Ironman Training pointers please!

So..... this may or may not happen. When I was in the middle of my HIM last month I thought "no way will I do an Ironman - what a silly idea that would be".... but it's very easy to forget that feeling and now I am thinking that I have 12 months until Outlaw..... (or 24..... image)

But I really need to be sensible about what the training involves as I didn't feel particularly confident going into my HIM and think the Luck Fairy is ever present with me as I just made the bike cut off by 5 minutes....

So how did you all do it? What were your key sessions? What should I know now that I might not otherwise find out until event day? 

In terms of my training, I'm going to concentrate on running between now and December to see how I cope with 16-20 mile runs as if they beat me, then I know i can't go on. I'll do a bit of social bike riding and spining to keep the bike legs going, and am going to get an old racer bike to see how I fair on that (my hybrid has been holding me back....!), but won't start serious bike training (20+ mile) until January.
Swimming is a bit less of a problem for me and am hoping to join Seren in her Ironman training in a local river next spring....... I'll also be going to tri club swim sessions.

Any thoughts?

Comments

  • If you have a significant other(s) in your life get their agreement or at least agree how much time you can/should/must can take away from them.

    No need to go mad, hours wise until next year, but as kk says consistent consistency.

    If your cycling is weak then an autumn of spinning/MTB'ing will give you a good base for training next year.

  • 1. Get family on board: without their support it's a no go.


    2. Work on your weaknesses: if you were only 5 mins inside the bike cut-off, maybe get some biking in before the light nights fade.

    3. Enjoy the sessions you do: if you don't enjoy them, you won't want to do them.

    3 simple, not technical tips but I feel they are essential.

    Good luck with it all.

  • Possibly wouldn't work for others but my tips from my year one would be:

    1 Don't compare with what others are posting, it's largely irrelevant what others do, they won't be doing your race for you

    2 A slow build up in mileage for all three disciplines but concentrate on the weakest if possible but not to the detriment of the others, certainly don't ignore it because you don't like it

    3 If 'life' means you can only spend 6-7 hours a week training then spend that long, it will be sufficient if you use the time constructively, even towards the end of training as you won't be doing long sessions of more than one discipline in the same week

    The bonus of an IM is as one wise sage once said, that they tell you a year in advance what you have to do to pass the exam.

    Good luck
  • SyM.es wrote (see)
    1 Don't compare with what others are posting, it's largely irrelevant what others do, they won't be doing your race for you 

    I can so relate to that one!  I always seem to be beating myself up that I am always last.  I tend to lose sight of the progress I have made

    Another tip I saw on the Regensburg thread lately, was that cut-offs are not there to decide who is better than the rest.  The cut-offs are there so that life for the residents can get back to normal as soon as possible. (that's another one I beat myself up on image)

  • All the above, especially about family support, plus

    1. Live on your bike - commuting, shopping, riding to the pool etc. Just get the miles in, especially the 'dirty' ones when it's cold/windy/hilly.

    2. Do a few medium length runs first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, having ridden/run the previous evening. It's hard to replicate the second half of an IM marathon, but persevering when you feel like sh*t is part of it. take these really steady. I do them in the spring, with a camera.

    3. If you feel you have a tweak/niggle sort it out, don't try to push through it - a day off now may save a month off down the line.

    4. Until you're staring the IM in the face (about 2 months before for me) don't 'train' - just 'play out with your mates' as much as you can. I find it hard to focus on a goal so far away, but am always up for a run/ride/swim with my buddies.

    1. Don't conpare your training, speed or times to anyone else.
    2. Be senible enough to make sure you don't try to do to much to start with build it up.
    3. Train with other folks when pratical and don't be afraid to ask for help, advice or just stupid jokes when needed.
    4. Don't worry about how much you are eating and make sure you eat enough.
    5. If and when you can get good kit, if you have a punture 60 miles into a 100 mile bike ride you want to be able to sort it, so learn how to repare basic stuff like types.
    6. Look after your kit and it will look after you.
    7. Remember life happens it's how you deal with it that counts, so be flexible when you need to.
    8. Enjoy yourself or wants the point?

    Good luck! image image

  • JEvaNs* wrote (see)

    In terms of my training, I'm going to concentrate on running between now and December to see how I cope with 16-20 mile runs as if they beat me, then I know i can't go on.

    What makes you say that?  I'd almost guarantee that you'll get to the end of one of your first 16 or 20 milers and think there's no way you'll be able to do 26.2 after 112 miles cycling.  Everyone has those thoughts at some point, some after almost every session image.  If you get to the end of those first long runs in December and think 'Oh, that was easy, I could do that again tomorrow' then IM isn't for you, you should be looking at the deca instead.

  • I have only done the one, so take this with a pinch of salt. This is what worked for me, so hopefully there may be something in it for you

    1. As already stated, get family on board. My wife was a legend before, during and after.

    2. Make sure your bike fits. You will spend a lot of time on it. A few quid will save all kinds of aches and pains, as well as ensuring you are riding efficiently and effectively.

    3. Build slowly. The forums are full of people with injuries because they did too much, too soon.

    4. Be consistent. Speaks for itself

    5. Practise nutrition. This is the thing I was most pleased about on Sunday. I saw loads of people either bonk or double over with gut pain.

    6. The most important. ENJOY IT. IM is amazing. I loved every minute of my debut outing. The atmosphere was electric. In fact I loved it so much i will be doing another next year.

    Like I say, I am no expert. I did have a great time and finished IMUK in a respectable time of 12:22. There were times in training when I thought "how the hell am I going to do that". If you put the work in you will be fine. I never did a half IM in the lead up to mine. I went sprint, olympic, IM, so you are already in a better place than I was. It does sound like the bike needs some work and the bike leg is key to a good race IMO.

    Good luck mate. I hope your journey is as amazing as mine continues to be.

  • Work out what and when your going to eat and drink and practice it during your training so it's second nature by the day.

    Don't ignore practicing your transistions

    Listen to everyone, soak up their advice and then discard the crap or bits that won't work for you.

  • Consistency consistency and consistency.

    If funds allow get a coach they will structure training to help your weaknesses and stop you from overtraining!
  • There's some great advice on here - thanks everyone and to JEvanNs for asking.

    Cheerful Dave wrote (see)
    JEvaNs* wrote (see)

    In terms of my training, I'm going to concentrate on running between now and December to see how I cope with 16-20 mile runs as if they beat me, then I know i can't go on.

    What makes you say that?  I'd almost guarantee that you'll get to the end of one of your first 16 or 20 milers and think there's no way you'll be able to do 26.2 after 112 miles cycling.  Everyone has those thoughts at some point, some after almost every session image.  If you get to the end of those first long runs in December and think 'Oh, that was easy, I could do that again tomorrow' then IM isn't for you, you should be looking at the deca instead.


    This is particularly reassuring (if thats the right word). image

  • Thanks for all these hugely useful responses!

    I've always said that I would never do a marathon because the endurance is more than just going for a long run. You aren't just training to run, you are training to not breakdown. In my mind at least.

    So now I am faced with this idea to forget that it's a marathon and just do an Ironman event..... So I am just being mindful that if I didn't think I had a marathon in me, I should perhaps be a bit cautious when approaching an Ironman.....!!! I think I am actually quite good at the psychological side of things, but if it looks like it’s not going to work out, then I need to be prepared and not disappointed.

    What about key sessions? What helps prepare you? Blimey mentioned the long sessions in a row and I had been trying some of that for HIM so am very happy to do that. Well, when I say happy....

    I remember reading about sessions that were 20 miles bike, 10k run - repeat. I'm also thinking about how long my sessions will need to be and how often I will need to do them. I figure 8 hours is as long a training session as I will be able to fit in - and that might as well be an HIM (I'm slow - I'm new - I ride a hybrid) but since the actual event will be double any of the HIM distances, then perhaps an 8 hour session mixing looong bike/run is best.

  • coach
    buy in from partner
    consistency
  • Jen.......get some of the sessions done with someone else.............booking the time to meet will stop you from

    bailing out when the weather is bad imageimage

    also agree with getting your partner on board.................

    and get some faith in your own abilities to keep going 

  • OK my (one IM so far) tips are:

    1) Get entered, nothing will focus the mind more than that image
    2) Get your family on side - and say goodbye to a social life
    3) relax its ages away
    4) start building the bike miles now, not too much but 20 miles is not a long session on a bike, get to know your saddle very well
    5) for me, Long sessions are the key, a long bike session with a short run after is great.
    6) any niggles must be fixed straight away, don't pudh through, don't ignore them fix them. I added about an hour to my run time last year as i had ignored a knee injury which cam back to bite me with 12 miles to go...it was much more painful than if i'd had a week off to fix it.
    7) Learn what the wrong side of 5am looks like, that's when the majority of my training was starting - 10mile run before work, 2 hour turbo session before work, breakfast and a quick spin to the pool before work...well you get the idea.
    8) take a photo of your children (if you have any) as you won't see them for the last 5 months of training
    9) relax, its still ages away
    10) JFDI

  • First I.M first Triathlon. Learnt to swim last year, never had a road bike before, never done a marathon. Finished 13hrs41 IMUK 2011.   

    1>If you can already swim and run a bit then concentrate on the bike.

    2>Forget speed for now and get time in the saddle.

    3>Don't worry about brick sessions too much at this stage. 

    4>Get some strength sessions in the gym done, build those legs.

    5>Work the core.

    6>Don't do too much too soon, build a good base at a steady pace. 

    7>Consider training with a heart rate monitor.

    8>Don't be affraid to rest but be consistent.

    9>Get a plan. I used the Fink plan.

    10>Losing motivation is normal and you will get sick of the training but this is where most will just give in but you will keep going becase you know you WILL cross that finish line next year and you will be an IRONMAN! .( sorry for the cheese lol).

           

  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    As far as riding a bike goes you need to do miles on the road - preferably on a road bike as that's what you'll be racing on.     If you don't have a commute then try and get out three times a week at least.   I'd forget about MTBing (too stop start) and spinning (too high intensity) as if you can get out of the house you should be using the time on the road.  Even good XC mountainbikers do a lot of their fitness work on the road.  

    Turbos are OK if you are stuck inside because of kids/weather but look at longer intervals (say 20 minutes *2) at a consistent effort  rather than short hard intervals or pyramid type stuff (imo) which are suited more for road racing. Don't rely too much on the turbo though - you want to be confident enough on the bike to be on the tri bars for much of the event - they are free speed.   

    Unless you really do prefer your own company try and get together with some others for your long rides sometimes (or ideally weekly) - riding a bike is typically more social than running as the long rides tend to be longer and therefore at a lower intensity than long runs.

  • Hmm... Well it looks like I really do need to focus on the bike then. I knew this and actually all this is quite motivational. I probably will be focussing on my running for the rest of the year, but will be getting a road bike to try out and will make the most of the light while we still have it too. That's a very good point.

    I will probably still commute on my hybrid - it's only an 18 mile round trip - but will try and do a couple of other sessions with a road bike. My long run will start at 25-30 miles while I get used to it, and then get to 40 miles, but from Spring next year that will go up. And up. And up. I guess.

    Will look into plans too. I'm not very good at following them, but do keep the general progress and distances in mind to make sure I'm not stuck in a rut.

    Love the JFDI - one of the biggest pieces of advice I had when I suggested I might do HIM. Triathletes don't like the indecisive (unfortunately I am indeed one!).

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭
    This is great advice. I've been a lurker on the thread and appreciate the advice too,
  • It has certainly been very good reading this information and i guess JFDI is the best piece of advice i could take on board!
  • Just because your commute is only an 18 mile round trip, there's no law against adding 10, 15, 20 or more miles on either before and/or afterwards image
  • I got a train going in the opposite direction of work, I could add 20 miles on. I had thought of doing that. Will have to try it before it starts getting dark as it would be along an un-lit trail.There is quite a bit of off road too, which I don't really like, but the JFDI rule probably applies here too..... image

  • Why bother with the train? Just cycle in the wrong direction and then loop back round...
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