UK half ironman

Am totally new to triathlon but am doing quite a lot of swim/run training - up to 2k swim followed by 15 mile run with no problems, not fast but not too slow either. (Somewhat lacking in bicycle at the moment...)
So, am thinking of entering the UK half ironman 2004, then full next year probly switzerland. But its all a bit scary - anyone done the half, and if so, is it a healthy mix of amatuers in non-shiny bike shoes and helly hansens as well as pros in their all-in-one speed suits??

And, if one is confident in one's ability to do all three events separately in respectable times, and to do two together pretty steadily, how hard is it to put all three together? I mean really?



  • Hi Mlk. I did the half last year and yes, there is a mix of abilities although because of the longer distance involved people tend to be better prepared than for say the London Triathlon that is full of first timers.

    In terms of putting the three together the hardest bit is getting used to running after the bike as your legs feel a bit wobbly. Most people tend to underestimate the need for bike training believing it will be the easiest leg. It is actually the discipline though that has most bearing on your time. If you can cycle well not only will your bike time be good but you will feel stronger during the run.

    So get the bike out!
  • Cheers RichardM - tho I will have to get it out of the shop first...

    I heard from somewhere that the distances were all short in the half - is this true?
  • DazDaz ✭✭✭
    Agree with RichM the standard overall is quite high as you tend to get a higher percentage of (endurance) athletes who take their training more seriously. Still have a fair few that just train to get around and compete for charity like many other events.

    I have done the last two years. The sherborne course WAS a little short for both the bike and the run, but not by that much really. ANd the hilly profile (for both) more than made up for it!

    Personally I'd recommend making sure you build up a good base of long distance running (if anything) as we move towards the tri season. Also slowly build up your long (sun?) bike rides so you can comfortably do at least 50 miles every other week (if you want to alternate with long distance run). Then as you get within a few months of the race, start running off your long bike so you can get a 'feel'. You could do say 50mile bike/1-5 miles run, or 20miles bike/5-13miles an example :O)

    Hope you do well!
    Endurance Coach @
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
  • Thanks Daz,

    I think I have ok base for running - 15 miles no problem at the end of a hard training week, but can always improve of course. Plus for sure need to train bike-to-run. Swim to run is easy, but I guess in triathlon that counts as cheating!

    With the bike-to-run, is it the just the leg motion that is the problem? ie, does the 'wobble' go away after a while? Or is it that you are cream-crackered after the bike, and therefore the whole run is wobbly??
  • mlk
    Did the longest day 2000 (Full IM distance) on an old training bike, with only Sprint Tri experience.
    My advise is:
    Kit: use a wet suite that fits & a bike that is mechanically sound / comfortable
    Don't use new trainers
    Training: Concentrate on bike & run hours but get in maybe 2x1 hour structured swims per week.
    Planning: make sure plan for the day, having the right kit with you, when you need it, will greatly improve your overall experience.
  • DazDaz ✭✭✭
    Yes the jelly-legged-wobble will go away after a short while (if you've practised bike-run). It's a combination of anumber pf things - blood pooling, using different muscle groups more than others, body position. Clod made a good point - make sure your bike is set-up correctly and you are comfortable. It's very easy to develop back-ache into the run (something I know from experience :O( ) if the tri-bars are too low and/or far forward, seat too far back.
    Endurance Coach @
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
  • Oops....I have entered the HIMUK and was planning to make it my first tri, with the aim of going full IM the following year. Sounds like I should get some experience under my belt before the day - would like to do some sort of justice after all.

    What do you recommend as pre-build up races e.g. Windsor?

  • DazDaz ✭✭✭
    yeh windsor or london would be good - you'd be keen to get stuck into the himuk after them :o)
    Endurance Coach @
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
  • Try starting at sprint distances first. One of the trickier things to master is the transition parts. Simple things such as laying out your kit in the right order becomes easier the more you do it. You will have enough to worry about with a 50 odd mile bike and 13 mile run without having to think whether you can take your bike helmet off before or after you rack your bike. Long distances also take more out of you than you think due to the bike / run bit. 1 tip - don't swallow any water when swimming!!!!
  • Thanks Yorkshire, I will try to remember the swimming advice! I have a different problem - getting the water out of my left ear! I only breath to the left is I think the problem. Hope it wouldn't make me unbalanced on the bicycle....
  • You got smoe time between now & August to learn breathing both sides. Also swimming crawl head up (like when playing water polo) helps with sighting. My main problem during the Longest day swim was seeing the bouys with fogged goggles in the reservoir and swimming directly to them.

    Try to get some open water swimming in before the event and practice sighting objects at a distance & swimming to them.
  • Can somone post a list of all UK 1/2 Ironman events in May & June as I want to build one into my Longest Day training plan.

    I can only find 3, (2 on 6/6/04 which I can't do as im at a wedding and 1 two weeks before Longest Day which is to near).
  • Sorry can't help you on that one Carl. However, you can help me:o) - what are the two on the 6th June? Cheers, NB
  • Try the event search facility here:
  • These are the two 1/2 Ironman events 6/6/04.

    Date: 06-Jun-04
    Region: SouthWest
    Event: Weymouth Middle Distance Triathlon
    Distances: 1.2M 56M 13.1M (SoBR)
    Organiser: "Roger Wakeling, Concept Sport, PO Box 16, Romsey SO51 9ZU"
    Cost: £TBC
    Location: "Lodmore Country Park, Weymouth"

    Date: 06-Jun-04
    Region: WTA
    Event: Bala Middle Distance Triathlon
    Distances: 2k 78.5k 20k (SoBR)
    Organiser: "Julian Hunter, Sands Farm, Pentre Lane, Hope Mountain, Flintshire LL12 9HF"
    Cost: £80 (£105 relay)
    Phone: 01978 761582 / 07770 828962
    Location: "Penllyn Leisure Centre, Bala"
  • Can recommend the Bala Middle distance on 6 June. Did it last year in preparation for Longest Day. Bike course was stunning, run course hard (cruel climb up to the turn round point), but the event overall was excellent.
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