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9675 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Nov 14, 2009 11:55 AM by gwyn523
gwyn523 Rookie 5 posts since
Aug 10, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Sep 21, 2009 7:49 AM

Which triathlons to do in 2010 to prepare for 2011 Ironman?


I've set my sights on the 2011 Ironman Wisconsin.  I'm trying to figure out which triathlons (how many and what distances) to compete in 2010 to prepare for the IM and to be sure I'll be in good shape to start my IM training.  I've done several sprints in the 2009 season and have finished really well in those.  I'm planning on spending the winter focusing on strength and crosstraining.



I was thinking about doing a Sprint in May/June, then doing an Olympic Distance in July, then a half-marathon in late Aug., followed by another sprint in Sept. 



Does anybody have any other ideas or suggestions?  Thanks!



  • Iron Dawg Pro 111 posts since
    Oct 8, 2007

    There is no perfect way to train but here are a few suggestions.  After your first Sprint next year potentially add another Olympic or Internation distance and a Half Ironman/Ironman 70.3 to the end of next year vs that last sprint.  Make sure you add some Century bike rides, probably at least five and then in the fall of next year or early in 2011 complete a full marathon.

    Iron Dawg

    Favorite quote:

    "If you're not gettting better you're getting worse."

  • dnavarro82 Pro 113 posts since
    Apr 24, 2008

    gwyn523, sorry to break into your request, it's just that I have the exact same goal as you.  Going for a 2011 Ironman Madison goal.  Maybe we can help eachother.  I am an avide mountain biker and have compete in numerous XC races and downhill races.  I have also completed a few sprint and international distance triathlons.  Please feel free to object or add in ideas/recommendations to my 2010 plan.


    - I plan on continueing to race mountain bikes (both XC and downhill)

    - Compete in the Chicago Triathlon (International distance)

    - One or two Xterra triathlons

    - Compete in local 5K & 10K's possibly half marathon

    - inbetween all this swim, bike and run when I can


    I definitely need time management recommendations in training of an IM.  I am married and have a full time job, so I am struggling to find free time for training.

  • dkhartung Pro 98 posts since
    Aug 2, 2007

    Consider also focusing on some distance work, such as adding a HIM, a marathon, or a full aquabike.  I'm not speaking from IM experience here, just sharing the plan I'm on currently in which I "finished" a HIM last year, did two HIMs fairly well this year, a full Aquabike this past weekend, and will be capping off the season with a marathon on the 16th.


    My theory was to end the season having done the full IM distance in each of the three disciplines for both confidence building and muscle memory.

  • phibe Rookie 1 posts since
    Oct 5, 2009

    you really have a long-term perspective on this, I can see :-) It is a good thing but I finished my first, and so far the only, IM in Kalmar, Sweden, in beginning of August this year (11h39min). I decided by the end of February to participate, so I had five months of dedicated training with approx 35-40 hours per month before the IM.

    I have a background in running, but the Marathon-distances did I complete fifteen years ago, only shorter distances like 15K more recently like last year.

    So to me, your plan feels really stretched out during a long period of time.

    Like many other, I assume, I have now registered in the lottery for Ironman at Hawaii 2010. 50 slots are for international applicants so the chances are really slim...

    Good luck in Wisconsin!

  • dnavarro82 Pro 113 posts since
    Apr 24, 2008
    I would have tried for the 2010 Madison IM, but it was sold out the following day of the race.  For my first IM, I would like to do one that is close by.  I have a different background then you, seems like you are more from the distance realm.  I have a swimming, biking and running background, but I competed in mainly sprint style events.  So, I definitely have to incorporte some longer distance events.
  • Soft Belly Rookie 2 posts since
    Jul 16, 2009

    I am the event director for the Blackhawk Lake Triathlon held the weekend before the wisconsin ironman Sept 5, 2010 - registration is now open.

    It is a .25+ mile swim, 25.2 mile ride and 6 mile cross country run around the lake. Most important it may get you used to some of the hills and terrain that you will encounter during the iron man just on a shorter distance.

    Pain Is my friend. I will get better

    Chad Coyier

    Panther Cycling

    2010 Events:

    Feed the Need - April 17

    Panther Dash Stage Race

         June 5 - Time Trial

         June 6 - Road Race

    Blackhawk Lake Triathlon - Sept 5

  • IronMakeover Community Moderator 738 posts since
    Jul 7, 2008

    Hey there gwyn523  & dnavarro82,


    First, Ironman Wisconsin is an incredible iron-distance event. You will love the support & the venue. Maybe you already know that, do you live in Madison? We live in a suburb of Madison. My hubby finished there in 2003. I missed the bike cutoff that year at IMWI, but finished at beginner-friendly IMFL in 2005.


    I think your 2 year plan is great. I'm guessing you plan on volunteering next year at IMWI in order to get a registration spot for 2011?


    Each of you has different skills/strengths/goals/time available I'm sure. Setting a strong base (and staying injury free) for your training is smart. Basically you want hills to prep for Wisconsin. For me it's all about Midtown Road.


    Iowa's Pigman has some challenging options. We've also done Spirit of Racine 1/2 IM (flat). The Devil's Challenge sprint tri in Baraboo is very hilly, a CAT1 rider did that 15 miles in ~43 minutes. New Glarus' Alphornman was nice too. Our race reports here: Devil's Challenge Alphornman New Glarus The Pigman, Iowa


    As far as marathons go, you don't have to run one to train for IM.

    Joe Friel's opinion on that here


    And Bobby McGee, running expert & USAT speaker, also suggests NOT running a marathon. It takes too much training & recovery to run it well & running is the most common place for injuries. He suggest 1/2 marathons instead.


    Also, the November 2009 issue of Triathlete Magazine has an article on training/family balance. p.90. I plan on doing a series on that on my blog sometime as well. It's possible!

    Best to you,

    Sara Cox Landolt

    Sara Cox Landolt

  • dnavarro82 Pro 113 posts since
    Apr 24, 2008

    I live in the Chicago area, so I definitely don't have the long open roads.  Yes, I plan on volunteering in the 2010 IM.  If I head far enough north or south, I can find some hills to ride.  Otherwise I will just work with some interval training.


    I heard the same thing about not running a marathon before an IM.  In talking to a couple marathoners, they agreed.


    Thanks for the heads up on the Magazine article.  I'll have to get that issue.



  • ted vomacka Rookie 2 posts since
    Aug 27, 2009
    Good luck on your training.  I am a former Ironman Finisher (Vineman in California and Western Australia) and I took a somewhat different approach for preperations.  I made sure that I competed in events that covered all three sports and the full distances during the course of the previous year.  Started with a marathon, then did a century on the bike and finished with an open water swim.  I had completed many sprints and a few international events in the past so my main focus was to do a half Ironman several months ahead of the "real" deal.  I feel that this worked out better for me then any of the other race training methods.  My weekly training averaged about 30 hours with at least one long swim set during the week and a long run and bike on the weekend.  Do make sure that you get several brick workouts after long rides as the transition to running will feel much different after 112 miles on the bike then it feels after a sprint or international.  Good luck with your training and racing - finishing an ironman is a lofty goal and one you should be very proud of.

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