Ironman Wales 2014

11 messages
03/10/2013 at 21:58

Hi all, finally plucked up the courage to enter my first ever triathlon.

May as well test myself on one of the toughest tri's out there!!!

I am posting for advice regarding swimming, I haven't done any in over 20 years, am I mad to think I can get to 2.4 miles by Sept 2014?

Could I do three quality sessions per week, even if that means dropping back on the cycling and running in order to get up to distance as quickly as possible?

I have downloaded a 0-1600 meter guide which says 7-10 weeks but I can't find any guides to get up to 2.4 miles, so I am unsure what a realistic time scale would be.

I am in a cycling club, I do at least 600 miles a month and where I live, I am surrounded by hills so I do my fair share of them.

I done 102 miles on Monday with nearly 6000 feet in 5:30 and that was into quite a strong head wind at times so I think my cycling is ok.

I done a half marathon in 1:38 last year, the longest I have ran is 20 miles which I did in just under 3 hours on a treadmill, I wasn't pushing myself I just set treadmill to 7mph, I just wanted to see how far I could run before I stopped (actually through boredom!)

I know that the run will be a whole lot different with a swim and bike before it next year

So please tell me the swimming is achievable?



cougie    pirate
03/10/2013 at 22:41
Swimming is more than achievable.
Once it clicks you can go from being able to swim for a few lengths to being able to swim for hours.

You'd be best off getting coaching to set you off swimming properly.
03/10/2013 at 22:51

Thanks for the reply cougie, yeah I am going to book some 1:1 lesson at the start of next month and take it from there.

I just haven't spoken to anyone yet to see if it was a realistic target, although it needs to be as I have paid the entrance fee

Would it be worth getting a wetsuit and swimming cap the now or wait until I can do a few lengths of a 50 metre pool first?

Dont want to have all the gear on and but not be able to actually swim very far.



cougie    pirate
03/10/2013 at 22:59
Open water swimming season is pretty much over now so i would wait until next year now.

Plenty of us have gone from a worse background than you and completed the ironman. Have a nose round some threads on tri and you'll get reassurance.

Sounds like you'll blitz the bike anyway !
04/10/2013 at 05:22

Thanks cougie

Yeah I am reading the 'how bad were you' thread the now, it has giving me a wee bit of reassurance that the swimming is achievable.

Got a few more threads bookmarked to read.

I would say the bike is my strong point, followed by the run.

Thats why I want to concentrate on the swim to make the cut off time, hopefully get a decent bike time and just see how the run goes on the day, as long as I get under 17 hours I don't care, just want to complete the first one

Thanks again

seren nos    pirate
04/10/2013 at 07:19

as long as you get some swimming done in the winter and then some openwater swimming next year you will be fine...

most people who fail in the swim do so because of panic attacks inthe open water.not because they can't do the distance.......

look at activity wales long weekend next summer.brilliant for practice of the swim and bike but I wouldn't bother with the run because itrs on a different course and for most a marathon is an injury risk that close to the ironman.....

04/10/2013 at 09:15

marky c, you're in a good place already I reckon, and the swimming will come on fine.  I went from not being able to swim 4 lengths to finishing an Ironman in a year, so it's perfectly achievable with a bit of dedication.

Is there a triathlon club near you?  Best thing I did for my swimming was joining a club (NEWT) 

Wabby    pirate
04/10/2013 at 10:15

i only swam about 10 times this year and only did 2 open water swims and I swam 1:25 at Wales this year. As long as you are confident doing front crawl, don't panic, don't swallow too much salt water, get your breathing right, and have plenty of stamina you'll be fine.

If you look at the times of some of the best finishers at IM Wales this year there were a few who finished the swim amongst the also rans but did all their catching up later.

Might also be worth looking at some open water races in the spring/summer.

i did get overtaken by someone doing breatstroke though!!!!

04/10/2013 at 18:03

Cheers for the replies, yous have put my mind at ease.

Wabby, that's a great time you got all the same.

seren nos, I live in East Kilbride (Glasgow), distance and cost will probably keep me away from the event, but there is a few lochs that do open water swimming near me so I will get some practice in that way, great idea all the same.

IronScribe, there is a local tri club to me, infact a couple of their guys do a fast saturday morning cycle with my cycling club.

I have never spoken to the guys though ( just the luck of who I have been paired up with in the group ride), I will introduce myself to them and ask them for advice and maybe see about joining their tri club.

Will be good to pick their brains for advice / tips, although I will be on here as well asking stupid'ish questions as well

Thanks again everyone.




31/10/2013 at 21:56

Have a look at Sophie Blog page this was only her 4th ever triathlon

seren nos    pirate
01/11/2013 at 10:59

Mark....nice to see some youngsters doing the ironman....... not much new on the blog though to the reports on here...........

so many do ironman over the years with the pirates............infact some have done ironman as their first ever tri........

its what makes ironman so accessible nowadays in that just about anyone can do one if they really want to and are prepared to work at it

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