First Timer

I am a fairly experienced marathon runner and have recently started cycling. I would really like to have a crack at an Ironman and have been told that, with some focused training, this could be achieved. I run a marathon in 2:53, my cycling is alright and my swimming could be better. I am hoping to join a Triathlon club next week but was wondering if anyone could offer advice on events. 

Are there any Ironman courses that favour strong runners? Anything else that I should consider as I embark on this challenge? Cheers!


  • Jack87,


    Just because you are a good runner doesn't mean you will be a good runner after cycling 112 miles. There is at least one pirate who is a good runner who goes to pieces on an Ironman run.

    So you need to get enough bike training in that you can come of the bike able to use your running legs.

    So ideally you are likely to be looking for an easy bike course. Outlaw would fir the bill. Ironman Wales would not, the bike is hard and hilly.

    In my view the swim is a piece of cake and not very important. Clearly don't drown and taking 2 hours isn't much help but many can swim 1:15-1:20 without lots of training. I manage 1:15 and only swim once per week and wouldn't consider myself a naturally good swimmer. The extra training effort to save 10-minutes on the swim would be massive. 10-minutes on the bike/run isn't much to lose/gain at all.

    So bike, bike, bike. Bike some more and then when you are sick of the bike go cycling instead. Simples

  • Oh and run a bit as well.

    Swimming more often might not make you quickrr but it does mean you get out and feel a damn sight fresher.... rather than being fu**ed in the first 90 mins..... 

    Again means you run well in the last 90 mins rather than walking.... and that 90 mins being 2.5 hrs....

    If you get the bike volume in you could/should run 3;30

    You dont need speed work for running -just steady paced runs with a long run building to 2.5 hrs.

    Biking.  Again mostly volume at a comfy sustainable pace.  Do a weekly turbo / hard spin class for strength/ speed.  Build your ride over winter then hit regular 100 milers in the spring


    Simples +1


    If you are pirating then maybe get a mentor.  Theres a theead around somewhere

  • Oh OK I do a few more swim sessions than just one/week in the last 20 weeks. Probably average 2 sessions.

    Listen to OC - he knows his stuff.

  • Awesome cheers for the advice!

    I have spoken to the local tri club and am gonna start attending their 'back to basics' swimming sessions next week to see if I can improve my efficiency. 

    Completely understand that being a good runner doesn't mean it's going to be easy after the transition but I am confident that this will improve with practice. I have done a couple of multi-discipline events in the past and can appreciate the difficulty of moving from one stage to another. I guess it will just take practice and patience.


    I currently cycle to my local CrossFit box before work 5 days a week and then cycle on to wor+home from work later. I have joined to pool next door to my workplace and I am going to start introducing swim sessions in place of my CrossFit a couple of times a week. I was also planning on dropping a couple of the CrossFit sessions to allow me a longer cycle in the mornings in order to gain that volume. 


    One thing I was hoping you could advise me with relates to my bike. I currently have a cheap hybrid bike which serves the commuting purpose but which would obviously not be ideal for racing. I do not plan on doing any racing at all until late summer. In May I will have the opportunity to get a new bike and plan on getting something 'racier'. Will I be ok training on a hybrid for the next 6 months and then making the transition to something faster or would I be better off getting the 'better' bike sooner to enable me to get used to it?


    Thanks for your help! Triathlon has been something I have wanted to do for a long time but have always found the initial process of getting involved intimidating. Appreciate the advice.

  • The Bike

    Of course you would be better off getting the better bike sooner and getting used to it. But not that much better off. Training on something heavier  is fine. As you lengthen the rides you may find you want the better bike sooner rather than later but one very good Pirate has just got rid of his 1980s bike - but he still kept the haircut.

    Get the miles in on the bike and see how you go.

    The Transition

    Forget it. It is not that impotant (OC will tell you it is still important). But in a sprint if you run the first mile of a 5k slow then game over. If you run the first 3-miles of the 5k slow you missed the kick for the finish. In long distance you still have 23 miles to run. So the ability to swicth quickly is of lesser importance than being able to do a solid bike and a solid run.

    Sure practice the bike/run thing. Best to do a v.short run 1-2 miles after long bikes. The short run gets you used to the transition from one to the other but reduces the risk of injury on tired legs.

    What is CrossFit - is that what Gordon Ramsey does, he seems quite angry.

  • Cheers for the advice.

    CrossFit is essentially constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. Sessions could include anything from running to heavy deadlifting via gymnastic movements on the rings or intervals on a rowing machine. It also involves a fair bit of Olympic Weightlifting and Kettlebell movements. I have been doing it for about 4 years and have never found anything that even comes close with regards to improving all round fitness.

  • Tried the crossfit for a couple of years but kept putting on bulk which wasn't any good for running or triathlons. Would love to try crossfit endurance but none of the crossfit gyms in my area do it.

    Are you doing normal crossfit or the endurance type?

Sign In or Register to comment.