Kona Qualifiers: What's your open marathon PR and your Ironman marathon PR?

It’s been a dream of mine for like 15 years to KQ. Looking at some race results it seems like everyone has gotten a lot faster :scream:.

In the 40-44 ag it seems like I’d need to be able to run a 2:45 open marathon to have the sort of fitness to run fast in an Ironman (3:10ish) and qualify…even with a good bike.

A 2:45 marathon seems way out of reach for me.

How fast are you KQ running your open marathons and Ironman marathons? Let me know your AG too, please.

Super bonus points if you know your bike leg NP and time. And triple amazing if you say your height.

Edit: I’m asking for a lot so let me just put down a little form:

Open Marathon PR:
IM Marathon PR:
Bike Leg Time:
Bike Leg NP:


Hi @Nate_Pearson recently been talked into a 70.3 and possibly the Kona Half

I’ve never done a Marathon. Done a half run and bike.

Age 41
Run 21.6ks 1200m of climbing 2hrs 50. Hardest half I know of. Straight up Mt Wellington.
Ride 256w 91k 2hrs21

Height 176cm

@Nate_Pearson - In for answers too! :grimacing:

I wouldn‘t focus on solo marathon times too much. Even times at all are not that helpful since course and condition play a HUGE role (42*C in Frankfurt this year for example).
You can find (but probably already know) a good survey over qualification times at specific races here:

But as you mentioned: In some AG you need to be semi-pro/pro to qualify…:worried:


AG: M45-49

Height: 174cm

Open Marathon PR 2:51 - this was back in 2012 and I haven’t I run an open marathon since 2013. I did run a 1:18 HM last year and would be targeting 2:40 or under if I were putting in a proper marathon focus now.

IM Marathon PB 3:12 at Maryland in 2018

Bike Leg Time: Well…Official ride time in that Maryland race was 4:46 but I had puncture around the 7 mile mark - I had an actual ride time recorded of 4:38

Bike Leg NP: 196W (AP 190W) This numbers are for the full 4:46 duration


I agree that one should not even consider a stand alone vs an IM marathon. The ONLY similarity is the distance. The IM run is so much different in that all day nutrition, pacing and the strength/weight of the athletes are all factors. My stand alone marathon actually was no better than my IM times, but was a few years before when I did not have the base I needed. @Nate_Pearson, I would not think at all about the times you need to run, especially on your first time at the distance. Having had awesome coaching from arguably the best in the sport, we never even put out a time, although I knew the window I was “capable” of. That’s the best approach; plan on finishing strong and let the chips fall where they may. You also have no control over who shows up, so some races are slow, others crazy fast to KQ. Enjoy the effort and not the results.

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You should get a Stryd running power meter. Run with it at various paces to get an idea of the correlation of pace to run watts. Find out how many run watts it takes to run 3:10 marathon pace and then reverse engineer what kind of run FTP you’d need to run that off of a well paced swim+bike. Try and get your run FTP at the needed level to support a run of that pace and then add the needed endurance of an Ironman specific block.

It’s been interesting hearing about your steady and significant bike FTP improvements over the last couple of years. Maybe by approaching your run with similar methodologies can yield some great results. Good luck!

Well I can be damn sure I won’t qualify with an open marathon PR of 3:37. My gut says that 45 and below KQ run about a 3 hour open marathon or faster.

You’re one of the best AG runners man. Beast!!!

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I’ve done one ironman and 6 half ironmans. Probably 40-50 triathlons total (although I’m not sure).

Half PR of 4:56. This was back when my FTP was 245 and I didn’t know anything :smiley:.

The rule of thumb I’ve heard for IM is to add thirty minutes to your open time.

I understand that doesn’t always hold true, it’s just a rule of thumb.

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That’s the plan. The wild card is injury. I ran like 3 miles on a treadmill a few weeks back and my knees hurt for days.

It will be a slow build up.

Okay, I did some searching and there’s a rule of thumb for running speed to power to weight in cycling. If you’re 4 watts/kg that’s about 4 m/s running or 6:42 min/miles for around an hour.

This is assuming a well-trained runner who is efficient.

I’m thinking my threshold pace would need to be about 6:00 min/miles or about 4.5 watts kg.

With me at 190 (86kg) that’s a 387 FTP. Adjusted for altitude at 4,600 feet that’s about a 368 FTP.

With me at 180 (81.6 kg - I used to weigh this when I did tris) that’s a 367 FTP. Adjusted for altitude at 4,600 feet that’s about a 349 FTP.

So all I need to do is maintain my FTP AND get my run volume up without being injured AND figure out how to swim again. Yah, simple as that :wink:.

Basically you have to be amazing in two sports and pretty good in another.

I should have an advantage on a flat bike course and that should let me pad my run a bit.


I’m sure you are much more capable of better than 4:56 now. I think the “rule of thumb” has been pretty much discredited by most parties as it is so dependent of conditions, training, etc. I have every confidence that you will all go into this IM far more intelligently and with a much larger base. I think KQ is a really tough goal, especially this early in the IM career, but not out of the question. One key is having a great command of what you can do when the "wheels come off’, and respond accordingly. I think flexibility and staying in the moment is huge with Ironman. As my wise coaches first told me “prepare for everything and expect nothing”. Very wise advice that has helped me throughout my tri career.


At your size/weight, you are a virtual torpedo, so swim is absolutely a possible strength. I have found a key for running is to run on trails an have someone check your form so you are somewhat efficient. A LOT of aerobic effort will get you where you want to be.

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I know we have some “super” swimmers here in Reno…if you don’t know Ryan Evans, look him up, I think he is currently coaching the Reno Aquatic Club…such a great swimmer, so smooth and effortless ( I think he had the fastest swim at the first IM Tahoe), awesome coach too…you should hire him as a swim consultant at TR.

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I swam a bit in high school and was OK in the pool but I always swam crooked in open water. Hopefully I can work on that and fix it.

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Yes, I know with Ryan and swam masters with him (although in another lane :wink:).

Funny you should say that because Ryan just coached my wife’s swim technique and she had a major breakthrough today! She’s so pumped. She took like 15 minutes off her 2000m time.

Another good swim coach we have is Jeff Pearson of Boost Swimming (no relation). He’s like 3x US open water swim champion and does open water clinics with underwater filming at Donner and Tahoe during the summer.

I think I’m going to utilize a combo of the two.

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Triathlon race/training video analysis coming up in preparation for the IM podcast challenge?


It depends on course and conditions. I agree with you, that you will need to be crazy fast after swimming and biking. But I am not sure, if an arbitrary number helps. Coachcox gives a good orientation.
But since running is so injury risky, I could imagine, the better approach is not to look for a number, but develop your running form where you are now. This will be a longer way, so I’d not put too much pressure on running in the beginning (-> risk of injury increases).

When do you plan to start with your triathlon training?

I am really looking forward to more triathlon related topics on the podcast!

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I don’t plan to start for a while. I might run on some trips where I don’t bring my bike but that’s it.

I agree with you about running form. We’re going to hire some famous running coach to help us run.

My goals are:

  • get as many cat 1 upgrade points as I can before cape epic
  • smash cape epic