How Soon After A Half Distance Can I Do A Ironman?

Done a Half Ironman and you ask yourself can I do a full distance now?

Quick self test to see if you are ready for a Ironman after a middle distance 70.3 Triathlon?
This is a commonly asked question?

You can find out if you are ready by answering my questions?
Make a note of the answers then go to the bottom and see how many points you scored.
This will guide you to decide are you ready for the Ironman in less than 7 weeks?
It’s all about training stress levels, which is far too complicated to go thru today. We can only handle a total number of stress points in a week –Age Training, Work Stress Travel Pollution Family Life noise etc. these can be off set a little with quality sleep rest relaxation down time good nutrition (right for your body type) and massage etc.
There are no right and wrong answers just your answers. Cheat and you may convince yourself to do the ironman when in reality you are just not ready yet?
Yes you may finish the ironman but you could seriously cause long term injuries that can be with you for life.
If you have been successful in crossing the finish line in a middle distance 70.3 triathlon then you can become an Ironman or Iron(WO)man.
It’s what you do in between that will make all the difference.
I have competed in over 400 Triathlons for 28 seasons by listening to my body.
Would I have taken a risk and caused injury competing before I was ready instead of waiting? NO!
I am now faster than I was 20 years ago because what I know not what I do. I am still competitive today overall not just in my age group.

1. (a) = 0 points (b) = 3 points (c) = 5 points (d) = 8 points

Now answer the questions below honestly.

How consistent was your training in the build up to the middle distance triathlon? The same each week is more a predictor than peak (high) and low (trough) weeks when deciding to do an Ironman in less than 7 weeks time.
To understand how to answer correctly 5 hours each week training can be better than a 20 hour month with 2 weeks that were less than 2 hours and 2 weeks of 8 hours. 
 (a) Poor 
 (b) Ok 
 (c) Very Good

How often were you injured during the last 24 weeks?
(I classify an injury as being unable to train for more than 3 days)
 (a) At least twice 
(b) Once 
 (c) Never

How quickly did you recover from the middle distance triathlon?
If you felt tired when you wake up after 7+ hours sleep each day the you have not fully recovered. If you lacked the enthusiasm to train or lost your mojo then you have not recovered.
If your legs felt heavy walking up stairs or screamed when you got to the top then you are still recovering.
(a) Still tired 10 days later
(b) (b) tired but recovered with 7 days
(c) (c) Felt Ok straight after but tired for 1-3 days then Ok again
(d) (d) No problem straight after and in the next 7 days.

Did you become ill in the 7 days after the 70.3 Triathlon?
(a) Yes for 2-5 days
(b) Just 1-2 days
(c)  No

Q5: Resting Heart rate
If you record your resting heart rate upon waking normally what was it after the 70.3?
(a) 4-8 beats higher than pre the 70.3
(b)  2-6 beats higher than normal
(c) Back to normal within 36 hours

Q6: How many years have you been competing & Training in Triathlon including the winter? The longer in sport the greater the possibility of improved rate of recovery.

(a) One year
(b) Two year
(c) Three Years
(d) Three or more years

Q7: How many years have you been competing & Training & competing in endurance sports including swimming cycling and running including keeping fit in the winter? 12 months consistent = 1 year
(a) One Year
(b) Two Years
(c) Three years
(d) Three years +

How many hours a week do you work including travelling
(a) 55+ Hours
(b) 50+ Hours
(c) 45+ Hours
(d) 40+ hours
(e) 35+ Hours

How many complete rest days do you have in a month
(a) Less than 2
(b) Less than 4
(c) More than 4
(d) More than 5

Age in sport depends on how long you have been active and keeping fit.
A FIT 40 year old who has been in sport all their lives will normally recover quicker than a 32 year old who is new to sport.
 (a) 22 -40 years old and new to sport (less than 12 month’s triathlon training)
 (B) 22-28 But competitive for at least 4 years or 22 years old and new to sport.
 (c) 28- 38 and competitive in sport for 5 years + or 40+ with at least 7 years in the past 20 years recreational or competitive training and racing

Your fat content will either help or hinder your recovery rate.
(a) Above 30% OR BELOW 7%
(b) Between 25%-30%
(c) Between 15%-25%
(d) Between 8-15%

Weekends total training time for Saturday & Sunday Swim Bike Run core weights etc. How many hours did you train in the highest 2 weeks each month?
(a) less than 4
(b) Less than 6
(c) Less than 8
(d) Less than 12

Add up the total number of hours trained during the final weeks prior to your middle distance triathlon. Weeks 10 to week 1 week (not 70.3 race week) before your middle distance event and divide the hours trained by 10 to give you an average training week up to the 70.3.
For example if you trained 81 hours for the 10 weeks that will equal an average of 8.1 per week so your answer will be (b)

Now answer the following
(a) Less than 4 hours a week
(b) Less than 8
(c) Less than 10
(d) Less than 14
(e) More than 14

On a scale of 1-20 how sore were you after the 70.3 middle distance triathlon?
1 not sore 20 being very painful to walk and legs sore to touch.
How sore were they 3 days after the 70.3 triathlon?

 (a) 16-20 sore
 (b) 10-15 score
 (c)  6 -14 score
 (c)  1- 5 sore

On a scale of 1-20 how sore were you after the 70.3 middle distance triathlon?
1 not sore 20 being very painful to walk and legs sore to touch 7 days after?

 (a) 16-20 sore (Maximum soreness) 
 (b) 10-15 sore
 (c)  6 -14 sore
 (c)  1- 5 sore (Minimum soreness)

What age are you?
(a) 18-24 = score 3
(b) 25-30 = score 8
(c) 31-36 = score 5
(d) 37-42 = score 4
(e) 42-49 = score 3
(f) 50-56  =score 2
(g) 57+    = score 0

Male or female
(a) Male      = Score 3
(b) Female  = Score 5

Did you have an even pace 70.3 race and were you able to eat and drink ok.
Some people can get away with limited nutrition during a half but will not during a full Ironman.
Were you disappointed with your half result?
Happy with result add 2 points not happy deduct 2 points.
(a) Good even pace
(b) Slowed down at the end of the swim then bike then run or Slowed down at the end of the bike and did the Ironman shuffle during the half marathon

Add up your scores and then use the guide below to decide.

If you scored the following then you can decide if you are ready enough complete a successful ironman in the next 7 weeks.

Less than 72 not recovered and NOT ready within next 9 weeks
Between 75 -83 on the borderline.
To help you decide do you fit into one of the examples below?
How much time can you train and still have one rest day per week.
>8+ training hour weeks must have 1 rest day a week
>12+ training hour weeks must 3 rest days a fortnight?
> 14+ training hours 4 rest days a month with at least 6 easy active training days a month

Above 85 then you are ready to train now and compete in the Ironman within 7 weeks.
Ironically those that have been advised not to do the Ironman have either failed to finish cause a long term injury or had a very disappointing competition.
Also you can expect to under perform for the rest of the season. copy right © 2005

Only forward the above information if you use Ironmate as the source.
I have established from 31 years in sport and coaching others that my simple easy to use guide has been 95% full proof.
We are all individual and there will always be exceptions to the rule.

I welcome comments to the above however this is a FREE service.
I have a questionnaire that has many more questions to answer with gives us much more feedback and help me make a more accurate decision.
I am sorry but I already get over 500 questions each month so it is not possible to answer them all individually.

I am however able to give individual help should you require it?
Please request my menu of services which includes costs of what I am able to offer.
It is not possible to cover every scenario as we are all individual in the above basic Q&A self assessment.
Use your common sense & have a medical check up when taking up strenuous exercise.

Mark Kleanthous has covered a total of 6,000 miles swimming 175.000 miles cycling and 52,000 miles running or nearly twice across the Atlantic Ocean swimming cycling six times around the world and twice around the world running training and racing.

He has crossed the finish line in over 460 triathlons world wide in 19 countries since 1983 including 36 Ironman triathlons 2 x double Iron distance and 1 triple iron distance.

He is a British triathlon coach for more information on coaching services contact me