Completing an IRONMAN or Half IRONMAN Triathlon is truly an incredible goal. Anyone can do it, if they commit to the training, but there are a few things you should consider before signing up.
Speak to Your Family
Explain what the training will entail… specifically the time commitment. If you’re not sure of this or if you only think you know, ask something who has gone through it before or connect with a coach.
If everyone is on board it can be extremely gratifying and inspiring journey for everyone. Setting a positive example for your kids especially can leave a lasting impression. If the family isn’t on board or is unaware of the time commitments, it can cause unnecessary trouble at home.
Pick a Race That Works For You
Think about the time of the year that will be most conducive for training. Consider your work schedule, family obligations and venue.
Your heaviest training typically come the final 2-3 months of training prior to the race.
We usually recommend picking a race you can drive to, especially for your first. Travel logistics can be challenging with all of the required equipment and add unnecessary stress.
Additionally, being within driving distance may allow for a training weekend or two which enables you to see and train on the course prior to race day. This can be a huge advantage.
You can find a list of long course on the IRONMAN website, HERE.
Do Other Triathlons First
Do other races before the big one. I highly recommend a few years in the sport first, but DEFINITELY don’t make the Ironman your very first race.
Prior race experience goes a long way especially when your end goal is an IRONMAN or half IRONMAN triathlon.
Do it With Friends
Misery loves company… And if you don’t have friends (or even if you do) find a local group to train with. It will act as your mini support system, especially when the training gets tough. It will also make the experience more fun.
Hire a Triathlon Coach
Don’t waste time trying to figure it out on your own. Training plans aren’t recommended for IRONMAN and Half Iron distance athletes, especially first timers. There is a HUGE learning curve and mistakes made in training and especially racing a long course event, are exponentially more detrimental than shorter races and other events.
There are certainly more things to consider, but my hope that after listening to this you can make a slightly more informed decision before singing up.
Good luck and enjoy the journey!