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2017-01-04 2:13 PM

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Subject: Ironman Readiness
Overheard a guy at work stating he could go out and complete an IM distance any given weekend. I guess "you" could, but what would it require (history wise, not logistics ) ? I don't think I could. Can you?


2017-01-04 2:19 PM
in reply to: goforit


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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness
Originally posted by goforit

Overheard a guy at work stating he could go out and complete an IM distance any given weekend. I guess "you" could, but what would it require (history wise, not logistics ) ? I don't think I could. Can you?


IM distance? Heck yeah.
IM distance in IM time? Heck no.
2017-01-04 2:30 PM
in reply to: jhaack39

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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness

History-wise to finish under 17 hrs?  Someone in reasonably good shape with prior swim experience, casual cycling and then walks the marathon would make it.

The swim is the real gotcha.  People tend to overestimate their swim ability, or underestimate how far 2.4 miles really is.

2017-01-04 3:36 PM
in reply to: goforit

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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness

Originally posted by goforit Overheard a guy at work stating he could go out and complete an IM distance any given weekend. I guess "you" could, but what would it require (history wise, not logistics ) ? I don't think I could. Can you?

I would call on that.

Your general "athletic guy in his 20s or 30s"?  LOL.  No way he could finish an IM without training.

A person with a recent lap or open water swim background (3000 yard swims) and a recent cycling background (60-70 mile rides) could swim the 4224 yards and ride the 112, then walk the 26.2.  Maybe make the 17 hour cut-off, probably not. Would that person be able to run the 26.2 miles?  No way.

If you check my Athlinks page, you'll see that I do more than a little racing.  I could get off the couch and finish a half marathon sub 2 hours no problem. I race the half IM in Austin October 30th, then went to NYC and ran the marathon on November 6th in 4:20.   Then December 11th, I went to Honolulu and ran that marathon in 5:11.  Warm humid day, not enough run training between the two marathons.

Swim, bike AND run.  That requires dedicated training.

 

2017-01-04 5:04 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness
Agree it depends on what strengths you currently have. No swim background means one might not make the swim cutoff.

With no cycling background what's a reasonable average speed one could make for 112 miles? 15 mph? 12 mph?

Let's say little or no swim background and no cycling background, the numbers could look like this:

2:00 hour swim
7:30 bike (14.9 mph)
7:10 "walk" (16:25 min/mile)
0:20 transitions
_____
17:00

So yeah, maybe they could finish under the cut-off. But without a swim background there's the potential that they're hanging for dear life on a kayak and have to drop out.
2017-01-04 6:45 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness

Originally posted by reecealan Agree it depends on what strengths you currently have. No swim background means one might not make the swim cutoff. With no cycling background what's a reasonable average speed one could make for 112 miles? 15 mph? 12 mph? Let's say little or no swim background and no cycling background, the numbers could look like this: 2:00 hour swim 7:30 bike (14.9 mph) 7:10 "walk" (16:25 min/mile) 0:20 transitions _____ 17:00 So yeah, maybe they could finish under the cut-off. But without a swim background there's the potential that they're hanging for dear life on a kayak and have to drop out.

People with "little or no swim background" can't swim 4224+ yards in open water.  Swimming is a technique sport.  Swimming at the lake or a pool is one thing.  Continuous swim for 2.4 miles in open water is an entirely different thing.

People with no cycling background don't have the legs for 112 miles.  Cramping will set in, and that will be that.



Edited by brucemorgan 2017-01-04 6:46 PM


2017-01-04 8:58 PM
in reply to: goforit

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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness

I overheard a guy at work stating he'd done some large number of IM and HIM races, with a rather boastful claim about his performance.  I did a quick search later and found some 5Ks, half marathons, sprints, olympics and a single HIM.  His HIM splits and other times had no correlation to the sort of speedy IM performance he claimed.

My conclusion is that some people talk big.  I think you should invite the person from work to complete an unofficial IM next weekend and offer to accompany him on it.  I suspect you'll hear an excuse.

2017-01-04 9:16 PM
in reply to: goforit

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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness
I find people blurring things, such as saying they did an "Ironman" when in fact they did a half.

Those that say they could do this and that, usually are just blabbing. Maybe they could eek their way to the finish, but then be carted off to the hospital.

2017-01-05 7:08 AM
in reply to: goforit

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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness
It really depends on his background. Depending on what his background is and his workout schedule, yes it is very possible.

I would say most weekends from May through end of October I could finish an IM if I wanted to under the 17 hour limit. It would not be pretty and I would not really want to do it without the proper training and taper, but could.

Most people who could do it probably would not be boosting about it.
2017-01-05 7:24 AM
in reply to: mike761

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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness
Originally posted by mike761

Most people who could do it probably would not be boosting about it.

^^^ This.
2017-01-05 7:48 AM
in reply to: reecealan

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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness

Originally posted by reecealan Agree it depends on what strengths you currently have. No swim background means one might not make the swim cutoff. With no cycling background what's a reasonable average speed one could make for 112 miles? 15 mph? 12 mph? Let's say little or no swim background and no cycling background, the numbers could look like this: 2:00 hour swim 7:30 bike (14.9 mph) 7:10 "walk" (16:25 min/mile) 0:20 transitions _____ 17:00 So yeah, maybe they could finish under the cut-off. But without a swim background there's the potential that they're hanging for dear life on a kayak and have to drop out.

Or drown.



2017-01-05 11:17 AM
in reply to: goforit

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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness
Originally posted by goforit

Overheard a guy at work stating he could go out and complete an IM distance any given weekend. I guess "you" could, but what would it require (history wise, not logistics ) ? I don't think I could. Can you?


Is this someone who does them with regularity? Or just some random guy trying to puff himself up but has no background with endurance sports?

Personally, I certainly could go out there on any given weekend and "complete" an Ironman, but I don't even think that's anything to brag about because I am experienced at the distance. If I just went and did it next weekend I certainly wouldn't even come close to a PR but I could still probably pull off a decent time. I don't see why I would want to do that though. What would it prove? Nothing, IMO.

My background: 6 IMs with a 9:57 PR (I went 8:13 at IMMD this year and would extrapolate that to a 9:40ish if the race wasn't shortened), 3:04 marathon PR, 4:46 HIM PR, been racing for 7 years.

Based on that, sure I could probably pull off a 12ish hour IM at any point in my training cycle

I don't believe anyone off the couch would even be capable of coming close, but anyone with a decent level of fitness could probably pull it off in <17. It would be an utterly miserable 17 hours, and I would be willing to bet there would be a lot of thoughts of quitting, but it could probably be done.

2017-01-05 3:01 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness
Originally posted by brucemorgan

Originally posted by reecealan Agree it depends on what strengths you currently have. No swim background means one might not make the swim cutoff. With no cycling background what's a reasonable average speed one could make for 112 miles? 15 mph? 12 mph? Let's say little or no swim background and no cycling background, the numbers could look like this: 2:00 hour swim 7:30 bike (14.9 mph) 7:10 "walk" (16:25 min/mile) 0:20 transitions _____ 17:00 So yeah, maybe they could finish under the cut-off. But without a swim background there's the potential that they're hanging for dear life on a kayak and have to drop out.

People with "little or no swim background" can't swim 4224+ yards in open water.  Swimming is a technique sport.  Swimming at the lake or a pool is one thing.  Continuous swim for 2.4 miles in open water is an entirely different thing.

People with no cycling background don't have the legs for 112 miles.  Cramping will set in, and that will be that.




I find that endurance athletes often assume that since they couldn't or would do something, no one else could or should either.
2017-01-05 3:47 PM
in reply to: TriJedi

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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness
Originally posted by TriJedi

Originally posted by brucemorgan

Originally posted by reecealan Agree it depends on what strengths you currently have. No swim background means one might not make the swim cutoff. With no cycling background what's a reasonable average speed one could make for 112 miles? 15 mph? 12 mph? Let's say little or no swim background and no cycling background, the numbers could look like this: 2:00 hour swim 7:30 bike (14.9 mph) 7:10 "walk" (16:25 min/mile) 0:20 transitions _____ 17:00 So yeah, maybe they could finish under the cut-off. But without a swim background there's the potential that they're hanging for dear life on a kayak and have to drop out.

People with "little or no swim background" can't swim 4224+ yards in open water.  Swimming is a technique sport.  Swimming at the lake or a pool is one thing.  Continuous swim for 2.4 miles in open water is an entirely different thing.

People with no cycling background don't have the legs for 112 miles.  Cramping will set in, and that will be that.




I find that endurance athletes often assume that since they couldn't or would do something, no one else could or should either.


I don't think they are assuming, more like being experienced enough to realize serious issues can result without adequate preparation.
2017-01-05 6:50 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness

Originally posted by TriJedi
Originally posted by brucemorgan

People with "little or no swim background" can't swim 4224+ yards in open water.  Swimming is a technique sport.  Swimming at the lake or a pool is one thing.  Continuous swim for 2.4 miles in open water is an entirely different thing.

People with no cycling background don't have the legs for 112 miles.  Cramping will set in, and that will be that.

I find that endurance athletes often assume that since they couldn't or would do something, no one else could or should either.

I don't base my comments on assumptions or ego but my experience. 

I had no cycling background when I bought a road bike in 2001.  My first 23 mile ride-around-the-lake was scary and exhausting.  I few months later, I had "a little" and could ride 35-40 miles comfortably.  I might have been able to push to 80 miles, but not 112.  Perhaps others would do better.

I had no swim background when I started triathlons; I signed up for an Olympic triathlon with TNT in 2003 for their swim coaching.  After 2 months of training, I had "a little" and struggled past 1000 yard straight swim. Perhaps other people would be naturally more athletic and could hop in the pool or lake and bang out 2.4 miles.  I doubt it, but it's possible.

I had a little run background when I started with TNT.  I could run a 5k in 28 minutes, but 6 or 8 miles would be pushing it.

Regarding that Olympic triathlon with TNT in 2003, there were a number of people with no cycling background, a number like me with no swim background, a number with no running background.  A number of us were strong in one sport (bike or run) but weak to zero in the other two.  There was one or two with no background in any of the three.  Most people were in their late 20s to early 40s, mostly Average Joes such as myself.  A few "athletic types".

I trained with the team from February of 2003 until race day on June 22nd 2003. Organized swim, bike, and run sessions.  We all got better, but still we had people DNF on the swim, a few on the bike, but once they got to the run I think everyone finished.  The more athletic people did better.  I survived the swim, rocked the bike, and survived the 10K run with terrible leg cramps from over-cooking the bike.

On 6/22/03, we were all more or less ready for that Olympic triathlon after 4 months of training.  A few of us might have been able to finish an Ironman that day.  I would not have been one of them because I wouldn't have been able to swim the 2.4 miles (swimming is my worst sport).



Edited by brucemorgan 2017-01-05 6:53 PM
2017-01-05 9:36 PM
in reply to: goforit

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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness
The main obstacle is mental not physical/fitness. I seriously doubt that anyone would complete an IM without any mental preparation - most would simply quit.


2017-01-05 11:54 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness
I could totally go do one this weekend. ( hopefully not in the current local weather though hahaha )

I tend to stay pretty fit year round though, and have been doing a good run focus.

I have a history of doing 200 mile bike rides, and even while rehabbing an injured knee, sports doc said ride as much as you want, so I started busting out 100 mile rides, which convinced him I didn't need surgery :p

Swim was good enough that I did a 7 km swim ( almost double the IM swim ) in 2 1/2 hours with virtually no swim specific training that year, just relying on muscle memory and aerobic fitness.

I did an iron distance race a little over a year ago on 6 weeks notice, blew up on the run ( I was way undertrained for the run, only HM trained really ) and still managed to go under 12 hours.

Right now I am pushing hard to try to qualify for boston in May. It's going to be tight.

I also did 3 trail ultras in 2016, and 2 of them were on back to back days.

I am not some uber athlete, but I'm also not your average mid packer either.



Edited by dfquigley 2017-01-05 11:55 PM
2017-01-06 7:17 AM
in reply to: SSauce

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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness
Originally posted by SSauce

The main obstacle is mental not physical/fitness. I seriously doubt that anyone would complete an IM without any mental preparation - most would simply quit.


Have done an Ironman?

No one just thinks their way through, you must have physical endurance to do it. Of coarse there is a mental aspect, without that you would never doing the training required to physically get through an IM.
2017-01-06 10:00 AM
in reply to: goforit

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Subject: RE: Ironman Readiness
It depends on what you consider "untrained". That's kind of vague, so let's look at couple definitions of "untrained":

1. Someone with no athletic background. Never played sports, mostly sedentary, overweight. Then no. I couldn't see it happening.

2. Someone with some athletic background but with zero training in the past 10 years. I would again say no. This would have been me in my late 20's. I swam in high school then did zero athletic training until around 28. I also smoked a pack and a half a day and drank quite a bit. So at 28, when I first stepped back in a gym, could I have completed an Ironman? No. I had trouble jogging 2 miles at a 10 minute pace.

3. Someone with some athletic background, and currently in shape, but not triathlon specific. Then I'd say yes, there's a decent chance. This would have been me at 35 when I did my first triathlon on a complete whim (sprint), and still managed to finish 100/225 overall. I hadn't "swam" in 18 years, hadn't been on a bike since I was a kid and was running around 20 miles/week. So in average shape, but no triathlon specific training. Given the paces needed to hit 17 hours, I think I could have. Doing a 1.5 hr swim, then averaging 15 mph on the bike would leave 8 hrs for the marathon assuming 10 minutes in each transition. Provided nutrition was there, those are pretty slow paces that leave lots of room for breaks. It would be a long boring day, but not impossible.

4. Someone with lots of triathlon training, but not currently in Ironman training. Totally. I'm doing a bike focus and maxing out at around 8 hrs/week of mostly high intensity work, but shorter duration. I could definitely finish an IM tomorrow. It wouldn't be fun, or a PR, but I think I could go 13-14.

So it really comes down to your definition of "untrained".

17 hours is a very long time. If the Ironman cutoff was say, 13 hours, that would completely eliminate walking in the marathon. That would be a game changer. Even with a 1 hr swim and a 5:15 bike, you'd still need to at least jog the entire time to finish. Now I'd say you'd have to be in good shape specific to the Ironman distance to finish.
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