How Hard Would this Be?

I've been toying with the idea of having a go at this.  PBP is only held every four years and the next one is in 2015 which gives me a bit of time.  Any thoughts?

February - Transjuracienne - 76k xc ski race

May - Comrades (up run) 90k ish

July - 10k open water swim

August - Paris-Brest-Paris - 1200k on a bike - time limit 84hrs -200k,300k,400k,600k qualifiers have to be completed in the same year and by mid June (600k 2 weeks after Comrades)

Nov/Dec - Ironman...........somewhere.

All to be completed in the same year obviously.  Doable?



  • How hard?? - very.....Doable?? Not by me... but then I have no wish to do something like that! I'm a great believer in the old saying "where there's a will there's a way". If you want something badly enough you'll do it. Half the battle is in your head so go for it! You wouldn't want to spend the rest of your life thinking "could I have done that?".
  • I'm sure its doable - but wow.

    I know a guy from my bike club who rode PBP - he wasnt the fastest - but he did massive milage. If you've all week free to get the miles in, then its possible. I'm not sure I'd want to try it and work ?

    Of all of those targets - I'd think Ironman is the easiest to do.

    I'm just not sure how you could build up the bike milage that you'd need plus train for the other events ?

  • how's your XC skiing?? if non-existent at the mo, get training now - takes a good 2 years to get to a standard good enough for the TJ even classic style which is easier than freestyle.

    but otherwise - why not??
  • That's just it I would have to work.  I could cut it to 30 hrs per week and I have a lot of free time in the winter but less money.  I think it can be done-I'm just not sure how. 

    There is plenty of information out there about how to train for any of these but bolting together a schedule to get through the year......where do you start?

    PBP has to be the hardest I'd have to manage 15mph average for 15hrs per day and I'd already be fatigued from 3 events.  By the time I got to the Ironman I'd have a hell of a base though.image

    I think with the bike a lot of the work would have to be done in the years running up-night rides, 24hr TT and so on and then do the minimum I can get away with-trouble is I don't know what that is yet.

  • If you're looking at Nov/Dec IM then (on the current calendar) that's either Florida, Arizona, New York, Cozumel or Western Australia.  I know both NY and Florida sell out dead quick, don't know whether you can get a little more certainty by taking one of the travel+event packages?
  • Hello FB, the 76k is the Skating, the classic looked two easyimage-started roller skiing in November-slow progress, no balance-fly out to Austria at the weekend to start on snow.  As an event the skiing is way more technical than the others and as someone who can't stand up on ice skates and bottles it on downhill I'm a tad outside my comfort zone.  
  • FF yes I looked at those, issues might be which is cheapest to do against which is easiest to do WA is already sold out for this year.
  • haha - the freestyle is going to hurt then. a lot! if the aim is to complete the TJ, stick to classic as it's way less strenuous on the body and you can advance a lot quicker than using FS. sure FS is quicker once you've mastered it, but the object is to finish so go with classic.

    I'm a very experienced downhill skier and when I started FS XC skiing a few years ago, I couldn't believe how hard it was compared to classic which is a piece of piss in comparison. admittedly both would be hard work over 76km!
  • FB, I know you're right,( I didn't know I had hips till I started) and that's the point, even one of the rollerski instructors fell over twice last week.  If I start this challenge from the outset knowing 100% I can do it there's no point, besides it's not so bad, I only fall on my face now.......mostlyimage 

    The classic option at TJ is only 50k ish otherwise it's a 90k classic in Sweden.  If I can manage to complete all 5 events in a year that would be fantastic but I suppose what I'm really interested in is finding out how far I can go, I'll either end up with cronic fatigue, injured, broke or do it...or all of those.image

  • I guess you're talking about the Vassaloppet in Sweden. we looked at doing that a few years ago, but never got around to entering.

    I didn't know the TJ classic was "only" 50k.... image

    have fun learning on snow - it still hurts when you fall but mainly 'cos you stretch something rather than it being a hard surface!
  • That's the one.  Took a peek at TJ the classic is 54k and you have till 4th Feb to enter online FB.

    Yeah fell sideways and backwards on Saturday and stretched my quad down the outside, still not figured out how and my knees are doing some strange stuff.  When I started running I had all sorts of injuries and couldn't complete a mile the first time out but it gets better.  Trouble with living in the  UK is you have maybe one or two shots on snow per year.  Do you think there might be any call for a 50 year old chalet  boy? image

    1. February - Transjuracienne - 76k xc ski race
    2. May - Comrades (up run) 90k ish
    3. July - 10k open water swim
    4. August - Paris-Brest-Paris - 1200k on a bike - time limit 84hrs -200k,300k,400k,600k qualifiers have to be completed in the same year and by mid June (600k 2 weeks after Comrades)
    5. Nov/Dec - Ironman...........somewhere.

     Now No.3, piece of cake really. I'm not a great swimmer but a 10k wouldn't terrify me as I wouldn't need to bike and run after. I have done a few 5k pool/lake efforts in training during weeks where I also have to run and bike. So 10km with a bit of taper isn't a big issue. Doesn't have a high injury risk

    No.5 Given the base you have take a few weeks of post no.4 and start a quick build to Ironman pace. Fink or Friel have a plan with two A races at IM distance and show how to rebuild for the second.  Last event so who cares about getting injured.

    No.1 - No idea, but based on discussion above the chances of injury seem high. Good base fitness if you avoid injury but technical nature and lack of experience is a risk.

    No.4 - 2nd biggest challenge. After Comrades you could take a while to recover and get back to training and mileage building on the bike. The bike mileage between May and August would be a critical issue. Cycling just takes so long doesn't it. And the 600k 2-weeks after the comrades would be an issue. Can you approach organizer and see if they will let you off the qualifier. LDWA requires you do a 50 as a qualifier for 100 but are willing to talk about equivalent endurance events. IM biking experience and Comrades and Ski Classic might get you in.

    No.3 - Lets be fair this is the issue. It is either pretty easy or very hard. I have a quick enough walking pace that I could just about do the comrades without breaking into a run. I can do a trail, self navigated 50 in 12.5 hours with 3 hours navigating footpaths in the dark, with refueling only every 10-miles, and then it is quiche and pork pie. So if the goal is a finish and a medal then damage would be limited and you can get back training quite quick ( a week off). If the goal is to run (fast) then damage would be a lot more and recovery longer. Plus chances of injury in build up are much higher and fatigue levels significantly higher.

    So to sum up it looks fun but I see the Comrades and PBP bike as the biggest risk to the plan and the 600k looks challenging if you have to do it 2-weeks after Comrades.

    (says the man doing a 30m trail run, brighton mara, LDWA 100, Outlaw, LDWA 50m and NY mara this year)

    Go for it.


  • Three guys in my cycling club did PBP last year - one over 70 years old and on a tricycle - it was his 7th PBP all on a trike.

  • I would say the hardest part would be the funds to get you to all those events with your requirement and support....

    I take it all these challenges are something that you deep down really want to do not just something that people have told you to do.........

    if you are given up all that money and spent 3/4 years of your life training for will need all the motivation you can they will have to truley inspire you....

    good luck......

    one lady last year went straight from the PBP challenge to doing the a2a

    you didn't consider that challenge did you image
  • a2a?

  • sorry popsider........the arch to arc......
    run from marble arch to dover......swim the channel and then cycle to the acr de triumph in Paris......

    the swim is a bit easier as you can wear a wetsuit......and you have to time your run from london carefully because of the booked sailing on the channel.....
  • Oh right thanks.

    Thinking about it what about doing one thing that would really be a test. I mean not wanting to make any of those things on the OPs list sound easy but they are all things that I think if I wanted to do them I could - it's whether I'd enjoy them enough to put the effort in.

    Why not choose something a bit more extreme - something there would be some real doubt as to whether you'd complete it.
    Climb Everest
    Cross channel swim without wetsuit
    Complete race across America.

    OR forget all these mainstream challenges and just do something for yourself - go away and explore somewhere in the world for 3 months or something like that. Go and live with an African tribe or something like that guy on the tele !
  • m.eface, agree about the injury risk in 1. If I was unable to run by the end of Feb for any reason Comrades would be over.  I have a Comrades finish behind me so I have a reasonable idea of what's required and what the recovery entails.  600k riding through the night 2/3 weeks after Comrades is daunting.  I don't think the organisers would wave the 600k, it's the decider on whether you're up to the 1200k, the DNS rate at PBP is tiny however the DNF rate is about 20%besides the 600k is part  of the whole thing .  I could do it 2 weeks before Comrades but it's a bit like choosing whether to be stabbed or shot.  Getting motivated after PBP will be difficult, after my A race each year it takes me months to get going again.

    Seren nos, funding this might be what knocks the whole idea on the head, it will be extremely difficult but not impossible I hope.  Comrades and PBP are iconic events they are not the longest or hardest of their kind but they have incredible history.  When PBP was first staged in the late 1800's experts of the day considerered a 1200k non stop race would result in death or serious injury (cycling as we know it was just starting- tri has been around for much longer already) but all of the starters finished the race, although last year one poor chap fell asleep on the bike and cycled into the oncoming traffic.

    I chose the xc skiing as it's considered to be the most demanding endurance sport and this race because it was the longest race using the skating technique I could find. 10k open water swim just grabs me.  Olympic distance and more than twice as far as IM, any longer and I don't think I could manage the training.  Ironman?  Two reasons, firstly I'd like to give it a go and Kona because that's where it started and I can remember watching some of the early races on world of sport and thinking it was incredible.  Ideally it wouldn't just be an Ironman it would be Kona but a) I wouldn't get in and b) it's too soon after PBP.

    A2A is quite something but it doesn't grab me it's not an event as such and doesn't have a race feel to it or a history yet.  It's tougher than any of the above as a one off event I would imagine.

    Any thoughts on how to prepare would be most welcome and I will look at the 2 x IM schedule.

  • don't think there is a 2 x ironman schedule........if you fins one let me know as I have looked for one image
  • Hello Popsider pc froze so I went off to do something else so didn't see your post but I think the above answers it.  All the above challenges are doable I think-it's managing them all within one year that makes the challenge. 
  • Seren Nos, no I meant the a and b race Ironman schedule m.eface mentioned.
  • Just a small note - you are not allowed to wear a wetsuit during a Channel swim. That's the rules - normal swim trunks for men/swimsuit for women, swim cap (NOT neoprene) and swim goggles. You are allowed a layer of grease, vaseline, or Bodyglide on your skin, but that's it. A2A allows a wetsuit as it is considered part of a triathlon. I know this because hubby Long John Silver is doing a 3-man relay in July and I'm emergency reserve swimmer.
  • sorry JB i get easily confused image

    you could always enter the deca ironman.......
  • well!   image
  • Got back from xc ski training yesterday......interestingimage
  • Quick update.  Got back from my second week of xc ski training this week.  Was able to manage 20k in a couple of hours and a 7k black loop so pleased with that.  Skating technique leaves a little to be desired though and is reminiscent of Oliver Reed dancing on the Parkinson show while pissed.  The instructors reckon that the Transjuracienne is doable in the time frame I have as it's not a very technical course just gruelling.  I managed to talk to a xc skier who had done the 54k course who warned me that there was a barrel descent however. One of the instructors was an ex pro triathlete and reckons the PBP and qualifiers along with everything else would be very tough.  I've spoken to two ex pro cyclists one of which raced in Normandy who reckons the terrain is hard as you're either going up or down hill and the downs have to be pedalled as niether are steep.  Both considered PBP hard and that you needed to be at a decent level.  So that's where I am with my challenge.

    I think my challenge is on.  Maybe.

  • Transjuracienne - Comrades - 10k open water - PBP - Ironman  all in 2015.

    One year on and I managed to complete the Engadin Skimarathon in 3.29 and I got Chrissie chicked by only 10mins, though to be fair she probably high fived everyone on the course. To put it into perspective though the winners time was 1.28....yes for 42k they shift.  This years last finisher on the TJ was 9.33 so I'm in with a shout I think.


  • had missed out on the previous updates so good to hear you're cracking the XC skiing.

    did you do the Engadin classic or freestyle???  and you're right, the pointy end don't half shift!!

    are you going to have a crack at the Vasaloppet or any of the other loppets next year in the build up to 2015???

    we're off skiing this weekend and have booked a guide for 2 days of ski touring in the Mt Blanc area and if things go to plan we hope to do the Breche Puiseux route which is pretty technical - check out some of the YouTube videos of it.....*gulp*

  • JB: Top stuff

    FB: Ive skied the Valle Blanche but Breche Puiseux looks scary

  • DD - the plan is to do the Envers du Plan variant of the VB to the Requin Refuge, and then up over the Breche - the Envers route is an even more stunning route than the standard VB as it's steeper, more technical, more crevassed and you come out above the refuge.  done it a couple of times and it's great in powder.   the only thing that worries me about the Breche is the climb at the top - looks like a toughie!  but it all depends on the weather conditions and there is bugger all we can do about that....

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