Is iit being too ambitious to aim for half-ironman in the next 18months?

Planning for events ahead

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21/07/2014 at 15:24

In seven weeks I will be doing my last sprint triathlon for this year, I still cant believe what has happened to me - I have gone from not quite a couch potato (still swam and did odd spin class at the local leisure centre) to having done two sprint trriathlons and an aquathlon - I think I have been possessed!

Although I am yet to undertake my first cycling sportive -  assuming I complete the distance (65K) would it be rather ambitious to think I could do an half ironman sometime in the future? A friend at my tri club was told it would take five years to get up to that level but this made her more determined to prove them wrong and she did! I was and am so proud of & inspired by her. I feel if she can do it then there should be no reason why I cant. I am looking at 2016/2017 to achieve this - is this feasible?

I am aware that I need to build up the miles on my bike but this wont be a problem as long as I increase the distance gradually and my new padded shorts should help!


TheEngineer    pirate
21/07/2014 at 15:25

No, it's not too ambitious.

21/07/2014 at 15:30

I went from non swimmer to IM in 9 months

21/07/2014 at 15:31

Thanks. I was concerned that people may think I am trying to go too fast too soon.

I had posted about transport difficulties and how it was getting me down but that is sorted now.

I feel now that I need to challenge myself to see what else I am capable of. I am not competitive except with myself and just enter these events to give myself something to work towards and only ever look to cross the finish line. If I do it faster than before great if not its not a big deal just taking part is important to me.

21/07/2014 at 15:33

IM UK then .. You have 12 months to train

21/07/2014 at 15:51

Ooer!  when is that taking place next year? Is it hilly or flat - and I mean bike and run and does it have cut off times?

Think I need to see if I can manage 56 miles on the bike first never mind 112! but am not ruling it out - will see how this year pans out - I have my sportive on 5th October @Loughborough - one thing at a time but it never hurts to look ahead.

I will admit that I have never discussed my plans other than on here as know others may think I am rushing too far ahead- albeit usually those people dont do and have not done what I have done so far this year!


21/07/2014 at 15:52

This years race took place yesterday, so around this time next year

Most IM's have a cut off of 17 hour's, some (Frankfurt and Nice it's 16)

cougie    pirate
21/07/2014 at 16:00
Are you riding on the roads yet ? Cos you need to be well used to your bike and getting the miles in.

As Dave did - I went from no triathlons to IM in a year - but I was already into marathons and 100mile bikes. Still not learnt to swim mind you...
21/07/2014 at 16:01

Thanks Dave. I know these are open water so would need to get some open water practice and a wetsuit! 

I think I should test the water first however with a half ironman possibly next year or the year after to give me time to see if & how quickly i can swim, cycle and run the distances involved. Do all half ironman and ironman races have cut offs? There must be some that dont surely - understand however that cut offs are necessary so marshalls are not kept hanging around.


21/07/2014 at 16:03
cougie wrote (see)

As Dave did - I went from no triathlons to IM in a year - but I was already into marathons and 100mile bikes. Still not learnt to swim mind you...

Pah.. I couldn't swim and didn't own a bike !

Like Cougie, I still can't swim

21/07/2014 at 16:05

IM races by definition have a 17 hour cut off, That's what makes them an IM !

HIM's generally have cut off's so as you say everyone can go home, and I don't know of any HIM's that aren't open water

Good time to buy a wet suit, lots of end of season bargain's and ex hire suits around at this time of year


21/07/2014 at 16:15

I dont mind riding on the roads but bizarrely,although I have been on my own on the road during the bike leg of a sprint triathlon which are usually open road events,prefer to ride on the road with a friend from work. Daft I know but I feel safer having someone with me. In the end it shouldnt matter whether I ride on cycle paths when I am my own or on the road with a friend as long as I get the miles in,

21/07/2014 at 16:18

definitely - I did a half IM after 9 months. I could run but I couldn't swim or cycle. I'm still rubbish but I managed to get round quite happily. Go for it! 

seren nos    pirate
21/07/2014 at 16:23

It will be hard to  get the speed needed to complete within the cutoffs if you ride on cyclepaths..........

on cyclepaths you need to slow down for road narrowings, pavements, walkers, dogs....lots of things..........the surfaces are usually rougher as well

for most ironmans you need to average 14 mph over the 112 miles......and need to practice drinking and eating on the bike whilst moving at this the same time looking for traffic etc...

similar paces are needed for halves although they are a few that have longer cutoffs.......

can you see yourself doing regular long distances on the cyclepaths might be fine in winter when the conditions are wet or frosty but you will need to get miles on the road in spring......

seren nos    pirate
21/07/2014 at 16:29

and I would also say you need to address your running before you consider moving up to a half marathon........

You have regularly  been running 5K for a while - and your fastest time  is 47mins 35 secs

whilst this time is fine if you enjoy going out running.........It is definitely way too slow to be considering running half a marathon after a swim and bike.......

this is a walking pace and if you attempted a half it would only result in you getting slower.....

so why not concentrate in getting your 5k times down and then doing a 10k and getting that time down.......

otherwise you will find it hard to get a half ironman with a long enough cutoff and the chances are you will be in a lot of pain.....

enjoy each step of the it one stage at a time and enjoy and celebrate the improvements......

21/07/2014 at 16:39

Yes but as stated in previous posts I am ok on the road if I am with someone despite obviously being on my own on the road some of the time during bike legs of sprint triathlons which sounds weird. Know this may not seem ideal to a lot of people but we all have to work with our limitations. I had never ridden on the road until a friend from my tri club took me out the week before my first sprint tri and wedid 13 to 14 miles - the most I had ever done on my bike and I managed to get round the bike leg at East Leake; in fact my friend was really surprised to find me halfway back to the start,

I plan with some friends from work to go out riding and hope to get them signed up to do the sportive with me! on 5th October.

seren nos    pirate
21/07/2014 at 16:46

also in halves and fulls they are very strict on drafting so you are not allowed to be within 5 metres of another rider at any time.....also if you are slow you will most likely be at the back and might not see another rider for 40 miles or really need to be happy and confident cycling on your own ..........on rads that you might well not know with junctions and roundabout that are unfamiliar to you......same as in a need to practice to be able to make the judgement of when you can pull out on a roundabout or when you have to stop.....

Its easy for people to say yes go for it.but they were starting from a much fitter base.....

from your times you are slow and you need to work on them before you enter or you will be pulled off the course for being behind cutoffs..this is a waste of money and can be pretty gutting and demotivating.......

which is why I am suggesting you make other short term goals so that you can measure success......

21/07/2014 at 16:49

Thanks seren nos - I fully intend to work on all elements of triathlon before moving up - I am in no hurry. 

I have asked my friend who has come out on the bike if she thinks I have improved.

My primary objective is working towards my final triathlon this year then my sportive before I decide what I will do next year.

21/07/2014 at 17:11
The question was could it be done

When I entered my first IM I couldn't swim a length and hadn't owned or ridden a bike in 20 years

It can be done if you want to do it
seren nos    pirate
21/07/2014 at 17:18

but you were a fit bloke Dave....


 yes it can be done if you are prepared to work on all your weaknesses......some take longer than others..there is no set time.....I went from sprint to half in 5 weeks...and had never swam the distance before...and had to buy a road bike the week beofre the half as my old hybrid would not have been passed in checkin...but i appreciate that I was already marathon fit before I did the tri.



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