How bad were you...



  • Like a few people here, I'm going to have a go at Iron Man France.  It will be first ever tri event.  Until a few months ago I didn't even know what a tri was, who the pirates were, I didn't own a bike, had never in my life even swam a 25m length of a pool.  The decision to do IMF was a spur of the moment thing.  It all happened in one day.  I can run though. 

    So.. a few months of research and talking to people and I've now got a six month training plan ahead of me. 

    Therefore, to answer the initial question, for me it will be zero to IM in six months, working from a running background and a decent basic level of fitness.

  • Boing. Makes for encouraging reading image
  • BOING! image

    Swim:  only just very recently progressed past 4 lengths of FC in 25m pool, "huge panic issues"... but getting better

    Bike:  used to do a bit of 'spin', now got cheap as chips double

    Run:  mechanical nightmare... did a Half once last year but essentially starting from scratch after various injuries, now learning not to heel strike

    Race experience:  sod all.... done one novice tri


  • swim:  debatable

    bike:  I have one - baby steps

    run:  do I need shoes for that?

    race experience:   lots of random race experiences - but a couple sprints and 2 swims and a few miles on the bike

  • I'm with Dark Vader - zero to IMF in six months, working from a running background and a decent basic level of fitness. I couldn't front crawl until early May, had a 'Halfords specail' mountain bike in the shed that had just about rusted to the spot but no road bike.

    Now aiming to get around Nice in under 10 hours  image

  • This is great!! I don't know why on earth I'm even considering an IM but good to know it's not just me - I don't own a bike and can only swim breast stroke (and not that well!) at the moment... but if you want to do something enough you can, right?! Plan for this summer is to buy a bike and learn to crawl, then I'm laughing, right?! image

    Nobody tell my boyfriend, family or anyone else who knows me about this post please! You did not see me, I was not here!!

    image image

  • Biddy hell - its good reading! .. I was thinking of half IM by next year.. Tutu much - I've half mentioned it to my lot.. with some looks of WTF!! But maybe its more doable than I thought.. (recovering fitness from surgery, but up to mile continuous swim front crawl and back up to half-marathon run distance).  Just need a bike...  and found some OW swimming close by.. image 

    Oooh, I feel a plan coming on.

  • I'm not sure I believe all these stories. Just how many hours of training went into those 12 months? Don't you people have jobs or a house to clean?

    Here's where I am now:

    Swim - haven't been for a few months but I'm fairly confident I could slap out 20 lengths of 'crawl' in 20 minutes. Panicky in open water unless I have a snorkel. Did 40 lengths without stopping once, 7 years ago.

    Bike - have a cr*p mountain bike. Takes me about an hour to do 10km with 550m vertical climb (in the last 6k). Haven't done any flat stuff. Did a few 100k+ road rides (on the mountain bike) 7 years ago.

    Run - Mainly run about on hills - no official times to post and unsure of the distances. Pretty sure I could slap out a 1:55 half marathon by September. Did a half pb of 1:40 er... 7 years ago.

    (I guess I should have gone for an IM 7 years ago! )

    Good points: I'm not fat

    Bad points: I'm under 5ft.

    Reading all the above stuff I actually look like Pirate material (i.e. cr*p) so why don't I feel at all convinced?
    BTW have decided to bring my first marathon attempt forward from spring 2009 to November 2008 (after spending all Sunday watching the updates) going for the 3 runs a week First thingy I found in the training thing. Any thoughts?

  • that's what all those hours of training give you  -  a quiet confidence ... and saddle sores.
  • image So glad it's not just me!

    But, can't stop thinking about it......

    Even mentioned it to the boyfriend tonight (parents will have to wait - in fact seriously might not tell them until afterwards!!) and he took it quite well... said things along the lines of "well I guess it just means I won't get to see you Saturdays as well as Sundays" (he's managed to convince himself I do a race EVERY sunday, which is so far from true.....tsk!) and also "you gotta do what you want to do..."

    Which I think means I semi- have his support - ?!

    Toomuchtoodo - (I like that our names are similar!) hadn't even thought about the importance of OW swimming but that's great you have some near you - can't think where I would go! Buying a bike seems such a big hurdle.. well, probably because it is.

    Oh geez listen to me, I need to stop babbling! Sorry...... image

  • I am starting to seriously consider when I'm going to do one.

    So, it's not a matter of 'if' but 'when'


  • I'm going for 2010 at this stage Mitts image
  • Sounds good. If I do one during 2010 but before Sept I'll be 30 so a good time to do it.

    Plan: at least 1 Oly this year, Bala & Vit next year, IM in 2010 image

  • Who's the oldest IM then? I'm assuming that people not in first flush of youth are wasting their time? Or am I mistaken?
  • Okay now you are making me feel old. image  My plan is to Dublin (marathon) this year then spend the rest of the November and December getting some swim lessons (and besides I don't expect I'll be walking very well anyhow!)

     Then do 'a few' tris next year (must start with a sprint, then Bala and an Oly at least) and then an IM in 2010. I'm going to join a tri club as well next year. 

  • Good luck for Dublin - considered it as my cousin is going but I can't jusity the cost.
  • Thanks I'm going to need it. Would have been fun to see you. GFB will be there as well as her sister is running it. Flights are pretty cheap if you get in quick image
  • there's many pirates in their 50s and perhaps older who do IM.

    if you're interested in training advice i suggest you look and ask on the IMCH thread.  useful types like rosey et al won't have the time to follow threads repeat their advice on every thread. 

  • I hope to see you there LE? My flights are booked for Dubbers and training going well so far. 15 miles on sunday and no ill effects - could have done 26 easy! Erm.....
  • Well at least you are past half way!    I'll be there JB. I have bought my ticket, booked the hotel, and entered the race... now all I have do is actually work out how I am going to do 26.2 miles. Did 8 miles last Sunday verty slowly. Would  have been fine if not for a niggling thigh. Must get in to see physio. 
  • Is it your first? My second. Hoping my poor knees will hold out.
  • ratbag was in his 50s, and had a phobia about water, and was in the first bunch of nowhere-to-ironman in 6 months back in 2004/5.

    i guess that most people in the nowhere-to-iroman gang are mid thirties to mid forties.

    i'd guesstimate that once you got above 55ish, you'd need to be pretty fit and naturally talented to do it in one year.

    somebody with a few years running background (not necessarily marathons, just running) should be able to do it in a year (which is what you have) until well into their early 50s.

    key thing is to not waste the time you have, if you want to do it.  don't do s*d all until 12 weeks before the race, because you found a "12 week training programme" in some book or something.  start swim training with a coach now; get a bike and make your weekend rides 10-15-20-25-30 miles etc.  (you can build up faster on a bike), and run steadily.

    consistent training, gradually increasing the load over the next 12 months, is what will get you there.

    oldest people doing the race are well old.  there's usually somebody in 75-80 category in most races.

  • Thanks.

    I do have a few ishoos to work through:

    1 I can't ride a bike

    2 At all

    3 Swimming is rubbish but I think I can crack that

    Base level of fitness ok - but need to shift some bacon probably.

    Will ponder options.  

  • If you can do the distance in the 75-80 category you are almost guaranteed a place at Kona if you finish. That would be the only time I would ever be capable of getting near a place.

    Currently having done a few marathons, loads of halfs, a couple of 5k swimathons and a few tris upto olympic and a 50 mile Mountain Bike race.

    I am doing IMCH next year with a goal of going under 13 hrs. I have a couple of events left this year and then intending to do a serious base building over the winter and then increase the distances from Feb/march onwards.

    Anyone else in Cheshire/Merseyside looking for training partner drop me a line

  • Jpenno - I'm in cheshire/manchester area (rixton to be precise image) but I suspect that I'll be WAY too slow for you..image

     Tutu Much - sounds like something my OH would say!  Actually he's been ok about it.. I just got the "don't you think you should try something shorter first"... I've got one of work colleagues advising me on bikes as don't want to shell out a fortune to start with!  It's seem to have got in my head now.. if you know what I mean.. image Last thing that did that was the Snowdonia marathon, and I completed that last year!

    Azacara - I'm also 5ft so I'm glad I'm not the only wee one.

    Biggest problem is I need to finish my degree next year (OU not normal student, and full time job hence the name) but I'm thinking...sprint by tthe end of they year.. half-ironman by the end of 2009 and full..2010! image 

  • Now I've done an IM... here is a little bit of feedback for those considering it, taking into account where I started from.  I'm 43, in case that is of relevance.

    Swim   I started from nothing.  I hadn't even swum 25m in a pool.   Really don't enjoy swimming.  It was just something that got in the way of getting on the bike.  I am not very good at it, and just about pulled myself out of the water on time.  Having said this, I have only had a few weeks opportunity for OW swim practice and the rest of my training has been in a pool.  I found the two very different.  I think I can improve, but not considerably, and the effort required to do so would probably not warrant the minutes saved.

    Bike   I didn't own a bike and hadn't ridden in over 20 years.  I took advice from people on here and I found a Specialized Tarmac Pro on ebay for £850.  I don't have aero bars, but I think I may use them next time on a flatter course.  I found the bike quite easy to learn.  Initially it was hard and I was struggling to do 15 miles in any kind of decent time.  I was more like the village postie!  My legs developed quickly though and soon it grew to 30-40 miles.  Once I was up to 50 the gaps increased with ease to 70-80 and I did a few 100+ mile rides in training.  I really enjoyed the bike and I think I can improve quite a lot on that with more specific training, more considered nutrition/hydration and perhaps some tweaks to the bike.  I don't think spending big money on a new bike will be worth it though, for me. 

    Run   I came to this from a running background having done some marathons, halfs and 10ks over the years.   The running, therefore, has never been a problem.  I just needed to learn to run after doing a bike ride and to keep it up during the other training.  I did find that my running pace dropped because I was doing less miles overall, but my overall fitness increased.  My mara PB is 3:29 but I would typically go round in about 4:00 (I did Paris in April in 3:55 for example).  On the IM I did 5:35..!   This is because I adopted a run/walk/run strategy.  Clearly there is lots of time to be saved here if I try to run the whole thing, or just walk less..!

    What did I learn from this...?   Time for training is critical.  You can't blag yourself round an IM.   I found it soooooooo hard to fit in the demands of training with my life.  It is easy to say 'just do it', but not so easy in practice.  I did what i could and I did enough to get round, but of my 16 week plan I did perhaps half of the training specificied (and literally none for quite a few weeks!) and before that it was sporadic.  I know I can do better - much better.  Physically, I have a lot more to give.  However, the reality of running a business and having kids is a huge hurdle that is not easy to ignore.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I am so proud of my achievement.  My goal was to get round, regardless of time, and I did.   I will do it again and see if I can learn from this and do a little better next time. 

    The Pirates are the best..!   Superb bunch of people and the experience would have been far less enjoyable if I had done it on my own at a non-pirate event.


  • debbodebbo ✭✭✭

    Jpenno - fwiw, I reckon that you have a better time doing your first IM if you don't have too serious a time goal.  I don't know what your background is, and I'm one of those 'older pirates' and came from a background of being able to swim front crawl, but being a crap cyclist and runner.

    I've done 4 IMs now and on sunday I was 2 hours 20 slower than my last one, and it was my slowest ever.  I'm not disappointed - it was tough and I finished.  If I'd had a time goal I'd be miserable. ; - )

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    I was 52 when I did my 1st IM; my missus was 54 and she has just "won" her a/g at Nice at 55 (OK - she was the only one in her a/g and was the oldest female competing but you need to be in it to win it!)

    we both came from triathlon/biking backgrounds before we started but it's not impossible to go from nowt to completion in 12 months as long as you're prepared to put that hard work in over a good period of time. your recovery rates are slower than the young 'uns and you may not want to attempt 6 days a week training/15hr+ weeks as it's bloody hard but if you make the sessions count (quality not quantity) it's achieveable. get a strong base in place over summer/autumn and it's very doable....

    don't set a time goal - or if you do, keep it to yourself - the aim for a 1st Im is to finish inside cut-off - anything better is a bonus.

    there was a guy at IM Florida last year who finished (and not last!) - he's 78 and was doing his 33rd (I think) IM. he started at 65. 'nuff said.
  • Wow FB, that's all very inspiring!!
  • AL you're still pondering aren't you.  image
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