Skip navigation

3401 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Feb 15, 2011 1:37 PM by RunTysonRun
RedheadSister Rookie 2 posts since
Feb 7, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Feb 7, 2011 7:06 AM

Support Ideas For First Ironman

A friend has asked me to accompany her to her first Ironman competition in November.  I am hoping to get both practical and fun ideas on how I can support her over the next several months while she trains as well as at the actual race.  I am a runner, but not a triathlete and I really want to do a good job at helping her do the best she can!  Any help from the triathlete community would be greatly appreciated!  Thank you so much!



  • Joe_h1 Community Moderator 1,833 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Feb 7, 2011 8:55 AM (in response to RedheadSister)
    Re: Support Ideas For First Ironman

    that's awesome. just being there is a big help sometimes she'll want to vent or need someone to listen to her when she freaks out.  you don't need to knwo the answers but listening and keeping her focused is a big help. and she will probably need the occassional kick in the arse

    goals for 2011:

    break 19minutes for 5k

    break 2:42 for olympic triathlon probably Anthracite olympic

    break 3:16 for marathon ( a long shot but it's fun putting yourself out there)

  • dnavarro82 Pro 113 posts since
    Apr 24, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Feb 7, 2011 9:32 AM (in response to Joe_h1)
    Re: Support Ideas For First Ironman

    "she will probably need the occassional kick in the arse"




    Since you are a runner, you can do some of the runs with her.  I am currentlyt raining for my first Ironman, and am doing it solo.  There are times when I wish I had someone along side to keep me going.

  • ChristopherM of Boston Amateur 22 posts since
    Aug 23, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Feb 8, 2011 1:31 PM (in response to RedheadSister)
    Re: Support Ideas For First Ironman

    Easy, you can DO IT WITH HER. 


    Seriously, though, having a buddy to train with is priceless.  If you're a runner, drag her out of bed and go with her on those long training runs.  If she trains on a bike in the gym, ride the bike next to her.  Train with her whenever you can, and send her harassing text messages when you can't be there with her, just so she knows you're still paying attention.


    The other thing you can do is be vocal and make her training very public.  Talk about it, tell friends, post on Facebook.  Peer pressure is a great motivator - if everyone knows she's training, she's less likely to slack off or drop out.


    I have a friend who, every now and then, sends me a new MP3 to add to my training playlist.  It's appreciated.


    Come race day, your presense is going to be HUGE.  Even in a race as big as an Ironman, knowing just one person is there looking out for me, supporting me and cheering me on is going to mean the world.  Before the race, think of yourself as a corner man for a boxer - help her setup her gear, help her focus on her race plan, lighten the mood to shake off the butterflies, and take lots of pictures (she'll appreciate evidence of her accomplishment, and official race photographers are terribly expensive).  Post updates to her friends and family thoughout the day.  It'll be hard to track her during the race (unless she uses a GPS trainer with a LIVE function), but if you can stake out a couple places in the course and wave as she goes by, she'll appreciate it.  And once she's finished, your job is to be her bodyman (or bodywoman): get food and water for her, carry her gear, and make sure she doesn't walk out in front of a bus.


    You're a GOOD FRIEND for doing this - good luck to you both!

    -Christopher M

    Boston, MA

  • drmiles85 Pro 84 posts since
    Nov 5, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Feb 11, 2011 6:40 AM (in response to ChristopherM of Boston)
    Re: Support Ideas For First Ironman

    Make sure you figure out (quickly) what kind of motivation she likes, and how she likes to handle publicity of her achievements.  My wife would kill me if I posted her workouts on FB or sent "harassing" texts.  She'd rather receive uber-positive encouragement.  On the other hand, I'd respond well to the types of "encouragement" presented here.  Just be careful to not push too hard.  This should be a blast for both of you!  Good luck!

  • BT.ROB Legend 270 posts since
    May 12, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Feb 11, 2011 2:28 PM (in response to RedheadSister)
    Re: Support Ideas For First Ironman

    Other suggestions:

    • If you don't accompany her on a run (particularly long runs), arrange to meet her somewhere along the way by car or bike with extra water and nutrition. Same on bike rides.
    • If swimming in a pool, keep track of her laps and routine. If in open water, get a kayak and paddle along for visibility and as an emergency rest stop.
    • Arrange for a massage (or many!)
    • Make up some signs and post along her run/bike route or at her house. Take to the race as well.
    • Help with her race organization: make lists, check to see if she has the items, write down strategy and go over with her. Drill the process so it is second nature to her come race time.
    • Cheer loudly! And do it for all participants.

    You are a good friend.



  • RunTysonRun Pro 142 posts since
    Jul 15, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Feb 15, 2011 1:37 PM (in response to RedheadSister)
    Re: Support Ideas For First Ironman

    First off, thanks for being there for your friend. Training alone can be boring and I think it can be easier to punk out. I am training for my first triathlon this summer and an Ironman 70.3 event in 2012. My husband and son accompany me to my races now and are the best cheerleaders ever. My hubby will be coming with to my Ironman 70.3. It is encouraging to have someone there that you know, even if the only time you see them is at the start and finish. I am training alone and it can be difficult at times to stay focused and motivated. I think that the only think keeping me going is that I've told people what I'm doing. People will see me running and honk or tell me on FB how cool it is to see me out training for such a large event. I am much less likely to punk out now.


    Something to think about, and maybe this is just because I don't know much about it, but it would be good to educate yourself in the nutritional needs of someone training as hard as your friend. You are a runner and know that water doesn't always cut it-especially after mile 6, hill 4, during hot/cold runs, etc. Help your friend by doing some of the research and leg work on bars, drinks, gels, etc. and maybe talk with her about these things and see what stuff she would like to try. I'm sure she's tried some of these things but it never hurts to have another set of eyes and ears out researching the food part of it. I can only imagine what a body needs for a full Ironman.


    Maybe make her a fun shirt for training or to wear during races leading up to her Ironman. A funny quote that's also motivating can be taped on the back of her shirt (duct tape and a black permanent marker will work). It gets people talking and asking her what it's about. I know I always feel proud talking about my training accomplishments and goals. Let her brag it up! I've had plenty of "OMG you are nuts" stares just from telling people I'm in training for an Ironman 70.3. Gives a little boost to the confidence factor. She's doing what not many people can (or want to). :-)


    Again, thanks for being there for your friend. Whether or not you endure the hours of running, lifting, biking and swimming yourself, your encouragement will go a long ways to ensuring her success. And, if you endure those hours, at least you're getting a good workout in! A training buddy is important and I think it's great what you're doing. Good luck to you and your friend!



    Running is a mental sport and we're all insane.

    Snap 5K June 26 2010 37:46

    Challenge Diabetes 5K July 10  2010 36:26

    Waterama 5K Run July 24 2010 35:20

    Twins 4K August 1 2010 28:20

    American Cancer Society 5K August 14 2010 34:06 *PR

    Minneapolis Duathlon Fun Course (1.5mi run, 12mi bike, 1.5mi run) August 29 2010 1:44:11

    Alexandria 10K September 18 2010 1:09:34 *PR

    Fargo Half Marathon October 9 2010 3:00:15

    Turkey Leg 5K November 25, 2010 36:36

    Get Lucky Triple 7K (HM) March 19, 2011 2:38:06 *PR

    Chain of Lakes Sprint Triathlon May 7, 2011 1:42:01

    Brookings, SD Marathon May 14, 2011 5:46:13 *PR

    Graniteman Sprint Triathlon July 9, 2011

    Green Lake Triathlon (Olympic) August 14, 2011

    Half Iron Distance TBD 2012

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...


  • Correct Answers - 10 points
  • Helpful Answers - 7 points