Welcome to the long haul! Let me first discourage you explaining whether you are up for this. If you seek overnight result out of everything, this is not for you. People, who are really into the Ironman, enroll themselves at least one year before the actual event.
Your body needs to be in perfect shape with stamina and you must have a ‘never give up’ attitude. To strengthen your body and mind, it takes a lot of time. For the first timers, it takes more than a year; maybe 2 to 3 years.
It’s not one of those sports where you just buy a pair of shoes for the running, a swimsuit for the swimming, and a triathlon helmet for the cycling and you just enroll yourself. It’s quite the opposite of what you are thinking if you have never entered into an Ironman.
You need a practical plan to practice keeping a perfect balance among your job, family life, and so on. Your plan must take into consideration the weather where you are living right now and in which season the Ironman will take place.
And now, let me encourage you. You are in the right place to make a great plan and train yourself for such a magnificent event. I will help you make a practical plan that will actually work and lay out the training part in layman’s term. For the training, you will need some gears which I will cover as well.
Practical Plan & It’s Importance In Ironman
This is where you need to think about your job, family, and if you have kids; think about their school timing. If you are planning to enroll yourself for the Ironman that will take place in the spring, these considerations will help you understand whether you can be truly committed to all the training schedules.
As I mentioned earlier, think about the weather as well. If the event takes place during a particular day of summer, ramp up your training during the summer and it’s better if you are currently living in a place where most of the time it is summer. Do the opposite if you are living under cold weather most of the time.
Definitely, you will exercise rigorously on the weekends, but you need to keep a specified time for the rest of the week for your training. Once you prepare your plan, you need to stick to it till the event.
I don’t need to remind you of the fact that the Ironman race will test your limit. Definitely, you need to work out so that you can finish it and finish it fast. Yes, speed in the event is another thing that determines the winner or the loser. So, definitely, you need to make a plan for the speed too.
If you are a first-timer, make your plan for at least two years and then participate. Unless you fully prepared and the strength of your body and mind is great; you are gonna end up hurting yourself in the event.
Injuries in the Ironman race are no joke and without better preparation and training you are almost pushing yourself to such deadly injuries.
How To Train For Ironman?
Alright, now that you know why you need a great and practical training plan; it’s time to move forward. It requires some sacrifices and extreme commitment; but once you completed training, it will be a rewarding and life-changing experience for you.
- Familiarize Yourself
If you have never participated in any Ironman race; keep a sharp eye on the schedule of a local ironman event. Volunteer yourself to such an event to get familiarized yourself.
You will learn a lot of things like the logistics requirement, event layout, and so on. Most importantly, it will encourage & motivate you greatly when you see a lot of the racers participating there and the cheers from the crowd.
- TrainingWith Satisfaction
Your body will not respond the same way in each training sessions which is pretty normal. Do not skip your training just because your mind is telling you not to. Even if you are feeling that you are exhausted or fatigue; start your training nonetheless.
As the training session moves forward; you will feel good. Your objective should be completing each session with satisfaction.
- Being Consistent & Having Patience
Most people do this mistake. They ramp up their training on a particular day of the week and do nothing for the rest of the week. You can’t take the best preparation that way; you will be totally unfit for the Ironman. There has to be a perfect balance in your routine.
Definitely, you have to let your body to recover; so you can pick a day for that. But be consistent with your training. To see the improvement, you have to have patience.
- Do Not Panic
While you are training for the running and swimming part; your cycling may have less of your attention. Or it may be swimming which is not getting proper attention. So when you start swimming, it may seem impossible to achieve distance.
Beginner participants of the ironman face this problem greatly. Do not panic. Take a break and give it a try again. During the swimming, if it seems your body can’t take it any longer; take a breath during the interval and you will get your strength back.
- Adequate Sleep & Eating
You must eat well and drink a lot of water for your body to recover. After each session of training, rest for a while. If you have just finished running, take a bath in cold water (preferably an ice bath). Such a bath will rejuvenate your tired legs again for the next session.
And lastly, you must have enough sleep. The more you can sleep the better. A sound sleep will recover your body completely.
You must prepare your body for running, cycling, and swimming for the Ironman. Unless you have completed your training successfully, do not take part in the event. You will end up in serious injury.
If for some reasons you could not prepare yourself, take preparation for the next year. Here is an Ironman training video for your better understanding and motivation.