Half Ironman help needed


I'm really not sure how I got talked into this but I've entered the Half Ironman in Sherbourne in August 2003. I'm now looking for a schedule of some description that'll get me round in one piece!!

Anyone help????

My best time for a 1500 mtr swim is 30 mins (never done a timed 2000 mtr swim) : for a 60 mile bike is 3 hrs 30 mins : and 1 hr 49 mins for a half. (These are all individual bests not continuous)

I have done a couple of Olympic distance tris in the past but haven't put anything of this length together before. Also looking for advice on what and when to eat and drink during the race.

This might all seem a bit premature as the race is 7 months away but I need some structure to my training now otherwise I can see it all going completely Pete Tong!


  • No need to worry - I've done the last two HIMUK races in Llanberis - these were hard-water temp 12 degrees brrrrr! and wind and rain along with the "undulating" terrain.
    The course in Sherbourne will be a breeze -apparently it's flat, so will be good for a fast time.
    I'm really dissapointed that the race didn't go full distance this year, but I have still entered.
    You will have to get used to running off the bike, and cycling from the swim.
    For this type of event I will do long swim sessions of up to 2800 metres and bike /run sessions of up to 50 bike followed immediately by 90 mins running.
    Get used to SIS gels and bars - these are what's available on the race (have been for the last 2 years).
    It may also pay to get some open water swimming practice in (around Easter time when the water warms up!)
    I'm doing another full IM next April, so it will be nice to do a (relatively)shorter event.

  • Cheers Paul. Thanks for the reassurance. I'm feeling a bit apprehensive I'll admit. Is there a site anywhere that you know of where I can download a programme? If push comes to shove I'll amend an Olympic schedule I guess and lengthen the sessions.
  • I think trinewbies.com have shedules for all distances up to full ironman
  • Thanks Emma ; I'll look this evening!
  • Good luck simon lewis. I would love to have a go at this and it's only 'down the road' from where I live, but I've only done 1 sprint tri. Best do a few more before attempting a 1/2 iron man. Next year maybe!
  • Next year should say 2004!
  • Hilly - sorry to disapoint you, but the event may well go to a full IM in 2004 - there was talk of it happening for 2003, but the WTA (governing body) wanted to keep the race at half distance to test the venue (apparently).
    Simon - if you can finish an olympic distance tri, then half IM should pose no problems - as you said adapt an olympic schedule, concentrating on the longer rides and runs.
    Have you had your application accepted yet?
    I posted the photos over a week ago and have heard nothing as yet.

  • Hi Paul. I had my confirmation through yesterday, so no going back. I've now got hours of grinding up and down in the pool to look forward to, til the summer at least.

    Let me know if you get in. What sort of time are you aiming for?

  • That's ok CI, I'll stick to the 'fast twitch' events for now. Weymouth do a 1/2 Ironman every year, but the though of swimming in the sea is a little off putting. No, I think I'll build a couple of years of experience first! Good luck all you 'tough' people!
  • Simon,

    You'll be fine - I got fit for a full Ironman in 8 weeks this year after a particularly nasty bout of chicken pox which I caught whilst training in Lanzarote.
    All of my previous fitness was wiped out - so had to start from scratch again (much to my GP's disgust - she wanted me to take two months rest to recover!)

    If my entry is accepted I'll be aiming for a sub 5 hour time, but I have another Full Ironman to do before the half.

  • Simon,

    We (me & the missus) got confirmation today.
  • Hmmm. No going back now!! Did 7 miler and a 1000 mtr swim quite comfortably today so feeling a little bit better!! and the web site that Emma recommended has an 18 week schedule that looks OK with a bit of tweaking for old blokes!

    Let me know how the training's going. I run with Calne Running club in Wiltshire and I think there's 4 or 5 of us doing it.

    Happy Christmas!!
  • Simon,

    I'm currently building up to my next full Ironman and am swimming 6 to 8000 metres a week, cycling approx 100 miles and running 35 to 40 - plus 2 gym sessions.
    It's early days, so the training will increase significantly after Christmas.

    Have a good one!

  • Wow ??????????

    I am very worried - just saw this thread and I am concerned to see how much training is being done.

    I have not been swimming since school (about 10 years), ride occasionally (often to pub) but I can run a bit!

    I do not have much time for training so what do you think it is best to do? I think I need to swim to make sure I can still move in the water but should emphasis be on cycling as this is where the most time will be spent?
  • Don't panic Jon.The trick is being able to do it on the day not 7 months before. Reading Paul's message you can see he is training for a full ironman so his training schedule is full on from the new year. Made me take a sharp intake of breath as well.

    I'm assuming like me you are just hoping to finish in one piece within the cut off time. Like you I am unsure about the swim, so I am concentrating on spending as much time in the pool as I can at the moment. My tri club are terrific and run a swim technique session Saturday nights and I make sure sure I get at least one other long swim session in per week to start to build my distance up and just like running develop a decent aerobic base. The objective I've set myself is to be able to get out of the water not completely shot to pieces so I have some reserve of strength left for the bike and run. That means getting to the point where I can swim 2500 mtrs pretty comfortably and steadily. I'm up to about 1200 mtrs per session so far.

    My advice would be to join a swimming club of some kind right now and start to get your stroke technique sorted and begin the process of building endurance.

    As for the bike, I would approach it exactly the same way. Get a decent aerobic base built and don't even begin to think about speed sessions til the spring. Stay on the small ring to build up your cadence speed and just get out and spend time in the saddle. You're right to say it is important as it's the longest section by far so you should be aiming to build your long rides up to about 2-3 hours in the next 3 months. I don't know what road bike you have or what speedo you have but log your distance, time and average speed at least so you can begin to set reasonable targets for yourself to finish the 56 miles of the race.

    It's in the 3-4 months prior you should expect to start building up your speed and also begin building up multiple sessions where you start putting the swim together with the bike and the bike with the run.

    It would be helpful to plan in some sprint distance triathlons in the late spring or early summer just to give you a real target to prepare for to check how your progress is going.

    As you say you run a bit I'm assuming this is the part you'll be looking forward to most. I know I will. You will be surprised how little your running suffers by replacing it with bike and swim sessions so don't worry about too much at this stage.

    If your application has been accepted the first things I would do are
    i) join a tri club if you haven't already.
    ii) join a swim class now.

    There will be really helpful people in both clubs only too happy to give you training advice, and probably most importantly a bit of motivation and support to get you through the tough bits.

    Very best of luck Jon and keep in touch to let us know how you're getting on.

  • Couldn't have put it better.
    I do most of my training alone - only a couple of running sessions a week with the club.
    Half Ironman is not the beast some people think it is - I went straight from sprint distance to half IM.
    I would say that the two most important things to be sure of before the event are:-
    Confidence in open water (if in doubt start at the back and swim beside a safety canoe)
    Being able to run off the bike - practice bike/run sessions.
    The first time you do this it will feel weird, but it doesn't take long to get into your stride.
    Third (I know I said two!) is eating on the bike to be fuelled for the run - bananas are the old favorite.

    Good luck with the training.

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