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4031 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: May 25, 2012 5:49 AM by Moriates
jamesperez Amateur 12 posts since
Mar 11, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 9, 2012 3:02 PM

First attempt at Ironman distance - Nervous!

I will be doing Ironman Texas on May 19th and I getting nervous.  It's my first ever Ironman and I'm worried about the heat among other things.  I've come a long way, having lost over 80 pounds in the last 2 years and gone from completely inactive to training for this race.  That included learning how to swim, and getting my first bike as a grown up.  Any advice on the first IM?  I was alittle confused on the bike portion.  I know you get special needs bags that you can pick up at the half way point.  Is this where you put your drink and nutrution for the second half of the bike?  I guess that would make sense since it will be impossible to carry everything on board for the whole ride.  What else should I have in the special needs bag?  Also, I here about a changing tent at transition, but I've never had to change clothes for my shorter races.  Should I be changing clothes from the swim to bike, or the bike to run?  Or can I just do the whole race in the same kit like my half IM and shorter races?  See, lots of questions. 


Also, any scouting report on the IM Texas course?  I'm assuming it'll be hot...  what about the bike course?  windy?  hilly? 


Thanks in advance for any and all advice and insight.

84 pounds lost and counting.

  • BT.ROB Legend 270 posts since
    May 12, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Apr 10, 2012 1:56 PM (in response to jamesperez)
    Re: First attempt at Ironman distance - Nervous!


    Congrats on losing the weight and training for an IM! That is quite an accomplishment right there; you should be proud. I understand the nervousness as well. I can't help with the TX IM as I don't know the course. Here's some tips that can get you through the race;

    • In advance, write out what you need and when you need it. Have a packing list for the night before, morning of, transition, special needs, finish.Go over this list regularly so you don't forget anything.
    • A second list is to know what you will eat and drink when. Every 15 minutes? Set your watch for 15 minute intervals. Race as you have trained; know what works for your body. You will never replace all the calories you burn during the race. On a hot race particularly, make sure you have electrolytes (drink, tablets) and take regularly. Stay hydrated but don't over-hydrate (know how much you can take in without bloating/sloshing; maybe about 30 oz per hour)
    • Special needs bag can be nutrition, water bottles, some special goodies that you can look forward to, change/extra clothes that you may need if the weather may change. Freeze your water bottles so they may still be cold by the time you get to them. I used thermal ones so they were great on the second half.
    • On my IM race, I swam in regular bike shorts and was fine with a wet chamois for awhile. I used the changing tent in T2 to switch to running shorts. A 112 bike ride is a long way with tri shorts and a thin chamois.
    • On my run, I used a 4-bottle Fuel belt with powdered nutrition (Hammer products) and just filled with water from the aid stations as needed.
    • Depending on what your anticipated finish time is, you may want to bring an LED headlight if you are going to be in the dark.
    • Don't forget to savoir the experience, especially crossing the finish line!

    Good luck and have fun.



  • Julie Ann Hackett Legend 226 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Apr 11, 2012 9:46 AM (in response to jamesperez)
    Re: First attempt at Ironman distance - Nervous!

    Congrats on the weight loss and setting your sights on a full IM!  I did my first last November in Phoenix.  The best advice I got was to not worry about time and just enjoy the experience because you'll only do your first one once.  I had lots of family and friends out on the course to cheer me on which was the best motivation ever.  I didn't worry about my watch and had no idea how long it had taken me or even what time it was when I finished - I truly just enjoyed the experience.


    Like you I was very nervous about all of the gear bags and special need bags and changing tents since I had never experienced that.  Here's a great article that I read multiple times before the big day.

    I had packed my gear bags for all kinds of weather and even though I didn't need most of the stuff I packed it felt good to know it was there if needed.  I didn't change cloths (even though I could have as I had lots of options in my bags!).  The volunteers are AMAZING and will help you with everything during your transitions.


    Search online for TXIM race recaps and I'm sure you'll find plenty of insights.  I have heard that the TX races are hot and humid which can cause issues.  You might want to start experimenting with some Enduralytes (electrolyte pills) during your training.  I live in Phoenix and use the Enduralytes alot while training in the summer.


    Happy training and good luck with your race!!

  • Billy137 Amateur 14 posts since
    Feb 8, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Apr 18, 2012 8:43 AM (in response to jamesperez)
    Re: First attempt at Ironman distance - Nervous!

    A great forum website that I have found very useful is  There are different forums for different races and I'm sure there will be one on there for IM Texas.  IM St. George will be my first and that is where I have found all the information I've needed to prepare for race day.  There are tons of newbies seeking advice and also a lot of veterans giving advice.  It's honestly a great place to visit for quick answers a to your questions.  Also, most of your questions will probably already have been asked and answered by others, so you would just need to read the responses!  Good luck on your race!

  • Julie Ann Hackett Legend 226 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Apr 18, 2012 10:56 AM (in response to Billy137)
    Re: First attempt at Ironman distance - Nervous!

    I agree with the last post.  I actually joined right before my first IM race to ask a few last minute questions.  The users were very helpful and I got answers back that same day.

  • Moriates Legend 292 posts since
    Jul 19, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. May 25, 2012 5:49 AM (in response to jamesperez)
    First attempt at Ironman distance - Nervous!

    How did it go?



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