Ironman aspirations are dashed during the marathon. It is incredibly challenging—rarely ever accomplished—to run a great marathon after pedalling 112 challenging Km. Learn how to complete your Ironman marathon. 


It’s difficult to know how to prepare for an Ironman. You will soon realise that there are many pieces to the puzzle of ironman training, which includes more than simply a bunch of swim, cycle, and run exercises. But before we go into the essentials of ironman preparation, including gear, training schedules, and event selection, let us first address the whole picture. 

What is an Ironman?

An Iron Man competition is a triathlon, a sporting event that tests participants to finish three legs of a race: swimming, cycling, and running. Even though any triathlon, especially one with specific distances for each leg, may be referred to as an "Iron Man competition," the word "Ironman" really refers to a series of competitions with that name. 

There are three races each year, one of which takes place in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Competitors swim 2.4 miles (3.86 km) across Kailua-Kona Bay, cycle 112 miles (180.2 km) from Keauhou to Hawi and back, and run from Keauhou to Keahole Point and back. Around the world, many Ironman triathlons are held.

What's the average Ironman time?

The average finish time for an Ironman is 12 to 14 hours; women can finish on average at 13:26 hrs. and men at 12:17 hrs. Swimming takes up 10% of the race, biking takes up 50%, and running takes up 38%. The final 2% of the time is spent in transition, also known as T1 and T2, respectively. Spending during the transition, also known as T1 and T2, accounts for 2% of the time.

If you intend to participate in an Ironman marathon in 2023, many athletes and coaches advise allocating at least 50% of your training time to biking. The amount of free time athletes have, their history and experience, where they live, the temperature and terrain, and their personal preferences may all affect this.

Can I do an Ironman?

Participating in the Ironman marathon can be challenging for people with little exercise or physical activity. Most people believe that only those who are fit and lean can compete in the Ironman marathon, but this is not true. Anyone aged 13 to 89 has completed an Ironman or Iron-distance triathlon. If they put in the effort and use a good training plan, anyone can complete an Ironman. We suggest scheduling regular checkups with your primary healthcare provider before competing in the Ironman. As you prepare for the race, you will test your body, and a checkup with your physician can help confirm that it is in good shape.

Which race should I do?

Choosing which event to enter is an extensive choice, especially if it is your first Ironman marathon race. Feel free to devote the required time to research. You can seek the best or simplest Ironman for beginners, but that only sometimes implies the best or simplest Ironman. 

  • Find out which event more seasoned athletes, friends, and coaches suggest for an Ironman newcomer.
  • Consider the terrain, the expected weather and temperatures, and your gear/equipment accordingly.
  • Consider the situations in which you excel: Do you enjoy the heat and humidity, or would you plunge into a 60-degree swim? Do you like to ride or run on undulating or hilly terrain, or do you prefer quick, flat courses?
  • If you want to make race day a vacation, travel to a destination race or participate in your hometown course. Could you do it alone or with your friends and family cheering you on? These factors can significantly impact your race day experience.

These courses are also popular with more experienced athletes since they allow them to attempt personal records. The popularity of these races causes entries to sell out very quickly. Since volunteers receive priority registration when race entries for the following year open, there is frequently fierce competition to volunteer for events like Ironman Arizona.

How much time does training take?

It entirely depends on your fitness level and whether you will take six months or one year. Athletes who complete a 70.3-mile Ironman in one day can train for six months. Athletes who have never competed in the world's fastest ironman marathon or are just beginning their triathlon training will need 12 months. 

You can participate in a 12- to 16-week training program. In reality, preparing for an Ironman takes only three or four months. Unless you are a seasoned triathlete who trains seven to ten times weekly, one month is a risk. 

Simply put, the volume necessary for ironman training wears you out. On average, you should perform several training sessions over 4-5 days and long training sessions for 1-2 days (multiple hours as you get closer to race day). Finding an Ironman training programme that starts as close to your present fitness level as is feasible is crucial if you want to avoid injuries, make responsible development, and genuinely enjoy your training.

Do I need a coach?

It is best to follow the best training and hire a coach. Athletes of all ages have followed these schedules to make it to the starting line healthy and happy. Making a fitness plan on the fly may quickly become daunting, especially if you need more triathlon experience. Worse still, it can result in injury, fatigue, or a genuinely horrible race experience. 

What if the training plans available need to fit into your schedule? You should talk to a triathlon coach for advice on training for an Ironman. Coaches can advise on how to train for an Ironman, what to expect on race day, and how to troubleshoot any issues (like injuries). Triathlon teams or reliable training coaches can offer the best training advice if you can access them. Triathletes enjoy sharing their knowledge and expertise with newcomers during training and race day.

Ironman training plans

It is usually the best idea to stick to organised training created by an expert trainer. Periodisation, which is the word to describe the many training periods in any given year, will be considered in well-structured Ironman training plans. Here are the following training plans you need to follow:

  • Base: This period is often spent primarily performing aerobic endurance training to build a fitness foundation. It is true, as per say, “The bigger your base, the faster the race.” Consider this period as establishing the groundwork for the forthcoming season.
  • Build: It usually occurs six to twelve weeks before the marathon (depending on the athlete and their experience). Higher-intensity work and race-pace efforts will start to be included in the training. You should also begin including brick sessions (swim to cycle and bike to run).
  • Race: Preparing for the changeover and practising nutrition is part of race-specific training. 
  • Recover: This is when competitors will take 2 or 6 weeks off from regular training to participate in sports other than swimming, cycling, and running. 

What gear do I need?

It's challenging to determine what you'll need for an Ironman event. Did we mention how much gear is required? Let's start by telling you that you don't need everything. That's the best advice we can give you. Divide it into fundamental, intermediate, and advanced.

  • Essential gear for Ironman athletes for women and men 

  • Wetsuit 
  • Suit 
  • Trisuit or tri top/short 
  • Bike 
  • Helmet 
  • Sunglasses 
  • Run shoes 
  • Water bottles

  • Intermediate gear of ironman athletes for men and women 
  • Bike shoes 
  • Transition bag
  • Smartwatch 
  • Tri saddle 
  • Aerobars
  • Bike hydration system 

  • Advanced gear of ironman athletes for men and women 
  • Aero helmets 
  • Race wheels
  • The power meter for cycling and running

Nutrition and fueling

Consistent training, optimum recovery, and enhanced performance all result from a proper diet. The significance of adequate nutrition must be balanced, especially when training sessions are short.

We do not discount the fact that 10 hours per week of training is still significant. It is undeniably true that you must nourish yourself with the best foods in your daily diet. But perfecting your diet will go a long way toward allowing you to compromise for a lesser volume method, to the point that you venture the hypothesis that a 10 HPW athlete with excellent nutrition will outperform a 15 HPW athlete with inadequate nutrition.

Getting the appropriate nutrients will:

  • Change and improve your sleep quality
  • It makes it easier to cover
  • Lose your weight
  • Be safe and lessen the chance of accidents and colds.
  • The vitamins and minerals your body requires for optimum health 
  • Keep your energy levels strong, so you can give each session your all.

Knowing how to train for an Ironman isn’t easy.

Although only some are up for preparing for and competing in an Ironman, the experience may be transformative for those who are. Undoubtedly, it's complicated. You're sure to make a mistake or two along the way (don't worry; we've all done it). But you'll also make new friends, go to recent locations, and do something that many people would never, much less do. It's incredible to cross the finish line and hear the announcer say, "You are a triathlete!" To prove yourself, give your best as an Ironman athlete and let us know your experience. Below you can read some best tips for nailing the Ironman Run

7 Tips For Nailing The Ironman Run

  1. Don’t Try To Negative Split

Instead of aiming to split an open run negatively, you start the Ironman marathon faster than you intend to run. You've discovered that attempting to break a marathon after 6+ hours of racing does not work. The speed will often slow.

  1. Pay Attention To Nutrition

During the run leg of an Ironman, you should consume 175-200 calories per hour. Power Gels and Energy Bars The most common type is Perform (sports drinks).

  1. Prepare On The Bike

On the Ironman cycle, staying between 90 and 92 rpm is crucial if you want to be prepared for the marathon. It enables you to cycle hard without tiring your legs. In addition, you must avoid hitting that home run while behind.

  1. Stay Mentally Strong

You don't consider the race as a whole; instead, you approach it in pieces, concentrating on what you are doing right now and what you will be doing in the next moments. Even if you've completed numerous Ironman races before, getting too far ahead of yourself might make it feel like an impossible challenge.

  1. Take Note of the Situation

The primary adjustment on a hot day would be increased fluid intake. Of course, you should also make the most of the ice and sponges available on the system. Otherwise, much has stayed the same with the plan.

  1. The intensity of Long Run Training

You should perform most training for the Ironman at or below the MAF pace in Zone 1. The remainder should be divided equally among Zones 2, 4, and 5. For the marathon, the intensity distribution is 12% zone 2 and 80 to 84% zone 1 (MAF pace) (marathon race pace). Many experienced athletes must walk a lot for the first few weeks while their aerobic systems improve. This is essential for those who want to rise above their current flats.

  1. Don’t waste your energy on speed work.

Don’t rush yourself by running or riding too fast because, in doing so, you may lose your stamina and face difficulty completing the next hurdle. Approximately 60% of one's maximum oxygen consumption is used during the Ironman marathon. Even though faster runs might improve aerobic capacity and efficiency, leading to improved performance in low-intensity Ironmans, these benefits are outweighed by the fatigue cost resulting from combining high-intensity cycling with high-intensity run training.


You must adhere to a dedicated training schedule that emphasises three different types of exercise to compete in or win an Ironman race. Ironman racers have excellent overall strength and endurance fitness due to their extensive training. The winner and all other competitors who complete the race within the time limits may use the Ironman competition's registered trademark. Swim 2.4 km! 112 km of cycling! Run 26.2 km!

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