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Are You Ironman Ready? | Triathlon Training Explained

Are You Ironman Ready? | Triathlon Training Explained


Welcome back to
Triathlon Training Explained, powered by TrainingPeaks. Now, today, I’m going to
be answering the question, “Are you Ironman ready?” Now, triathlon has kind of
blown up over the past decade, more and more people are
getting involved in the sport and completing their first triathlon. But it is the Ironman distance that has been drawing so many people in, and it’s kind of become the benchmark. Now, obviously, Ironman racing
is a huge feat in itself, but you may be wondering
before you do sign yourself up, whether you have the time
to do and the ability, or maybe even the resources to
take part in the first place, so today, I’m going to
be running you through the things to expect when
you’re getting yourself ready for an Ironman. (energetic electronic music) Now, let’s start by saying the fact you’re actually watching this
video is a very good sign. It means you have some level of respect of what an Ironman is, and
what it requires to do it, so well done, and you’ve
probably already figured out that to do an Ironman and
the training required for it does require significant
amount of time and resources. So, firstly, do you have
the lifestyle and time available to devote to all of this, the Ironman training and the racing. Secondly, you also do need to consider your sporting experience, to some degree, as that’s then going to
depict you starting point in your training and your
journey towards that Ironman. And then lastly, we can’t forget the cost. Now, this shouldn’t be a limiting factor as to whether you can
do an Ironman or not, but it is still three different sports and with that does come
some financial investment, that’s worth thinking about
before you take it all on. (chilled out music) Okay, I’m not going to beat
around the bush on this one, Ironman requires a heck
of a lot of training. Now, you may have managed other
distances absolutely fine, but honestly, to train
properly for an Ironman really does require some long hours. This isn’t a scare tactic though, because it is more than doable with a good work-life balance, I’m just setting now, that’s all. So, what does this mean
in terms of your training, well, typically for most
people, we’re looking on average of eight to 12 hours of training per week, and we would normally recommend
a minimum a six month build into that race of really
good, focused training. And, you may as you get closer to the race and build your fitness, some athletes will be looking at doing some weeks in excess of 12 hours of training. And then, if you factor
in work around this, for many people, that is
all their free time gone, so that leaves less time
for you to socialize, do hobbies, be with your family, do household chores, and so on. But like I have said
already, it is doable, but do make sure that you can
balance this at the moment, it’s possible for you, or you can make do with this slightly out of kilter lifestyle for several weeks on end. Now, for many people to
make this actually possible, they do have to squeeze their
training in and around work, so this means a lot of early
morning starts for many people, trying to get their
training in before work, perhaps even squeezing the odd session in over their lunch break at work
and also directly after work, all whilst making sure
that you’re getting to bed at a good, reasonable time, so that you’re not burning
the candle at both ends. So, with all this in mind,
if you do have a family or a partner, it’s really
important that you have their support to do this. Obviously, it’s going to be
difficult trying to balance family and training,
but it can be possible. What I would suggest is
that you have a good chat with your family, you plan ahead, and also you’re just willing to adapt. For instance, if you
have a holiday coming up, try to plan ahead, plan a
recovery week for that holiday, that way you’re keeping
your family on side, and also you can just enjoy
things as best as possible. So, my big take away point from this is just be honest to yourself
and also to your family as to the amount of time that
is required to do an Ironman. (laid-back music) Now, we have all ability
levels entering into and completing Ironman triathlons, so don’t be scared off by thinking it’s only possible by those that have a high level of triathlon
or sporting experience. Obviously, those that do have
a little bit more experience are going to find things
a little bit more easy, but those who have less
experience, it is still very doable with a good plan and preparation
going into the event. However, we do advise that you have a little bit of triathlon
experience going into the Ironman, and that can mean just one
short distance triathlon, just to get used to the feeling of going from swim, to bike, to run,
because being named an Ironman as you come across that finish line is one heck of achievement,
so don’t underestimate the amount of time, the amount of training that is required to get
yourself to that point and completing the Ironman, after all. So, with all that in mind, we do have a few key points to be mindful of. So, whatever your starting point is coming into triathlon
and Ironman triathlon, just make sure that you gradually
increase things over time, you build your training up over time. That way you can avoid
over-training, burning out and possibly even running the
risk of getting an injury. Also, ideally, you try and choose an event with a course that suits your
experience and your ability. For instance, don’t go
picking a super heavy course if you don’t consider
yourself much of a climber, or a super technical course if you’re still building your
experience up on the bike and your technical skills there. So, with that in mind,
you might want to choose a course that suits the terrain,
the conditions, the climate that you are doing your
training in or on most days. Also, maybe try and choose
an event that makes things logistically easy for yourself. Try and keep the travel to a minimum, with that, it might keep the
costs down, the stress down, and also reduce the amount
of time that you’re using to go to this event and get back from it. If you can, maybe even try find an event really close to home, that
way you can even get out and practice and train
on the course itself. (laid-back music) And whilst we’re talking about travel, it’s also worth pointing out
that Ironman can get expensive. Now, it doesn’t mean that
you have to head out and buy the very best of
everything, but even then, it can all start to add up, so to give you a little bit of a gauge, I’ve got a list of prices here. So, for the entry for an
Ironman, it normally costs somewhere around $700
or 550 to 600 pounds. Travel, that can be in the
region of 200 to 500 pounds, so, you’re often actually
expected to arrive couple of days before the
race, you’ve got to register, and then you’ve actually
got to rack your bike the night before the race, so
you’ve got to factor that in with your travel and also
with your accommodations. That also can be similar, somewhere around 200 to 500 pounds. And then you have your kit, if
you haven’t already got this. So bike, that can be somewhere
between 1,000 to maybe 4,000 pounds, they can be
pretty expensive things. Helmet 80 to 200 pounds,
bike shoes 100 pounds, tri suit 50 to 150 pounds,
wetsuit 200 to 400 pounds, it goes on, you get the picture. Obviously this is just a
gauge, they can range wildly. But then you’ve also got
other things on top of that, you’ve got fees such as
your gym fee, your pool fee, maybe even sports nutrition, more food for your ever
increasing appetite, maybe you’ve got a triathlon coach or you’ve bought a
structured training workout, these are all things to consider. Now, this isn’t a scare tactic, it’s all still very doable on the cheap, but I’m just making you aware
it can start to rack up. Now, when it comes to actually
being ready for an Ironman, many of you will actually
arrive at that start line on race day feeling not ready. Many of you will actually go in it feeling like you haven’t done enough training, maybe haven’t hit the
amount of hours per week that you’d hoped to, and some of you will be comparing yourself
to social media posts, you know the ones where
someone’s gloating about a killer bike session that they’ve done or crazy amount of hours of training that they’ve been knocking per week. And it is really important
that you’re getting a sufficient amount of training in and volume of training, and
make sure you’ve got that endurance to complete
an Ironman comfortably, but it’s not all about
training hours per week, in fact an athlete that’s knocking out 8 to 12 hours per week consistently, good training with good adequate recovery, is far better off than
someone who’s knocking out 20 hour plus weeks full
of junk and probably not getting enough recovery in. Also, remind yourself as
you’re heading into those final few weeks before the race, there’s little that can be
gained by worrying yourself about whether or not you’ve
done enough training, or perhaps even could have
prepared slightly better, or changed something. Just focus on those final preparations, make sure that you’re executing
them as well as possible, and arriving on race day in as best shape as you possibly can. And if you have enjoyed today’s video, please do hit that Thumbs Up button. If you’d like to see more from
GTN, do click on the globe and subscribe to the channel. If you’d like to see our ten
hour Ironman training week, you can see that by clicking just up here, and if you’d like to see our “How to Train for Your
First Ironman” video you can see that by
clicking just down here.

55 comments on “Are You Ironman Ready? | Triathlon Training Explained

  1. Doing my first 70.3 next weekend in Weymouth. Whoop whoop! Then moving up to the big boy next year. From a rugby background. No skills, just grunt and heart. And a lot of #gtn and #gcn videos to coach me. Thanks guys!

  2. The cost gave me an idea for a video comparing a cheap vs expensive triathlon training/racing experience over a few weeks followed by a race. One has to minimise equipment costs and one can use whatever they want!

  3. Nope. I’m not IRONMAN ready. Can’t make it through the swim without debilitating cramps. IM 70.3 is more my style (at least until I can figure out how to survive the swim). However, if I never do a full IM distance event, I’d be ok with that. 70.3s aren’t anything to sniff at.

  4. Just a solid tip to try and fit all the training in. (I train usually 14 hours a week with a full time job) the more you are organised the easier it gets. Meal prep, get your kit out the night before if its a pre work session. You will be surprised what you can do. a 3 hour session after work is not impossible if you have food prepared in advanced for a quick dinner for example.

  5. I'll be racing in Italy my first Ironman in 8 days and I was hoping in some extra boost, then 8:22 came… C'mon Mark that's not cool 🙂

  6. Currently not ready but hopefully going for full Ironman in five years. Within a couple of years or next year doing a half Ironman. This year was my first sprint distance so I’ve got some goals to shoot for.

  7. My first ever tri was olympic distance 3 months ago, my 2nd was half IM 2 weeks ago. Need to talk myself into full distance…

  8. I believe a good advice is: find love in each discipline. Let “joy” on swimming, biking and running come to you. Any of those 3 can become as long as hell if you don’t commit to it and can kick you out of the race if you don’t take it into consideration.
    Better than wanting to become an Ironman, which sounds good, you want to keep swimming, cycling and running, when that day you find yourself thinking it’s not for you. Which is something all of us have to go through every once in a while.
    Hope I explained myself

  9. Fraser's flappy west though, and don't forget to mention the long aero bars, does he really has to move his hand forward each time he wants to shift?

  10. I've recently read in a very good book about endurance training/lifestyle that back in the day, one of the authors, Mark Sisson, had to pay 85$ to enter Ironman Hawaii. Hahahahahahaha

  11. As an 18 year old IM Finisher, I can safely say it was the hardest year of my life. 11 months of training, hours away from family, friends and school. It was all worth every minute!

  12. Join a triathlon club and do a race that other members are doing. It is so much more fun to have a crew to do a race with. training with them and racing with them creates some of the best friendships about it.

  13. Great video! I think it's good for people to be realistic about how hard that distance is to accomplish correctly. And the cost isn't anything to overlook. I made a video about triathlon gear and how much it would cost and came up with a little over $1500 USD. (not counting the 700 Ironman entry fee) And that's still a lot of budget gear. It'd be easy to spend 10x that amount. Great details in your video here, thanks so much for making it! 👌

  14. About to head to Italy next week for my very first IM, I've been asking myself this all week. I feel relaxed, but not much more I can do now, so I've just got to give it everything. Hope I make it across the line. I've learnt so much the past 6 months, what an experience it's been

  15. I think that is also good to do a smaller race not just because of the practice of going from swimming, to biking, and then running, but you can see if you like the sport and are willing to invest on the equipment. For example, my first sprint triathlon, I did it during summer time so I didn't have a wetsuit, and I did it in a kid's road bike. with regular running clothes. So if you decide to do more races you can invest little by little.

  16. Those of us who race Sprint and Olympic distance races are triathletes as well. I have no desire to do an Ironman distance racd.

  17. I had never done a full distance triathlon. Got a sponsor slot for Norseman extreme triathlon in january 2018 (the race was 8months later. Have done alot of cycling and Running. So the swim was the worst. But finished in 15h8min. So nothing is impossible. 👍

  18. On a bad day, I have to go to the loo every 50 miles on a bike ride and every 7 miles on a run. We don't even want to talk about my worse than bad days… Can someone tell me how far the porta potties are typically spaced in the run and bike ride of a full Ironman in the U.S.? I'm pretty sure I can hold myself through the whole swim but once I get to T1 all bets are off…

  19. I’d be interested to know how many Ironman competitors every year are doing it as their first ever tri. My brother in law’s first was a 70.3 (coming from a swim background).

  20. Humorous anecdote about training/family balance. On a discussion board people were talking about whether wearing your wedding ring on the swim was a good idea. The fear being that cold water can make your finger shrink and the ring fall off. A commenter quipped, if you're still married you aren't training enough!

  21. This is great. I've done Tri at sprint and Olympic distance, done a marathon and ride London so Ironman is on my bucket list. I just want to get round. Great advice

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