Ironman Training - Going From a Triathlete to an Ironman

By Seth Anderson 

It's a rare somebody that straps on a pair of running shoes and finishes an Ironman without any Ironman training. It takes time and effort for a person to be ready to complete an Ironman triathlon. A lot of wasted time and energy can be avoided if the correct plan is followed and maintained prior to the race. The inevitable question then, where to get started?

Going from a beginner triathlete, even an advanced sprint or Olympic distance triathlete to an Ironman finisher can be quite a leap. Most of the time, someone who is training for his or her first Ironman overtrains because the typical advice available pushes and pushes a person to the point of overtraining. A better Ironman training schedule puts an emphasis on getting the most out of every workout, however few and far between a persons workouts are because of their schedule.

Focus On Proper Swimming Technique - You should already be aware that technique is the difference between a decent triathlete and a great triathlete. A person that has some level of fitness can trundle along, without technique, and finish a triathlon but won't survive an Ironman. Proper swim technique, including proper hand entry and exit, breathing technique and proper kicking form not only makes a person faster but also leads to less fatigue. Essential to finishing an Ironman is coming out of the water without being overly fatigued. Investing in a professional swimming coach to watch your technique can be money well spent.

Bike Indoors For Heavens Sake - Yeah, its not as scenic or as fun but seriously, you waste SO much time setting up to ride outside every time. You can put in a lot of speed, endurance, cadence and time training on an inside bike. No weather restrictions, no traffic, very little set up time. It is also easy to monitor anything like heart rate in a controlled environment.

Bike Fitness Translates to Run Fitness - Don't overdo your run training. Simply. It is necessary to do a good steady base run, one high intensity run and one nice long miler before the race but you don't have to be treading marathons to get prepared. It is also essential to do a couple of mile or two runs post some of those long rides so that you can get used to the transition between the bike to run. But of course, you already know that!

Getting professional advice from trained, professional Ironman triathletes is probably the best tip anyone could give to someone starting an Ironman training program. Ben Greenfield and Kerry Sullivan are two world class Ironman triathletes that offer some of, if not the best Ironman triathlon training on the planet. Check out their recommendations at []

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