From Couch to IM

There reaches a point where the extent of your poor health and fitness is unavoidable.  

I'm hoping that triathlon, and the ultimate challenge of an ironman can provide focus to a journey of regaining my health. 

So, I've just got the kindle version of can't swim, can't ride, can't run; and initial thoughts are that I'll need to drop about 40kgs along the way. 

So, first question - can swim front crawl, haven't cycled in years, and can run for about 5 mins - do I aim for IM in 2013 or 2014?



  • depends on which one you fancy doing. I take it you mean 2014 or 2015 and this year is leaving it a bit lateimage


    a lot of them for 2014 have already sold out so if you want a specific one you might have missed that boat.....

    It depends on how much you want to do it but 2015 is a more realistic target.....maybe aim for a half or two next year.

    you can start building up your running slowly now.maybe using the couch to 5 k training schedule...

    swimming can be done more and is good to get you exercising and building up with minimal injury risk.

    and bike just start going and see how it feels.....

    after a month or two you can see how you are progressing..

    and yes loosing a few pound swill definitely help......

    and maybe if you are very unfit and overweight a quick checkup at the doctors first


    good luck

  • Haha, 2014/2015 - yes. I agree 2013 would be relying on a miracle. 

    Are there any particular half ironman events which would be fairly easy for a first event? 

    Planning to get a bike in 4-6 weeks, once I've got some swimming and running under my belt. 

  • I agree with Seren image

    IM Austria with the Pirates or The Outlaw for 2015?  2015 may be kinder on your body if you need to lose a few kg.  Maybe do a half or a few Olys in 2014?  Try a few 10km races or HM?

    The Wild Boar in September is very beginner friendly image and there are a few Pirates who will be there!


  • the cotsworlds half is flat and has a great reputation


    15th june....and if you enjoy it then you can look around for a august september one to improve on,,,,

    it has a wide range or triathletes there and so is good one to aim for if you are not yet confident of the bike or hills etc.image

  • 300 places left in IM Wales great easy first IM image

  • Tired Badger,...the great part of that sentence is correct as is the IM.....inbetween is a little disputable image


  • TiredBadger, what a great suggestion - until I get to the "challenging bike and run" section of the motivational blurb on the website. 

    I found another thread with someone who has done a HIM already, discussing whether a year was enough time to train for IM Wales. 

    Cotswold looks good - racing on the wife's birthday may be more a challenge - lovely weekend away love?

  • How much time can you give to your training?

    To finish comfortably (not just get round) at peak is about 16-18 hours a week for most. This includes a long bike and long run and about three trips to the pool/lake.



  • adam_devon wrote (see)

    TiredBadger, what a great suggestion - until I get to the "challenging bike and run" section of the motivational blurb on the website. 

    I found another thread with someone who has done a HIM already, discussing whether a year was enough time to train for IM Wales. 

    Cotswold looks good - racing on the wife's birthday may be more a challenge - lovely weekend away love?

    I hope a year is enough as I have signed up already, image Looking forward to the challange and I have heard that the swim is reasonably flat .


  • FF, I can do two hours per day (Mon-Fri) before work, and then a long ride/run at the weekend, potentially with Sunday as a day off. 


    What are most people fuelling training with, particularly when there's a few lbs to lose? Should I be eating massive quantities of pasta, use going lower-carb to use some of the retained stores?


    Dadu, I was hanging my hopes on the swim being downhill. 

  • Eat what you want just count the calories.

    2000 a day plus calories burned by exercise. You should not be starving while your losing weight.

    Plus to get round an IM as long as you do a long bike, run and swim every week you' ll be fine. Just build it up slowly or you'll just get injured.
  • dadu.a yeqar is fine for many.but adam has stated that he is going from nothing and is 90lb I think it might be pushing too much..not saying it can't be done... it can but there is a higher risk of failure.might be better to just take a year longer to get fit fitter first

  • i lost 6 stone in and did it in a year, dont let seren get the cotton wool out, get off your arse and train, like she says it can be done and in my book should be done, and dont settle for some - as long as i get round in 17 hours - aim fir 12 and see what happens. dont get too pissed the night before thoughimage


  • I think 12m could be done, but the main challenge seems to be finding a UK IM in 11-14months.

    If I could find a race for Oct-Dec 2014, I'd be in but it's looking like it'll be HIM next year, as that feels doable in 9 months or so.
  • There are something like 24 Iron distance races in the UK next year but I think they are all between May and mid Sept, so you may be as well to look at 2015. Unless you can put some serious time and training in between now and Sept then you could look at Challenge Weymouth maybe.

  • I would agree that if you are just starting perhaps you should take 2014 to build up your training. You don't want to shock your system or get any injuries! 

  • are unique though image


  • Hang on, as in DK the skinny little bugger?

    Well, there you go, AdamunderscoreDevon and desparately in need of a better handle.

  • I'm going to Weymouth! Although a sea swim is possibly not the best idea as I'm about 600 miles from the coast! Lots of lake training methinks. Still, I'm only doing the half - Adam, why don't you think about doing that? You certainly have time to get fit enough for that, then you'll be in fine shape to train up for an IM in 2015.

  • Yes, Adam you deffo need a proper Pirate handle, don't take too long on deciding or you'll be named anyway, a certain other person did that and he ended up with being called Gladys!

  • I vote Gladys MKII...

  • As far as 2014 vs 2015 goes - if you can swim okay (and I see you can do FC) I reckon you have time to train to get round within cut off in 2014, but it depends if what you want is just to complete one within cut off as soon as possible or if you want to give yourself the chance to aim a bit higher, when 2015 would give you more opportunity.  


  • Ok, priority:

    New handle - rugby background so must be plenty of options - ProppedUp?

    Secondly, and I imagine one of the most irritating newbie questions - what bike? Road vs Tri? I'm not that confident on a bike, could probably afford up to ??1,000, but can't justify a second bike, or an upgrade in 3-6months. I'd like to be able to complete an ironman, and the odd sportive if I can. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
  • road bike.........there are lots of threads on bikes in the tri will be given lots of different answers.but the main one is the one that fits best for you.....

    I love the planet x bikes that start at a £1000..........if you live withion driving distance of their base then definitely go in and get measured up image


  • Interesting that the OP can swim, I'm the opposite way round, I can't swim yet should be fine in the other two disciplines and that's scaring me off entering an IM next season, maybe I'll shoot for a 70.3, the Owler looks like it could be a good little race (if you can call them little).

  • swimming is easy.just put on a wetsuit and move youre arms.job done.......image

  • Looking to get some events booked in tonight/tomorrow, but firstly in order to get in some miles on the bike, I need a bike. 


    Ive been looking ate this:


    Does anyone have any thoughts on whether its best to get a fairly cheap road bike, and then upgrade just before the IM or HIM, or should I bite the bullet and get a tri bike from the off? Given that I don't understand the tiers of components, I can't appreciate whether Im getting a good deal or not. 


    Is there a bike idiots 101 somewhere? Chains, cassettes, upgrading wheels, all that malarkey mas as well be written in RussIan - anyway I'll go back to pension disclosures, much easier to understand. 

  • Get as good a road bike as you can afford and some tri bars, you wont get the use IMO out of a tri bike without a road bike as back up

    PX offer the best £1000 bikes in terms of spec

    Check forum pages as this has been covered a few times image







  • Much cheaper in the long run to buy a good bike rather than upgrade a cheaper bike further down the line.
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