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  • Writer's pictureEmmelia Potts

7 Questions To Ask Before Entering An Iron Man - Advice From The Experts.

Updated: Dec 12, 2023


After chatting to a few people that have already competed in a Full Iron Man it is becoming clear these are 7 things you need to ask yourself before you compete/enter. Whoops.

1) Why do you really want to do an Ironman?

Is it for bragging rights? Is it an item on your bucket list? Is it because your friends/partners are doing it and they want you to do it with them? Is it for the personal satisfaction of completing something so mentally and physically challenging? Are Olympic distance events too easy for you and want something harder?

2) What’s my history in the sport?

For a long-course triathlete, durability is the key question. Have you accumulated enough training volume over the years to prepare your body for the extreme stress it will endure during the event? Long course triathlon takes a serious toll on the body. It requires 8-12 hours per week of training for 16-20 weeks. Are you adapting to this level of physical stress?

3) Will my family and friends support the effort?

Given the time you will spend on the road and in the pool, not in the living room or back garden, you need to have your family and friends on board for the entire adventure. People often joke about not having a social life when training for Ironman but It can be incredibly lonely. Your partner and family will need to make significant sacrifices for your training too. So make sure you include them in your decision, and explain what to expect over the next 4 -5 months.

4) How much time do I have to train?

Most of us don’t have the luxury of training full-time. We have day jobs. Some are flexible, others aren’t. When can you fit training into your daily and weekly schedule? Can you be consistent with it? Can you devote enough time to each discipline to adequately prepare for the event? Can you balance training with your other work and family, social obligations? What sacrifices do you have to make to accommodate your training needs (and don’t say sleep, because recovery is just as important!) Make sure that you maintain the appropriate work-life balance.

5) Are you self-motivated?

Are you prepared to drag yourself out of bed early every morning or stay up late at night? Are you prepared to fly solo? Are you prepared to train even when you don't want to?

6) Can I financially afford it?

The race entry alone for a full Iron Man is £400 and the bike £600 - £1000, this is before any training, pool hire fees, clothing, accessories, millions of inner tubes, trainers and shoes, supplements, gym memberships, extra food the list goes on and on. In addition, depending on where the race is be sure to factor in travel, lodging and flights if you need.

7) Am I willing to accept that the goal for 95 per cent of first-timers is simply to finish?

Given the amount of time the endeavour will consume, will you be happy just to say you have crossed the finish line?


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