How to train yourself to finish an Ironman 70.3 (Part I: Can I do it?)


Key takeaways:
– Motivation is essential for starting an Ironman training.
– How fast you finish an Ironman race is not important; just have fun!
– If a 77-year-old grandma can do it, then you can do it.

Yes, you can, if I can!

Ironman 70.3 is getting more popular due to its challenging distance but still within the ability of common people after proper training. Ironman 70.3 contains 1.9km swim, 90km ride then a half marathon, 21.1km run. There were about 2,000 athletes who participated in the Western Sydney Ironman 70.3 in last November and I was one of them. Most of these athletes were just ordinary citizens like me. I finished Ironman 70.3 by 6 hours and 24 minutes. Not a fancy result, but I’m happy and enjoyed the whole race.

If you are considering this Ironman idea, then let me show you the way to kick off your curiosity and actions. First of all, you must be able to swim. Most people can ride a bike and of course, can run, but swimming tends to be the most challenging part of an Ironman for most people. Given the ‘cut-off time’ for swimming in 70.3, you need to be able to swim 1.9km in 70 mins. After proper training, most people can finish 1.9K in 70 mins, trust me. The only question is how fast you can swim. If you want to swim faster, then it’s a brilliant idea to hire a coach and work on your swim techniques. Otherwise, YouTube is your best coach!

Apart from the ability to do all three sports, the other thing you need to consider is your motivation. The most challenging part in any Ironman training is the motivation; a strong motivation to wake up early in the morning and do your training. We are not professional tri-athletes, and most of us have full-time jobs. It turns out that the only available time for training is in the early morning, if you have a day job. Training after work (such as 6-9pm) is a bad idea because that disrupts your sleep quality (do you know that?). So, you need a strong determination to wake up at 5am and train for 2 hours before going to work.

So, can you do Ironman 70.3? Yes, you can if you believe in yourself and give yourself a goal. For most Ironmen I know, they all said that Ironman changed how they see their lives. Ironman probably won’t bring you fame and money but trust me, it will change the way you see your life, like how it changed mine.

Dr. Richard C. Wu @
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