Could You Complete A Half Ironman?
A Half Ironman, is a middle-distance triathlon race which is meant to be a gentler introduction in to full ironman racing. The race consists of swimming for 1.2 miles (1.9 km), cycling for 56 miles (90 km) and finally running for 13.1 miles (21.1 km or half marathon distance).
The reason for the half ironman title is that every discipline is exactly half that of the full Ironman challenge.
Generally speaking when training for any triathlon, you have to coast along with your weaker activity and then push as hard as you can with your specialist or favourite one. However if this is your first ever half ironman then you’re ultimate goal should be to simply finish the race in one piece.
As with all things to really give yourself a chance of ever completing a half ironman your training has to be consistent and well structured. You need an overall level of aerobic fitness, that’s true, but more than this you need good technique.
Running a half marathon itself is a massive challenge, but tag that on to the end of just over a mile swim and a 56 mile bike ride and you have the ultimate of endurance triathlon events in itself. Never mind being little brother to the full ironman.
The half ironman is really an event for seasoned endurance specialists who’ve already completed at least a couple of triathlons.
You’re certainly not going to get through this type of race if you’re very overweight, so don’t even consider it. You’d be risking many joint and other miscellaneous injuries let alone the stress on your heart.
No, a half ironman triathlon really isn’t for the unfit.
You need to be a regular runner and swimmer preferably.
The main problem with triathlons is that all the events are so different.
Swimming is probably the most challenging of all three modes as it’s quite easy to burn out if your form is poor. If you don’t have a technique that conserves as much energy as possible then you run the very real risk of fatigue before you even get to the first transition – cycling.
Cycling is often the aspect of the half ironman that most people use to recuperate a little as it’s easy to pedal/coast and still make progress. The run however is something that you can’t hide from. 13.1 miles is a challenge in anyone’s book, but to run at the end of the triathlon is particularly hard work.
If your running is weak, you mustn’t slack on your training. You need to build up gradually but consistently.
Finally providing you are not overweight to start with, your body is going to need a far greater supply of fuel, so don’t skimp on the carbs as these will also need to be replenished during the race. The bike is again the time when many athletes take the time to refuel after the swim and before the run.
The most important point to remember is that a half ironman triathlon deserves respect and you need to be prepared. This isn’t the sort of event you can do without putting in the time and effort beforehand. But if you do commit to this fully and complete the race, you’ll be one of fittest people you know and you’ll have conquered the challenge of the half ironman.