity level tends to make me nauseous throughout the latter half of the race and for several hours afterward. I feel like a HIM, even a very hard one, is actually more "enjoyable". You find a sustainably hard groove in that distance and just kind of follow it as long as you can. That works well for me mentally and physically--I do much better at "steady state" efforts, and am very inwardly focused when I race, so I'm pretty good at finding that line and riding it.

Full IM is a generally lower intensity level (but higher volume) in racing and training, which some people like, but (guessing here--I haven't done one) mentally very hard and the training is very time-consuming. It's really a matter of taste!
2016-09-10 12:48 AM
in reply to: 0


250
1001002525
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
It's an individual thing.

I got off the couch last year at age 59, did a sprint Triathlon (my first tri) at the end of last summer after turning 60. Decided I wanted to do the inaugural Coeur d'Alene Ironman 70.3 this year in June and did it at almost age 61. I am a road warrior for work and trained as hard as I could but wouild have liked to train more. Finished the 70.3. So it's do-able. They give you 8.5 hours to finish and my goal last time was simply to finish. Goal next time is to cut at least an hour off the finish time.

I took the fast road from couch to 70.3. Your experience may vary. Depends on what you want. I wanted it bad.

Edited by HaydenHunter 2016-09-10 12:51 AM


2016-09-10 8:42 AM
in reply to: 0


2

Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
I worked medical at a 70.3 in 2015 and decided on the spot that I would compete in the race the next year despite not having completed a legitimate swim of more than 25 yards straight in 20 years, nor owning anything more than a crappy bike I used a couple of times to ride to work. I had, however, recently completed my first marathon in 4:06, and had run a few half-marathons in the previous few years. I was 41, 6'1, 210lbs and although a former athlete I never really persevered to improve my fitness, but rather used running to make sure I maintained it.

I bought a low-model road bike from an online dealer 10 months out. I added some accessories (e.g. aerobars) and did some riding around my neighborhood, usually around 20-30 miles. I kept making excuses about getting in the pool, but finally committed to a decent plan just four months out. This resulted from a cycle of waking up in a mild panic about surviving the 70.3 swim, yet still finding excuses to avoid the pool. After near drowning over the first couple of trips, I kept increasing my goals and eventually got up to 60 lengths w/o stopping. Since that was relevantly close to what I would need for the HIM, I was happy. I did a couple of OWS in some very cold water to get used to visibility a few weeks prior to the 70.3.

The day of the race, having never completed an official tri of any distance (other than doing sprint distances during my training) and despite being a relative zombie, everything went fine. The water was warmer than expected, I had two feet of visibility which was better than the OWS, and I knew that if I could survive the swim I could finish the race. The bike was windy but tolerable and ended up walking more on the run than I was happy about (due to what I found out later was a poor hydration plan), but I finished. As soon as I crossed the line, I was hooked. A day later, I planned out two more HIM for this year, competing in the same 70.3 in 2017, and eventually decided that I'll never be 'complete' with only a half so I also signed up for a full in 2017.

This is just my example, but it demonstrates that you don't necessarily have to 'build up' your distances if you have a training plan. It's all about what you want to accomplish, and your committment (along with outside obligations) that will allow you to accomplish your coal. Remember that you'll have adrenaline on race day that will be fueled by all of the spectators that are not there during your training. That will help propel you as well.

Edited by prattguy 2016-09-10 8:51 AM
2016-09-12 9:47 AM
in reply to: Aplcr0331

User image

Expert
2852
20005001001001002525
Pfafftown, NC
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
Originally posted by Aplcr0331

Originally posted by nc452010 I like the 70.3 distance and really like the OLY distance (WAY more than sprints).

I have no want or need to do anything of the bucket list type runs, I'd like to participate in the sport and give it a go. But I'm curious about this statement if you don't mind me asking. Why do you like Oly so much more than Sprints? I'm a disabled vet so I can probably only do Sprints...and maybe at the most an Oly due to limitations so I'm just wondering what stands out on the longer distance races for you?

 

 

 




For a sprint, it's over before you really feel like you've gotten into a groove. At least, that's been my experience (I did 5 sprints this year...and have one more). I only did one "International" distance this year (OLY in every aspect....but a 5k longer bike course), and loved the distances for each leg. It's the first distance that has me really think about pacing......other than "I'll just redline and hope I can hold it"....which is what happens in MY sprints. It's also a distance you can screw up your nutrition in,.......and you won't have a horrible day (same can't be said....once you go to the HIM distance).

Just my thoughts. Everyone looks at these differently, I suppose.

2016-09-12 10:36 AM
in reply to: jdutton3624

Member
763
5001001002525
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
you have plenty of time to train for your HIM. so it totally possible, if you're really committed to doing so. you can wait, as many folks here have suggested, but it's all about what you want to accomplish and get out of your HIM.

I tend to side with the 'go for it' approach. I was quite slow at my first HIM (year 2, only third tri ever, it was ~95 degrees, no wetsuit and I rode a hybrid bike), but I loved it. I suffered big time, don't get me wrong, but it was great nonetheless. No guts, no glory, right?

Good luck with your decision.

2016-09-12 11:11 AM
in reply to: jdutton3624


467
1001001001002525
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
Personally I agree with those that are encouraging you to spend a year building up, doing the Oly distance, and then going to the HIM the following year. My reasoning is that way you are making a two year plan rather than a one year. I think you certainly have enough time to be ready for the HIM in one year. However, making it a two year plan helps insure it will be not just a completion, but a fun and satisfying event and you'll be more likely to want to continue in the sport.
2016-09-12 12:21 PM
in reply to: jdutton3624

User image


754
5001001002525
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
Originally posted by jdutton3624

Ok a bit about me. First I have completed several 5k's a try a tri which was 200m swim, 10k bike, and 2.5k run. I have also competed a super sprint which was a 200m swim a 20k bike and a 5k run. I am currently registered for my first 2 half marathons early next year.

I'm looking at the lake placid iron man 70.3 next year which will give me one complete year to train. I am currently overweight by a fair amount but with the times I have now for each event I think with training the 8.5hr cut off is a possible to achieve.

So do I do it and try or do I not do it?


Isn't Lake Placid supposed to be hilly? The people I know who have done the 140.6 there say it is a challenging course. For your first one, you might want to pick something fairly flat. As someone who has been overweight my entire life, I say never put something off because you want to lose weight first. You will just end up missing out on everything. However, the more weight you carry, the harder the hills will be, especially if you get a hot day. It is a big leap from an oly to a HIM or from a HM to a HIM, so it is good to pick an easy, well supported race when you make that leap.

In the upstate New York area, that could be a little tough. I did Musselman for my first half, and it was a very well supported race, but the run was quite hilly. The race is also notorious for its fickle weather (it was hot the year that I did it, and people were collapsing on the run course).


2016-09-18 9:48 AM
in reply to: happyscientist

User image

Extreme Veteran
1106
1000100
, Connecticut
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not
How can you go from near beginner to HIM in one year?

I've survived sprints and an oly and have finally understood that I can't do nothing until Spring and expect to be ready in the summer - being 57, any pushing myself and something hurts enough to take a week off to let it pass.
So am starting now! Some of you have said a year is plenty of time, but don't see a 10 month path to a HIM.

Using custom plans, can't find an oly distance that begins where I can do the workouts now. Maybe my problem is the local HIM is June 18. Maybe if I found one at the end of the summer? Maybe I'm spending too long, but being limited by my running and swimming, a 16 week beg sprint plan would take me into a 20 week oly plan.
That's nine months away. Leaves me from May 7 to get ready for a HIM, which obviously isn't possible. Maybe I'm being too conservative. Maybe starting off conservatively I'll be able to increase distances at a faster pace later on.

My alternative thought is to do a beg sprint plan, into a beg oly plan, then an intermediate oly plan and not come in last like as I've been doing. If I stay focused I could then spend the next year getting ready for the HIM. Always the fear that I'll lose focus and never get there, I do have a history of starts and stops in training.

Any thoughts welcome.

Mitzi
2016-09-18 4:13 PM
in reply to: 0

User image

Master
1931
100050010010010010025
Subject: RE: To do an ironman or not

Mitzi and the orig  thread post person...You might want to take a look at Don & Melanie Fink's book Iron Fit Secrets foe Half Iron Distance success. They have beginner to advanced workout plans. As others have said the time commitment is exponentially greater once you get past the OLy distance, so you need to be able to stay disciplined for at least 6 months, and have your base fitness be at a level where a 3 hr workout is not beyond your ability.  I also would agree that unless your training world is very similar to Lake Placid- hilly  and wide weather fluctuations..you may want to think about a course more similar to where you train.  If you are in CT there are 2 Sept half irons not too far- Pumpkinman in Southern Maine, and FIRM racing has one in Narragansett RI. but a June half IS doable- if you are willing to spend time on a trainer..SunMultisports Patriot is a great first half.  I did my first tri  ( danskin sprint for women !)  at 49 & first full Ironman at  56….

Also- if staying focused is hard throwing in some run races & long rides as interim goals in the late fall & early spring helps- as does joining a "challenge" group here on BT

just a few thoughts -  Jo



Edited by isis 2016-09-18 4:19 PM
New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » To do an ironman or not Rss Feed