Is iit being too ambitious to aim for half-ironman in the next 18months?

In seven weeks I will be doing my last sprint triathlon for this year, I still cant believe what has happened to me - I have gone from not quite a couch potato (still swam and did odd spin class at the local leisure centre) to having done two sprint trriathlons and an aquathlon - I think I have been possessed!

Although I am yet to undertake my first cycling sportive -  assuming I complete the distance (65K) would it be rather ambitious to think I could do an half ironman sometime in the future? A friend at my tri club was told it would take five years to get up to that level but this made her more determined to prove them wrong and she did! I was and am so proud of & inspired by her. I feel if she can do it then there should be no reason why I cant. I am looking at 2016/2017 to achieve this - is this feasible?

I am aware that I need to build up the miles on my bike but this wont be a problem as long as I increase the distance gradually and my new padded shorts should help!




  • I went from non swimmer to IM in 9 months

  • Thanks. I was concerned that people may think I am trying to go too fast too soon.

    I had posted about transport difficulties and how it was getting me down but that is sorted now.

    I feel now that I need to challenge myself to see what else I am capable of. I am not competitive except with myself and just enter these events to give myself something to work towards and only ever look to cross the finish line. If I do it faster than before great if not its not a big deal just taking part is important to me.

  • IM UK then .. You have 12 months to train

  • Ooer!  when is that taking place next year? Is it hilly or flat - and I mean bike and run and does it have cut off times?

    Think I need to see if I can manage 56 miles on the bike first never mind 112! but am not ruling it out - will see how this year pans out - I have my sportive on 5th October @Loughborough - one thing at a time but it never hurts to look ahead.

    I will admit that I have never discussed my plans other than on here as know others may think I am rushing too far ahead- albeit usually those people dont do and have not done what I have done so far this year!


  • This years race took place yesterday, so around this time next year

    Most IM's have a cut off of 17 hour's, some (Frankfurt and Nice it's 16)

  • Are you riding on the roads yet ? Cos you need to be well used to your bike and getting the miles in.

    As Dave did - I went from no triathlons to IM in a year - but I was already into marathons and 100mile bikes. Still not learnt to swim mind you...
  • Thanks Dave. I know these are open water so would need to get some open water practice and a wetsuit! 

    I think I should test the water first however with a half ironman possibly next year or the year after to give me time to see if & how quickly i can swim, cycle and run the distances involved. Do all half ironman and ironman races have cut offs? There must be some that dont surely - understand however that cut offs are necessary so marshalls are not kept hanging around.


  • cougie wrote (see)

    As Dave did - I went from no triathlons to IM in a year - but I was already into marathons and 100mile bikes. Still not learnt to swim mind you...

    Pah.. I couldn't swim and didn't own a bike ! image

    Like Cougie, I still can't swim

  • IM races by definition have a 17 hour cut off, That's what makes them an IM !

    HIM's generally have cut off's so as you say everyone can go home, and I don't know of any HIM's that aren't open water

    Good time to buy a wet suit, lots of end of season bargain's and ex hire suits around at this time of year


  • I dont mind riding on the roads but bizarrely,although I have been on my own on the road during the bike leg of a sprint triathlon which are usually open road events,prefer to ride on the road with a friend from work. Daft I know but I feel safer having someone with me. In the end it shouldnt matter whether I ride on cycle paths when I am my own or on the road with a friend as long as I get the miles in,

  • definitely - I did a half IM after 9 months. I could run but I couldn't swim or cycle. I'm still rubbish but I managed to get round quite happily. Go for it! 

  • It will be hard to  get the speed needed to complete within the cutoffs if you ride on cyclepaths..........

    on cyclepaths you need to slow down for road narrowings, pavements, walkers, dogs....lots of things..........the surfaces are usually rougher as well

    for most ironmans you need to average 14 mph over the 112 miles......and need to practice drinking and eating on the bike whilst moving at this the same time looking for traffic etc...

    similar paces are needed for halves although they are a few that have longer cutoffs.......

    can you see yourself doing regular long distances on the cyclepaths might be fine in winter when the conditions are wet or frosty but you will need to get miles on the road in spring......

  • and I would also say you need to address your running before you consider moving up to a half marathon........

    You have regularly  been running 5K for a while - and your fastest time  is 47mins 35 secs

    whilst this time is fine if you enjoy going out running.........It is definitely way too slow to be considering running half a marathon after a swim and bike.......

    this is a walking pace and if you attempted a half it would only result in you getting slower.....

    so why not concentrate in getting your 5k times down and then doing a 10k and getting that time down.......

    otherwise you will find it hard to get a half ironman with a long enough cutoff and the chances are you will be in a lot of pain.....

    enjoy each step of the it one stage at a time and enjoy and celebrate the improvements......

  • Yes but as stated in previous posts I am ok on the road if I am with someone despite obviously being on my own on the road some of the time during bike legs of sprint triathlons which sounds weird. Know this may not seem ideal to a lot of people but we all have to work with our limitations. I had never ridden on the road until a friend from my tri club took me out the week before my first sprint tri and wedid 13 to 14 miles - the most I had ever done on my bike and I managed to get round the bike leg at East Leake; in fact my friend was really surprised to find me halfway back to the start,

    I plan with some friends from work to go out riding and hope to get them signed up to do the sportive with me! on 5th October.

  • also in halves and fulls they are very strict on drafting so you are not allowed to be within 5 metres of another rider at any time.....also if you are slow you will most likely be at the back and might not see another rider for 40 miles or really need to be happy and confident cycling on your own ..........on rads that you might well not know with junctions and roundabout that are unfamiliar to you......same as in a need to practice to be able to make the judgement of when you can pull out on a roundabout or when you have to stop.....

    Its easy for people to say yes go for it.but they were starting from a much fitter base.....

    from your times you are slow and you need to work on them before you enter or you will be pulled off the course for being behind cutoffs..this is a waste of money and can be pretty gutting and demotivating.......

    which is why I am suggesting you make other short term goals so that you can measure success......

  • Thanks seren nos - I fully intend to work on all elements of triathlon before moving up - I am in no hurry. 

    I have asked my friend who has come out on the bike if she thinks I have improved.

    My primary objective is working towards my final triathlon this year then my sportive before I decide what I will do next year.

  • The question was could it be done

    When I entered my first IM I couldn't swim a length and hadn't owned or ridden a bike in 20 years

    It can be done if you want to do it
  • but you were a fit bloke Dave....image


     yes it can be done if you are prepared to work on all your weaknesses......some take longer than others..there is no set time.....I went from sprint to half in 5 weeks...and had never swam the distance before...and had to buy a road bike the week beofre the half as my old hybrid would not have been passed in checkin...but i appreciate that I was already marathon fit before I did the tri.



  • I was 50 a smoker and overweight

    I've stopped smoking I'm nearly 60 and still overweight !

    If you want to do it you can
  • I'm sure it is mind over matter but I was the same as Seren -marathon fit, so I had a decent fitness base to start with

  • Why put them off ?

    If you put your mind to something you can do it...

    (Although I have still to marry a pneumatic blonde who's dad owns a distillery)
  • last year I said I wanted to do a half IM in 3 month's time,my brother who's done a couple of IMs said why not be patient, build up slowly and do one next year. He said you'll get round this year but it'll hurt, you won't enjoy it and you'll probably be put off for life. We're all different but I'm glad I waited until this year, I loved it and I'm hooked and I've signed up for a full one next year. 

    Dave - you're amazing and I love your attitude! Glad I'm not the only overweight one aroundimage


  • I would highly recommend the Outlaw half as a first HIM, not only is the bike and run course nice and flat but also loads of pirate support, and I think pretty generous cut off times from what I remember! Good luck and don't worry about other people - if you reckon you can get the training in then go for it! image

  • I'm with Dave... its a state of mind.

    I also stopped smoking on June 23rd 2013 from a long term 40 a day habit and did my first IM on June 29th 2014. Yes, the training hurt on occasions, let alone the race, but it CAN be done.... 

    I look back at the person I was, and the fit person I am now, and don't EVER want to go back. JFDI.

    lets be honest.... its all prep for an Ironman on my 100th birthday
  • Life is way too short

    JFDI !
  • I think you would enjoy the Wild Boar as a first HIM - no pressure, nice peeps - I agree with Seren tho' it definitely can be done but you need to work on getting your running and biking on track.  I agree with MC looking back at the person I was 3-4 years ago - am so much happier, lighter and fitter version of me image won't be going back there any time soon.  

  • I have just done my first Half Ironman.  I have been running middle-long distance for a few years.  Have cycled for a few years.  I am not a fast cyclist and know that I seriously need to work on this element.  The HIM I entered did have a cut off, but not sure I was aware of that until the race brief.

    I have to say that despite doing an Olympic distance tri earlier in the year, marathons and other endurance events, the HIM has been the hardest event I have ever done.  Had to dig so deep, but I learned a lot.

    I agree with everyone on here, and Seren gives good advice. I would definitely enter a few shorter distance tris, building up the distance before your Half Ironman.  Life is short.  Without a doubt you should enter one, but build up to the distance is what I would recommend.

  • Thanks everyone for your advice - i will take it one step at a time.

    My priorities for this year are:

    1. To prepare for,take part in & complete the Lichfield Sprint tri.

    2. Slowly increase my bike miles in preparation for the TONF Cycle sportive on 5th October@Loughborough.

    3. To build my distance up in my running & swimming.

    I agree life is too short but obviously a half IM is not to be gone into lightly. I feel once i can do the distances required in each discipline for a half IM i can work on doing them quicker - if necessary i am prepared to wait till 2016 - to spend next year preparing.
  • I went in at the deep end...

    hadn't run for ten years, could only swim 25m in June last year but had ridden a bike for a year.

    i entered IMUK and finished it on Sunday. If you want it and work hard you can do it, I did Beaver Middle distance as my first and only other tri.

    join a decent club, get involved and train , you can do a HIM image 

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