Longest Day (Ironman) 2004 - Carl's thread

I have started this thread with the aim of getting help and advise as well as enspiring others with similar aims as myself.

I have entered The Longest Day 2004 as a motivator to drive myself from the 15st 12lb couch potato I had become into a lean mean triathlon machine - ok well im never going to win any races but stepping over the finish line under the cut-off will be my equivilant of an Olympic Gold.

Im 3 months into my training already, I think things are going well and im achieving all the milestones ive set myself. I am now able to run 10 miles, swim about 400 meters (freestllye) continuously and am doing a lot of cross training with my mountain bike and on cycling machines. Ive also lost over a stone.

Until the end of the year im concentrating on swimming (taking lessons) and basic fitness, I aim to be able to be able to run a sub 1:50:00 half marathon and be able to continously swim 2000 meters by Christmas.

Until April 2004 I will be concentrating on running with an aim of doing a sub 3:30:00 London Marathon, at the same time I will be keeping up the swimming and starting cycling (buying a road bike in January).

After April I will be concentrating on the cycling whilst maintaining the swimming and running.

Each section of this 3 stage plan will involve about 5, 9 & 12 hours of training per weeek.

Im pretty sure im on the right track, ive got brick work, Olympic and 1/2 ironman practices built in. Still have loads of questions to ask but im just intorducing myself now.

If anyone is likeminded / wants to join up to share advice and meet for training or prep races please let me know.



  • you'll need to do more training after christmas, i think 12 is a bit light - think 5 hour long ctcle, 2.5 hour long run and that doesn't give much change out of 12

    get the triathlete's training bible by joe friel or look on www.trinewbies.com for training schedules
  • Thanks Andy I will have a look, was starting to think that myself after reading the threads here.
  • "Going long" is a good book to aimed at IM training
  • like most people i'm in base period so i do everything at 145 hr give or take

    i'm doing:


    run to work am [45 minutes]

    swim or weights 30 mins lunchtime

    run home pm with diversions [60 - 75 mins] then 2 or three times a week, cycle 2 hours straight after pm run

    cycle 80 or 100 miles sat
    run 20 miles (sometimes swim) sun
  • .. so about 25 hours, but generally low intensity
  • Will is 'going long' the secret weapon you mentioned to help you whoop my ass at miami??
  • dont worry he wont actually get close to seeing my ass, just a cloud of dust vanishing into the far distance.........
  • I couldnt imagine doing 25 hours lol but then again there was a time when I wouldnt have imagined running 3 miles let alone even a Marathon.

    Im aiming for the 16 hour cut off so I dont think 25 hours per week will be needed - I imagine youd expect to do LD in sub 12 hours or a lot less from your training intensity.

    1 question - 'Base 1' what is this, I imagine its some kind of out of season holding pattern or something? - I guess the 145 is your training heart rate. Ive not got into heartrate training that much as never need to take my training to serious - only done 2 Marathons - 4:06 & 4:50 but ill be going for all the help I can get for this one and although im still only aiming for the cut off I want to get as good as I can - never know I may suprise myslef and finish in 13 hours lol.
  • not really a holding pattern more stage one of the training cycle... generally keep below your lactate threshold and build aerobic endurance

    get 'the triathlete's training bible' from amazon! (or 'going long' apparently)

    cant you start cycling or running to work and back or something? that's an easy way to get the miles in
  • Yes I can start doing that and plan to, im already training at my bodies limit at the moment.

    Ive had to build up slowly from a base of nothing and have had a few niggling strains so have held off a bit.

    Im having two rest days this weekend but have averaged an hour each day this week (5 hours).

    I also have a Gym at work which is good.

    Thanks for all your help and advice by the way its really appreciated, its nice to know there are good people out there that are happy to support on another.
  • i'd get a bike and start going to the pool earlier than you planned - different muscle groups, lower impact than running (negligible impact, in fact)...

    if you get a crappy bike for £100 i bet you could cycle to work and back on it immediately with no ill effects (and you need to toughen up your buttocks for when you start the real training!)

    you can add more training without adding to the strain - maybe even run 1 day less
  • If you're really strapped for training time, get Gale Bernhardt's Training Plans for Multisport Athletes from Amazon.com
  • I would recommend to buy "Going Long" by Joe Friel and Gordo Byrn. It's all about training for and racing Ironman. I would recommend that you spend a bit of time developing your bike endurance and strength over the winter months. The key to the Ironman is the bike. If you can come off the bike still feeling fresh, you're well on your way...
  • Oh - meant to say. I'm also registered for TLD 2004 and would enjoy sharing training thoughts etc with anyone else doing it.
  • Great another TLD forumite :o)
  • Good luck Carl. Joe freil books are excellent but not very helpful for beginners. You still have to work out a plan for yourself. It is easier to get a plan off the net, if this is your first IM and all you wan't to do is finish you don't need a complicated plan. If you do your long stuff and long bricks you can't go far wrong. Longest day is still a long way off so don't worry about going long yet.Steady sessions working on general strength, flexability and technique are important and should help cut down on injuries. And don't worry about trying to get lots of hours training in because longest day is a long way away, the hardest part of doing any ultra race is getting to race day fit and healthy. The last 3 months before are the important ones. If you can get to that point with the fitness to do an olympic then you can just ease out your long sessions to cover the distance. And as long as you have it mentally you will finish.No problem.
  • Carl,
    I think you should start longer bike rides & swims ASAP. Your plan of concentrating on running up to the London Marathon doesn't leave you enough time to build up the cycling & swimming miles before TLD - you only really have May & June available after recovery from Marathon & taper before race. I strongly recommend that you do one long steady bike ride every week starting ASAP - at least 50 miles - but eventually you will need to build to 100+. It isn't just the mileage, its also the comfort.
    I schedule my IM programme around long bike rides & swims - long bike rides have to happen at the weekend during winter (assuming you ride in daylight) and swims depend on pool availability. I manage to do my long runs in the evening after work, with an occasional longer run at the weekend.
    Don't worry about the cycling & swimming having a detrimental effect on your running, it won't. It may even help as you are less likely to injure yourself by running too much.
    If you want any advice on the race itself or the course just ask; I have completed the race a few times and I am a member of the organising club Black Country Triathletes.
    Good luck!
  • Carl
    I would plan your biking now and build a good base through winter up to 50/60 miles say on a Sat(Ride with a group if you can). Plan runs on Sunday, either long steady sessions or race 10k - 1/2 marathon every other week. The legs wont feel fresh on the sunday run but you will get use to it. This will prepare you for the final 4 months out, when you should be increasing your biking to 100 miles and run up to 3 hours steady. You should also build in brick sessions during this period, say ever 3 weeks on a Sun when legs fatigued from Sat ride. I mainly train long on weekends and use weekdays for short sessions and recovery. Dont overlook the bike as it is the key to a good race, Good luck and listen to you body.
  • but get a bike now and start using it, even if its commuting to work 30 mins a day on an old bomber with something longer at weekends
  • Thnaks Andy, will try more bike work.

    This week has been my hardest week so far, 5 days Mon - Fri.

    Mon, 40 minutes bike - steady (Gmm), 30 mins treadmill - steady.

    Tue, 4 mile run (fast as I could - 32.51) - evening 20 mins bike (gym - intervals), 20 min treadmill.

    Wed, Swimming lesson - 45 mins

    Thur, 40 mins bike steady (gym), 40 mins treadmill - speedwork 7 x 4 mins at 7.6mph.

    Fri, 6 mile run (49.57), swimming 30 mins (would be longer but i have a shoulder strain think ill have to lay off swimming for 2 weeks+).

    This has been a heavy week for me so will probably take the weekend as rest, may do a 90 min ride on my mountain bike Sunday or a Gym session if I feel up to it.

    As you can see I have a long way to go.

  • The race is a long way off so times not a problem. apart from doing a few long bike and run sessions you are doing more than i did at any time when training for my first IM. I managed to get around in 12 hours and I was a fat bastard(still am) with a £40 raleigh from the local free ads. You will have no problem if you keep up the regular training and just add some long bike/run sessions next year with some bricks as well.
  • andrew but 12 hours is a good middle of the pack time.. to achieve that, or to make the cut off, you should at least get used to sitting on a bike now
  • Im looking at 13hrs+ for TLD
  • 13+ about 3 or something !!!!

    (chest beating challenge for Florida.. hope i don't live to rgret it!)
  • Florida is another race - if i fin about 3hrs behind u i'll be happy

    Im getting on you know

  • JjJj ✭✭✭
    [shakes head in resignation]
  • Me too - as the oldest triathlete on here and female too I'm hoping to break 15 in Roth, not managed to get under it yet. Can do it if working on my swim all winter does the job.
  • have you seen next year's bikes Will?? (with engines)

    i think i have to swap my gsxr for the new R1 when iy comes out in April, its just amazing
  • Yes I agree I must get myself on the bike (keep putting of mending my puncture - will commit to fix it next week).

    I only have a mountain bike at present (nice comfy saddle to), am planning to by a Cannondale in January but will start doing some 2 - 3 hour sessions on my MB Nov/Dec.

    Im building up to the long runs adding about a mile to my long run each week (6 weeks ago I could only just run 3 miles). Will be up to about 13 miles early December.

    Im also already doing some dort of brick work I come off the bike in the Gym after 40 mins straight onto treadmill for 30 mins, I know its not the same as coming off a bike after 4 hours of cycling but im building up to that and hoping to train my legs to get used to it.

    When are these IM races in Florida and Roth being referred to (I may come and watch Roth if its in UK).

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