Train for Ironman


Why an Ironman ?

The Ironman, the XXL triathlon, consists of linking 3.8 km of swimming, 180 km of cycling and finish with a marathon. The event lasts between 8 hours, for the best in the world, to 16 hours, time limit generally imposed on the event. In other words, you don't sign up for this kind of trial without having trained.

Why choose to participate in an Ironman ? Several reasons can push you to this challenge, a challenge between friends, a need for accomplishment and personal challenge, a logical increase of distances ...
In any case, know that each participant experiences personal pride when the line is crossed after all those effort's hours.

The energy expenditure during this trial is between 8,000 and 10,000 Kcal, it's demanding, including on the bodily / muscular and mental level, it's not within the reach of everyone but if you are very sporty, if you start training early enough and that you prepare enough, there is no reason to not finish it (without trying to establish "a time").

Regardless of your level, the most important point is to have enough time and motivation to devote to training. Indeed, do not take up this challenge if you cannot devote time to train all 3 disciplines.


We will not hide it, the necessary equipment to practice triathlon can be a big budget, especially for the bike. Depending on your practice and the distances you will face. Like any event, it's important to test your equipment months before the race. Here is the equipment you will definitely need :

Which sportsman are you ?

Depending on your athletic background, you will need to plan more or less progressive training if you want to be an Ironman finisher for sure :

  • - If you feel a little overweight, pay attention to your diet and with increasing number of workouts, it will be easier to lose weight.
  • - If swimming is not your strong point, I advise you not to focus on it. Over the duration of an ironman, the time spent swimming is relatively short. But it will still be necessary to plan at least one training per week over the last 4 months.
  • - If cycling is not your strong point, and especially if you have never used a road bike, plan at least 7 to 9 months of training before the event. At the rate of 1 or 2 workouts per week, progress will be rapid and the body will get used to this new effort. The hardest part is getting your buttocks used to staying in the saddle for hours. Do not neglect cycling because it will be the discipline where you will certainly spend most of the time.
  • - For running, you should at least have completed a half-marathon, if you have the experience of a marathon it would be better. Do not expect to do great performances on D-Day, the main thing will be to through the finish line even if for that you may have to alternate between running and walking.

My advice for preparing to a XXL long distance or Ironman triathlon

My advice to manage the effort during the race

Obviously diet is a very important part of training. Daily intakes must absolutely cover your needs, but not too much either. If you are overweight, I advise you to adapt your diet so that with sport, you can slowly lose few kilograms.
In the important recommendations :

  • - Pay attention to your sugar consumption, the excess sugar is stored in the fatty tissues.
  • - Vary your diet with fruits, vegetables, proteins, and low glycemic carbohydrates.
  • - Depending at what time you will train, try to have had your last meal at least 3 or 4 hours before.
I also advise you to take spirulina tablets after each slightly hard workout (interval training, long run). Recovery is much better with the help of spirulina which reduces the general fatigue linked to the Ironman preparation.

You will also find a lot of additional information in the article dedicated to nutrition.


Remember to pack all your belongings the day before the race to avoid this stress few hours before the start :

  • - Your belongings necessary for swimming, cycling and running.
  • - Your medical certificate if you have not yet collected your bib.
  • - Your bibs and the timing chip.
  • - Safety pins to fix your bibs with at least 3 attachment points.
  • - Your drinks, cereal bars that you have planned for cycling and running (don't forget to test them before the race to be sure it suits you).
  • - For after arrival, change clothes, compression socks if you have some.
After your triathlon, if you can, avoid driving because you will have accumulated some fatigue. Worse, you can get cramped, which can be dangerous while driving !
If you have no option but to drive, hydrate yourself well and wear compression socks.

And after ?

In the hours after arrival, you may wonder why you did this. The exigency of training and the race itself, with sometimes small "sufferings", leads us to ask ourselves this question once the challenge is accomplished. If you go through this phase, know that it is perfectly normal.

And then in the days that follow, when you will have recovered physically, that the climbs or descents of the stairs will be easier, you will come to think of trying a second Ironman with this time certainly a time objective.

To help you recover after this effort, I advise you to read the advice in this article carefully.

  • I don't say it will be easy, I says it will worth it.

  • If you want something you've never had, you'll have to do what you've never done before.

  • Your attitude matters more than your abilities. Zig Ziglar

  • Motivation is when dreams put on their work clothes. Benjamin Franklin

  • Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. Winston Churchill

  • I do it because I can. I can because I want it. I want it because I'm told that I can't.

  • If you're absent during my struggle, don't expect to be present during my success. Will Smith

  • Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get. W. P. Kinsella

  • Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so. Belva Davis

  • Go to the end of things before giving up.

  • Not having tried is worse than failure.

  • Every expert was once a beginner.

  • If you don't succeed the first time, shake and try again. Aaliyah

  • Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. Henry Ford

  • Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. Henry Ford

  • Crying can give you sympathy, sweat will give you results. Laurent Vicente

  • Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. Henry Ford

  • Crying can give you sympathy, sweat will give you results. Laurent Vicente

  • Don't think limits. Usain Bolt

  • Running is the only medicine that my legs and my head, but also my heart and my soul, need. Laurent Vicente

  • A man who conquers himself is greater than one who conquers a thousand men in battle. Bouddha

  • If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon. Zatopek

  • Is defeated only whoever believes it. Fernando de Rojas

  • I never lose. I either win or learn. Nelson Mandela

  • I often hear someone say I'm not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner. Bart Yasso

  • I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we're all cowards. Alberto Salazar

  • May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. Irish Blessing

  • Your legs are not giving out. Your head is giving out. Keep going. Jillian Michaels

  • No matter how fast you run, you'll always be faster than those who sit on their couch. Richard Paradis

  • Ask yourself: « Can I give more? ». The answer is usually: « Yes ». Paul Tergat

  • The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start. John Bingham

  • Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. Oscar Wilde

  • No one ever drowned in sweat.

  • Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness. Edward Stanley

  • Experience is a lantern that is worn on the back and that never shines the path. Confucius

  • It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. Lucius Annaeus Seneca

  • That little voice inside your head that says you can't do it, well... it's a liar!

  • Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction.

  • Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.

  • Each step count.

  • Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or your predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. William Faulkner

  • We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves...The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. Roger Bannister

  • You do not get to the summit by overtaking others, but by overtaking yourself.

  • Life's battles don't always go to the strongest or fastest man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the fellow who thinks he can. Steve Prefontaine

  • To win a race, the swiftness of a dart availeth not without a timely start. Jean de la Fontaine

  • If you feels good racing an ultramarathon, don't worry, it will pass... Guillaume Millet

  • Never allow your fear to grow larger than your faith. Jillian Michaels

  • Why choose to fail when success is an option? Jillian Michaels