ahoy there

ahoy there pirates, I am a 38 year old non swimmer who has foolishly signed up for the IM wales this year for a kick up the arse. I had started getting lazy by only going out running twice a week and barely using the bike, its got to the point where its lose weight or buy new clothes, and Im a bit tight on that front so I needed a challenge. I can swim about a length but Im either forgetting to breathe out in the water or lifting my head too high when I breathe in, and it makes it seem so laborious. Is there a knack to it that just comes to you or does anyone know a trick to this. I love the kit by the way and would like to train and run in it, that it is how I came across (ooer) your group. Any help would be much appreciated, I dont really want be dragged out of the sea before Ive got on the bike. Thanks in advanceimage


  • Sorry in advance. If I were you, I would be asking for my money back from WTC and investing in swimming lesson first! Running before walking springs to mind!
  • normally i say the swim is the easy part in a wetsuit....but IMW can be a real bugger of a swim.....and the bike is one of the toughest on the circuit......I know it beat me in 2011 image

     so i would say get your arse into gear and get some swimming lessons and then get your arse on the bike and ride it until your are to sore to even stand

     it is possible to do it from notyhing but you have to put a hell of an effort in...its not a course you can just blagimage

  • Hi yellowbeard, welcome,

    Im not sure I agree with Running Postie entirely but you have a big hill to climb and need to pull your finger out NOW.

    You need swimming lessons first, the breathing, timing is part of the overall stroke.  You will need to be a reasonably compentent swimmer to cover 2.4 miles in the sea and come out still feeling reasonably good.

    The bike course at Wales is tough, one of the toughest of any Ironman course, if youve not got endurance 'in depth' youll get eaten for breakfast.  How many miles a week are you cycling a week on average at the moment, ideally you'd be putting in at least 2-3 rides a week totalling 60-80 miles, building total weekly mileage to about 150 peaking around 200 in August.

    Im not bigging up the challenge Wales presents for no good reason, I DNF'd there in 2011 and know what its like if youre not ready for the course.

    You dont say anything about your background, have you done any endurance races before, half marathons, cycle sportives?

    Have you got a training plan?

  • I have had lessons, and it is coming along, it just seems like its unnatural. The trouble I have had with adult group lessons is that once you can swim a width, you get left alone whilst they look after the others. Sometimes it clicks and I think 'hey, I'm doing this' then I think too hard again. My cycling isnt too bad, went out on Sunday on a 50 miler to blow the cobwebs off on a hilly run and that went alright. I have ran a few half marathons and an ultra in the last 6 weeks so that side of it isnt too bad. Im just hoping I can nail the swimming in the next 22 weeks. I have next week off from work and the local baths are open all day due to half term so I am thinking of using the pull bouy and kick board to concentrate on different bits. I dont know whether that would be the best use of my time or if I should just thrash around until it comes. If I maybe get the top half working until its natural, then work on the bottom, that way I wont be overwhelmed, I just dont know image the only thing I am sure of is that Im gonna throw everything Ive got at this.
  • there are two sides of the pullbuoy arguement...........the one is you should rarely use it and get your positioning correct and swim properely....

    then you get people like me who just can't get their legs to work or get in the correct position so I do all my traiuning with a pullbuoy and do not use my legs at all in the swim.........using my arms and concentrate ion getting my catch correct........this is very similar to the buoyancy given by the wetsuit so I can swim openwater ok.......

    major problem is that i can't do pool triathlons as i can't swim properely without a pullbuoy..........but I'm fine for Ironman and well within the cutoffs

  • Thanks for your replies so far. I will be looking at proper adult one to one lessons, plus I have started putting a few more miles in the saddle this week. I am not starting this completely from scratch but I realize I do have a lot of work to do. I have been working with the Ironman start to finish in 24 weeks book, but I have some extra stuff that will be jemmied into it along the way as there are races I have entered that will be done as long runs etc. I wont be racing them for times as I will need to recover quicker, last year I was running about 60-70 miles a week so I have a bit of a base.

    thanks againimage
  • right..as you are already fit then you should be fine with some work.......the swim is the one to crack then

     good luck.....be great to see you at IMWimage

  • I take from your lack of swimming that you haven't done a triathlon before? I can see from your half marathons etc you have done endurance training, however jumping straight in and doing a ironman from scratch is not the greatest of plans as unsurprisingly they are hard work, obviously your going too have too work like a nutter on your swimming, the other thing is running off the bike, it's not like running from scratch especially after 112 miles.... Get some century rides in and build up a good base you can't really over cook the bike too much, work on pacing and nutrition... Did I mention too work on your swimming?image maybe try total immersion has some good technique drills in there, also swim smooth are great... I've been swimming for a couple of years and I still suck massively compared too a lot of people.... Oh and be in that pool at least 3 times a week every week and get into the open water you will need it!
  • I've only ever done two triathlons and both were Iron distance so not sure why you think that is such a bad idea Jamie and both done in less then 13 and half hours.

    If its something you want to do Yellowbeard then put the effort in and give it your best go, it's the only way to find out if your good enough. Oh and see you in Wales

  • I personally think its a good idea too get some race experience before hand, just my opinion, it's not my race after all! Best of luck image
  • Yellowbeard, with your running background you will clearly have some good endurance and sounds like youre building the bike training nicely.  

    As has been said, keep building the bike distances, get a few hundred milers in,a few brick sessions in and you should be well on the way.

    Swimming will be the key, sounds silly with it being the shortest of the shortest disciplines but a good or bad swim can have a big effect on your day.  You need to develop a good efficient stroke, you therefore need some one to one lessons with a swim coach.  Sounds like youve got that in plan now.

    IM Wales do a long course weekend when you do the swim, bike and run on different days, looking at the website http://www.longcourseweekend.com/ its 14th July.  Could be worth you doing the swim and run to get your eye in before the IM in September?

  • jamie tardi wrote (see)
    I personally think its a good idea too get some race experience before hand, just my opinion, it's not my race after all! Best of luck image

    Id agree, doing a warm up race, even if a sprint gets you some experience of around transition, racking etc, youll have enough to worry about at IM Wales so having some prior experience may help?  You could look at doing a 1/2 IM, treat it as a long training day and dont race it if in the 6 weeks prior to IM Wales.

  • Flat Foo..ted wrote (see)

    I've only ever done two triathlons and both were Iron distance so not sure why you think that is such a bad idea Jamie and both done in less then 13 and half hours.

    If its something you want to do Yellowbeard then put the effort in and give it your best go, it's the only way to find out if your good enough. Oh and see you in Wales

    Ditto. Two tris, both Iron, both done and dusted before FF.image

  • Well i wouldn't want to shatter a young boys dreams now would i SE.image

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    How much of a kick up the arse does anyone need to do some exercise?


  • You're leaving it late. You've 5 months to get ready.

    Swimming properly is a priority. The sea swim isn't a gentle pool so you need to be well prepared.

    Your biking and running should be fine but if you don't get through the swim they're useless.

    Never mind looking at proper lessons - you should be doing them.

    Good luck.
  • Oh for the record IM was my first tri and I was basically a non swimmer before it but I cracked swimming in the January before it. Once it clicks - it will be fine.
  • Yellowbeard welcome

    From where you say you are its doable running isnt a problem for you do keep that ticking over with a long run 2 to 2 & 1/2 hours and two one hour ish runs should do the rest of the time bike everywhere and if theres a hill go up it

    Swimming get some one to one coaching also swimsmooth is s good website for ingormation its got some good stuff on head podition and breathing

    Also open water sessions are a must for Wales if you can do your weekly long swim OW that would be great

    Personally if you are comitted enough its more than doable a few years back i was still teaching my mate to swim in March by August he cracked IM Bolton

    BUT do not underestimate a) Ironman itself it is a beast and b) IM Wales is Ironmans roid raging,testosterone filled, tatooed feckwit of a big brother image
  • Apologies, I didn't realise that you were already run and bike training for the IM, get some one to one swimming lessons, it will be well worth it. Have a look at www.swimsmooth.com, they also do a really good book
  • +1 for the book sorted my catch a treat image its a very comprehensive but easy read
  • Big print Max?  image

  • Kick an old man when he,s down why dont chaimage
  • Thanks everyone, Ive been looking through the swim smooth book and it seems to make a lot of sense as to where I am going wrong, and I start my 1 to 1 lessons today so I should be swimming proficiently in time for the open water spots to open (fingers crossed)
  • IM Wales here you come then! Give it some stick! image
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