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How to become an Ironman

How to become an Ironman text against a running track next to a field

 
You have set the ultimate goal for yourself: completing an Ironman triathlon. This 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride, topped off by a 26.2-mile run is not a task for the weak-willed or weak-minded. It takes months of arduous training to prepare for this grueling endeavor, and preparation and recovery are key.
 
Group training is particularly effective. It keeps you accountable, and with the right coaching, you should be at your peak on race day. Here are some training tips to help you reach your Ironman goals. 
 
Swim
  • Open water swims. You can work on intervals such as 30 strokes full speed, about 300 meters at medium pace, then 20 strokes easy. And repeat.
  • Pool repeats. Start with a warm-up and drills using fins, kickboard and paddles. Swim 3x500 meters at increasing speeds with 200-meter cooldowns in between.
  • Aerobic booster. Get your heart rate up for a sustained period of time. Go 1,600/1,200/1,000 meters at full speed with 150 to 100 meters cooldowns in between.
Bike

Warm-up

 

  • 20 minutes at easy pace. Cadence 90 rpm.
  • 10x: 30 seconds left-leg-only spin, 30 seconds right-leg-only spin, 30 seconds both-legs spin, at 90 rpm.

 

Main set

 

  • 3x20 minutes at target Ironman race pace effort with five minutes spin recovery in between.
  • 10 minutes at threshold intensity, up to 85 percent effort level, at 80 rpm.

 

Warm down

 

  • 10 minutes at very easy pace
  • Optional: Run off the bike for 10 to 15 minutes. Relaxed, easy and familiarizing your legs with running after riding.

 

  • Solo century ride. Ironman races do not allow team riding, so make sure you have the discipline to maintain your pace.
  • Don’t just ride. Have a plan.
  • Smooth rider. Take a tip from professional triathlete Jim Lubinski and use our Face Buff Energizing Scrub on your legs prior to shaving, and our Beard Lube Conditioning Shave as shaving cream. Like Jim, you’ll be smooth, fresh and ready to race!
Run
  • Build a base. Spend four to six weeks building your aerobic base with 6- to 8-mile runs during the week and increasing distance on the weekend, all at a fairly easy pace.
  • Strength. Introduce hill workouts and alternate longer runs, 14 to 18 miles, with shorter runs on the weekend.
  • Speed. For about four weeks prior to your race, add track workouts and speed intervals to your training. Get in a couple 20-plus mile runs as well. A week before your race, taper down to just a few 3- to 4-mile easy runs.
Remember to protect yourself during your workouts with our Sun Guard Sunscreen SPF 45. Sun Guard absorbs easily, stays on no matter how much you sweat and won’t sting if some happens to find its way into your eyes.
 
After your training sessions, apply our Dragon Ice Relief to soothe sore muscles and soak in our Body Rehab Scrub & Muscle Soak. It helps relax tight muscles and will rejuvenate you mentally and physically. These two products will keep you going strong and ready to hit the pool and road again tomorrow.
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