Goldstone - It's the usual clich??, but aiming to finish your first IM should be the goal. You'll enjoy it far more and won't run the risk of being deflated by missing a 'time' by a minute or two! It's a truly awesome event in Tenby and puts the LCW well and truly in the shade, which is saying something. Who wants to be feeling gutted after participating in such a fantastic race?!
I managed 15h22m last year, but I know with a calmer see and a stronger bike this year I could break 14hrs. However, I'm happy to gun for sub 15hrs and enjoy the day.... I'll then take whatever time comes my way. ????
Goldstone - Firstly, huge congrats on finishing a tough 70.3 in very windy conditions! It'll set you up for the final big push through August.... (I won't get into training schedules, as there are far more qualified people to ask than me and at the end of the day, everyone is different, whether it be time allocation, recovery times etc etc).
Here are some splits to mull over and hopefully give you confidence. Ironically, I don't consider myself an endurance athlete... My swim is relatively poor, I'm more of a TT'er on a bike and I haven't managed to break 4hrs for a marathon, despite several attempts. My Mum & Dad live in Tenby, so I simply felt the need to embark on the comical journey that is Ironman!
Fishguard '14... 45mins, 3h19m, 2h16m (with 11 total mins in transition!)
IM Wales '14.... 2h18m! 7h32m, 5h8m (with 24 total mins in transition)
Yep, with an Easterly wind in Tenby last year, the sea was ridiculously rough, and I was the third last swimmer out of the water to make the cut! (Apparently 60+ DNF) With very calm sea and an outgoing tide on the LCW '14, I did the 1.2mile swim in 37 mins! Conclusion: Anything other than an Easterly wind this September will be fantastic for me! It's high tide/standing at 7am this year, then the second half of the swim will be outgoing, which is great...
My last 3 LCW 112mile bikes I've gone 7h42, 7h20, 6h43m.....
I can only reiterate that after Fishguard last year, I seriously questioned the full distance. However, despite a catastrophic swim where I threw up my boots, the bike and run were fantastically enjoyable. I'm sure you'll find it similar, especially if an Easterly wind doesn't arrive.... Hope this gives you the confidence to go and smash it!
I managed 6h31m in this event last year in the build up to IM Wales and was aiming for 6-ish hours this time, with my bike being particularly stronger than before.
The swim was completed in 48mins, (3mins slower than '14) but I wasn't overly concerned, as I my transitions last year were laughably slow, so could more than make up the difference. However, with the 20mph+ SW wind, the bike felt like a proper grind from beginning to end. I also noticed plenty of 'drafters', but hey ho! Anyway, 35miles in and on course for a sub 3h10m bike, I had a quite spectacular front wheel blow out, which also shredded the tyre. Long story short - nearly 20mins at the side of the road until Mike's Bikes turned up with a new tyre. (Top bloke) With a new different sized tyre on the front, and the bike rattling a bit, (poss where it fell over in the wind when I first tried a new inner tube!) I limped into T2 in 3h28m... Possibly due to stiffening limbs from the standing around, I pulled out after one lap of the run due to a thigh strain... I guess September was playing on my mind.
FWIW - I got myself into far darker places in this race last year than the full IM. Don't let this event put you off or give you doubts, if you've entered IM Wales. You all sound pretty good athletes to me and the more 'leisurely' pace of the full distance makes for a happier race, honestly!
Good luck one and all, and to those of you in IM Wales - See you on the North Beach in Tenby!