Time to get a bit more serious

Hello all! excited to be here. Looking for a little advice/guidance. I would like to start seriously preparing for my first half Ironman. My goal is to do the 2020 70.3 in Chattanooga.

In the short term I will be racing for our local bike club to keep myself solid on the bike as well as hammering Trainerroad. For the 6-7 years I have been an avid crossfitter but it has lost much of its joy and working towards an Ironman has always been a personal goal of mine.

I guess the biggest advice I am looking for is how to prepare for the run and swim. I ran for many many years before crossfit and am a mediocre swimmer.

Nutrition is something I am managing well as I am currently working to bring my weight down to be lighter on the bike. My one complicating factor is that I am in medical school which can be a touch time consuming but exercise is what keeps me sane so I am committed to it.

Any advice would be great! Thanks

The swim is all about your technique, never forget that. It is tempting to to just grind away lap after mindless lap, but you won’t race your potential if you don’t put in the tech work. Find a masters class or a coach, someone to occasionally check your form. It is very difficult to judge your form yourself and invaluable to have someone point out your flaws and give some direction on what to work on next.

For the run my only advice is to ramp mileage up slowly. Your engine responds much quicker to your training than the rest of body, which makes it very easy to get injured.

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Thank you for the insight! One more question that I forgot to bring up was about tri bikes. If the budget allows, I will be getting a tri bike at the end of the summer to give me time to become accustomed to that style of riding. I think I know the answer but do I just need to put in the hours on the bike and have a good fit to “get comfortable with being uncomfortable”?

I think I know the answer but do I just need to put in the hours on the bike and have a good fit to “get comfortable with being uncomfortable”?

Nope. In long distance triathlon you want to be comfortable, full stop. On a 70.3 or full IM you’ve got enough on your plate, having to endure a terrible bike position should be avoided. For most this means sacrificing some power and/or aerodynamics in favor of comfort. That of course begins with a bike that fits and a solid bike fit. Get a bike that suits your body, get a bike fit and start riding. Then tweak your position. No matter how great your fitter is, some things only come to light after to 3 or 4 hours of riding in aero. Then of course, you want to spend at least some time on your TT bike to get used to it.

Among my lessons learnt are:

  • If you train on your TT bike indoors, make it a habit to look ahead. Your neck will thank you come race day.
  • If you can’t hold your aero position for the entire race, revisit your bike fit.
  • Train high power in aero position (I don’t and as a result my in-aero-FTP is probably 15-20% lower than on my road bike.)
  • When you ride your TT outdoors make it a habit to remain in aero as long as it is safe.
  • Learn to switch bar position quickly and safely

/End of thread on swim part.

Might I add – listen to the Tower26 podcast. Great info in there on just the swim.

Have you listened to the podcasts on the State TT competition that the three did? That is a MUST listen to. Many lessons in there on TTing.

I would also suggest you find a local TT series. Do those to test yourself and get comfortable with working hard on the bike. Even if you don’t have a TT bike you can do them.


Thank you all for the advice! I will definitely be adding these into my training plan.