IM Copenhagen 2020

Thanks for those responses - waking up to them has helped get me out of the negative mindset I found myself in yesterday!

Planning a long turbo session for this afternoon :+1:

Will do my best to not go too crazy with the food in Vietnam!

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My three previous IM starts were all early summer holidays or just before (I’m a teacher) so planned family holidays were not an issue as we went afterwards. With Copenhagen being pretty much slap bang in the middle it’s likely we’re going to have a couple of breaks in the lead up. So, the plan for me will be to have a couple of big blocks before each break then use the holiday as a bit of recovery time. I will take my running shoes and fit in some runs and if we are near the coast then I’ll take my wetsuit. But I won’t plan anything. I’ll just fit in some easy sessions when there’s an opportunity.

There are 3 sets of people who do Ironmans. The first is people who want to complete an IM as a one off, once in a lifetime achievement. This is probably the biggest group of triathletes, Lots of people like this on Ironman Journey Facebook pages, however, not too many here. The basic requirement from these people is to complete an Ironman under the cutoff time. The biggest challenge is that many have very little or no swimming experience.

The next group, which I am certainly a member of, is the over ambitious “I’m going to qualify for Kona first time out”. Lots of smashing it in early training, lots of injuries. A respectable, but unspectacular first Ironman, and certainly a few hours slower than Kona Qualifying. After a couple of years trying to bludgeon a route to Kona, these athletes realise that it actually takes a few years of consistent training to build up a sufficient base. In the long term, it doesn’t matter if you have a 2 week holiday, miss a few sessions due to injury of sickness. For people like me, life has to fit around training and racing

The final group, who are a bit tricky for me to understand, are the ones who do multiple Ironmans just for the sake of doing them. Usually just one IM per year (or less frequently). These people have a great long term base fitness, so training is incorporated into life. In reality they could probably do a perfectly good Ironman with 3 or 4 hours training per week. There a quite a few people like this here and they probably have the best advice

Whatever group you fit into, 2 weeks missed training and time off running due to injury won’t make a big difference. If you are in the first group, unless you have massive swimming deficiency, or have really low level of base fitness, then completing an IM in under the cut off is really not that hard, even if you have to walk the entire marathon. Given what you told us, sounds like you have decent fitness and can swim. If you are in the second group, you will be stressed that lack of training and holiday will prevent you getting to Kona… well you weren’t going to get there on your first one anyway, so you may be 15 mins slower, so what. If you are in the final group, you’re fit, you can swim, you can train 7 hours a week, cutoff times aren’t going to be an issue, so don’t get stressed, enjoy the vacation. recover fully from injury before you run again and enjoy it.


Reporting for duty!

The main parts of it in my case is that I enjoy the training and raceday experience.

If I had unlimited time to train it would be good to see how far up I could finish but that hasn’t happened to date and probably never will.

I started out expecting to be a one and done, then realised that there were areas I could improve and did so for each of the following few years. Part of the encouragement to keep going back was the involvement with the Pirate group, part of it was that the training gave me the chance to indulge in whatever food and drink I fancied without the weight gain my friends were suffering with.

Possibly should have called it a day post-accident but I fancied seeing if I could get back close to previous times - I couldn’t!

Had a year off from long course a couple of years ago and kinda missed it so tried again last year but picked the wrong race really, should have looked for a less hilly/windy one, hence trying Copenhagen this year. I could/maybe should have given up again but don’t want to finish on a crap race.


“The main parts of it in my case is that I enjoy the training and raceday experience”.

This is me. It also give me a focus. The longer distances suit me. I’ve only been on the podium once, but generally I’d consider myself MOP type.

This year I have one IM distance tri, but am going to dip a toe into the world of ultra marathon this year, just to mix it up a bit.

Welcome to the dark side!! Trail & Ultra Running Thread

Yes I’ve been watching the thread with interest. When my mileage starts to increase and I do more and more trail, I’ll be seeking help and guidance with probably really dull and annoying questions. Be patient with me (ha ha).

The navigation elements has always put me off, have done a few short ultras but all either canal or multi-lap ones.

Me too. ‘More than a hobby; less than an obsession.’

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I can get lost crossing the road. I’m doing a fully marked and supported race, that hopefully is idiot proof.


I don’t quite fit that mould. I’m kind of a mesh of bracket 1, 2 and 3. I genuinely intended to only do one when I did Copenhagen in 2018~, but I had certainly built up to it over a number of years and a number of sub5 halves under my belt. I definitely wanted to achieve the best result I could, so I committed pretty much 100%, but I was under no illusions I had zero chance of qualifying for Kona.

As it was, I had a pretty perfect first (and only) Ironman experience. I had some illness at points, as as others have said, just accept that will happen and don’t try and play “catch up” - you’ll just dig yourself into a bigger hole. Copenhagen is a great race. And I’d like to go back some time.

~the fact I’ve signed up for two this year has kind of thrown that out the window, but I decided I wanted to give it one final bash to see what I could achieve. Still don’t believe there is any chance of Kona however … certainly not in Spain (Wales is a maybe if everyone good is already at Kona this year - doubt it though, especially with it being the 10yr anniversary thing).

Are there any serious triathlete who do just one Ironman? Possibly you mentally rationalised “only one”, but its an itch that needs to be scratched. Add to that you are a strong triathlete, you’ll get a 30th place, and think that you are at the right end of the field, then you’ll start to look at events that suit your strengths, and aren’t so competitive… so fully expect to see you in Bolton or Finland in 2021 going for KQ

In all honesty, I did just think I’d do one. And that was how I justified giving it a lot of focus and attention to detail. Next year is unlikely … life and all that. Largely, that’s why I decided to just get two done this year as timing wise, I don’t think the available time and commitment needed for full distance improvement is going to be there going forwards. With my running improvement during the year, the obvious bit to knock some time off the 9:51 was the 3:25 mara, and the bike seemed some low hanging fruit if I committed a bit harder (setting some all time race power numbers in Nice in September was motivating)

And Bolton suiting my strengths?!

I think that the field is sligtly less competititve (but could be wrong). 3 laps so busy course, hard to avoid some drafting, crap roads and busy course not brilliant for good cyclists.

Will be interesting to see how you react if you have a great Wales event

I know more than one that have been adamant they were a one-and-done, and then after their first, started thinking about all the places they could have been quicker… and before you know it, they’re signed up for another the next year, and then for 2 the year after…

I didnt do one in 2019… :upside_down_face:

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catch up time innit!

In all seriousness, I won’t be doing one next year for the first time in a while, as eldest daughter gets married, and it would be:

A] financially incompatible
B] hazardous to marital harmony

Maybe an oly or two for a change if I can pick the moment to broach the subject carefully! :smile:

Get signed up for some events, we all know it’s a lot easier to ask for forgiveness than permission :sunglasses:

I believe you’ve met my other half… do you really think i’m that stupid? :joy:

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Mostly agree with that Matt, except for group 2 I suspect there’s a similar group that probably think they’ve got little chance of going to Kona unless they get one of those rare days when it rolls to 20th.

But others in a similar grouping looking for the obvious time based goals, sub 10, sub 11. Some people put equal commitment into those without really dreaming of Kona, e.g. doing it at Roth.

And in group 3, there are those who just do them regularly but some might do 2 or 3 a year. Can’t remember where I was racing and they said someone had done something stupid like a 160+ IM’s! (and it wasn’t TC)