Anyone done an Ironman at the gym?

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05/10/2011 at 10:39
I’ve recently joined a gym (with a swimming pool too) and did an eighth of an ironman there the other day after work (I included the 16k bike to and from work) so I actually did: 22.5k bike on a kind of recliner bike(just 6.5k at gym)5k run on treadmill500m swim in the pool. Was thinking I might try and continue this and perhaps once a month I have a big go at a triathlon in the gym, as high a percentage of an IM as possible.  Reckon I could do a quarter of an IM now with little problem, then it’d start getting tough, might see if I can do a half IM  Obviously all these disciplines are far easier in a gym (the bike particularly so I’m thinking – how do you know what setting on an exercise bike is equivalent to biking outside on the flat? – they say an incline of 1 degrees on a treadmill makes it the equivalent of running outside with air resistance), but it’s better than nothing.  Just wandered if anyone else’d tried something like this.  I might make a full “gym IM” my target for the same day as the UK IM next year – all day down the gym.  Saves a lot of money on entry fees and bikes (I use a cheapo Halfords hybrid for my work commute) and transport.
cougie    pirate
05/10/2011 at 10:45
A lot of gyms don't have a 25m pool - my gym doesn't have one at all - so I'd not be able to do it. Nor would I want to.

A gym bike bears no resemblance to your normal bike so its a totally different position - so you wont work the correct muscles for the real bike. Also they usually overestimate the distance and speed done.

The treadmill is the most realistic part.

You could do it, but its more a test in perseverance rather than being a proper ironman.

Maybe do it for charity or something ?
Kryten    pirate
05/10/2011 at 10:46

The idea of spending 6+ hours on a stationary bike in the gym - aaarrggghh!

...followed by 4.5 hours on a treadmill !

05/10/2011 at 10:50

Yep lots of people hate, or at best merely tolerate, training in the gym, but I've never minded it too much.  Especially the treadmill - i've done 3.5 hours on a treadmill in the past - I just like being able to see EXACTLY how far you've gone in how much time etc.  Also it's more comfortable in a gym.  The bike is the problem - you're surely right that it bears no resemblance to the real world.  Interesting thing about muscles you need to ride a bike, I've been biking the 8k each way to work for only 8 days and it is already getting easier, and I'm biking quicker - i've hardly ever ridden a bike in anger for about 15 years until last week.

Would be an interesting experiment if nothing else.

05/10/2011 at 10:52

The idea of spending 6+ hours on a stationary bike in the gym - aaarrggghh!

...followed by 4.5 hours on a treadmill !

Ha ha, it'd be more like 7.5 hours and then 5.5 hours though - I'd get a perverse thrill out of it though actually.    But I'd plan on splitting it up too - 10k run, 40k bike 10k run, bit of a swim etc.  Maybe even lunch in the cafe before a leisurely hour or two on the recliner.  Like I say I'm not remotely suggesting this would be anything like the equivalent of IM, would just be an interesting experiment.

Nam
05/10/2011 at 10:55

I've swum the IM distance in the pool several times in training... it makes for an extremely dull morning...

The longest I've ever been on a spin bike was 3 hours for charity... like Cougie says it bears ZERO resemblance to cycling outdoors.  You use no core strength, no wind & weather etc.  I did some century rides in training and they were a damn site harder than pootling on a spin bike for 7 hours watching telly.

And anything longer than an hour on the treadmill doesn't even bear thinking about in terms of dullness.

I don't know why anyone would want to?!  Isn't the whole attraction about the fact that it's an event, something you do with lots of other people, outside, with people cheering you on, the finish line, the medal... bla bla

An IM in the gym to me would be tantamount to torture and the result still not comparable to the real thing so in my eyes it's a bit pointless.

05/10/2011 at 10:55
a mate of TonkaBoy's has done one recently - I remember Tonka posting about it on Arsebook

unless there's a good reason for doing one - Tonka's mate was doing it for charidee - I can't see the point.
Nam
05/10/2011 at 10:56
Basher wrote (see)

But I'd plan on splitting it up too - 10k run, 40k bike 10k run, bit of a swim etc.  Maybe even lunch in the cafe before a leisurely hour or two on the recliner. 

Exactly like an Ironman then...

WildWill    pirate
05/10/2011 at 10:59
i swam 8k in a 20m pool earlier this year
05/10/2011 at 11:04

Exactly like an Ironman then...

No, on the contrary.  It'd be very very different to a real Ironman.

 I've done 4k in the pool when training a few years back for a charity triathlon.  I enjoyed it, in about 2 months I went from being able to do 400m in 12 minutes, to doing 4k in 96 minutes.  Just from practise and reading a few books/internet etc.

05/10/2011 at 11:09

Isn't the whole attraction about the fact that it's an event, something you do with lots of other people, outside, with people cheering you on, the finish line, the medal... bla bla

Well it is for some, and good luck to them, but that's not the big deal with me.  I've done a few marathons and I did them because I wanted to test myself.  That's all.   OK the cheering was nice, the camaraderie was "ok", the medal meant nothing.  That's all.  That's why I've never been fussed about doing the London Marathon that much when there are plenty more local ones than that, cheaper, in nice countryside and less crowds.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
05/10/2011 at 11:35
Swim & run would be OK, but very dull, but the bike would be very different.  I hear there are folks with plenty of time on their hands who watch stages of the tour de france while they're on a turbo trainer, but gym bikes would bear no relation.  Apart from anything else the 'speed' & 'distance' on those things are pretty arbitrary given that gearing & wheel sizes are different to a real bike.  I sat on one once that had me doing >25 mph for virtually no effort at all.
05/10/2011 at 11:44

Turbo's a thing - I've got one of those somewhere.  That'd be more accurate than a bike right - but you still get the sore @rse, you don't get that on those gym bikes.  When I used the turbo I found it tougher than being on the road, and again I still didn't know what setting to put it on.  I mentioned this to my bro in law (A pretty serious triathlete) and asked what setting is equivalent to the road, he said none of them.  He thought a turbo is pretty much tougher than the road whatever setting you put it on.  Can that be right?

05/10/2011 at 11:53
Can you imagine the face on the gym staff when you run out of the pool dripping wet and onto one of their bikes.
Cheerful Dave    pirate
05/10/2011 at 11:53
He's right in the sense that maintaining any given power output is harder on a turbo because there's no cooling airflow, you sweat buckets.  OTOH there's no wind resistance so you could set the resistance very low and get to quite a high speed for relatively low power - like riding 112 miles completely flat with only rolling resistance to overcome, not wind.
05/10/2011 at 12:08

 no wind & weather etc.  I did some century rides in training and they were a damn site harder than pootling on a spin bike for 7 hours watching telly.

Yeah that's why this is far more appealing.  Nice comfy seat, no wind, no weather, and I can watch the Eastenders Omnibus.  Or Dad's Army repeats.

05/10/2011 at 12:20
There is no point in doing an Ironman of any sort except for the person doing it. So if the OP is motivated to do this gym ironman why not ?

Personally I'd be more impressed by the Gym Ironman because it's something far fewer people would take on - albeit because of the boredom. I mean a normal ironman - if I could learn to swim I could finish one tomorrow - 112 miles on the bike in 5 hours and walk the marathon - but there is no way in this world you'd ever get me on a gym bike for 5 hours.
cougie    pirate
05/10/2011 at 12:25
Jeezus - watching an Eastenders Omnibus ??

I think this idea is something they'd entertain at Guantanamo rather than your local Total Fitness....
Imeccentric    pirate
05/10/2011 at 12:28

Moving past the indoor IM nuts why would you comments,

The swim is quite real , pool times for most folks will be quiite close to raceday( for a lake swim) i.e. out by a single digit percentage and for most within 5. conditions differ wildly though no current , waves being kicked and punched etc.

The run is different in terms of impact (much less) and difficulty most folk argue that 1% inclinde on tready is roughly equivalent to flat out doors , never really bought that or seen evidence for it though. Some folks find the tready mentally very difficult for longer distances , personally I dont mind it and have done a few half maras on the tready usually on the way back from injury.

The bike of course is where its very different when I first started training about 7 years ago I did a lot of gym bike work , before I purchased a bike , and found that the speed / power output was overstated by 25-30% bummmer of a discovery that. Of course as well no positional semblance and so no core work involved or wind resistance as stated. 

A spin bike in the gym is more like it , you can with some work use your own cleats and get somewhere near a TT position I once did 3 and a half hours on one , (it had snowed heavily and then I owned no turbo) . However its still very difficult to judge how it relates to the real world. 

On a turbo you can get very close to conditions when you balance the wind resistance / heating thing also you can see your actual power output and you can get programmes that take you virtually up famous climbs , I have a DVD driven Milan San Remo on mine which I like. 

Clearly you are two stops short of Dagenham but crack on , enjoy and hope the ramble was of some use.

05/10/2011 at 12:35

Very good Inneccentric, I like posts like that.  (and popsider)

 They've got DAVE on one of the channels so if I can find a day when they're doing all the repeats of I'm Alan Partridge in succession  then those 180ks might just fly past.

 never heard that Dagenham line before , might have to plagiarise it.

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