Each year, triathletes from all over the world gather in Hawaii to compete in one of the most grueling and challenging races in the world — the Ironman. The Ironman, which must be completed in under 17 hours, consists of a 2.4 mile bike ride followed by a 112-mile swim and finally a full 26.2 mile marathon run. Each race is completed in that order, with no rests in between.
Training for the Ironman
If you are serious about participating in the Ironman Triathlon, cardiovascular strength and endurance are key. Many people devote six months to a year competing in each race category to get in tip top shape for the Ironman. Nutrition is equally important when training for a triathlon, as you must give your body the fuel needed to compete at peak performance levels.
Some training schedules, for those who are already in good shape, claim to get you Ironman-ready in 20 weeks. To safely compete in the Ironman, a beginner should plan to train between 12 and 18 months with a doctor’s clearance. Download an online training schedule or join a triathlon training group for motivation and tips.
The equipment you use during the Ironman can make all the difference. You will want the right:
- Swimwear – A neoprene wetsuit is often favored by the pros. It allows you to glide through the water much faster than a Speedo or swimsuit. In addition, neoprene is more buoyant, so you float better and swim faster.
- Bicycle – Triathlon bicycles are designed specifically to take the work off of the hamstrings and glutes, so you have more energy and leg strength left for your run.
- Shoes – A pair of lightweight running shoes that fit your stride are also essential for comfort and performance for the last leg of the race.
The right equipment and training for a triathlon can help you compete at your best.