The Ironman in 2019 thread

We would have finished quite close, my day was really disappointing was sure I could have done something with 12 on the clock, had 2 bad mechanicals one inside Holme Pierrrpont and ended up coming in at 14.30

Plenty of time to find those 4 minutes next year. Hopefully the weather will be more like it was 2 years ago rather than this year which was horrific :umbrella::tornado:

I had to drop out after the Northern loop this year because my eTap gearing went haywire in the rain making the bike unrideable. All ifs and but of course but I would have been pushing for an overall podium spot I think. Gutted, but I’ll be back one year.

Friend of mine did it this year and gave me the story of the weather, definitely hoping for the weather of 2 years ago. Sorry to hear of your problems.

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Was hoping for 13 something, so gutted at first. However, I developed a cold the day after so reckoned that had a little to do with it.

Such is life. If I had finished well at the Outlaw I wouldn’t have even have thought about going to do IM Maryland. It turned out to be an very expensive mechanical :blush:


Hi y’all,

@JoeX cool thread idea, I was pinged at the top, so here I am :smiley:

I am planning on signing up to Ironman 70.3 Gdynia when the registration opens in December. The race will be taking place on 11th August 2019, so plenty of time for training!

I recently got a wahoo kickr core and set my trusty Canyon Ultimate on it, then promptly signed up to trainerroad and loaded up the mid-volume half distance base program. Then I realised I have way too much time between now and the race, so I need to pad it somehow! After doing a week of the program and asking for help on the trainerroad forum I switched to mid-volume sweet spot base.

I then tried to fit some swims (my weakest leg) and runs (my strongest leg) around it. That worked the first two weeks, then less so as life gets in the way. I had to skip one week due to illness as well, so today I just finished a repeat of week 2 of the SSB. But so far so good, my motivation is still at a very good level. I got the trainer to up my cycling game so I don’t regret having to skip the runs and rides now and again when needed, focusing on the riding bits. I know I will have plenty of time to train swimming and running when I move to half distance base some time in February.

So, here’s my piece. Stay motivated lads and gals, I’ll check in here again some time later :wink:


this is a great thread! @JoeX

I am planning two 70.3 events, one in June/July (first peak, B race) and one in September (A race). The races should be spread out by more than 6-8 weeks to allow sufficient time to rest & build further fitness. I have a shortlist of race options but not sure yet which I will pursue. I am choosing between local races (where I can be more competitive, which is fun) and courses with more elevation/hills as I am a very light rider (and I live in Holland where the world is dead flat).

plan to go to B race is SSB1 and 2 -> Sustained Power Build -> part of SSB2 -> HIM Build -> HIM Speciality. I am already on the way and have left a few extra weeks for travels/possible illness and to have time off to recuperate mentally and physically.


I’m preparing for my first Ironman - 30/06/2019 Nice.

It was on my ‘must do before I die’ list for 10 years already and I’ve never took a step towards this goal. This year I finally decided to do something about it. Bought a road bike, done my first triathlon in July and a half-iron in September.

I’ve managed to put swimming in running easily into my agenda - swimming at lunch time, and running back home from work every other day - this one is such a no brainer once you’ve tried it !

Cycling though is much tougher to schedule (2 kids). Just bought a home trainer and discovered Trainer Road. Oh my ! This is the best way to spent money ever (both the home trainer and Trainer Road) ! I was a bit worried about how I will train for the bike leg, but now it’s just sooo easy to fit into agenda - loving it.

I literally have tears in my eyes every time I workout, thinking about the fact that I will complete an Ironman in 8 months, while sweating damn hard in my pain cave.


Heads up: LONG post, but I’d appreciate advice/guidance from those who have experience

I’m doing Ironman Canada (Whistler, British Columbia), July 28.
It’s been my dream of twenty years to do an Ironman, ever since I saw the special on tv back in the late 90s. I was going through a rough period with clinical depression & thought completing an Ironman would be the biggest middle finger salute to mental illness.
I wasn’t able to train much due to depression and/or anxiety (diagnosed w/ social anxiety in early 2000s) so I stuck to sprints.
Fast forward to 2016-ish, having had a particularly bad period of severe anxiety where I was in bed most days for over three years, I started to come out of it. I suspect the anxiety got bad due to several undiagnosed concussions (mountain biking, dirt jumping ~ cracked 5 ribs in 7 places, snowboarding) in a one or two year period.
I decided to go for it, started a mental health advocacy campaign & race team called The #TriAgainProject (I’d appreciate a like/follow/share on Facebook & IG), found some sponsors & teammates.
I’ve been struggling with low ferritin & fluctuating levels for the last year and a bit, plus an old injury from previously mentioned MTB crash where I apparently tore my lateral quadriceps & deactivated it. So my hill climbs are notoriously slow due to functioning with only 3/4 of my quad muscles firing. This is not ideal especially since the Whistler bike course is pretty much all hills.
I did Ironman Canada 70.3 in 2017 (w/ low ferritin, having had flu at the beginning of race month) w/ a time of almost 10½hrs; I just decided to keep going until they took me off course & I wasn’t, so I’m listed as an official finisher. When I’m feeling bad during a workout, I think back to that race to remind myself I can get through pain.
I was going to do IMC 2018 but my ferritin levels were all over the map, so I deferred.
Signed up for a half iron distance instead & had to DNF 40km into the bike due to my quad cramping & compressing on my ITB ~ it was 14°C, torrential downpour (at times hail) and gusts of 17km/h winds. The course was easier than the 70.3 I did the year before, so I was (still am) irritated. But it prompted me to finally start getting physiotherapy.

So I decided to get a smart trainer because it rains where I live November to April pretty much. I live close to Whistler, so once it’s nicer out I can actually go ride the course. I’ve driven part of the new course and it’s tough!
The plan is to train using the course gpx file in the winter. :slight_smile: «-- I’m sure that smily face will not be as smiley in a few months… haha.

Where I’m at:
*Half-marathon: 2h52m (May 2017, didn’t train much for it)
*70.3 : 10h28m (July 2017, low ferritin [25], bad case of flu race month)
*Marathon: 6h54m (May 2018 this race sucked)
*Standard tri: 4h09m (March 2018, 3 loops, with 1km long gradual climbs)

My race calendar is as follows:
Februray 10: Half-marathon
Goal: 2h30m

March 9 triathlon: standard distance (1500m/40km/10km), pool swim
Goal: sub 3h15 (bonus if I can get under 3hrs)

May (first Sunday): marathon
Goal: sub-5hr

May 20: triathlon (600m/18km/5km)
Just for fun

July 28: Ironman Canada
Goal: sub-16hr

I’m just getting back into working (very) part-time (a couple hours 6 days a week coaching youth triathlon and tutoring), so I have time to train, but since I was inactive or so long & due to my ferritin issues, I’m out of shape. My brain is several steps ahead of my body’s capability.

I just started seeing a naturopath for nutritional consultation; I’m seeing a physiotherapist; I’ll be getting my bike re-fit by a physiotherapist soon; I’m also going to be starting planning sessions with a personal trainer in the next few weeks. I’ll be getting a fitness membership so I’ll have access to the pool & weight room w/ stretching areas whenever the facilities are open.
Plus Trainer Road. (possibly Zwift)

Swimming: strongest of the three disciplines; former lifeguard & swim instructor, taught for 8+ yrs, so I’m not worried about the swim as long as I can get my fitness up. I am blessed to be a confident swimmer. Can’t do flip turns though, haha. That’s probably making my times slow.

Biking ~ I just got a full carbon bike this past year ~ what a difference. Aerobar set up. I like riding outdoors, but bike fit is not the best, but as mentioned, I’ll be getting re-fit soon. Bike handling skills are decent, so I’m confident going fast on descents. Need to work on the climbs. I was That Person on the climbs: carbon bike, aero bars & getting passed by everyone, including the people ridind steel bikes w/ paniers… sigh

Running ~ meh. I see it as something I have to get through to earn the finish line. I enjoy intervals/track workouts. I don’t run w/ music, ever.

I have had very slow times for my races, as I was unable to train as much as I wanted to. Let’s be honest: I’m out of shape, trying to get my life back together after being bedridden for over 3 years pretty much and my metabolism is messed up I think from going from inactivity to racing again.

Equipment & facilities:
Tacx Flux ~ Trainer Road (total noob)
Garmin 920XT (w/ foot pod, HRM strap)
Garmin Edge 500
Foam roller, resistance bands, 5lb medicine balls, rotating disc thing you stand on
Swim: 25m local, but can travel a bit to use 50m pool; OWS group in summer drop-in; master’s swim group drop-in @ pools where I’ll be getting a membership 5 days a week, 2 ability levels
Weight room: circuit room, traditional workout room

» I have time
» confident swimmer
» Motivated (finishing Ironman Canada is the cornerstone of my campaign)
» Like structured, prescriptive workouts
» Am motivated by watching the numbers & graphs on display screen during a workout
» mentally tough to push through long workouts/races
» I don’t get too discouraged by being slow AF, I take time to process the DNFs or bad races, then look at what I need to do to improve
» I have done lots of triathlons (10+ sprints, 2 standard, half iron), so I’m familiar w/ race day/transition etc
» I know I have endurance, I’m just slow
» I have the facilities nearby

Low cash flow due to being off work & just returning to The Real World

Anxiety & overwhelm: need to stay motivated & be able to stay focused; hoping TR will help

No reliable baseline of potential: most races in the past couple seasons I was sick or injured (I’d start training & ferritin would drop, I’d get sick before races etc)

I’m not sure what program to choose, as I have time but don’t know how much I can handle.
I did a lactate threshold run test a couple weeks ago (10 m warm up, 20 min tempo, 5 min rest, 2 hill intervals) and needed 3 days rest. Sometimes it’s difficult to separate psychological fatigue from physical, but I’m cautious about overtraining as I don’t want to go back to being mentally ready to train & have my body unable to handle doing day-to-day Things.

Do I choose the long distance triathlon (iron distance) plan? Or start w/ the Olympic plan (I’d like to be strong for the race in March) and switch to iron distance after?
How do I adjust my training around my races?
Thoughts on how to incorporate Zwift into Ironman training?

I’ve been reading through The Triathlete’s Training Bible, so I have some background knowledge.

Can I get ANT+ antenna at a computer shop?
I’m considering buying the Tacx ANT+ antenna, but that would mean I’d have to wait a couple weeks for it to arrive.

TIA for your insight.
I’m looking forward to training.


Escape from Alcatraz is on my bucket list:)

Awesome man! Nice is a superb Ironman location!
We will have our first Ironmans at the same day. You in Nice, me in Frankfurt. :smile:

Will you commit to a training plan for this event?

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Respect, Sir, for this past way you mastered!
Your hunger to fight your way back into “the real word” is really impressive!

To your question:
You have time. That is very good for long distance Triathlon.
But I am afraid, your plans for the next year are a bit too ambitions. The Marathon in may will force you to a long recovery at a time, when you really should build for the Ironman.

If you really have time, you could go for the marathon, do some 70.3s next year and finish a strong Ironman in 2020, without the fear of exceed the cut of times.

If the middle finger to your sickness is more important than that, cancel the Marathon, go for the Ironman, but don’t overdue it. The risk would be that it could be possible that you won’t finish the distances in time before the cut off timers hit.

For the preparation of the Ironman, I’d complete the full distance base, build, specialty low volume.
Look at week 5/6 of the base phase and what you need to handle there.
Then you can gradually build up volume and intensity until you can do these requirements without excessive need of recovery.
That will take time!

Gdynia looks interesting! Could be a destination for me in 2020 let us know how it goes and the SSB. I’ve never done SSB but it’s a popular filler so I might try it June before going back to Full Speciality.

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Good luck - that’s a really good point about leaving a few weeks for holidays and illness.

I know you’re supposed to flex the training week but sometimes a gap and time off the trainer is a good thing.

Sound like you’ve taken to triathlon well, how was your first tri and first half?

Nice is a very attractive venue too, Bon chance!

Seriously considering doing the savageman 70. It is not an official m. Race so can’t be called 70.3. This has been on the bucket list for quite some time, as there is a secondary goal included. Make it up the westernport wall without putting a foot down to get a brick added to it. 25% grade…

It’s either this or i do xterra nationals since it is around the same time and doesn’t seem too different in fitness needs.

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First of all, kudos to you for getting through the last 3 years, they sound tough and you deserve huge credit for getting to this point.

As @Amnesty has said you’ve chosen a lofty goal and I’d agree largely with that post. A marathon in the middle of a build up to a triathlon is rarely a good idea - the recovery from a marathon can be huge so I would give this careful consideration. I would also be recommending that to start with shorter distances to build up fitness and confidence before thinking about an IM, but that is obviously your choice to make.

A number of things struck me from your post

These are key I think. IM Whistler might be a realistic target, it might not be. At the moment it strikes me that you don’t know that yet either. Give yourself a period to train consistently before making a definite decision whether an IM should be on your radar.

You might have time to train but your body may not be ready for it. After a long period of illness and not training whatever plans or races you decide on, you need to be extremely conservative in your approach. High motivation is a great thing but if the body is unused to training any goals you might have may end up out of the window because of injury and niggles.

Please don’t see the above as negative - it’s not meant to be. Coming back from a period of mental ill health can have many challenges in and of itself and while your goals have the potential to be very positive in your recovery they also have the potential to have a negative impact should things not work out the way you want.

This is the most important part I think. While recovering handling the day to day activities and life in general is more important than the training part, even if the two go hand in hand for you.

So, my advice would be

First of all kudos for being where you are now. This is huge in itself.

Whatever training you start, keep it low volume and train week by week without looking at your longer term goals. Whether you are ‘slow’ or ‘fast’ your body can only handle a certain amount in the present. Train for your capabilities at the moment rather than where you want to be.

Give yourself the flexibility to change goals depending on how the initial training goes. If it goes well and IM Whistler is in your view realistic, great. If it turns out not to be change those plans without guilt or regret. That can be a harder but braver decision for both your health and long term sporting ambitions.

Recovery can be a bumpy road so expect those bumps and make sure you have support around you.

Good luck!


That’s definitely good advice, it’s always worth leaving a little wiggle room in any planning. It’s rare to have a long period of training completely free from injury or life events that get in the way for a week or two

Hi Maki welcome, looks like your path to IM began some time ago! :slight_smile:

It’s great to be confident in the water, I was never competitive but going to the pool a lot as a child/teen and a fair amount of scuba diving means it takes me a lot to get flustered in a swim - as a lifeguard Id expect you’d be the same and that confidence can save a lot of time and effort over 3.8km!

Ironman and IM training is long and hard, and often demoralising. Mental strength is key, with your track record of coming back from a dark place and roughing out some long events should help a lot.

Two things I’d reconsider are the number and heights of your targets next year. I’ve tried setting targets, it doesn’t help! Now I go as far as choosing a pace, and try to forget the clock. Several missed targets have brought me quite low, now I recognise the outcome is the outcome and only part of it is within my control. You’re setting yourself several personal bests as targets in the year of your first Ironman, my tip is to shift them to after ;). After IMUK in 2016 I did little training and two months later cruised to a twenty minute PB at a local Olympic, after a 2hr ride to get there. It felt easy.

Structured training is the way to go, so it’s good that it suits you and hopefully here we can all support each other. I can’t speak for your physical and mental challenges, but in your place I would look at the low volume full distance plan as IM is you A race, and put all the other events on your calendar into the C category, or defer them if you can.

It’s great you have a “team” as well, wish I had a physio and trainer!

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Thanks for the feedback and the kind words everyone. :slight_smile: It means a lot.
I’ve already paid for the marathon, so I think I might just set that as C priority and walk it again if necessary.

Whistler is priority, as I already deferred once & I’m at a place where I have time to sort it out.

I think I’ll go with the low volume full distance & do the standard, half marathon & marathon in “for fun”. I have a feeling that I’ll be needing time to adjust to training.

The goal times were made up because it was suggested in The Triathlete’s Training Bible to have several and then subgoals. I’m ok with ditching the goal times & having them as “just finish” races.
It’s tricky, since I’m doing an advocacy campaign, and our race kit gets a lot of attention at events. I want to do events to be visible… I love the race atmosphere.

Thanks again for the tips!
This is 6 of the 9 who raced at the tri in March last year. It’s my 40th birthday weekend, so this year I hope to have a few notable athletes on the relay team. I already have a former Jr World Track Champion (she podiumed at several of BC Superweek stages this summer) on board as my women’s relay cyclist :stuck_out_tongue:


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