Home > Training

Choosing the right Ironman

Five things to consider before you make a selection.

Are you thinking of signing up for Ironman?  Will it be your first time or are you looking to put another notch in your Ironman belt?  Most Ironman events require you to sign up the previous year so you may need to make a decision on which one you would like to do sooner than later.  There are many things to consider when making this choice.   Below are a few things to consider before you do.

1. Home advantage.  If you are lucky enough to have an Ironman in your back yard then your decision might be easy.  The biggest advantage is that you can train on the course all season, maybe even do a prep race in the area as well.  You can train at the same time of day as your event to get to know how you need to hydrate and fuel given the climate which you will be well adapted to if the race is close by.

2. Assess your skills.  Are you a hill person or do you like flats better? Don’t make the mistake of thinking a flat course is easy necessarily, it can be relentless to constantly be in the aero position pushing the pedals.  If you have any back problems, a rolling course might suit you better to give yourself different positions on the bike.  Really study the course layouts of all three disciplines at a given event in order to take advantage of your strengths.

3. Family commitments.  If you have kids that will be out of school for the summer and you would like to plan some vacations with them, you may want to consider an early season event.  It might keep the family peace to have your race completed by the end of June and then dedicate the rest of the summer to them.  Ironman takes a lot of time out of your week, especially nearing the final builds.  This would be a nice way to give back to your family for all the support they gave you through your training.

4. Dream destination.  You may of course just pick an event based on where you have always wanted to vacation which is a great reason too.  It’s a great way to experience a new place and you will enjoy a well deserved rest after.  Not to mention this is also a great way to give back to your family for supporting you!

5. Climate and time of year.  You should consider the climate of your destination event and the time of year.  If you have troubles in a humid climate and it’s winter where you live at the time that’s a double whammy of potential problems.  You will have a hard time acclimatizing coming from a totally different place plus you will have to do long workouts inside which isn’t ideal.

There may be many other reasons to pick a specific Ironman but hopefully these tips will guide you to find one that will suit your skills, your family commitments, and your goals so that you may have an excellent experience come race day!

LifeSport triathlon coach Jessica Adam has been a coach in Victoria, Vancouver and now resides in the Toronto area. She loves to share her years of experience with beginner triathletes and also experienced triathletes that are trying new distances like ½ IM or IM for the first time. She coaches athletes online all across the country.

If you are interested in working with Jess, write Jess@LifeSportCoaching.com