17 stone waster to half Ironman in 12 months?

Possible or am i setting myself up to die!

1 to 20 of 46 messages
19/07/2011 at 07:11

Ok......so.......title says it all! With the right training/dedication is it possible to go from a 17 stone waster to completing a half ironman in a reasonable time? or am i doomed for failure and my death on the course?

I dont tend to do things by halves (apart from this case!).....then sh!t myself afterwards! Decided i wanted to get fit three weeks ago, so signed up for a marathon! Now, for some weird reason, mainly after reading various blogs/sites/here i am thinking a marathon isnt quite far enough so i am considering a half ironman! Namely the Vitu 2012, as this year it falls the same weekend as my birthday and if it does next year then what better way to spend it than swimming 1.2 miles, cycling 56 miles and topping it off with a short 13.1 mile run!

Just to give an idea of where i am at, i can swim, but not front crawl! Can barely do 25m before i feel like i am drowning! Cycling is probably my strongest portion, completed a few sportives however i need to lose some of my adonis like frame before i become a whippet up the climbs! And running.....well......im currently following a run/walk program to get me to complete a 5k! Picture of perfect fitness wouldnt you agree!

So am i being daft? Just getting caught up in the pirate way? Or is it complete possible for me to achieve it? Out of interest, what is the approx date/month the 2012 is announced? Also same for Bala, as i am considering that one too!!!

Iron Pugsley    pirate
19/07/2011 at 07:24
It's very doable Zoglug. 2.5 years ago I was 18 stone and decided to do an ironman before I was 40 which will be in a month. A year after that decision I ran a marathon, 18months I did a HIM and in 3 weeks I hope to finish a full IM.

The key thing is consistency and commitment and making sure that you ave the support of those around you before you start. For sure, if people rip the piss out of your "obsession" you will fail so you really need everyone pushing you on.

Cyclin and running will improve quickly with time but swimming is ALL about technique so get yourself some lessons ASAP or you will just harsh about in the pool with little benefit.

Good luck!
VT'd    pirate
19/07/2011 at 07:36

I'm not an expert.  Rephrase that, I have not yet attempted a single triathlon, however, on impulse I last night entered a sprint event for saturday coming. 

Personally though, I believe you may be currently bitting more than you can chew.  I don't know you and it may be possible, however, for it to be a long term lifestyle change, and for you to be successful. I think smaller, short term aims should be your priority.  Aim to loose weight, swim regularly, walk run until you feel strong enough to enter a few races, and keep up the bike work.

I am 49 years old, took 4 months, training six days a week to loose 3 stone.  Just this week I dipped sub 2 hours in my 4th half marathon this year, on a notoriously tough course and in atrocious weather.  My long term aim is sub 4 hour marathons,  1.40 half marathons, a few off road runs and xc racing.

I have thought of competing at triatlon for some time, but knew I needed some sort of core fitness.  Running and cross training has helped with that.  I went to the swimming pool last night forthe first time in over 5 years and rediscovered that I actually can swim quite well.  I pushed out 500m with relative ease, again thanks to my core fitness and decided there and then to enter a 750m open water swim followed by 12 mile bike and 3 mile run.

I now need to find a wetsuit and dust off my mountain bike, which is currently hibernating below a mountain of useless stuff in the garage.

I also don't do things by half (except marathons lol), but I try to set shorter term, more achievable goals and it helps keep me going.

Good luck in your quest though, I love to read and hear of people grinding convention and doubters into the dust.

Edited: 19/07/2011 at 07:38
19/07/2011 at 07:45

At the minute i have several sort term goals. This has all stemed from me wanting to get off the couch, get fit and see just how far i can push myself mentally and physically! I did similar with cycling in that i have done Mcr-Blackpool and the Mcr 100 mile ride.

I am running my first 5k race (parkrun) mid august. I have signed up for the Oulton Park duathlon in October, got a couple of 10k races planned for over winter and a half marathon in Feb to set me up for my full marathon in April! I have set myself goals for these, times i am hoping to achieve.

Maybe i am biting off more than i can chew, i dont know and i guess i wont until i start! It does mean a massive life style change, becoming very self obsessed whilst i pursue, but i am at the point whereby i am fed up of wasting away on the couch! Maybe it is a pipe dream, maybe it is a stretch too far and maybe i should scale back/look to complete sprints/oly distance races next year, before maybe looking at stepping up to a HIM in 2013! Though the thoughts going through my head are HIM in 2012 and IM in 2013 before i turn 30!

Cheerful Dave    pirate
19/07/2011 at 08:13

You've certainly got the basis of a plan although that little matter of a marathon in April could easily distract you if the main aim is the Vit in September - that's a big step up from where you are now and you could easily get to May and realise you haven't really done much in the way of swimming.  I'd get some beginners lessons soon, just to get you to the point where you feel OK swimming on a regular basis.  You'll soon discover whether the swim is going to be OK on the day or whether you're going to struggle to make the cut-off and need some more lessons.

Lots of people here have done what you're planning to do, or something similar.  It's doable, but you seem to have started with the right ideas.  Good luck.

19/07/2011 at 08:14
Zoglug - what have you got to lose other than several stone and an unhealthy lifestyle?  What ever you achieve will be a damn sight more than you have done!!   You have taken the first step - how far you go is down to your dedication and commitment.  Well done and Good luck
19/07/2011 at 08:27
If you WANT to do it mate you WILL do it.
You sound similar to me in that it's the longer distance races that interest you.
My first race was last years kilomathon then Stratford mara. After that someone put the idea of IM in my head and that's what I'll be doing next week.
It's hard work but very enjoyable, though it does take up a lot of time.
It's definitely possible!

Good luck
19/07/2011 at 08:45

I like to see how far i can push myself! The human body is an amazing thing and whilst ill never push it to the heights that some people have done/do, i like to see how far i can push mine!

The marathon was my main aim for next year. I sat down 3/4 weeks ago when certain things happened in my life and thought 'i need to sort this out'. Having already done a century bike ride the natural thing for me to do i thought, was to take up running and complete a marathon! Now im not daft and understand i need to work through to it, hence why im going through the range 5k-10k-hm-m. I caught a program on TV about the IM, it was a race from a couple of years ago, cant remember where it was from but i was amazed at what people were getting the human body to do! The idea was then sparked about tri's. Found a decent club near where i will be living in August (Man Tri) and the idea has now escalated from there! Now 12 months for a full ironman is not within my capability, my body isnt a finely tuned instrument just yet  

Swimming is the major part which i need to be working on for sure, running and cycling will come from being out pound the streets/trails, but swimming i appreciate is very technique based! I am enquiring about some adult lessons as we speak for when i move back to the UK, so hopefully i will make a start in August on working on the technique!

And madlot, your definately right! I always tend to look for the longer races when deciding to do something like this! I am under no illusions i will win, but am hopefull i could get round!

19/07/2011 at 08:50

All of the above is good advice.  Set both short and long term goals, the short-term being progressive steps to the end goal.  Put in the hours, avoid injury and overtraining and you'll be fine.  March 2010 I was 17 stone and entered the Berlin marathon which called for me to sign up for a twelve week to 5km program to get me going (to date I still think that was the toughest part of all my training).

I put the marathon to bed in 4:41:01 (an acceptable time) and agreed the following day that I would sign up for Ironman, more specifically Ironman Florida, when entries opened.  I did, bought "Be Iron Fit" the training book, read it cover to cover and have since used it as a rough guide.

All things being equal, I will in six weeks be taking part in the Vit and IMFL eight weeks thereafter.

My dedication stems from the need to offset weekends on the booze.  Find one that resonates with you, try not to lose focus too frequently and you'll nail it.  Good luck.

seren nos    pirate
19/07/2011 at 08:54

If you want to it is easily done.......maybe niot a podium place but a respectable time..............just organise yourself...........

maybe a good idea to go and watch the Vit this year and you will get an idea of the vast range of people that take part...............

if you have the desire and the time a full ironman would be possible in that time.............so a half is well within your reach......

Dubai Dave    pirate
19/07/2011 at 08:55
Zog: Yes it can be done but you will need to work hard. I Went from fat couch patato to a 3-43 marathon in 6 months having never run more than 100M before. Eight years on and a lot of marathons and ultras I decided to do a tri, took my non existent swimming to IM in 12 months. Likewisw with the bike nowt to IM 12 months. It can be done good luck.
19/07/2011 at 09:15
it's a well trodden path as others have said

don't worry about your weight - some of us (i.e. me) are racing IM at 16+ stone - a weight I've been for near enough all my marathon and tri career (since 2003). weight isn't the barrier that you might think - the head is the barrier. get yourself motivated enough and you'd be surprised what you can achieve.
19/07/2011 at 09:23
Good luck Zog! I'm on the edge of signing up for a half ironman myself but need to get the guts to find one that i like? and will be nice enough for a newcomer!
19/07/2011 at 09:30
Cracking Post FB!!
19/07/2011 at 10:18

Cheers all, the advice is fantastic!  A lot of this is driven from various threads on here about x, y and z going from nothing to racing HIM/IM's in 12/18/24 months! Makes me think that maybe i can do it with the right frame of mind/dedication/training plans!

I may well take a trip down to the Vit this year, maybe ill pick up a pirate top too to show my support to any chaps racing there! It would definately give me an insight into it!

Ill certainly be looking how my training goes over the next month. First step is for me to join Man Tri for sure and utilise other peoples experience and knowledge.

I am determined to make changes, since being at Uni studying sport science, i have eaten far to many takeaway, had too many binge drinking sessions and watched too much tv/played too many games! Im currently exercising 6 days a week here in Dubai, 3 days running following the beginners 5k schedule and the other 3 days swimming and actually swimming breast stroke/back stroke rather than splashing about trying front crawl! and once i get back to Mcr ill be putting a plan in place which utilises when Man Tri sessions are on!

Hopefully, ill see some of you in the water for Vit next year!

19/07/2011 at 12:37

have a look at this

Kanga M    pirate
19/07/2011 at 17:48
Another lamb to the slaughter
Cpt.Jack sparra    pirate
19/07/2011 at 21:08
Who's gonna tell him then ? Shall we put spuds in ?
Nicko. Hdau    pirate
19/07/2011 at 21:11

Last year on June 30th I decided that being an 90+kilo alky was not the road I liked. I hadn't run, swam or cycled for ages but started my trip back to health and fitness. I entered the vit and then thought Oooh the Cowman HIM looks ok too. 2 weeks ago I managed to finish it in 6-22, The heat got to me on the run and got my asthma going, left inhaler on the bike. Picked it up at the end of the lap and ran, crawled, walked the rest of the way.
So looking forward to the vit now, so I can put that running demon to bed and sub 6 it.

You will be fine mate, just keep saying things that will make you want to finish it. Maybe a workamte or friend has said "yeah right in your dreams" So as your doing the run just say this is my dream race when your feeling shit. It does work

Above all try to enjoy it and the training, if its making you ill its not fun anymore.

Ironholgs    pirate
19/07/2011 at 21:47

It's very achievable and from what you've written on here you are well on your way.

If you enjoy what you are doing, you'll want to do more and therefor you'll get quicker and better at it.

Agree with everything written so far, get the mental toughness cracked and the physical will follow.

Good luck.

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